By Ellison Banks Findly
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Extra resources for Women's Buddhism, Buddhism's Women -- Tradition, Revision, Renewal
About 7,500 persons live in the tambon (commune) where the nunnery is situated. Most of the villagers engage in vegetable gardening and pig breeding. At Ratburi Nunnery,4 there are about fifty mae chis, a varying number of chiphrams (temporary nuns), and forty-seven school girls, called thammacdrinis. 5 The nunnery was established twenty years ago on land donated by lay supporters for the express purpose of setting up a nunnery, and has expanded over the years. In 1990, the nunnery opened the first school ever established by mae chis for girls in Thailand.
Dehejia, “The Collective and Popular Basis of Early Buddhist Patronage,” Powers o f Art, 37-38; Schopen, “An Old Inscription from Amaravatl,” Bones, ij6. On overseers of Buddhist construction projects, see Marlene Njammasch, “Der navakammika und seine Stellung in der Hierarchie der buddhistischen Kloster,” Schriften zur Geschichte und Kultur des alten Orients 1 (1974): 279-93. 35. Njammasch, “Der navakammika,” 280-81. Nothing is known about the navakam mika, the overseer in charge of new constructions, at Sanchi.
One is called dcariyay teacher. A second is a pupil of another monk. One casket refers to kakanavapabhdsOy the Light of Kakanava (the ancient name for Sanchi). 31 In the inscriptions they are called by what must have been par ticularly reverent titles. Sapurisa is not very commonly found in inscriptions from other sites, although it does occur in Buddhist scriptures. It may have been a title used among local monastics, just as kakanavapabhasa obviously was. 32 T H E N U N S AT T H E S T U P A 23 Several questions suggest themselves after this analysis of how nuns and monks are identified in the Sanchi inscriptions.