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Biography of Venerable Ayya Upektkha

Venerable Ayya came to learn about the dhamma via Theravada and Mahayana traditions of Buddhism from 1986.

She did a 3-year course in Mahayana Buddhism, a Diploma course in Theravada Buddhism and participated in retreats under both traditions. She was ordained in Taiwan firstly as a Samaneri in July 2003, then Sikkhamana in Jan 2004 in the Dharmaguptaka (Mahayana) tradition.

Ayya was trained in the Yuan Guang Monastic Training College Taiwan for two years and received higher ordination as a Bhikkhuni in December 2005.

She practised and served in this tradition in Singapore and Perth, Australia until March 2008. As Ayya was personally inclined towards strict vinaya practices and meditation, she applied and was accepted into the Sangha by Abbot Bhante Sujato of Santi Forest Monastery in New South Wales and switched over to the brown robes in 2009. It was here that Ayya learnt of the plight of the Theravada Bhikkhunis and female aspirants who wish to be trained and guided in practice. With the invitation from the Buddhist Society of Victoria and Bhante Jaganatha, she decided to help in their vision towards building a 4-fold forest monastery and establishing a Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha in Melbourne. This was strongly supported with blessings from Ayya's Tonsure Teacher Ven Ru Lin of the Yi Tong Bhikkhuni Training Monastery, Taiwan.

Ayya is now the Senior Bhikkhuni of Newbury Buddhist Monastery in Melbourne.


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