In her welcome speech, Venerable Thich Nhu Khiet Minh, Abbess of the Mahaprajapati Monastery in Vaishali stressed the importance and significance of the conference as Vaishali is the sacred site where Mahprajapati Gautami was the first woman to become a Buddhist nun.
“This event is very significant in Buddhist history, because it acknowledges the Buddha’s confirmation on women’s potential to become liberated from the sufferings of samsara. This event is also significant in world history, because it is the first recorded example of women gaining religious rights,” she said.
She said that Mahaprajapati is a great example of women’s leadership and matriarch of Buddhist tradition. She created a strong and dynamic lineage of women’s spiritual leadership that has endured for almost 2600 years.
“Thanks to her vision and leadership, today all Buddhist women have the possibility of becoming fully ordained as bhikkunis. By holding this 13th Sakyadhita conference, we honor her and express our sincere devotion and gratitude. I strongly believe that it is the power of her blessings that has enabled us to overcome many obstacles and helped ripen all the causes and conditions to bring us together from 32 countries around the world for this wonderful historic gathering,” Venerable Thich Nhu Khiet Minh concluded.