With the propagation of Dhamma by the Mahamevnawa Meditation center, women once again received the opportunity to become ordained in the Gautama Supreme Buddha’s dispensation. Under the guidance of Most Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda, the Mahamevnawa Anagarika Monastery was established for those women wishing to devote their lives to practicing the Dhamma. The first and main nuns’ monastery was built at Mutugala, in Dambadeniya area on September 10th of 2003 for five resident Anagarika nuns consisting of a small Buddha hall, small alms hall, and two lodgings.
Since the Binara full moon day when the Bhikkhuni Sangha was established in the world, the Mahamevnawa Anagarika Monastery has provided the warmth of the dispensation for over 91 upasikas (female disciples) to develop the Dhamma path. Being guarding parents, Mr. Illapperuma and Mrs. Manel Illapperuma provide all requisitely needs, loving protection and guidance for the meritorious nuns.
This monastery consists of a beautiful shrine hall depicting Arahant Bhikkhus and Arahant Bhikkhunis, the four guardian devas, goddesses, and other guardian gods gathered together in the sky to venerate the sparkling golden statue of the Gautama Supreme Buddha.
It also has a stunning statue gallery displaying the statue and the casket containing the noble relics of the Great Arahant Bhikkhuni Mahaprajapathi Gotami, the great pioneer of the Bhikkhuni Sangha and a statue of Arahant Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta, the initiator of the Bhikkhuni Sangha in Sri Lanka.
Containing the Hair Relics of the Gautama Supreme Buddha, a beautiful Stupa can also be seen in the monastery.
A large Dhamma hall provides thousands of devotees the facilities to listen to the Dhamma comfortably. Like the olden days, there people have the chance to observe the eight precepts and participate in Dhamma programs not only on the Full moon day but also four times a month on each of the four moon phases.
The monastery also offers young and adult women living the lay life, yet wishing to practice the Dhamma, the opportunity to learn and practice meditation for a week as residential participants (fifteen participants per week). Special opportunity for non Sri Lankan women is offered by the main monastery. They can stay about a week with Anagarika nuns, learn teachings, receive meditation instructions and have Dhamma discussions.
A beautiful ancient Bodhi tree planted quite a long time ago has its branches spread all around providing a cooling shelter to the monastery.
The monastery also has a large alms hall and kitchen providing all facilities for lay people who live far away to prepare alms at the monastery.
During the eleven years of the establishment of the Mahamevnawa Anagarika Monastery, six other branches have also been opened in Warakapola, Kuliyapitiya, Udupila, Mavathagama, Kadugannava and Anuradhapura.
The first overseas Anagarika nuns’ monastery was established in 2016 in Canada under the guidance of Most Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero. The Melbourne branch in Australia was established in 2017 expanding the Dhamma propagation of Anagarika nuns.