Venerable Bhikkhunī Viditadhammā in Conversation with Professor Paul Harrison

Thursday February 4th 2021, 7:00 - 8:30PM
Event Sponsor
The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford
Virtual via Webinar
Venerable Bhikkhuni Viditadhamma in Conversation with Professor Paul Harrison


T. T. & W. F. Chao Distinguished Practitioner Lectures

Please join The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies Co-Director, Professor Paul Harrison, in conversation with Venerable Bhikkhunī Viditadhammā, Abbess of Vien Khong Nunnery and Deputy Head of the Department of Dharma English at Vietnam Buddhist University in Hochiminh City, Vietnam. Professor Harrison will speak with Venerable Bhikkhunī Viditadhammā about Vietnamese Buddhism and what it means for a woman to pursue the religious life in that country. A Q & A session will follow the conversation.

Ralph H. Craig III, a PhD student in Religious Studies, will serve as the moderator and pose questions from the audience to Venerable and Professor Harrison during the Q & A session.

Webinar link will be sent after registration.



Bio: Venerable Bhikkhunī Viditadhammā was born in 1967 in Hue, Vietnam, in a traditional Buddhist family. As she had learned the Dhamma when she was small, she became a nun right after she graduated from Hue Teachers’ Training College in 1991. Having been trained in Mahāyāna tradition for three years, she has diverted to Theravāda tradition and practiced at Buu Long Monastery, Hochiminh City, under the guidance of Ven. Punnavijjo Maha Thero.

In 1998, after the five-year training course (1993–1998) there, she was sent to the University of Delhi, India, for further studies, where she completed a Diploma in Pāli (Gold Medal), MA, MPhil, PhD in Buddhist Studies (major in Pāli and Abhidhamma).

She was fully ordained in Sri Lanka in 2002 and was one of the first Theravāda bhikkhunīs in Vietnam. After that she attended many meditation courses in India and Myanmar.

In 2012, she organized International Bhikkhunī and Samaneri Ordinations, and a three-month training course at Vietnam Mahāprajāpatī Nunnery in Vaishali, Bihar, India for 38 bhikkhunīs and samaneries from India, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. She also acted as the Preceptor (Pavattini) or Vinaya Teacher (Kammavacacarini) at Bhikkhunī Ordinations in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Australia.

Now she is Deputy Head of the Department of Dharma English at Vietnam Buddhist University in Hochiminh City, and Abbess of Vien Khong Nunnery, Vietnam. She regularly delivers Dhamma talks to lay Buddhists all over the country and abroad, conducts meditation courses for adults and summer camps for children.

Bio: Paul Harrison is the George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies. He specializes in Buddhist literature and history, especially that of the Mahāyāna, and in the study of Buddhist manuscripts in Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan. His current projects include editions and translations of a number of Mahāyāna and Mainstream Buddhist sūtras and śāstras, including the Vajracchedikā (Diamond Sūtra) and the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, as well as a general study of issues of authority, textual transmission and innovation in Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Bio: Ralph H. Craig III is a PhD student in Religious Studies at Stanford University, specializing Indian Buddhism. Ralph's current research foci include ritual studies, Buddhist literature and history, and comparative religion.

Here is the video of this talk from our YouTube channel:

Please excuse the quality of the Zoom video recording. The Venerable Bhikkhunī Viditadhammā was speaking from Hochiminh City, Vietnam, and the connection was not stable at times.