The West Wight is the Western side of the Isle of Wight, situated off the Southern coast of England. There is a thriving Buddhist community on the Island made up of a number of different groups. The West Wight group, or Sangha, is non-denominational and meets weekly to meditate and discuss the Dharma, the Buddha's teachings.
Today is known as Binara Poya day and celebrates the inauguration of the Bhikkhuni Sangha by the ordination of Queen Mahāpajāpatī, the Buddha's foster-mother and her retinue.
When her husband, Suddhodana, died, Pajāpatī decided to renounce the world. The Buddha was at Vesāli and she waited for an opportunity to ask permission of him. Pajāpatī was already a sotāpanna. She attained this eminence when the Buddha first visited his father's palace and preached the Mahādhammapāla Jātaka. She was predicted by sages to be the one who causes Buddha to allow women to join his holy order. Her opportunity came when the Buddha visited Kapilavatthu to settle the dispute between the Sākiyans and the Koliyans as to the right to take water from the river Rohinī. When the dispute had been settled, the Buddha preached the Kalahavivāda Sutta, and five hundred young Sākiyan men joined the Order. The Sakiyan wives, led by Pajāpatī, went to the Buddha and asked leave to also be ordained. The Buddha refused and went on to Vesāli. But Pajāpatī and her companions, nothing daunted, had barbers cut off their hair, and donning yellow robes, followed the Buddha to Vesāli on foot. They arrived with wounded feet at the Buddha's monastery and repeated their request to ordain as monastics. The Buddha again refused, But, Ananda interceded on their behalf and Buddha granted their request, subject to eight strict conditions.