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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2585

New Sangha Nayake for Scandinavian countries

By Ven. Kanumuldeniye Sri Dharmashoka Nayake Maha Thera

Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Thera is to be bestowed with the post of Sangha Nayake of Scandinavian Countries by the Malwatta Chapter of Siyam Maha Nikaya.Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Thera  is the Chief Incumbent of Stockholm Buddhist Vihara in Sweden, Copenhagen Buddhist Vihara in Denmark, Maratugoda Vidumina Pirivena, Kirindigalle Meghagiri Viharaya, Wellawa Talotuwa Priyantharamaya, Lunukadawella Raja Maha Viharaya is known throughout the island and internationally for his outstanding services to Buddhist education as well as the Buddha Sasana.Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Thera is the Chief Incumbent of Stockholm Buddhist Vihara in Sweden, Copenhagen Buddhist Vihara in Denmark, Maratugoda Vidumina Pirivena, Kirindigalle Meghagiri Viharaya, Wellawa Talotuwa Priyantharamaya, Lunukadawella Raja Maha Viharaya is known throughout the island and internationally for his outstanding services to Buddhist education as well as the Buddha Sasana.

In this connection, subsequently a special reception to felicitate Ven. Dhammaratana Thera’s contribution to the Sasana will be held at the BMICH in Colombo at 3.00 pm on Tuesday, January 16.

Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Thera is the Chief Incumbent of Stockholm Buddhist Vihara in Sweden, Copenhagen Buddhist Vihara in Denmark, Maratugoda Vidumina Pirivena, Kirindigalle Meghagiri Viharaya, Wellawa Talotuwa Priyantharamaya, Lunukadawella Raja Maha Viharaya is known throughout the island and internationally for his outstanding services to Buddhist education as well as the Buddha Sasana.

His efforts for the upliftment of educational, social and cultural spheres of Sri Lanka are highly commendable. He has earned a great reputation as a Dhamma orator and a missionary monk nationally and internationally, particularly in Scandinavia.

Born on November 17, 1942 in Kirindigalle, (Hiriyala Hathpatthuwa of Kurunegala District) as a son of Dahanayake Mudiyanselage Tikiri Banda, Ayurvedic Physician, and Mrs. Herath Mudiyanselage Loku Menike, he has had his primary education at Government School in Kirindigalle.

In 1956, at the young age of 14, he entered the Sasana as a monk under the name of Kirindigalle Dhammaratana. This event significantly coincided with the Buddha Jayanthi 2500.

Following the successful completion of basic education at Maliyadeva Maha Pirivena in Kurunegala he joined the Vidyalankara University for higher education and obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Hon) Degree in 1963.

He obtained higher ordination (upasampada) in 1964 at Malwatta Maha Viharaya in Kandy. Subsequently he successfully completed examinations of the Oriental Studies Society. He obtained the Diploma in Education from the University of Colombo in 1984, and the Master’s Degree at the Sri Jayawardhanapura University in 1987.

In 1969, he was instrumental in establishing the Vidumina Pirivena with his most respected ‘Guru’ Ven. Owisa Sri Medhananda Nayake Thera and Ven. Gallelle Sri Ratnajothi Nayaka Thera.

Being its first principal he was able to produce a large number of qualified pupils and lay educationists. In 1978 he was appointed as an external visiting lecturer of the Kelaniya University.

With his untiring efforts Sri Sudharmodaya Pirivena was established at Meghagiri Viharaya in Kirindigalla for the benefit of novice monks. In 1989 he visited Sweden and spent a year propagating the Dhamma.

After returning to the island he served as Coordinating Officer of Pirivena Education in the Central Provincial Ministry of Education.
He served there until his retirement. During his long career he did yeoman service to strengthen Buddhist education.

In 1995 he was appointed as the Abbot of Stockholm Buddhist Vihara in Sweden. He made the temple a centre for the propagation of the Dhamma in Scandinavian Countries, namely Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, and especially in languages such as Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit, English and Swedish which has helped the Thera with his Dhammadutha activities.

Ven. Dhammaratana Thera who is very much concerned and interested in social services in Sri Lanka has established ‘Sri Devo’ (an NGO) for the benefit of the many and registered it with the Ministry of Social Services.

He travelled throughout the world and has closely observed the Buddha word ‘Caratha Bhikkhave Charikan, Bahujana Hitaya Bahujana Sukhaya’ (Oh Bhikkhus, travel and ravel for the betterment of the people). He has become a renowned Dhamma Orator in several European and Asian countries including England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

He represented Sri Lanka and Scandinavia in several international Buddhist conferences. His impeccable character is appreciated without any discrimination by all. He was able to face challenges with courage and determination.

May the blessings of the Noble Triple Gem bestow health, courage and longevity unto the Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayake Thera
to carry forward his esteemed services to the Sasana and the world.

Ven. Kanumuldeniye Sri Dharmashoka Nayake Maha Thera President, International Vihara Foundation Abbot, Nawa Polonnaru Gal Viharaya, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

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