Most Ven. Kirinde Dammaratana Nayaka Maha Thera Chief Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia
Ven kirinde Sri Dhammananda thera the chief incumbent of Buddhist Maha Vihaha, Brickfields Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is known throughout Malaysia and internationally for his outstanding services to the Buddha Sasana. His efforts in the promotion of religious knowledge, a social interaction and cultural understanding amongst Malaysians are highly commendable. He has earned a great reputation as a successful missionary monk who was well trained under the guidance of Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Thera, The former Chief Incumbent Bhikku of the Buddhist Maha Vihara.
Born, Family Background & Ordain
Born on 24th july in Kirinde, Sri Lanka to Mr. Basnayaka Mudiyanselage Siriwardena, an Ayurvedic Physician and Mrs. Withanaarachchilage Dayawathie, he had early education at the center of Collage of Deyiyandara, Sri Lanka. In 1965 at the young age of 17 he enterd the Sasana as a novice monk under the name of “Kirinde Dhammaratana” as a pupil of Ven Kotawila Sri Deepananda Nayaka Thera, the abbot of the Vidyawardhana Pirivena, Dehiwala, and Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Thera, the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia and Singapore.
Education & Higher Ordination
Upon the successful completion of his basic education at the Vidyawardhana Pirivena, Dehiwala, he joined the Sunethra Mahadevie University Pirivena in Pepiliyana for higher education and trained as a Dhammadutta monk at the Paramadhamma International Buddhist Institute, Ratmalana.
He said his higher ordination (Upasampada) in 1972 at Malwatte Maha Viharaya, Kandy. In 1989 at the invitation of Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananada Nayaka Thera and the Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardhana Society in Kuala Lumpur together with the blessing of Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera and Ven. Galaboda Ganissara Nayaka Thera
Excellency With Dammaduta (Propagation) & Mankind
Before Ven Dammaratana became a chief high priest of Malaysia He served the Vihara for over 28 years as a resident monk. The Sasana Society in 1988 then appointed him as the principal of the Sunday school which has a student population of over 1500 because of his capabilities and enthusiasm. He played an active role in organizing the annual Year end appreciation Dinner, wesak celebrations, Caring and Sharing Project, the Wesak Candle light and Float prosession. Ven Dhammaratana has also been the driving force of the Buddhist Maha Vihara Tsunami Relief Fund where RM 3.2 million was raised from donations. The Tsunami Fund has since provided financial aid for the construction of a new orphanage in Aceh, Indonesia, the rebuilding of the Tagalle Hospital in Sri Lanka and restoring 2 Hindu temples in Kalmunai. Sri Lanka. It has also sent over 50 containers of clothing, food, medicines and medical and equipment to Aceh, Sri Lanka south Thailand and Burma.
Compassion in Great Service
He was instrumental in establishing in the “TI-RATANA” welfare center in Salak South Garden, with the assistance of his friends and lay supporters at the Buddhist Maha Vihara, and very soon developed it by adding various sections such as free Clinics, orphanages, elderly homes, and refugee centers for the neglected children and mothers. It is now one of the biggest welfare organizations in Malaysia as well as leading 08 community centers in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Leadership In Action
In October 2006, after the demise of the late Ven Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera, the Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardhana Society appointed Ven Dhammaratana as the Chief Incumbent Bhikkhu of the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields, kuala Lumpur. Taking into consideration his commendable service to Malaysia, the government of Malaysia also granted him permanent resident status in Malaysia Ven Dhammaratana Nayaka Maha Thera has also since been appointed as;
- Religious patron by young Buddhist Association of Malaysia
- Chief Religious Advisor by Buddhist Dhamma Followership Association, Kuching
- Board Member of Malaysia Association for the Blind
The Venerable has also traveled to several counties in the world and he has closely observed the Buddha’s world “Caratha Bhikkhave Carikan Bahujana Hitaya Bahujana Sukhaya”. He is thus able to face challengers with courage and determination.
In appreciation of his services to the Buddha Sasana, Ven. Dhammaratana was bestowed the title of “Chief Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia” on 12 March 2007 by the Malwatta Chapter of the Siam Maha Nikaya, at Malwatta Viharaya, Kandy. May the blessings of Noble Triple Gem bestow health, courage and longevity unto Ven. Kirinde Sri Dhammaratana Nayaka Maha Thera to carry forward his esteemed services to the Samma Sambuddha Sasana and the world.
Honorary Titles and Position
- The principal of the Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School (BISDS) in Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields
- Founder and Spiritual Advisor of the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society and Ti-Ratana Buddhist Society
- Advisor of Sri Subhodharama Kaluwachchimulla, Kuliyapitiya
- Co-Chairman of the Inter-faith Group which comprises of Spiritual leaders from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Sikhism
- Appointed as the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia (Chief high priest) and bestowed with the title of Dhammakeerthi Sri Dhammananda by Board of Malwatta Chapter of Siam Nikaya in Kandy, Sri Lanka
- Chief Religious Advisor of Buddha Dhamma Followership Association Kuching
- Religious Patron of Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia
- Board Member of Malaysia Association for the blind
- Religious Advisor of UM Buddhist Society and UPM Buddhist Society
- Founder and religious adviser of Ti-Ratana community centers in Puchong, Klang, Petaling Jaya, Cheras, Gombak, and Johor.
- Malaysian Government distinguish His great service and offered Datuk title to respect His tremendous service in November 2010
Religious and Welfare Services (Malaysia)
- Blessing services to the community, the sick, deceased and prison inmates
- Initiated correspondence course named “Buddhism for you” and Chinese Dhamma classes at the Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School
- Annual Caring and sharing Programme which cater to about 1200 people comprising of senior citizens, orphans and physically handicapped
- Founded Ti-Ratana Welfare Society – Homes for Children, elderly and infirm, abused women and halfway house
- Free mobile clinic and mobile dental clinic to reach out to the rural communities, free loan of health care equipment, Distribution of Emergency Food Aid
- Provide community services – family counseling, language and Dhamma classes, and various relaxation and recreational activities, distribution of free publication / reading materials, 3-R campaign (reduce, Reuse and Re-cycle)
- Organizes sports, holiday camps and seminars for teenagers and youths
Welfare and Social Services (international)
- Presenting wheelchairs to soldiers at Ranaviru Sevana and D.A. Rajapaksha Foundation, Sri Lanka
- Presenting Cardiac and other equipment to Army Hospital, Sri Lanka
- Renovating Hettiyawala Vidyalaya and paving the roads in kirinde, Sri Lanka and re-naming the school “Kirinde Sri Dhammananda Vidyalaya” and “Kirinde Sri Dhammananda Mawatha” respectively
- Sending essential food items, clothing and medicines in aid of Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia
- Sending food, clothing and materials in aid of earthquake victims in Pakistan