the monks

“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life. Foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.”

– Buddha – 

A Bit of History

When it Began

Two monks, Bhante Patthalagedera Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera and his pupil arrived on May 1895 in response to the invitation extended by the Society. Bhante P. Dhammananda Maha Thera was regarded as the first incumbent bhikkhu of the Society’s Temple, he was at the age of 42 when he arrived as part of his foreign missionary work.

Bhante P. Dhammananda obtained his Upasampada in year 1874 and is a very popular Dhamma preacher in the entire Kurunegala (Sri Lanka). After the inauguration of Buddhist Vihara, Bhante P. Dhammananda left for Calcutta in May 1986.

Later, several monks took turns to reside a few years at the temple to propagate the Dhamma, they are Bhante Thihagoda Nandaratana Thera, Bhante Kollupitiye Sasanawansa Thera and Bhante Thelipahe Dayananda Thera.

Residency of Esteemed Monks

Later, several monks took turns to reside a few years at the temple to propagate the Dhamma, they are Bhante Thihagoda Nandaratana Thera, Bhante Kollupitiye Sasanawansa Thera and Bhante Thelipahe Dayananda Thera.

The Mark of a New Era

The period from mid-July 1950 onwards marked the beginning of a new era  in the annals of the Society and of its Vihara.

The turning point came on 27 Jul 1950 with the arrival of Bhante Pannasiri Maha Thera from Ceylon. The post 1950s period ushered in an era which showed a marked improvement in the affairs of the Brickfields Buddhist Temple with dhammaduta activities in particular taking on a new dimension.

Resident Bhikkhus of Maha Vihara

from 1895 - 1950

Bhante P.
Sri Dhammananda
Maha Thera

Bhante Sri Dhammananda was the first known incumbent Bhikkhu for the temple

Bhante K.

Bhante Sasanawansa was one of the Dhamma propagator for the temple

Bhante T.

Bhante Dayananda was also a Dhamma propagator for the temple

Bhante M.

Bhante Dhammadassi serve as the incumbent Bhikkhu during late 1930s. He was a source of inspiration to those who sought for refuge during the Japanese occupation period

from 1950 - 1995

Bhante Pannasiri

His arrival was arranged by Bhante M. Dhammadassi during his visit to Ceylon. He contributed to most of the post-war resuscitation work.

Bhante Pemaratana Nayaka Maha Thera

Bhante Pemaratana was invited to assist in mostly all activities of the temple, particularly as Principal of the Dhamma School.

Bhante H. Gunaratana
Maha Thera

Bhante Gunaratana serves the temple for ten years as resident Bhikkhu and as Religious adviser. He was also the Principal of the Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School.

Bhante K. Sri Pemaloka Maha Thera

Bhante Permaloka came to the temple towards the end of 1963. He took over as Principal of the Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School in 1968 after the departure of Bhante Gunaratana.

Chief Monks

Bhante Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera

Bhante Dr. K. Sri Dhammanada is a household name in the Buddhist world. In more than forty two years as incumbent of the Buddhist Maha Vihara, Malaysia, the Venerable has brought the Buddha Word to countless numbers of devotees who otherwise would have has no access to the sublime message of the Enlightened One

Bhante Sri Dhammananda was appointed as the first Buddhist Chief High Priest of Malaysia in 1963. His talk has been able to reached wide audience, especially through his publications which range from the voluminous “Dhammapada” to little five page pamphlets. Bhante Sri Dhammananda passed away in year 2006 at the age of 87.

Bhante Datuk Dr. k. Dhammaratana Maha Thera

Bhante Datuk Kirinde Dhammaratana Thero, the Chief High Priest of Malaysia, since the passing of his predecessor in 2006 is known throughout Malaysia and internationally for his outstanding services to the Buddha Sasana. 

Born on 24th July 1948 in Kirinde, Sri Lanka to Mr. Basnayaka Mudiyanselage Siriwardena, an Ayurvedic Physician and Mrs Withaarachchilage Dayawathie, he had his early education at the Central college of Deyiyandara, Sri Lanka. In 1995, at the age at 17 he entered the Sasana as a novice monk under the name of “Kirinde Dhammaratana”.  

Present Resident Monks

Bhante K. L. Vijitha Thera

Bhante Vijitha was the Principal for Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School from 1989 – 1993.

Bhante W.Gnanobhasa Thera

Bhante Gnanobhasa, all the way from Sri Lanka, holds a special place in the heart of the Buddhist Maha Vihara community as one of our esteemed resident monks

Bhante P. Vineetha Thera

Bhante Vineetha from Sri Lanka holds a Bachelor of Arts in Experimental Psychology with a Major in the English Language and a Master in Education for TESL. Currently residing at the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Kuala Lumpur, Bhante Vineetha Thero continues to inspire and guide others with his profound teachings and compassionate presence.