Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera

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Most Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama Maha Thera
File:Nanarama 1.jpg
Most Ven. Ñanarama Maha Thera (left) and Ven. Mitirigala Dhammanissanthi Ther (right) in a hospital room in Colombo in 1974
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada
Sect Ramanna Nikaya
Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha
Personal
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Born Don Dias Jayathunga
(1901-12-11)11 December 1901
Bajjima Village, Tikkannagoda (presently known as Uduwe), Matara
Died 30 April 1992(1992-04-30) (aged 90)
cremated in Galduwa Yogasrama premises, Galduva Aranya, Kahawa, Ambalangoda
Senior posting
Title Kammatthanacariya,
Maha Thera
Religious career
Teacher Most Ven. Sastrawelliye Upasena Nayaka Maha Thera
Students Most Ven. Nauyane Ariyadhamma Mahathera
Works Chief preceptor of Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha,
Kammatthanacariya Thera of Nissarana Vanaya, Meethirigala
Ordination 10 July 1922 (higher ordination)

Most Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama Maha Thera (spelled Ñāṇārāma in Pali, sometimes called Gnanarama in Sinhala, Sinhala: අති පූජ්‍ය මාතර ශ්‍රී ඤාණාරාම මහා ථේර) was an influential Sri Lankan meditation master, scholar and forest monk of the 20th century.

Childhood

Dedduwa Jayathungage Don Bastian family of the Bajjima Village in Tikkannagoda (presently known as Uduwe) in the deep south of Sri Lanka was blessed with a child on 11 December 1901. Named as Don Dias Jayathunga, the devout parents offered this young child on his seventh birthday to the service of sasana under the tutelage of Ven Dedduwe Wimalajothi of Aliyatholla Temple, who was related to the family in his lay life.

Ordination

Young Jayathunga was ordained in December 1917 with the given name of Ven Matara Nanarama under the patronage of Ven Matale Aggadhammalankara Thera. Young samanera Nanarama was bent on perfecting his knowledge in dhamma pursued the dhamma education with utmost zeal. He received higher ordination on 10 July 1922 under Ven Sastrawelliye Upasena Nayaka Thera.

Bent on experiencing wisdom Ven. Nanarama gave up almost all mundane comforts for the sake of the final goal. Some nights he spent without a wink of sleep absorbed in the study of Suttas. Having mastered all the aspects of Tipitaka, Logics, Chandolankara, and other contemporary philosophies the young Nanarama pursued on the path to Nibbana with diligent practice.

Meditation Master

In 1951 the Most Venerable Kadawedduwe Jinavamsa Mahathera started a programme of activities for upholding the diminishing status of Sangha in Sri Lanka, and invited Ven Nanarama to head the program of the newly established Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha. This organization was set up as an association of hundreds of forest monasteries throughout Sri Lanka of the Ramanna Nikaya ordination line. Young monks were properly trained in the monastic code, connections with the Burmese Sangha were intensified and meditation training was guided by Ven. Nanarama.

During the auspicious year of 2500 Buddha Jayanthi several Burmese meditation masters arrived in Sri Lanka. Ven Matara Nanarama Thera joined the retreats conducted by these excellent teachers at the Danawkande Sri Mangala Yogasramaya, and advanced rapidly on the path of insight meditation. Having observed the extra ordinary talent and zeal of Venerable Nanarama, the Burmese masters taught him every aspect of the practice and acknowledged his status as a Kammatthanacariya (Meditation teacher) in the Burmese Vipassana system.

Nissarana Vanaya

File:Lord 1.jpg
The Buddha statue in Nissarana Vanaya

During this time another rare opportunity opened up for the advancement of sasana in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist philanthropist Asoka Weeraratna who selected a land and developed the forest hermitage at Meethirigala, called Nissarana Vanaya, was searching for a teacher to head this meditation center for Bhikkhus. Mr Weeraratna was able to persuade Venerable Nanarama Thera to take up this position. At this Nissarana Vanaya countless Bhikkus and lay devotees both local and foreign received instructions for their advancement on the path and many reaped benefit. Some of these instructions were recorded on tape and were made available in printed form as well. The recorded talks can be downloaded from the internet. Several books written based on the talks have been translated to western languages and have helped hundreds of seekers in the west.

A few years later Venerable Katukurunde Nanananda Thera, a former Pali lecturer at the University of Peradeniya joined Nissarana Vanaya and become one the closest disciples of Venerable Nanarama Thera. Other leading monks included Venerable Khemananda and Dhammajiva.

Venerable Sri Matara Nanarama Thera died on 30 April 1992 and the cremation took place on 7 May 1992 among thousands of devotees at the Galduwa Yogasrama premises.

See also

External links

Historical people list

Historical people

Main subcategories of People are: Historical people - Living people - All people - People categories ... (Is a bio not here, or minimal?)

Masao Abe Robert Baker Aitken Ron Allen (playwright) B. R. Ambedkar Ananda
Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero Angulimala Aniruddha Mahathera Anuruddha Nauyane Ariyadhamma Mahathera
Aryadeva Asai Ryōi Assaji Atiśa Nisthananda Bajracharya
Benimadhab Barua Joko Beck Sanjaya Belatthiputta Charles Henry Allan Bennett Hubert Benoit (psychotherapist)
John Blofeld Bodhidharma Edward Espe Brown Polwatte Buddhadatta Thera Buddhaghosa
Acharya Buddharakkhita Marie Byles Ajahn Chah Rerukane Chandawimala Thero Channa
Chokgyur Lingpa Edward Conze L. S. Cousins Brian Cutillo 1st Dalai Lama
2nd Dalai Lama 3rd Dalai Lama 4th Dalai Lama 5th Dalai Lama 6th Dalai Lama
7th Dalai Lama 8th Dalai Lama 9th Dalai Lama 10th Dalai Lama 11th Dalai Lama
12th Dalai Lama 13th Dalai Lama Bidia Dandaron Alexandra David-Néel Marian Derby
Devadatta U Dhammaloka K. Sri Dhammananda Dharmaditya Dharmacharya Dharmakirti
Dharmapala of Nalanda Anagarika Dharmapala Dharmottara Dignāga Dōgen
Dongchu Dongshan Liangjie Khakyab Dorje, 15th Karmapa Lama Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa Rangjung Dorje, 3rd Karmapa Lama
Heinrich Dumoulin Düsum Khyenpa, 1st Karmapa Lama Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Walter Evans-Wentz Family of Gautama Buddha
Frederick Franck Gampopa Gelek Rimpoche Gö Lotsawa Zhönnu-pel Gorampa
Maha Pajapati Mahapajapati Mahapajapati Gotami Rita Gross Gurulugomi
Phagmo Drupa Dorje Gyalpo Tsangpa Gyare Gendun Gyatso Palzangpo Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso Dolpopa
Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen Gyeongbong Han Yong-un Thich Nhat Hanh Walisinghe Harischandra
Eugen Herrigel Ernő Hetényi Marie Musaeus Higgins Raicho Hiratsuka Shin'ichi Hisamatsu
Hsuan Hua Huiyuan (Buddhist) Christmas Humphreys K. N. Jayatilleke 2nd Jebtsundamba Khutughtu
9th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu Jeongang Kadawedduwe Jinavamsa Mahathera Ken Jones (Buddhist) David Kalupahana
Dainin Katagiri Katyayana (Buddhist) Bob Kaufman Kaundinya Jack Kerouac
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King Suppabuddha Jamgon Kongtrul Kukkuripa Kumar Kashyap Mahasthavir Kunkhyen Pema Karpo
Drukpa Kunley Trevor Leggett Arthur Lillie Karma Lingpa Robert Linssen
Longchenpa John Daido Loori Albert Low Luipa Taizan Maezumi
Mahakasyapa Mahākāśyapa Mahamoggallana Mahasi Sayadaw Jyotipala Mahathera
Nagasena Mahathera S. Mahinda Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera Marpa Lotsawa Peter Matthiessen
Maudgalyayana Maya (mother of Buddha) Maya (mother of the Buddha) Gustav Meyrink Edward Salim Michael
Milarepa Mingun Sayadaw Sōkō Morinaga Hiroshi Motoyama Mun Bhuridatta
Myokyo-ni Nagarjuna Nagasena Soen Nakagawa Bhikkhu Nanamoli
Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera Nanavira Thera Nanda Naropa Nichiren
Kitaro Nishida Gudō Wafu Nishijima Nyanaponika Nyanaponika Thera Nyanatiloka
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Hammalawa Saddhatissa Kazi Dawa Samdup Chatral Sangye Dorje Ajahn Sao Kantasīlo Sariputta
Sayadaw U Tejaniya Seongcheol Seungsahn Shantideva Shavaripa
Sheng-yen Zenkei Shibayama Takamaro Shigaraki Silabhadra Sīlācāra
Shin Maha Silavamsa Śrāvaka Subhashitaratnanidhi Subhuti Suddhodana
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Tiantong Rujing Tilopa Chögyam Trungpa Tsangnyön Heruka Yeshe Tsogyal
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