Narada Maha Thera

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Narada Mahathera
නාරද මහා ස්ථවිරයන් වහන්සේ
Portrait Of Most Venerable Narada Maha Thera (1898-1983).jpg
Born(1898-07-14)July 14, 1898
DiedOctober 2, 1983(1983-10-02) (aged 85)
NationalitySri Lanka Sri Lankan
LineageAmarapura Nikaya
EducationSt. Benedict's College, Colombo

Narada Mahathera (Sinhalese: නාරද මහා ස්ථවිරයන් වහන්සේ), born Sumanapala Perera (14 July 1898 – 2 October 1983[1]) was a Theravada Buddhist monk, scholar, translator, educator and Buddhist missionary who was for many years the Superior of Vajiraramaya in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He was a popular figure in his native country, Sri Lanka, and beyond.


He was born in Kotahena, Colombo to a middle-class family,[1] educated at St. Benedict's College and Ceylon University College, and ordained at the age of eighteen.[1]

In 1929 he represented Sri Lanka at the opening ceremony for the new Mulagandhakuti vihara at Sarnath, India,[1] and in 1934 he visited Indonesia, the first Theravadan monk to do so in more than 450 years.[2] During this opportunity he planted and blessed a bodhi tree in southeastern side of Borobudur on 10 March 1934, and some Upasakas were ordained as monks.[3] From that point on he travelled to many countries to conduct missionary work: Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos, South Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Nepal, and Australia. In 1956, he visited the United Kingdom and the United States, and addressed a huge crowd at the Washington Monument. On 2 November 1960, Narada Maha Thera brought a bodhi tree to the South Vietnamese temple Thích Ca Phật Đài, and made many visits to the country during the 1960s.

Along with others (such as Piyadassi Maha Thera) he contributed to the popularization of the bana style Dhamma talk in the 1960s and brought the Buddhist teachings "to the day-to-day lives of the Westernized middle class in Sri Lanka."[4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Vihanage, Gunaseela. "Venerable Narada Maha Thera: A Biographical Sketch". Narada Felicitation Volume. BPS. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  2. Ramstedt, Martin (2004). Hinduism in modern Indonesia: a minority religion between local, national, and global interests. Routledge. p. 49ff. ISBN 978-0415405980. 
  3. "Buddhism in Indonesia". Buddhanet. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  4. Wickremeratne, Swarna (2006). Buddha in Sri Lanka: Remembered Yesterdays. State University of New York Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0791468821. 

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