Piyadassi Maha Thera

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Piyadassi Maha Thera
පියදස්සි මහා ස්ථවිරයන් වහන්සේ
Piyadassi Maha Thera (1914–1998).jpg
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada
Lineage Amarapura Sect
Education Nalanda College Colombo
University of Sri Lanka
Harvard University
Dharma names Most.Ven.Piyadassi Maha Thera
Nationality Sri Lankan
Born (1914-07-08)8 July 1914
Kotahena, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Died 18 August 1998(1998-08-18) (aged 84)
Senior posting
Title Chief incumbent of the Vajiraramaya Temple Bambalapitiya
Religious career
Teacher Päläne Vajirañāna Thero

Piyadassi Maha Thera (Sinhalese: පියදස්සි මහා ස්ථවිරයන් වහන්සේ, 8 July 1914 – 18 August 1998) is best known as a great preacher of the Dhamma both in Sinhala and in English and it was in this field that his popularity was foremost. He was born on 8 July 1914 at Kotahena in Colombo, Sri Lanka and was educated at Nalanda College, Colombo, thereafter at the University of Sri Lanka and the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University as a research student.

At the age of twenty he entered the Buddhist Order and mastered the religion and philosophy of Buddhism under the erudite scholar monk Venerable Pelene Siri Vajiragnana Nayaka Thera, founder of the Vajirarama Bambalapitiya. Later he received his higher ordination under the tutorship of Venerable Vajiranna, founding superior of the Vajirarama Colombo, a most well-known authority on Buddhism.

Venerable Mahathera Piyadassi was one of the world's most eminent Buddhist monks having traveled widely carrying the message of the Buddha-Dhamma, both to the East and to West, he was able to write in a style that has universal appeal.

Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera was the Sinhala editor at the Buddhist Publication Society until his death.[1] Along with Ven. Nyanaponika Thera, he was one of the chief kalyāṇa-mittatās of well-known American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi.[2]

Venerable Piyadassi Maha Thera lived to the age of 84 years and died on 18 August 1998.



  1. "Story of the Buddhist Publication Society" from "Buddhist Publication Society" at http://www.bps.lk/aboutus.asp.
  2. In Bodhi (2000), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, p. 5, Bodhi dedicates the volume to "the memory of my teacher Venerable Abhidhajamaharatthaguru Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera (1896-1998) and to the memories of my chief kalyanamittas in my life as a Buddhist monk, Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera (1901-1994) and Venerable Piyadassi Nayaka Thera (1914-1998)".
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