31 August 2017 marks the 11th anniversary of the passing of Nalanda’s late Spiritual Adviser – Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nāyaka Thero. On this day, Nalandians gather to commemorate our late teacher’s lifetime contributions to Dhamma propagation with a Dhamma talk and Sanghika Dāna.
Born on 18 March 1918 in southern Sri Lanka, the late Ven. Dhammananda became a novice monk at age 12. Upon coming of age at 20, he was ordained a ‘bhikkhu’ – a full-fledged Theravada monk. Ven. Dhammananda attended the famous Vidyalankara monks’ training institute in Colombo, and later earned a Masters degree from Benares Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India.
In 1952, Ven. Dhammananda was selected by the Principal of Vidyalankara to embark on missionary duty to then Malaya. Ven. Dhammananda soon established himself in Kuala Lumpur and gained renown as a prolific author and eloquent speaker who was able to connect with all and sundry – from intellectuals to common folks, ministers to labourers. As such, he was a great catalyst for the growth of Theravada Buddhism in Malaysia and Singapore, whose educated population were yearning for proper teachings of the Buddha free from superstitions and misinformation.
Ven. Dhammananda inspired the formation of many Buddhist societies throughout Malaysia, including Nalanda Buddhist Society in 2003. He bestowed the name ‘Nalanda’ upon the Society, and was our Spiritual Adviser until his passing in August 2006.
We invite everyone to join us in observing his 11th Memorial Day this Thursday at Nalanda Centre. All are welcome!