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Malwatte Mahanayake Thera 63 today:

Looking back

MATALE: The Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala, Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatta Chapter will be 63 years old this year.

He was born on 30th May 1944, in a beautiful village, Thibbatuwawe, surrounded by large areas of paddy lands and green woods in “Kohonsiya Paththuwa”, to the South of Matale district.

His father was Bandaranayke Wasala Mudali Tikiri Bandara Nilame of Thibbatuwawe Walauwa and Karalliyadda Idame Walauwe Loku Kumarihamy was his mother. He was the youngest of the family with two elder sisters. He was named Thibbatuwawe Walauwe Loku Bandara, though he was small in stature.

He was such a cute little boy that his maternal grandfather loved him so much, and wanted Loku Bandara to be educated at Werapitiya village, near Teldeniya, where his grand parents lived.

He had his primary education at Werapitiya Kanishta Vidyalaya, Primary School. Loku Bandara enjoyed the village life in Werapitiya so much that he came to Thibatuwawe village where he was born, only during the school vacation.

There too, he was like the ordinary village lad who enjoyed the beauty of paddy fields, the mountains and the river and of course the love of his two elder sisters and parents, as he was the only “Malli” and “Podi Putha” in the family.

Ordination

After his primary education he was ordained a “Samanera Bhikku”, Novice Monk, on 10th June 1957 at the age of 13 years under the preceptorship and tutelage of the Most Ven. Purijjala Sri Siddhartha Saranankara Mahanayake Thera and the Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Medankara Nayake Thera of Ridee Viharaya.

Pirivena Education

After his ordination, he entered Sri Sangharaja Pirivena, Kandy, where he studied the fundamentals of Dhamma, Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit, traditional religious customs and manners of the Malwatta Chapter under the able guidance and tutelage of the Most Ven. Amunugama Rajaguru Vippassi Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatta Chapter, The Most Ven. Wimalakeerthi Sumana Panditha, Sirimalwatte Anandhabidhana Mahanayake Thera, Rajakeeya Panditha Ven. Pahamune Dharmakeerthi Sri Saranankara Anunayake Thera, Rajakeeya Panditha Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Sumangalabhidhana Thera, “Lekakadhikari” - General Secretary - Karaka Sangha Sabha and Ven. Panditha Rathninde Sri Amomadhassi Thera. He completed his higher education with distinctions.

Higher Ordination

He received his higher ordination, named “Wahalanaga” at the age of 20 years in 1964 under the preceptorship of the Most Ven. Amunugama Rajaguru Vippassi Mahanayake Thera at the “Seemamalakaya” of Malwatta Maha Viharaya.

Thereafter he was entrusted with the “Thewawa” ceremony of Sri Dalada Maligawa, which is one of the most difficult and sacred ceremonies both Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapter Bhikkus have to perform every year.

He was appointed to perform these highly religious rituals in 1965, 1979, 1981 and 1992 with the guidance of the Most Ven. Mahanayake Theras at the time. A special mention must be made about the profound knowledge and the education he had, to perform these rituals as they were highly religious and sacred.

New Responsibilities

He was appointed a “Karaka Sangha Sabhika” to the highest body of administration of the Malwatta Chapter in 1968, when he was only 24 years old; by the Most Ven. Amunugama Rajaguru Vipassi Mahanayake Thera.

In 1979 on 10th May, he was unanimously appointed the “Upa Lekakadhikari” - Assistant General Secretary and in 1985, 09th November to the post of “Lekakadhikari” (General Secretary) by the Most Ven. Wimalakeerthi Sri Sumana Panditha Anandhabhidhana Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatta Chapter.

As the General Secretary, he performed his duties to the utmost satisfaction of the “Sangha Sabha”, he was appointed the Senior Member of the “Karaka Sangha Sabha” by the Most Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Dharmarakshitha Vipassiyabidhana Mahanayake Thera in 1990 5th January.

Appointed as Anunayake Thera

When Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Dharmarakkhitha Ratanapala Sobhithabhidhna Anunayake Thera passed away, after performing great service to the “Sangha Samajaya”, Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera was appointed the Anunayake Thera, one of the highest posts, on May 13, 1992.

Services rendered as the Chief Incumbent of Ridee Viharaya - Kurunegala

In 1974, he was appointed to the post of Viharadhipathi of the historic Ridee Viharaya and also to a few smaller temples around Ridee Viharaya.

* He built a new Dharma Salawa - Sermon Hall with all modern facilities.

* Electricity to Ridee Viharaya and other smaller temples were provided with his guidance.

* He also took the initiative to provide 24-hour water service to Ridee Viharaya and other temples spending a large amount of money.

* “Kele Pansala” - an ancient cave temple close to Ridee Viharaya was renovated and was made a meditation centre with all facilities.

Other than his religious activities he took a keen interest in building Rideegama town with modern facilities.

* He built two, two-storeyed buildings, right in the middle of Rideegama town and one was made a Buddhist Centre and the other the Public Library, named Sri Siddhartha Library. The salaries of workers and other expenses of the library were provided by him.

* He donated all the medical equipment necessary for Rideegama hospital and made it a model rural hospital.

* He distributed lands owned by the temples to the landless peasants and built houses for them, spending his own money.

* A new “Wahalkada” - an entrance, was erected at the Rideegama Devalaya with his guidance.

Duty towards his village - Thibbatuwawe

* Thibbatuwawe Primary School which was closed due to lack of students, was renovated, and a Vocational Training Centre was started by him spending his own money and it is now named Sri Siddhartha Vocational Training Centre.

* Every year he has distributed books and other equipment to the Dhamma School in Ganegoda Temple.

* He donated Rs. 50,000 to build “Kendagolla Praja Salawa” - Community Hall - at Tenna junction.

Appointment as the Mahanayake Thera

When the Most Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Dharmarakkitha Vipassiyabhidhana Mahanayke Thera of Malwatta Chapter passed away on 7th June 2004, the Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala, Anunayake Thera was unanimously elected to this highest post of Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatta Chapter on 20th June 2004, by the Karaka Sangha Sabha.

The Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera was officially appointed the 26th Mahanayke Thera of Malwatta Chapter and the Act of Appointment was presented on 16th August 2004, at the historic “Magul Maduwa” in Kandy, by the then President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

We wish you Most Ven. Sir, health, strength and long life to serve the world.

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