Ambanwelle Sri Pannasekera Anunayaka Maha Thera of
Thera’s endeavours will hardly be matched
It is with a feeling of deep sorrow, I pen these lines on the demise
of my teacher Ven. Ambanwelle Pannasekera Anunayaka Thera. Way back in
the 1950s - 1960s, this learned great Buddhaputra was residing at
Walukaramaya, Kollupitiya, where Mawittare Sri Revatha Nayaka Thera was
the Chief Incumbent. During this period I was under Pannasekera Thera
who was a leading lecturer and a great teacher at the Vidyodaya Pirivena,
the crest jewel of Buddhist education.
Sri Pannasekera Anunayaka Maha Thera
I learned Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit during this era. In my life I
have never seen such clear, artistic hand-writing as displayed by
Venerable Thera. In fact Pannasekera Thera wrote the Credential Papers
of Dr. Gunapala Malalasekera, to be presented to the Head of the Soviet
Union when he was appointed as our High Commissioner to Soviet Russia as
the first Ambassador to Russia.
Ven. Pannasekera was a gold-mine of knowledge. His pleasant
charismatic personality added more colour to this great scholar. He
passed away on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, aged 85.
He was a student at Vidyodaya Pirivena, and he shone like a bright
star. Through sheer determination, and commitment he pursued his studies
and obtained the Rajakeeya Pandita epithet, won the Siamese prize for
the best student at Vidyodaya Pirivena, and later became a lecturer.
His service to Buddhist and general education is enormous. Later, he
joined the leading Buddhist school in Sri Lanka - Ananda Vidyalaya and
served there for nearly two decades. Ambanwelle Pannasekera Anunayake
Thera was an erudite scholar, an eloquent preacher, and an
internationally reputed monk.
He was a vociferous reader. I have never seen a Buddhist monk, so
meticulous, methodical, organised and flawless in whatever he did. May
be in the future, the great performances of the great Pannasekera Maha
Thera be matched, but they will never be surpassed and eclipsed. It is
undoubtedly an irreparable loss to Buddhism, Sanga Sasana and general
Born in Ambanwella, Walapone on December 27, 1924, he was ordained on
January 25, 1940 under the tutelage of Ven. Ambanwelle Sri Ratanasara
Thera. He received higher ordination at the Uposathasaraya of Malwatte
Chapter on June 6, 1945. After serving as a teacher at Ananda College,
Colombo and several schools, he also served as Parivenadhipathi of
Sangaraja Pirivena affiliated to the Malwatte Maha Viharaya.
Ven. Ambanwelle Sri Pannasekera Anunayake Thera’s cremation was held
April 11 in Kandy.
May my teacher Ambanwelle Sri Pannasekera Anunayake Maha Thera attain
the Bliss of Nibbana!