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Ittepane Dhammalankara Anunayake Thera:

True propagator of Dhamma

Septuagenerian “Buddha Putra” Ittepane Dhammalankara Thera was born on October 15, 1935, in a distant village known as Ittepana, in the District of Kalutara.

The Erudite scholarly monk Ven. Ittepane Dhammalankara, Anunayaka thera, has committed his whole life to serve Buddhism and presently doing an invaluable service in the propagation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and abroad. He is an ornament to Buddha Sasana, and an eloquent preacher. His presentation, deliverance, dulcet voice is so appealing to the heart of the listeners. His Dhamma sermons are a soothing balm to the minds.

Ven. Ittepane Dhammalankara Thera, entered the Sangha Sasana, six decades ago in 1950, under the illustrious teachers – Ven. Kalalgoda Dhammasiri and Ven. Talwatugoda Dhammaloka Theras, who were the Chief Incumbents of Purana Maha Viharaya, Kottawa and Talawatugoda Siri Nandarama respectively.

To pursue his higher studies, he entered the Vidyalankara Pirivena, considered as one of the crest jewels of Buddhist learning in Sri Lanka. He was very fortunate to study under such great monks such as Kiriwattuduwe Pannasara, Yakkaduwe Praggarama, Kotahena Pannakitti, Bambarende Siri Seevali, to name a few out of many. He was a brilliant student of Vidyalankara Pirivena and completed the final examination, in Pirivena Education with distinction, winning many prizes. Later, he entered the University of Vidyalankara, (University of Kelaniya), and obtained the Bachelor of Arts Degree and then went on to completed a Dockrate in Philosophy.

He was an excellent administrator of his Nikaya. He held the prestigious title “Karmavagachariya” in the Kotte Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha and also held and performed the secretariat work of the Chapter and rose to the illustrious position of Anunayaka.

Presently, Ven. Ittepane Dhammalankara Anunayake thera, is the Chief Incumbent of Dharma Vijayaloka Viharaya, Rukmalgama, Pannipitiya and devotes full time in the cause of Buddha Dhamma. He always stands very firm and fair in major National issues.

The great monk, motivated and created an opinion among the masses to safeguard the territorial integrity of our beloved land. Further, he acted as the secretary of the Sinhala Balamandala, which was the “Brain-child” of the Most Venerable Madihe Pannaseeha Mahanayake Thera.

The Thera organised protest meetings, protest marches, rallies against terrorist activities. He is a dynamic monk who put country before self. Being an independent thinker, he always stand for truth, fair-play and justice.

It is still etched in my mind, in the 1977 J R Jayewardene’s regime, at a meeting held at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress Centre in Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, chaired by Ittepane Dhammalankara Thera, the government “Thugs” at that time assaulted the keynote speaker, highly respected Professor Dr. Ediriweera Sarachchandra and some prominent personalities. This great monk always stood for the rights of the people, and the country.

Apart from his religious and missionary activities to propagate Buddhism, he is also a time writer and an author. He wrote the autobiographies of Most Venerable Ananda Maitriya, Rerukane Chandawimala Maha Nayake Thera, Bellane Gnanawimala Maha Nayake Thera and also many other articles and research papers of Buddhism.

Further, this monk wrote a book on the highly respected Catholic Priest Marcelline Jayakody ‘Malpelen Upan Pansale Piyatuma”.

This clearly illustrates his impartiality.

 

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