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
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
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.