Most Ven Weweldeniye Medhalankara Mahanayaka Thero The Icon of Mirigama after D.S. no more
Posted on August 30th, 2012

by Dr. Chandana Jayalath

A strict disciplinarian and an iconic personality of Theravada Buddhism in the twentieth century left all of us yesterday. Most Ven Weweldeniye Medhalankara Mahanayaka Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Ramanya Chapter, passed away at the age of 104 “”…” that is 2 years more to Balangoda Ananda Maithree himi. Regarded as one of the most respected Sri Lankan Buddhist monks, Most Ven Weweldeniye Medhalankara Mahanayaka Thero lived a modest life and did a silent service for the education and propagation of Buddhism.

It is recorded that he studied at Tholangamuawa Central College “”…” one of the earliest central colleges initiated under Kannangara vision, and ordained in the year 1922 at then the chief incumbent of Sasanawardane Pirivirvena, Kadiragama Sumanasara Thero.

After higher ordination, he had entered Vidyawasa pirivena in Nittambuwa. On 25th April 1972, Medhalankara Thero was selected as the Chief Incumbent of Sasanawardana pirivena. Amongst the portfolios included the Divisional Judge among the Buddhist monks, Senior Judge of Supreme Judicial Committee of Ramanna Maha Nikaya, General Registrar of Ramanya Sector, and Chief Judicial Priest of Ramanna Sector.

He was an advisor to many civilian organizations such as Buddha Srawaka Dhamma Pitaya of Anuradhapura, Buddhist Cultural Organization, Mirigama, Ambana Children’s home, and Seth Sewana Elders’ home. Weweldeniye Medhalankara Thero established temples in Nuwara-Eliya, Anuradhapura, Ampara. Also he initiated establishing schools including the D.S. Senanayake Central College, Mirigama, Weweldeniya Maha Vidyalaya, Balathawa Junior School, Shasana Wardana Dhamma School and Shasana Wardana Pre School. At the 100th birthday, the Medhalankarapura” in Morawewa division in Trincomalee District was declared open for the communities.

The history of Sri Lanka’s Buddha Sasana reveals the immense contribution made by learned monks, scholars, erudite Buddhist missionaries and other public-conscious bhikkus in spreading the Dhamma in this country and overseas during a period of 2,300 years. Being a true disciple of the Lord Buddha, the Most Ven. Thera continued preaching the Dhamma in the country, made several dhamma-charikas to other countries and attended many international Buddhist summits. He assisted monks and samaneras to receive a sound education. He was an erudite preacher and Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike listened to his sermons. Further, he is a well-known character that never went behind politicians and never got involved in party politics. He is a classic example for observing the five precepts propagated by Buddha and an archetypalist in simplicity. He was a noble Mahanayake with a high knowledge of the Dhamma and an equally high moral standard. He was a bhikku having extreme patience and outstanding leadership.

The funeral will take place at the D.S Senanayake Central College grounds on Monday, 3 September 2012 with full state honours.

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