WHO IS VENERABLE DODANWELA DHAMMARATNA, THERO?
Posted on June 17th, 2019

Sri Dhammaratana Buddhist Training Centre,

I am a Theravada Buddhist monk who lives and works among the poor and needy villagers of my area in Sri Lanka. I was ordained on November 5th. 1975.

I received the higher ordination called ‘Upasampada’ in July 1981 and was admitted into the Amarapura Niyake Sasanodaya Maha Sangha Sabha Sect and now I am an Annunayake, or a leader of the sect in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka – a Much Impoverished Population

I have devoted much of my time since becoming a monk, to doing social work for poor families, including taking in small monks and giving them an education in Buddhism as well as instruction by the State school system.

Today, we write about our need for help to do our activism

We have two centres:

The Sri Dhammarathna Bhikshu Training Centre, Hantana

I am proud to say I have trained about 100 students using two temples we call Viharas: the first and oldest is based at Hantana, Kandy

The Sri Dhammarathna Thapuwana International, Haragama

Haragama is near Kandy. This centre can be likened to an early learning centre or pre-school center but for young monks in training.

The present facilities at the Thapuwana consist of a meditation Centre where ordained Monks and Nuns can practice the Dhamma and meditation.

We would like to expand the facilities of this centre and there are eight acres available for this.

At present we have one Chinese person who has recently ordained and a Korean Lady who is now a Nun. Several other Sri Lanka monks and nuns are also living there and practicing the Dhamma and Meditation.

We need help in a broad range of areas:

The Re-Launch

Theravada Buddhism

in the Abandoned Villages

It must be said that many villagers all over the country are living in abject poverty. In Sri Lanka there are many temples closed and without a monk, therefore villagers are leaderless. I myself, have re-opened about 38 temples and placed my senior monks in them to bring them back into operation again in villages. For this we need finance for renovation and building work

Now, I feel it is important to find donors to give scholarships for the needy, neglected children of our adopted villages: for them to go to school and get some education. That seems to me to be so important. It also keeps them out of jail.

We would like these 38 temples to operate also as Social Working Centres.  These centres would be open to villagers to enroll as students of the centres and learn about what is useful to them and, of course, Buddhism in theory and practice.

Note that we are strong on the requirement to put Buddhist principles into practice as much as possible as the practice of Buddhism is noticeably lacking these days.

Summary:

In truth, now I see the great need to re-launch Theravada Buddhism in a much enhanced way to the whole country. I would like help to start at the Haragama Thapuwana premises, Sri Dhammarathna Thapuwana International.

Need for Social Workers and Volunteers from Overseas.

These are our plans. I am one monk working with a few other monks and Sri Lankans who agree to help me, But we need a whole team of workers in the field, and these will need living allowances to feed themselves and also, bus fares to travel around to the various villages. It would be really helpful if volunteers from overseas would come and help. We also need teachers to teach useful subjects such as English, and other subjects to both monks and villagers with the interest to learn.

If we get advanced notification we can meet foreign volunteers arriving at the airport and we can provide transport to our campus. We can then arrange visas as required.

Request for Donations

To do all this good work requires donations to support our mission. Please come to our Hantana Training Centre and discuss how you can help. We ask everyone to help. All donations, large and small are welcome at :

People’s Bank – Dalada Veedia, Kandy. 

A/C 003. 2001 3119 7811   

Yours in the Buddha Dhamma,

(Signed) ……………………………………….

Venerable Dodamwela Dhammaratana, Anunayake Thero,

Sri Dhammaratana Buddhist Training Centre,

Hantane, Kandy.    

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