The Kelaniya Dhamma School

Under the competent guidance of the Ven. Maha Thera, the Sunday Dhamma School of Kelani Vihara was reorganised and given new lift to suit modern times. It has already proved itself to be the best of its kind in Kelaniya. Directed by Ven. Prof. Mahinda Sangharakkhita and supervised by Rev. Balawala Piyadassi, the principal, the school launched several social service schemes in the area. An association by the name of Asarana Sarana Samithiya was formed to help the helpless. Since its inception in 199--, it has already awarded several scholarships to the needy students in Kelaniya. On several occasions it also held a number of eye-clinics with the assistance of specialist doctors and donated spectacles to those with poor eye sight. A new organisation called "The Dhamma Gaveshi Association" has also been recently formed by the students of this Dhamma School to make research into the history and the development of Buddhist teaching and Buddhist practices in Sri Lanka.

The Ven. Dhammarakkhita did not confine his services to Sri Lanka alone. He toured many foreign countries, both in the east and the west in his mission to disseminate and perpetuate Buddhism in foreign lands; he built up and promoted mutual understanding and religious relations with Buddhist temples and organisations in countries such as Korea, Japan and Thailand. One such relationship was his close association with the Sama Vihara in Hiroshima, Japan to which he was elected the Honorary Chief Incumbent. His appointment in this capacity was the first of its kind ever made in Japan in honour of a Buddhist monk of the Theravada sect.

Of all the works initiated by the Maha Thera during his invaluable service to Kelani Vihara, the most outstanding and priceless work is the proposed three-storeyed building complex which is now under construction. When completed it will accommodate the present Dhamma School and the pilgrims’ rest. Plans are also afoot to start an International Buddhist Centre within its expansive and spacious halls, for the study of Buddhism and oriental languages.

The Ven. Maha Thera passed away on ----- November, 1992. The void created by his untimely demise, has now been ably filled by his illustrious pupil Ven. Prof. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhita Thera who was appointed to the incumbency of the Vihara on ----- 1992 by the Malwatte Chapter of the Siam Sect. He, in his turn has vowed to tread the path followed by his eminent and exemplary predecessor. Under the tutelage of his able teacher he has the necessary training and education to shoulder the burden of the new task with courage, authority and integrity.