Most Ven. Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhita Thero
The Nayaka thero is the present Chief Incumbent (Viharadhipati) of the historic Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya and Kitsirimevan Kelani vih araya.
The Nayaka thero was born to Appuhami Dassanayake and Podihamine Dassanayake of Kollupitiya, Colombo. He is the fifth in the family of four brothers and two sisters. Brothers are Upali Dassanayake, Nimal Dassanayake, Nihal Dassanayake and Sunil Dassanayake and the sisters are Sudharma Dassanayake & Pushpa Dassanayake. Dassanayake. Educated in the Royal College, Colombo he holds brilliant childhood records both in studies and sports.
Entering the sasana (the Buddhist order of monks) in the 1960s under the preceptorship of the then Chief Incumbent of the Kelani Temple Ven. Thalewela Vijitha Dhammarakkhitha Thera, novice Mahinda Sangharakkhitha studied scripture at the Gangarama Temple in Hunupitiya and was graduated from the Vidyalankara Campus of the University of Ceylon studying Buddhist Philosophy and French language in 1979. Thereafter, Sangharakkhitha Thera was awarded a two year scholarship to conduct a research at the Sorbonne University to gain a postgraduate degree in French language leading to Masters and doctoral research that he obtained from the University of Delhi.
Returning to Sri Lanka, Sangharakkhitha Thera joined the academic staff of the University of Kelaniya in 1993 where he became a Professor of Buddhist Studies (2006), Head of the Dept. (2006 – 2008) and acting Dean on several occations.
His broad academic career contributes the country with teaching, research, publication and administrtative work at the seats of higher learning specially the University of Kelaniya. He teaches and researched specially in the field of Buddhist ethics and psychology. Some of his contributions (books and articles ) to the academic world given below.
- 1997 Disciplinary Rules for the Laity
- 1999 Buddha’s Biography as Taught by the Buddha
- 2005 Sampindita mahanidana
- 2006 Life of the Buddha as depicted in Sampindita mahanidana)
- 2007 Vilgammula Sangharaja, the Chief Incumbent of the Kitsirimevan Kelaniviharaya
- 2007 A Breif introduction to Madhyamaka Philosophy
- 2008 Translation of The Dynamic Buddhist Psychology
- 2010 Mahayana Buddhist Teachers
Sangharakkhitha Thera was appointed chief incumbent of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara in 1992. Since then his unique leadership and guidance pawed the way for the Kelaniya temple to be marked in the world map much brighter as a place of worship for the Buddhist world and a seat of learning for international students.