Parama Dhamma Chethiya
Paarama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena Ratmalana, Sri Lanka  
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History


 

History

 Ven Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera established Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena in 1841. When he was at Siddhattharama temple Walana Panadura, he was invited by some pious devotees like Don Prolis Lekam Ralahamy, Don Philip de Silva Epa Appuhamy and Jayasuriya Aracchige Tedonis Perera Appuhamy of Ratmalana to observe rainy retreat at Ratmalana. A block of land was offered to him and in this land a small Kuti was built as a mark of a temple. (Ven. Walane Maha thera spent most of his time in this humble Kuti).

 

Awasa Mandiraya which consists of 7 rooms together with the adjoining 21 rooms for students was opened in 1861. For this ceremony, there was a Pirith chanting for three months. Since then the Institute was named "Parama Dhamma Chetiyaramaya". In the beginning there were only a few students and within a short time it increased up to 17 students and little by little more students entered. Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera (1827-1911), who established Vidyodaya Pirivena Maligakanda , Colombo, and the teacher of many foreign scholars like Mr. Rhyd Davids who pioneered to establish The Pali Text Society in London, Col. Henry Steele Olcott and Ven. Ratmalane Dharmaloka Nayaka Thero(1828-1887) who established Vidyalankara Pirivena at Kelaniya were two of the many brilliant students of Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena.



Ven. Suriyagoda Sumangala(1879-1939), the first Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka to obtain a B.Litt. degree in English medium from the University of Oxford, England and Ven. Widurupola Piyatissa(1888-1954), who won the Pandit degree of oriental studies together with a golden plate for his erudition in three languages: Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit, were also great students of this Pirivena .

Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera passed way in 1868. His successor was Ven. Walane Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera. In 1915, the then Director of Education Mr. J. Harward proposed for a grant for the Pirivena Education. The grant was launched by granting money to this Pirivena (P.D.C.) and the Ananda Pirivena Kitulampitiya, Galle.

 

On the 7th of January 1911, during the time of the Ven. Walane Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera, the name "Parama Dhamma Cetiyaramaya" was changed to "Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena".

One of the great disciples of Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha, Ven. Walane Sri Sattissara, after his great service passed away in 1960. Since then his disciple Ven. Mapalagama Wipulasara Maha Thera has taken over the duties of the temple. Most devotees believe that this is a golden Era of the Pirivena. Ven. Wipulasara as a well-known Artist and a sculptor has gained fame in the Island and outside as well. He has sculpted Buddha's statues in many places in the country and abroad. These statues are among the many well-known statues. He was able to hold Exhibitions in Soviet Russia and China in the years 1961 and 1963 respectively. He has gained many awards and titles from various countries too. 1n 1984 he was awarded the "Kalasoori Merit Award" by the Government of Sri Lanka for his great service.

It was he who decorated the special stage for the Pope, when he visited Sri Lanka in midst of some controversy in 1997. During his tenure a meditation hall cum Simamalaka, a library, a conference hall, a dinning hall, a new shrine room and the beautiful gateway came to exist in the premises. Especially the name "Parama Dhamma Cetiya" was taken abroad by Ven. Mapalagama Wipulasara Maha Thera.

Today it is an International Buddhist Institute where novices and monks from Sri Lanka and foreign countries as well are mainly taught Buddhism, Sinhala Pali, Sanskrit and English. There are about 75 students at present. This Pirivena is only for novices and monks.

Events that took place

1841 - Establishment of the Pirivena
1856 - Commencement of the first higher Ordination (upasampada) of Siamese chapter of the low country
1856 - Opening of the Library
1862 - The first Sinhalese paper "Lakminipahana" was published
1865 - Tripitaka was rehearsed under the guidence of Ven. Siddhartha Maha Thera at Rajamaha Viharaya Pelmadulla
1868 - Passing away of the Maha Thera Ven.Walane Sri Siddhartha
1873 - Establishment of the
Vidyodaya Pirivena
1875 - Establishment of the Vidyalankara Pirivena
1890 - The "Manik Pilimaya" (statue of gem) was brought to the temple from Kumburulena, Kurunegala
1891 - Arrival of the Burmese Queen Sin dung mibaya who sent two images to be kept either side of the "Manik pilimaya".
1892 - Arrival of the Cambodian King U Bau Nibo Sowavajii who laid the foundation to the preaching hall
1928 - Laying of the foundation stone for the stupa
1956 - Opening of the Pirivena Teachers' Training College adjoining to the Pirivena
1960 - Appointment of the new Director,
Ven. Mapalagama Wipulasara
1975 - Opening of the two storied Cultural hall
1979 - Reconstruction of the old residence for the novices
1980 - Opening of the New Thai-shrine room
1987 - Opening of the refectory hall
1988 - Opening of the Meditation Institute
1990 - Opening of the two storied International Library
1991 - 150th year celebration of the Pirivena
1994 - Opening a free Medical centre for the poor of the area
1999 - Opening a Communication centre

 Past Principal of PDC

  1. Ven. Morapitiye Atthadassi Thera
  2. Ven. Dehipitiye Sangharakkhita Thera
  3. Ven. Ratmalane Sumanatissa Thera
  4. Ven. Walane Dhammananda Thera
  5. Ven. Aruggoda Seelananda Thera
  6. Ven. Kalutara Sudhamma Thera
  7. Ven. Suriyagoda Sumangala Thera
  8. Ven. Pimbure Vacissara Thera
  9. Ven. Bendiyamulls Dhammarathana Thera
  10. Ven. Kalukondayawe Pannasekara Thera
  11. Ven. Yatipavwe Medhananda Thera
  12. Ven. Bopitiye Seelawimala Thera
  13. Ven. Madagama Vajiragnana Thera
  14. Ven. Pimbure Gunarathana Thera
  15. Ven. Godagama Chulalankara Thera
  16. Ven. Pimbure Soratha Thera
  17. Ven. Bekkegama Soratha Thera
  18. Ven. Paraduwe Nanda Thera
  19. Ven. Walpola Wimalajnana Thera
  20. Ven. Henegoda Sangharatana Thera
  21. Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera
  22. Ven. Bellanwila Dhammarathana Thera
  23. Ven. Andawala Devasiri Thera

Temples affiliated to the pirivena

  1. Sri Siddhattharamaya, Walana, Panadura
  2. Palliyagodella Purana Viharaya, Moratuwa
  3. Sri Wardhanaramaya, Kollupitiya
  4. Sri Sudarshanaramaya, Hadigama, Piliyandala
  5. Swarnashailabimbharamaya, Katubedda, Moratuwa
  6. Swarnapunnaramaya, Hirana, Panadura
  7. Sri Punyawardhanaramaya, Kandawala, Ratmalana
  8. Parama Dhamma Visuddharamaya, Katuwawala, Boralesgamuwa
  9. Gangaramaya, Wewala, Piliyandala
  10. Gangaramaya, Karandagoda, Magura
  11. Vipassana Meditation Centre, Dikhena, Polgasovita
  12. Walukaramaya, Walukarama Road, Colombo 3
  13. Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya, Bellanwila
  14. Gangaramaya, Hunupitiya, Colombo 2
  15. Parama Dhamma Nivesa Pirivena, Boralesgamuwa
  16. Parama Dhamma Niketanaramaya, Bokundara
  17. Sri Saddharmaramaya, Godigamuwa, Maharagama
  18. Sri Nandanaramaya, Yatawara, Wattegama

 

  Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera

 

He was one of the pioneer monks of the Buddhist revivalist movement in the 19th century Sri Lanka. The service rendered by him to the Buddhist Education is unparalleled. He was the founder of Vidyodaya Pirivena Maligakanda.

The Ven. Sri Sumangala was born on 20th January 1827 at Hikkaduwa, in the Galle District. He was the 5th in the family. His Father was Mr. Don Johanis Abeyweera Gunawardhana. The name given to him by birth was Niculas. He received his primary Education from the village's Temple.

At the age of 13 he entered the Sasana at Totagamuwa Temple. From his childhood he was an eloquent speaker, and a very good writer. In 1848 he obtained higher Ordination from the Malwatte Chapter, Kandy.

He was well versed in Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit, English, Buddhism, History, Arithmetic, and Archaeology. He received his education from Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena Ratmalana, under the guidance of Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera. The Ven. Ratmalane Dhammaloka Thera was one of his contemporaries. As an erudite monk he has written many books. He was the main source for the success of the Panadura debate held in 1873. It was after reading the report of this debate that Col. Henry Steele Olcott came to Sri Lanka. He learnt Buddhism and Pali under the Ven. Sumangala Thera and together with him the Thera Ven. Hikkaduwa Sri Sumangala established the Ananda College, Colombo (1890), Mahinada College, Galle (1892) and Dharmaraja College, Kandy, for Buddhist Education.

The paper "Lankaloka" was started by Ven. Thera himself and afterwards he assisted in many ways to publish papers like "Sarasavisandaresa" and "Sinhala Bauddhaya". Awarded by many titles he was honoured not only by Sri Lankans but also by the people of Ireland, Italy, Hungeria, and many other countries in the East and the West. He was appointed as the Head of the Sripada (Adam's peak), the holy mountain of Sri Lanka. This Ven. Maha Nayaka Thera, Ven. Sri Sumangala passed way on 29th of April 1911.

 

 Ven. Dr. Mapalagama Wipulasara Maha Thera                                                                                                              Ven. Dr. Mapalagama Wipulasara Thera, a world renowned Buddhist Sculptor and Painter, was born in Sri Lanka on 3rd of March 1925. He is the Director of the Parama Dhmma Chetiya Pirivena, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka. The Ven. Thera entered the Order at the age of 15 and obtained Higher Ordination at 21. He has created paintings and Sculptures in Buddhist Art for many Buddhist temples, prominent Buddhist schools and other Institutions in Sri Lanka, India, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Italy and Germany. He has been awarded many honours which includes Kalasuri from the Sri Lankan Government    PhD (Honoris Casua) from th

 

 

e Buddhist University of Thailand   MOIF Member of the Order of International Fellowship by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, UK.   Twentieth Century Award for Achievement in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the propagation of Buddhism and Buddhist Culture by MOIF.Holding responsible positions like President, High Priest, Director, Adviser, Patron and Member he has been associated with over 18 National and International Organisations . It was he who brought to limelight the traditional art forms like low country dancing, gok-kola decor art, bali, kolam, Puppetry and Kohombakankariya. The famous Editor-in-Chief of the "Davasa" (a news paper) group, Mr. D.B. Dhanapala once gave the Ven. Wipulasara the epithet "The little priest who does big things". Before batik became a fashion in Sri Lanka, the Thera had painted on cloth. Most Buddha statues in the country have been sculptured by him. Of them, ones at Ananda College, (Colombo), Vihara Maha Devi Park, and President's House are very famous. The Ven. Wipulasara Thera was invited to view the paintings of Michael Angelo in Italy, by the Pontif.

At present he has opened new grounds by sculpting lightweight gigantic Buddha Statues out of fibre glass and miniature statues out of white sand mixed with cement. Because of his dedication for Arts the Parama Dhamma Chetiya has become an Art Exhibition Gallery rather than a Buddhist Temple.

 

Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera

 

 

 

The Founder of Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena Rathmalana, he was born in March 1811, at Walana Panadura. From his childhood he used to go to offer flowers to a certain Na-tree at the village with his grand mother. Under this tree there was a monk in a small Kuti. He was the Ven. Giddawa Gunaratana Thera . At the age of 7 this boy was given to this monk to be ordained. So he learnt fundamental things and when he was 12 years, he was ordained by Ven. Giddawa Gunarathana Maha Thera at Indasararamaya Aruggoda in 1823. The name given to him at the Ordination was "Walane Siddhartha"

He received his Education from Ruparuna Pirivena Pelmadulla, under the guidance of the Ven. Galle Medhankara and the Ven. Induruwe Sumangala. He went there in 1835. After his Education he came back to his temple (Siddhattharama Walane Panadura) where he was ordained. Thereafter, under the tutelage of the Ven.Giddawa Gunaratana Thera and the Ven.Nedimale Rewatha Thera, he started teaching Buddhism and languages for the people of Panadura. During this time he wrote some Commentaries and sub-commentaries for the Tripitaka (Canon). He had many students like Ven. Udugampola Ratanapala, Ven.Baddegama Saranankara,Ven. Werahera Sobhita, Pandit Batuwantudawe and Mr. Don Andrias de Silva

 

The Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Maha Thera




He was the founder of the
Vidyalankara Pirivena Peliyagoda, Kelaniya .He was born on 28th May 1828.His Father was Mr. Don Coranelis Appuhamy and mother was Dona Hamine. Under the guidance of the Ven. Talangama Sobhitha Maha Thera this child was given to the Ven. Andupe Sonuttara Maha Thera to be ordained. Thus he was ordained in 1837 and named " Ratmalane Dharmaloka".

In 1838 the Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera observed rainy retreat at Purana Viharaya Ratmalana . The Ven. Dharmaloka Thera learnt under the Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera(Founder of Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena Ratmalana), until 1847.His great Disciple was the Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmarama Thera.

It was on 1st of November in 1875, together with his disciple the Ven. Dharmarama, the Ven. Ratmalane Dharmaloka Maha Thera established the Vidyalankara Pirivena Kelaniya which was promoted to the state of University in 1958.

 


 

 


 

 

Ven. Suriyagoda Sumangala(1879-1939), the first Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka to obtain a B.Litt. degree in English medium  
  The Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena has been publishing many articles, booklets, books, etc. on Buddism and buddhist meditation. Some of which are listed here.

Anapana Sati
Relief
Noble Path
Rahulovada
You Are Responsible
Yahapath Birinda (Good Wife)
Yahapath Samiya (Good Husband)
Dhammadinnawa saha Chula Vedalla Sutraya
Sariyuth Himyan Saha Maha Vedalla Sutraya
Oba Mama (You and Me)
Thisarana
Chaturarya Sathyaya


 
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The Meditation Institute is in a serene atmosphere within the same block of land. It is surely a marvellous place to quieten one's mind. This Institute was built as a gift from Japan on 20th of January 1989. The building( main meditation hall) is a donation from Rev. Dr. Niva Rempo, the Incumbent of Eheiji Temple, Soko Sen Sect, Japan