Most Ven Kadawedduwe Sri Jinawansa Mahathero (1908-2003)
Ven. Kadawedduwa Sri Jinawansa Thera was ordained in 1921 at the age of 13, at the Poorvaramaya, Horana. He studied the Dhamma at the Dharmagupta Pirivena, Payagala and Dharmodaya Pirivena, Wellawatta. He obtained Upasampada in 1927 and founded the Granthakara Pirivena, Thebuwana in 1932, when he was only 25 and served as Pariwen adhipathi for over 20 years. He started the Kalyana Yogashrama Sansthawa at the age of 45,
Following the way of the Buddha he strongly believed that all the riches of life meant nothing without Vimukthi (Liberation) and that the pleasure derived from letting go was incomparable to any other. Consequently he left all his students except for one, Ven.Gatamanne Wimalawansa Thera, who accompanied him in his quest for a fitting dwelling for deep meditation. The support rendered by Ven. Gatamanne Wimalawansa Thera and Mathara Siri Nanarama Thera in this quest, was immense.
To commemorate the 2500th Buddha Jayanthi Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinawansa Thera founded the Kalyana Yogashrama Sanstha on 18th June 1951. Nimalawa Aranya Senasanaya (Forest Hermitage) in Kirinda was selected as the first aranya of a number of aranya senasana that was to be named Kalyana Yogashrama Sansthawa. With the passage of time the fame of Kalyana Yogashrama grew. People in many walks of life flowed in to the Aranya in search of the authentic way of meditation.
But setting up the Kalyana Yogashrama Sanstha was no easy task. Although most ley persons were attracted to Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinawansa Theras extremely eloquent sermons, there were people, the ley and monks alike who resented and envied his success.
But thanks to his conviction the Kalyana Yogashrama Sanstha now has over 150 Aranya with over 1500 monks, and has become a beacon of light that cut across the darkness in the land of Dhamma.
Having served the Sasana over 82 years Ven Maha Swaminwahanse passed away on 18th July 2003 at the age of 96 years. May he attain the final liberation.