Ven Heenatiyana Dhammaloka Maha Nayaka Swaminwahanse

The second son of the pious parents Kalinga Carolis de Silva and M. Mariyanona de Silva was born on 23rd September 1900 at Heenatiyana. Kalinga Piyasena de Silva received his education at Peellawatte Balika Vidyalaya and Andiambalama Government School. 

He was ordained by Ven Meegamuwe Sri Dhammakkanda Nayaka Thero of Pothgul Viharaya, Heenatiyana in 1911. The young Samanera served as a Dhamma teacher of the English School where Zoysa was the head master. This work enabled the Venerable to improve his English language skills. After the completion of novices decipline he received higher ordination at Udakukbepa , Balapiti Modera and entered Vidyodya Maha Piriwena for higher education.
By the time the venerable  reached the age of 23, he was one of the most popular Dhamma Desakas in Sri Lanka. Almost every Sunday he was invited to Colombo YMBA, (started by Sir D.B.Jayathileke) to give a talk. His reputation as a Dhamma Desaka was such that he had to travel to 65 venues regularily to give talks. Madam Jeramias Dias offered a vehicle for the use of venerable for this and his Dhamma desana were instrumental in bringing up many Buddhist enthusiasts.

Under the guidance of the Venarable thero,  Proffessor Gunapala Malalasekera, Hon D.C.Senanayake and others  started the Lanka Baudda Dhammaduta Sabhawa in 1924. Ven Thero held the position of secretary of the Sri Lanka Darmaduta Bhikku Sangamaya which was associated with the mentioned missionary body.

During this time the position of Buddhism teacher at the Nalanda Vidyalaya, which was earlier held by Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitrya Nayaka Thero became vacant and Ven Dhammaloka was requested to take up this position. During this time the the Principle of Nalanda Vidyalaya was Hon Gunapala Malalasekera. Ven Thero took up this demanding position but refused any salary and illuminated the lives of thousands of  children.

During this period the Buddhist missionary work was in need of a center and the Senanayake family donated a land for building the center at Rajagiriya. The Dharmaduta Sangamaya was very active and was frequented by Gunapala Malalasekera, Senarath Gunawardena, Arthur V Dias, Dr Hewawitharana, Raja Hewawitharana etc. The Society requested the sangha to apply for the service of the society and Ven Walpola Rahula thero who was at Paragoda Purana Viharaya in Galle district applied to participate in this work. Ven Dhammaloka interviewd Ven Rahula and he was selected immediately, along with Ven Kalalelle Ananda sagara, Ven Thalpawila Seelawansa etc, to take the buddhasa massage to overseas centers.

During this time Anagarika Dharmapala started another Bhikku Training Center on the Lake road in Kandy,  for training young bhikkus for dhamma duta works. The first batch of eight bhikkus were sent to India under the care of Ven Dhammaloka. In 1929 Ven thero took this group of Bhikkus with the assistance of Ven Dewamottawe Sasanasiri. The group was accompanied by Messers Hewawitharana and M.Piyadasa. Ven Dhammaloka spent  6 years assisting the dhamma propagation works of the Mahabodhi society in India and took time to study languages as well as Mahayana way of Buddhism.  Ven Thero returned to Ceylon after receiving a Honaray degree in Philosophy from the Indian University.

Apart from his Dhamma Missionary services he was unforgettable in the social services and humanitarian services he pioneered during that era. During the Malaria epidemic Venarable Thero travelled to every corner of Sri lanka with health care workers to assist the affected. During the 1956 drought and 1957 floods Venerable Thero pioneered massive assistance programmes.

Venerable Dhammaloka Thero was offered the Sangha Nayaka position for Colombo district by the Amarapura Nikaya in 1958. Venerable  was offered the position of head of the Bhikku Department in the Peradeniya University in 1960. In 1980 Ven  Thero travelled to Germany on the invitation of German Baudda Dharmaduta sangamaya and developed Dhamma centers in several European cities. In recognition of the gigantic service rendered Amarapura Nikaya offered the Maha Nayaka position to Ven Dhammaloka in 1980.

Among Ven theros pupils, Ven  Professor Wellawatte Ananda, Ven Galle  Anuruddha, Ven Heenatiyana Nandathissa , Ven Maharagama Mahinda etc are still engaged in Dhamma duta works.
After such immense social and religious accomplishments Vent hero  took leave of this existence on 11th December 1981 at the age of 82.

May the Venerable Thero fulfil the noble wish of Nibbana
Sadu Sadu Sadu

READ Biography  in Sinhala

Listen to Ven Thero’s Desana




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