Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thera at 75

By Kalakeerthi Edwin Ariyadasa

Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thera, widely reputed for his kindness and attitude of Metta (compassion) towards all, marks his 75th birthday.

Known for exerting his quiet spiritual influence to illuminate the path of devotees, towards eternal Buddhist values, Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thera, provides spiritual direction even to those at the helm of affairs in this country at many levels.

Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thera, was raised in a rural setting, dominated by Sinhala Buddhist culture. Born as the youngest in a family of nine children, he was named Galatharage Don Peras and ordained a novice-monk with the appellation Ven. Ittapana Dhammalankara when just fourteen.

He had the privilege of being tutored and guided by such leading monks as Ven. Kiriwathtuduwe Sri Pragnasara Nayake Maha Thera, Ven. Hedipannala Sri Pragnaloka Maha Thera, Ven. Kotahene Sri Pragnakirthi Maha Thera and Ven. Bambarande Sri Seewali Maha Thera at that well-known Buddhist educational institution Vidyalankara Pirivena at Peliyagoda.

Due to his intellectual abilities and spiritual advancement, higher ordination was conferred upon him just eight years after he was ordained a novice monk.

From then on young Ven. Ittapana Dhammalankara Thera, immersed himself fully in academic and religious studies. He received his first degree with second class honours from Vidyalankara University, in 1963.

His erudition and spiritual leadership was widely recognized by clergy and laity. The Ven. Anu Nayake Maha Thero, is presently the Chief Secretarial Prelate of Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagridharma Maha Sanga Sabha- a highly prestigious position, in the Siamese sect of the Buddhist Sangha.
He is the chief incumbent of five monasteries, including Maitri Monastery in California.

He has written several books about doctrinal matters, on various aspects of Buddhism and also a series of biographical volumes on the lives of prominent Buddhist monks, and one on Rev. Father Marceline Jayakody, described as the Catholic priest in the temple.

The Ven. Anu Nayake Maha Thera has been honoured both by the clergy and the laity, in recognition of his multi-faceted services to his religion, his country and his nation. He was felicitated recently with a special volume, presented to him by Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Anu Nayake Maha Thera. Titled “Santutthi “(Happiness) it is, in a way, a fitting symbol of the admiration of the nation for him.

We respectfully wish Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thera, good health, long life and happiness with the Blessings of the Triple Gem and of all the deities, on his 75th birthday.

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