|Thursday, 10 June 2004|
June 13, a day of national mourning
by Pradeep Kumara Dharmaratne
The government has declared June 13th, the day of the cremation of the Most. Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter as a day of national mourning.
The cremation of the Most Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter who passed away on June 7 after nearly 74 years of service to the Sasana and nation in his bhikkhu life will be held at the Asgiriya police grounds with full State honours on June 13 at 3.00 p.m.
Ven. Vipassi was born on June 26, 1916 at the Gangoda Walauwa, Digalla in Udu Dumbara, Gampaha East Korale and named Samarakoon Bandara.
His parents were Digalle Rajakaruna Seneviratne Abayakoon Abhayasinghe Ekanayake Rajapakse Wasala Mundiyanse, late village headman of Weragama and Mrs. Tissawa Alaguwanna, Ekanayake Panditha Rajaguru Wasala Mudiyanse Ralahamilage Gonigoda Rambukwella Wilamuna Walawwe Medduma Kumarihamy.
After his primary education at the Mediweka Vidyalaya in Gampaha Udubumara he was ordained a Samanera Bhikkhu on May 12, 1930 under the precentorship and tutelage of Ven. Rmbukwella Sri Dhammarakshita Mahanayaka Thera, Ven. Namadagala Ratanapala Thera and Ven. Rambukwella Dhammaratana Thera and named Ven. Rambukwella Vipassi Thera.
Thereafter he entered the Vidyalankara Pirivena and mastered the Dhamma Vinaya and related subjects under a team of erudite Bhikkhus led by Ven. Panditha Shiromani Lunupokune Dhammananda Thera. He received his higher ordination at the Seemamalakaya of the Malwatte Maha Viharaya on May 13, 1938.
Thereafter Ven. Vipassi was entrusted with the Thevava ceremony at the Sri Dalada Maligawa on June 3, 1946.
He graduated to become a member of the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Malwatte Viharaya on January 19, 1950. Thereafter he was promoted as a member of the Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha on August 7, 1970 and appointed chief incumbent Nayaka Thera of the Gangarama Raja Maha Viharaya.
After the demise of mentor, the Ven. Vipassi took over as the chief incumbent of Kundasale and Gonawatta Ubhaya Viharayas as well as the Udagampitiya Purana Viharaya and the Rambukwelle Temple of the Malwatte Maha Viharaya.
Following the demise of Most Ven. Wimalakeerthi Sri Sumana Panditha Sirimalwatte Ananda Mahanayake Thera, the Ven. Vipassi succeeded him as the Mahanayaka Thera of the Malwatta Chapter on November 15, 1989.
The Ven. Vipassi Mahanayaka Thera has rendered a great sasana and national service by offering counsel and guidance to the successive rulers of this country and the ordinary public thereby helping to steer the country forward.
Produced by Lake House