New prelate for southern Sri Lanka | Daily News


New prelate for southern Sri Lanka

Most Venerable Mataramba Hemaratana Nayaka Thera, Chief Incumbent of historical Sithulpawwa Royal Temple, Yatagala Royal Temple and affiliated eight monasteries, has been honoured by Most Venerable Mahanayaka Thera and the Executive Council of Malwatta Chapter of Siam Sect being conferred the Chief SanghaNayaka of Southern Sri Lanka and prestigious Upadhyaya position of Malwathu Maha Viharaya, Kandy.

These two prestigious positions are the two main honourable positions of Sri Lankan Southern Sangha Community. This prestigious position was originally conferred by the Sinhalese kings in the 17th century.The position was initially held by Most Venerable Wehelle Sri Dhammadinna Nayaka Thera. Most Venerable KamburupitiyeGunaratana, KaratotaDhammarama, Galle Medhankara, HikkaduweSumangala, UyanwatteRewatha, BaddegamaPiyaratana, KodagodaGnanaloka, AkuretiyeAmarawansa and PallattaraSumanajotiTheras succeeded down the line. The sequence shows how prelates, who held this prestigious position, have carved their name in gold in Sri Lankan history.

Basic education

Most Venerable Mataramba Hemaratana Nayaka Thera was born on September 17, 1941, at Mataramba in Galle district. He was the fifth child of Nanayakkara family who resided in that village. He became ordinated in 1956 at Yatagala Rajamaha Vihara Monastery under the tutelage of Venerable IlukpitiyeJinaratana, WatteheneRatanasara and WattehenePiyaratanaTheras. Heentered the Higher Ordination Order at MalwathuMahaViharaya in 1965.

After the ordination, the novice monk was educated at Vidyakeerthi Pirivena and Hettachala Pirivena, Galle and later he entered Sri Lanka VidyalaPirivena, Colombo and Sunetra Devi Pirivena, Pepiliyana. After completing basic education, the Venerable Thera obtained BA, MA and Postgraduate Diploma in Education from universities of Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya and Colombo respectively. After completing the training at Piriven-Teacher Training College in Ratmalana, the Venerable Thera started the career as a teacher of his own alma mater Hettachala Pirivena affiliated to YatagalaRajamahaVihara monastery. He was later promoted as headmaster of the pirivena.

After passing away of teachers, theVenerable Thera became the chief incumbent of eight monasteries including Sithulpawwa and Yatagala Royal Temples. His untiring efforts accelerated the development of the temples into the utmost. During the war period, several attempts were taken by terrorists to invade Yalanational park. At the time, the Venerable Thera dwelt in SithulpawwaMonastery off Yala national park without making any effort to save his life.

Spiritual ascension

Considering his untiring efforts to promote and foster the Buddha Sasana, the Venerable Thera was honoured by the position of Deputy Prelate of southern Sri Lanka in 2009. Following the demise of Most VenerablePallattaraSumanajotiNayaka Thera, VenerableHemaratana Thera was elevated to the position of the supreme prelate of southern Sri Lanka with a prestigious Upadhyaya position of Malwathu Maha Viharaya.

Most Venerable Nayaka Thera has become famous for his qualities of humbleness and friendliness. Venerable Thera is kind to the wild animals such as elephants and deer roaming in Yala national park.

The Sri Sannaspathraceremony of the new prestigious positions was held at MalwathuViharaya on February 22 under the patronage of Most Venerable MahaNayakaTheras and the Sangha Councilof Malwatta chapter. ChamalRajapaksa MP was in attendance. 

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