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Aug
17

Ven Katukurunde Nanananda Thera

Ven.Katukurunde Nyanananda Thera (spelled Ñāṇananda in Pali, sometimes called Gnanananda in Sinhala) is a Sri Lankan Bhikkhu (Buddhist Monk) and a Buddhist scholar. He is best known for the research monograph Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought and the exploratory study The Magic of the Mind. Ven. Nyanananda is the abbot of Pothgulgala Aranya, a small forest monastery in Devalegama, Sri Lanka.

Early life

Ven. Nyanananda was born in 1940 to a Buddhist family in Galle District in Sri Lanka. He received his school education from Mahinda College, Galle.[1] In 1962 he graduated from the University of Peradeniya specializing in Pali Studies, and served as an Assistant Lecturer in Pali at the same University for a brief period of time. He renounced his post in 1967 to enter the Order of Buddhist monks under the name Katukurunde Nyanananda in the forest monastic tradition of Sri Lanka.[2]

Monastic life

Ven. Nyanananda initially ordained at the Island Hermitage.[1] Three other monks were ordained with him, two of them being Ven. Ñāṇasuci (later Samanera Bodhesako) and Ven. Ñāṇajivako (Prof. Čedomil Veljačić).[3]

After the Meetirigala Nissarana Vanaya was established by Asoka Weeraratna in 1967 with Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera as the abbot and the meditation master, Ven. Nyanananda moved to that monastery in 1972 and re-ordained under Ven. Nanarama.[1] When Ven. Nanarama Mahathera died in 1992, Ven. Nyanananda moved to Pothgulgala Aranya, where he still resides as the abbot. Ven. Nyanananda has continuously maintained a simple and austere way of practice with a strong commitment to strict Vinaya standards.

Scholarly career

Ven. Nyanananda′s best known works are Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought, published in 1971, and The Magic of the Mind, published in 1974,[4] both completed during his stay at the Island Hermitage.[3] His latest major work is a collection of sermons on Nibbana that was initially published in Sinhala and later in English translation, titled Nibbana – The Mind Stilled.[2]

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