Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Maha Nayaka
He was forthright in his strident views
The Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Maha Nayaka Thera of the
Asgiriya Chapter passed away at a private hospital in Singapore on
He was 85 years and was ailing for some time.
Born in 1930 to G.M. Punchi Bandara Nilame and Jayasundara
Mudiyanselage Muthu Manike at Udugama in the Kurunegala district, the
Thera had his primary education at the Udugama Government School and
secondary education at the Sri Dharmaraja Pirivena, Matale where he
excelled in oriental languages under the tutelage of Ven. Pandit
Gammulle Sri Chandajothi Nayaka Thera.
He was ordained in 1945 at the age of 15 and later received higher
ordination as a pupil of Ven.
Udugama Rathanapala Maha Nayaka Thera in 1951 at the Asgiri Maha
Vihara. Subsequently he was appointed a member of the Supreme Council of
the Sangha in 1968 and Viharadhipathi of the Rangiri Dambulu Raja Maha
Vihara in 1992.
The Ven. Thera was appointed Anunayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter in
1998 and the 20th Mahanayaka in 1999.
He had widely travelled in Predominantly Buddhist countries such as
Korea, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Burma,
Cambodia and India.
Despite his venerated position in the Buddhist hierarchy, the Ven.
Thera very often voiced concern on controversial issues threatening
national life such as drug addiction of youth, and erosion of other
He was forthright in his strident views when he castigated
politicians amassing ill-gotten wealth and deplored the abuse of
cellphones by children. He exhorted politicians who sought his counsel
to work with a sense of national interest sinking party affiliations.
The Most Ven. Mahanayaka will be accorded a state funeral at the
Asgiriya Police grounds, Kandy at 2.00 p.m. today.
The government has declared today, a day of national mourning.