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The Appointment of Ven. Dr. Dodangoda Rewatha as Chief Sangha Nayake of India

by Ven. Walpola Piyananda
Chief Sangha Nayake of America

(February 03, Los Angeles, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Kotte Chapter of Sri Kalyana Samaggri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha has appointed Ven. Dodangoda Rewatha as the Chief Sangha Nayake of India. He will be headquartered in Buddha Gaya.

Ven. Dr. Rewatha has been living in India for over forty-five years, and has served as the General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society for the past ten. He began his Dhammaduta activities in 1973, and has been a devoted, dedicated, and courageous monk ever since. He is known for “never giving up” no matter what the circumstances or conditions.

As far as I know, Ven. Dr. Rewatha has traveled to more Buddhist landmarks in India than any other monk in history. Many of us have been to most of the places where the Buddha lived and preached, but Ven. Dr. Rewatha has literally been to all of them as they are recorded in the Tripitaka.

Under his administration in the Maha Bodhi Society he founded the Society’s temple in Lumbini, he built the Dharmapala Museum, guesthouse and Dana Sala in Saranath, and he developed and maintained other important Maha Bodhi Society centers throughout India. When Buddhist pilgrims from around the world visit the sacred sites in India he continues to provide his support, shelter, and personal assistance. This is especially so when Sri Lankans make the pilgrimage and encounter difficulties; he is always there to offer medical and other forms of aid.

Some years back when forward-looking Ven. Dr. Rewatha considered the future of Buddhism in India, he established a training school in Saranath for local and international samaneras who wished to enter the Sangha. In neighboring countries such as Bhutan and Nepal, he tirelessly promoted Buddhism, and supported the local communities of Sangha members in their efforts to provide teachings and other services.

Ven. Dr. Rewatha is an author of various books on Buddhism in the Hindi and English languages. He is also a Sinhalese translator of such Buddhist books as “Old Path White Clouds” by Ven. Thich Nhat Hahn, and others.

Ven. Dr. Rewatha has extreme sadha, or faith. For example, whenever he goes to Sri Lanka – even if it is for a short period – he never fails to visit Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Sri Mahabodhi in Anuradhapura, and the Kataragama Kirivehera. He is known for his life-long friendships, good humor, and humanitarian work.

I offer my congratulations to my friend, Ven. Dr. Rewatha, and wish him much success in this new phase of his Dhammaduta career. My thanks go to my Sangha Council of Kotte for giving him this well-deserved, high honor.

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