OUR SCHOOL PRINCIPALS

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Ven. K SiriDhamma Thera

(2009 - Present)

Bhante K. Siridhamma Thero has been a resident monk of the Buddhist Maha Vihara since 2004. He has assisted the temple in its many spiritual activities and played key roles in the following areas:

1) Principal of Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School (BISDS)
  • A premier Sunday school disseminating Buddhism to the Buddhist community. It provides a rich Dhamma experience for students from 6 years old to adulthoods with the objective to inspire Buddhists in their spiritual developments.
2) Principal for Diploma Program in collaboration with Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka (BAPU)
  • The Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, established in terms of the Act of Parliament No. 74 of 1981 of the Democratic Socialistic Republic of Sri Lanka was ceremonially opened on the 22nd April 1982.
  • The main objectives of this University are the propagation of Buddha Dhamma, the promotion of the Buddhist & Pali studies in Sri Lanka and abroad and the provision of facilities for the conduct of research in the relevant fields.
  • The Diploma is recognized throughout the Commonwealth countries.
3) Advisor to the Friends of the Vihara (FOV)
  • Objective is to establish a volunteer group to cater to the needs of the local community irrespective of race and creed. At the same time, giving volunteers the opportunity to engage in various activities to cultivate and practice the Dhamma in various aspects of their daily lives.
4) Board Member – Centre for the Advancement of Buddhist Education (CABE)
  • CABE is the research arm of the Buddhist Institute of Sunday Dhamma School (BISDS) in the Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Established to support the largest Buddhist Sunday School in Malaysia at the Buddhist Maha Vihara, the Center for Advancement of Buddhist Education (CABE) seeks to make learning and teaching the Dhamma a fun and enriching experience for both students and teachers alike.
  • CABE’s mission is to develop high quality teaching materials and an integrated, well-structured curriculum as well as provide robust training and support for Buddhist Sunday School educators.
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Ven. Kirinde Sri Dhammaratana Nayaka Maha Thera

(1988/1994 – 2008)

Ven. K. Dhammaratana Thera was invited to come to the Buddhist Vihara, Brickfields on 8 March 1980. He was appointed Principal of the BISDS in 1988. After serving as Principal for a year, he left for the USA. In 1994, he resumed his post of Principal and has since remained in this position.

Like past Principals, Ven. K. Dhammaratana Thera places priority on Buddhist education. in 1995, with the blessing of Ven. Dhammaratana Thera, a Dhamma class for adults conducted in Mandarin was set up by the BISDS. It was an effort by the Ven. K. Dhammaratana Thera to make the Buddhadhamma accessible to the Chinese speaking Buddhists. The Mandarin Dhamma class has received overwhelming response. It is also during his tenure that the student population increased to over 1000.

Ven. K. Dhammaratana Thera's compassion has made him a popular refuge for parents of the BISDS students. He is always attentive to their problems and suggestions and accomodates their request.

Besides, Ven. K. Dhammaratana Thera is actively involved in organizing several welfare projects. His organizational skills have been very useful in spreading the Dhamma throughout the country. One of the welfare projects is the Ti-Ratana Welfare Centre in Salak South Garden. We value his wisdom and advise in running the BISDS.

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Venerable K. Vijitha Thera

(1989 – 1993)

Samanera K. Vijitha left Malaysia for his religious training at Sri Jinaratana Buddhist Institute, Gangaramaya, Hunupitiya, Colombo Sri Lanka on 6th December 1976. He returned to Kuala Lumpur to receive his Higher Ordination (Upasampada) which took place on 12th December 1982, under the Preceptorship and Tutelage of Dr. K. Sri. Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera, Ven. Daulagala Sangharatana Maha Thera and Ven. Modarawana Siddhartha Maha Thera.

Ven. K. Vijitha thereafter returned to Sri Lanka to resume his religious training. Later, Ven. Vijitha enrolled himself for training at the Paramadhamma Buddhist Institute at Vidyalankara Pirivena, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. However, due to ill health, he returned to the Brickfields Buddhist Vihara in July 1988.

He served as principal of the Sunday School from 1989 to 1993. As principal he worked very closely with the staff and made a few changes and improvement to the school. Under his tenure, the Sunday School organized a Jogathon (1990) and managed to raise RM50,000 for the present school building. Presently, he is a resident monk in the vihara and continues Dhammaduta work.

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Venerable Kirima Wimalajothi Thera

(1980 – 1987)

Ven. K. Wimalajothi arrived to reside at the Brickfields Buddhist Temple on 3rd March 1978. Under the guidance and training of Ven. Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera, he devoted himself to the onerous task of propagating the Dhamma and attending to the religious needs of the devotees.

Soon, he developed into an efficient Dhammaduta worker and an innovative organizer. The School moved towards the trend of Dhmma preaching through practice acitivities instead of mere theoretical study.

He was greatly instrumental in establishing the Tadika Sudharma at the Brickfields Temple in 1981. It was felt that children should enjoy their presence at the school, before any attempt is made to teach them the Dhamma. With this view the school then involved itself in organizing more activities in and out of the temple premises and at times even beyond the Sunday School hours.

Ven. K. Wimalajothi Thera after having completed his term of service with the Society for over eleven years left the country in August 1987 to serve the Buddhist community in Singapore. He later returned to Sri Lanka in 1990 and started religious, educational and social activities and established the Buddhist Cultural Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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Venerable H. Hemasiri Thera

(1974 – 1979)

Ven. H. Hemasiri took over as Principal in 1974. He assisted in all fields of the temple activities and also served on the tutorial staff of the Dhamma School.

After having served the Society and the Temple for almost four years, Ven. Hemasiri Thera sought permission to return to Sri Lanka.

However, at the request of the Society, Ven. Hemisiri returned to the Temple and served until 29th March 1979.

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Venerable Kotawila Sri Pemaloka Maha Thera

(1968 - 1974)

Ven. K. Pemaloka Thera had his tour of duty on 28th July 1968 until 1974. He was appointed the Founder and Adviser of the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) in 1970.

As a member of the Dhamma School Editorial Board, he worked very closely and initiated the publication of the 1st Sunday School magazine "Ehi Passiko." He also authored a children's book titled "Buddhism for beginners" which outlined the life of Prince (Ven Rahula). This book proved to be popular and was later translated into Japanese in a color edition.

He returned to Sri Lanka on 16th August 1974. In Sri Lanka he was appointed Vice Principle of the Vidyawardhana Pirivena, Sri Lanka. He is now the chief incumbent of Vidywardhana Pirivena Viharaya, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka.

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Venerable. Dr. H. Gunaratana Maha Thera

(1958 - 1968)

Ven. H. Gunaratana Thera served the temple for ten years from 5th November 1958 to 27th July 1968 as resident Bhikkhu and as Religious Adviser to the Society. He also served as the Principal of the Sunday School. He delivered lectures and sermons regularly at various institutions of higher learning in Kuala Lumpur. He compiled the popular "Buddhism For You" correspondence course conducted by the Buddhist Missionary Society to promote Buddhism.

A large number of children and members of University of Malaya Buddhist Society, Technical College BS, Agricultural College BS and other student groups began to regularly attend religious services, lectures and discussions every Sunday.

He is at present residing at Washington D.C. and runs the Bhavana Society Meditation Center and continues to conduct meditation retreats.

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Late Pandit. P. Pemaratana Thera

(1955 - 1957)

Ven P. P. Pemaratana Thera came to Malaya on Wesak Full Moon Day of May 1955 to undertake the Buddhist Missionary work at the Brickfields Temple upon the invitation of the Society. He assisted Ven. Dhammananda Thera in conducting all religious activities in the temple and served as principal of the school from 1955-1957.

On the invitation by Mahindrama Buddhist Temple in Penang, he left to serve as resident monk in Penang. He continued his Dhammadutta work in Penang until his passing away in April 1995.

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Late Ven Vinayachariya Mirisse Pannasiri Maha Thera

(1952 - 1954)

Ven. M. Pannasiri arrived in Kuala Lumpur in 1950 as a resident monk and was the principal of the Sunday School from 1952 to 1954. He continued much of Ven. M. Dhammadassi's post war resuscitation work at the society and the Brickfields Temple.

When Ven. M. Pannasiri first arrived at the temple, the Society was facing financial problems due to lack of funds and running of the Sunday School became a constant strain on the meagre resources of the Society. Following an appeal to members of the Sunday School students for assistance, the financial crisis was averted to a certain extent.

He was keen to study Chinese in Penang, which would become useful for him to preach the Dhamma to Chinese devotees but realizing the grave financial situation of the Society, he dropped his intention.

With a view of having a better attendence at the Sunday School, a bus was arranged by the Society to convey the children to and from the School. He too initiated the covering of sand on the Temple grounds by personally obtaining a few lorries loaded with sand. Through his relentless advice, the practice of offering Buddha Puja at 7pm daily by a few members of the committee was started.

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Late Venerable Malinduwa Dhammadassi Thera

(1929 - 1948)

Ven. M. Dhammadassi served the Brickfields Buddhist Temple from 1929 to 1948. He was the founder of the Brickfields Sunday School presently known as BISDS - Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School. He served as the incumbent Bhikkhu of the Brickfields Buddhist Temple. As the principle of the Sunday School, he taught Sinhala language under the Bodhi tree in the temple compound.

Ven. M. Dhammadassi Thera gave great reassurance and was the constant source of inspiration to all concerned during the Japanese occupation. He stood steadfastly with his devotees in the face of the war hazards. He was due to represent the Sasana Abhi Wurdhi Society at the inaugural meeting of the WFB (World Fellowship of Buddhist) in Colombo on 18th May 1950. Unfortunately, Ven. M. Dhammadassi passed away before the meeting was held.