Bhante B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia

(Chief Judiciary Monk of Malaysia)& Spiritual Advisor to Maha Karuna Buddhist Society

One of the most auspicious events which marked a change in the fortunes of the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was the arrival, in 1984, of Bhante B. Saranankara Thera. From the very beginning, Bhante had a positive outlook about his role in serving the people of Malaysia both spiritually and charitably. Bhante’s greatest ambition was to see that the old and dilapidated Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple be replaced with a new one. With his compassion, confidence, determination, boundless energy, humbleness and friendliness, Bhante inspired the members and devotees, and in 1996, a new magnificent temple of Sri Lankan architecture was built.

Bhante Saranankara knew that our great teacher “The Buddha” had always emphasized the need to show compassion and loving kindness towards all living beings.

Bhante has served the people of Malaysia well and everybody has the highest of respect for him. Bhante is full of compassion and kindness for everyone regardless of race or religion. To serve the needy in Malaysia, he started the Free Clinic, Free Tuition Classes and the Metta Home through the Siri Jayanti Welfare Organization which was an organization he formed in 1991.

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With the Siri Jayanti Sunday Dhamma School, Bhante organizes the yearly Educare program which provides essential school items to 5,000 needy Malaysian students. The purpose of Educare is to assist the educational needs of needy students and also to ease the financial burden of their parents.

Bhante Saranankara initiated the ‘Buddhist Novitiate Program’ at the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple. He realized the need to organize a one week novitiate program to expose teenagers to the life of a novice monk. He decided to draw a program to cater to the needs of the Samaneras and Upasikas who were between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. The Novitiate Program had benefited many teenagers as it has given them an opportunity to experience the monk’s simple life, teaching them that by letting go of their attachments, they can realize peace of mind and happiness.

To ensure that his spiritual and welfare programs could benefit a larger section of the Malaysian community, Bhante started the Maha Karuna Buddhist Society in the year 2001. In 2003, Bhante established the Maha Karuna Compassionate Home, a senior citizens home which also provides hospice services. The Maha Karuna Buddhist Centre was opened in 2004, to serve the community in Subang 2 and its vicinity. On 5th May, 2006, Bhante formed the Yayasan Maha Karuna to serve the needy in Malaysia irrespective of race or religion. The Yayasan Maha Karuna manages the Maha Karuna Mobile Free Clinic which provides free community health services in rural areas and provides financial assistance to needy Malaysians. On 27th July, the Society started managing the Hilltop Buddhist at Taman Tan Yew Lai, Kuala Lumpur.

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Bhante has assisted in the formation of numerous Buddhist organizations and temples and also is the Spiritual Advisor to many Buddhist societies in Malaysia.

Bhante is the Spiritual Advisor to the following Buddhist organizations:
Siri Jayanti Association, Siri Jayanti Welfare Organization, Maha Karuna Buddhist Society, Kinrara Metta Buddhist Society, Young Buddhists Association of Malaysia, Young Buddhists Association of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, State Liaison Committee), Shah Alam Buddhist Society, Kuching Buddha Dhamma Society, Bandar Utama Buddhist Society, Selayang Buddhist Association, Sandakan Buddhist Society, Limbang Buddhist Study Group, and Upakara Kalyana Mitta Buddhist Association.

Bhante is a constant visitor to the Hospitals, bringing comfort and cheer to the sick and needy.

Bhante has consoled, encouraged and blessed many devotees, who are facing various difficulties, to help them be calm and confident in overcoming their problems. For the past 23 years, Bhante had served the people of Malaysia selflessly.

Through the Maha Karuna Buddhist Society and Siri Jayanti Welfare Organization, Bhante has also contributed to victims of natural disasters, tsunami and earthquakes, at Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Bhante Saranankara was the Joint Organizing Chairperson of the Buddhist Culture & Arts Festival 2007. Bhante initiated and inspired 50 Buddhist societies in Malaysia representing the three Buddhist schools (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana) to jointly organize the successful Buddhist Culture & Arts Festival 2007 which was held from 6th -10th June 2007 at Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre, MINES Resort City, Selangor, Malaysia. In conjunction with the 50 years of independence of Malaysia, a country with its own history of multicultural and multireligious people, the 50 Buddhist organizations came together under the leadership of Bhante to organize this first ever grand Buddhist event in Malaysian history.

On 29th January 2007, the Supreme Council of the Maha Sangha of the Malwatu Maha Vihara, Malwatta Chapter of the Syamopali Maha Nikaya of Sri Lanka conferred the honorary title of “Sangha Keerthi Sri” upon Bhante B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera (Chief Monk of the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple, KL) and appointed Bhante as the Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia (Chief Judiciary Monk of Malaysia).

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