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Ven. S. M. Sujano
Contents; Preface 1. Introduction 2. Background 3. Revival of Theravadin 4. Development of Theravada Buddhism 5. Contribution to Nepalese Society 6. Theravadin in Nepalese Society 7. Conclusion 8. Theravada Records in Nepal 9. Footnotes
THERAVADA BUDDHISM IN MODERN NEPAL 
Preface History of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal is very vague. There are some evidences that Buddha visited Nepal during his lifetime, preached to his relatives and friends and ordained some people. Theravada tradition is believed to be the oldest unbroken tradition. The teaching- the Dhamma was divided into two sects- Sthaviravada and Mahasanghika in the second council held 100 years after the death of Buddha. Sthaviravada later developed as Theravada and Mahasanghika developed as Mahayana, which also includes Vajrayana. More concrete evidences of existence of Buddhism in Nepal were found from the visit of king Asoka of India and some more from descriptions of Chinese travellers. King Asoka visited Lumbini in Nepal in 250 BC and erected a stone pillar, which is still standing. The inscription in Bramhi script in this pillar reads in English as follows: “King Piyadasi” (another name for king Asoka), beloved of the gods, having anointed 20 years, came here himself and worshiped saying „Here Buddha Sakyamuni was born (Hida Budhe Jãte Sãkyamuni)‟.
Chinese travellers Fa Hian (AD 403) and Hiuen Tsang (AD 636) also described the existence of dilapidated stupas, monasteries and palaces. (Source: Holy places of Buddhism in Nepal & India – Trilok Chandra Majupuria and Indra Majupuria). According to historians, Buddhism was a dominant religion until the time of King Jayasthiti Malla who ruled Nepal during medieval period (around 1382 C.E.). He imposed caste system in Nepal according Manudharmasastra, a Hindu holy book.1 Buddhist culture and tradition were banned, the celibate monks were forced to disrobe and forced to marry. Vajrayana or Newar Buddhism was developed following the demise of Theravada Buddhism. The situation of Buddhist became worse during the time of Rana government who ruled Nepal from1846 to the dawn of democracy in 1950. That was the age, when Buddhism was totally forgotten by non-Buddhist of Nepal. It was known and practised by only certain castes-Vajracharyas
(Bajracharyas), Shakyas, Tuladhars etc. The Rana government banned all Buddhist religious activities. They also banned people converting from Hindu religion to Buddhism but traditional Buddhists were allowed to become Hindus.
Revival of Theravada Buddhism started in the closing years of 19th century. Mr. Jagat Man Vaidya (later known as Dharmaditya Dharmacariya) of Patan, Nepal started publishing Buddhist journals from India where he was studying to promote Buddhism. He also started Buddha Jayanti (Vesak Day) Celebration to commemorate birth, enlightenment and death (parinibbana) of the Buddha. This was first celebrated in modern Nepal in 1926. According to Lalit Bistara in Newari language, influences of Dharmaditya‟s campaign and Tibetan Lamas motivated some Nepalese to take ordination according to Theravada tradition. The first Nepali to take ordination according to this tradition was Venerable Mahapragna, a Hindu Shrestha by birth in 1928 in India under Venerable U. Chandramani, a Burmese monk at Kusinagar. Other Nepalese followed his example and took Ordination under the same Burmese monk in India. But when they return to Nepal, they were arrested, imprisoned and then exiled. Towards the later year of Rana regime the attitude of the government towards Theravada Buddhism and Theravada monks and nuns softened and the exiled monks were allowed to return to Nepal to
practice the religion according to Theravada tradition. Until that time, only Vajrayana monks (Bajracharyas), who are really a householders and Tibetan Lamas were known to Nepalese. After the advent of the democracy in 1950 Theravada tradition thrived and made rapid in road into Nepalese society. Both His Majesty King Tribhuvan, the father of the nation and his son king Mahendra were supportive to Theravada revival movements. Because of the enthusiasm of Theravada monks and nuns, their lay supporters and encouragement from their Majesties Theravada tradition progressed and became a part of Nepalese religious life. Many more Nepalese men and women took ordinations. Theravada monasteries were opened in different parts of the country. At present there are 96 Theravada Viharas in the country, 303 Bhikkhus and Samaneras Sangha members and 135 Anagarikas. Some are resident in Nepal and others are either studying or practising dhamma in other countries of Asia and Europe; and in Australia and United States of America. (Source: The Ananda Bhoomi; year 33; issues 32 and 33). Late Venerable Amritananda Mahasthavir deservers special mention in Theravada revival movement in Nepal. He played a
prominent role in promotion of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal. He founded Dharmodaya Sabha, All Nepal Bhikshu Association (Akhil Nepal Bhikshu Sangha), travelled widely promoting dhamma and translated and published many Buddhist texts. Late Venerable Bhikshu Sudharshan added a different dimension to the movement. He started training centre with the aim of broadening ordination to other ethnic groups. Until then, Newars – original inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley were the only ones who have taken ordinations in this tradition. Because of his foresight and timely action many people from other ethnic groups have accepted Theravada Buddhism and some has taken ordination. Ven. Nyanapurnika of Viswasanti Vihar who established Novice Training Centre, Ven. Ashowghosa of Sangharama, who trained most of the present leading monks of Nepal and Anagarika Dhammavati of Dharmakirti (Now Bhikkhuni according to Mahayana), who established Nunnery training centre are also well known figures in Theravada in Nepal. At present all three traditions Newar Buddhism (Vajrayana), Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism have become acceptable Buddhist traditions in Nepal. Theravada Buddhist monks
and nuns with their saffron coloured robe, along with Tibetan Lamas and Bajracharyas are familiar features in Nepalese society, especially in Kathmandu valley.
Theravada Buddhism, the doctrine of the elders, is the oldest unbroken traditional Buddhist tradition practised by people since the time of the Buddha. It is found today in Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Chittagong (Bangladesh). Theravāda Buddhism in modern Nepal was introduced about 80 years ago. Since, then it has emerged as a major force in modern Nepal. It plays significant roles in different fields of Nepalese society and Buddhists have begun to engage in both traditional and modern activities. Even though it re-emerged only few decades ago, the origins of Theravāda Buddhism in Nepal are to be found in the time of Gotama the Buddha. The Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini, within the borders of present-day Nepal. Very early in its history, then, important Buddhist events occurred on the southern plains of Nepal. There are many references in ancient Pāli literature of
Buddhist activities held in and near Kapilavatthu, the Buddha‟s hometown. The Buddhist scriptures say that not only was the Buddha born in what is now Nepal, but also visited his home several times after he had become the Buddha. Although the Buddha was born in Nepal, the history of Buddhism in Nepal is not very clear. According to Buddhist literatures, he did visit Nepal, gave discourses and ordained some monks and nuns. There are monasteries and stupas spread in different parts of the country but due to lack of records or clear evidence, it is difficult to say when they were built. Historians have identified the Stupa of Yogini in Gumvihara at Sankhu, Kathmandu as the oldest stupa in Kathmandu Valley. It is generally believed that the origin of this vihāra dates to the time of the early introduction of Buddhism in ancient times, around the first century CE. Harishchandra Lal Singha, a historian, says “Theravāda was the earliest form of Buddhism prevalent in Nepal as in many countries of Asia where Buddhism flourished.” However, traditional Theravāda texts do not contain any information about Theravāda in Nepal. The texts of other Buddhist schools, nevertheless,
say that some of the Buddha‟s disciples went to Nepal‟s Kathmandu Valley. There is evidence that the King Asoka of Magadha visited Lumbini in Nepal. He was a great patron and staunch supporter of Buddhism during his time. It is said that in the 20th year after his accession to the throne of the Maurya Dynasty, and following the Third Buddhist Council, the King made pilgrimages to historic places of Buddhist interest and erected stone pillars. He is also said to have visited Nepal Valley. Dr. D. Wright writes that the Emperor, King Ashoka, visited Kathmandu Valley at the time of the fourteenth Kirati King Sthungko of the Kirat dynasty with his spiritual guide Venerable Upagupta, Queen Tissyarakshita, and a daughter named Carumati. He sent nine missionary groups to different places. A group of four monks led by Ven. Majjima came to Nepal and succeeded in propagating Buddhism in Nepal. It was said that Buddhism was a well-know religion then and practised by people in their daily life. It is believed that the Buddhism that was practised during King Asoka‟s time was Theravada Buddhism. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, popularity of Buddhism declined and its identity lost for many
centuries. According to the recorded history of Nepal, after the social reforms carried out by King Jayasthiti Malla (1382-95 CE), Buddhism went into decline and developed into Newār Buddhism. However, Theravada Buddhism was re-introduced once again in Nepal in the closing years of 19th century by Nepalese who came in contact with the Maha Bodhi society of India.
Anagarika Dharmapala, a Sri Lankan Buddhist, founded this Maha Bodhi Society. Nepalese who came in contact with this society took initial steps for revival of Theravada activities in Nepal. Nearly a century later, Theravada once again gained foothold in Nepal. Presently, there are number of Theravada Buddhist monasteries in the country. The numbers of Nepalese Buddhist monks and nuns have also increased. Some are resident in Nepal and others are studying and carrying out dhamma work in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar and other countries. Beside dhamma work, they are also engaged in various charitable works like education, health, social welfare etc. for the upliftment of Nepali community wherever they are.
Background As I have mentioned earlier history of Buddhism in Nepal is very vague. There are some evidences that Buddhism was popular during Buddha‟s time in Nepal. There are also evidences that the Buddha visited Nepal, gave discourses to relatives and Buddhists, and ordained Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis. According to Buddhist scholar‟s Theravada tradition existed in Nepal since the time of the Lord Buddha. The evidence was more reliable from the account of King Asoka. The great emperor of ancient India, King Asoka visited Lumbini and erected stone pillar with inscription in Bramhi script, which in English reads „ Here the Buddha was born‟
(Hidabhagavamjāteti Lum minigāme). As mentioned before he also sent Dhamma Missionary (Dhammaduta) to Nepal after third Buddhist council (Sanghayana), which was held three hundred years after Buddha‟s parinibbana. Buddhist legends has it that one of King Asoka‟s daughter Carumati married a Nepali called Devapal and settled in Cabahil, Katmandu where she constructed a temple- Cabahil monastery and became a Bhikkhuni for the rest of her life. . Besides
these, the records of Chinese travelers, who visited Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India and Nepal after King Ashoka‟s visit, also gave some information on existence of Theravada Buddhist monks, who practised and studied along with other Buddhist sects in Nepal.
According to historians, Buddhism was a dominant religion until the time of King Jayasthiti Malla who ruled Nepal during medieval period (around 1382 C.E.). He imposed caste system in Nepal according Manudharmasastra, a Hindu holy book. Buddhist culture and tradition were banned, the celibate monks were forced to disrobe and forced to marry. Vajrayana or Newar Buddhism was developed following the demise of Theravada Buddhism. The situation of Buddhist became worse during the time of Rana government. In 1846, the mantle of power of Nepal‟s government shifted from the monarchy to autocratic, isolationist Rana government. The Shah kings of the country were kept under tight control of Rana prime ministers.  The country was closed from outside world and kept her eyes closed to what was happening outside for nearly 104 years. That was the age, when Buddhism was totally forgotten by non-Buddhist of Nepal. It was
known and practised by only certain communities; Vajracharyas (Bajracharyas), Shakyas, Tuladhars etc. The Rana government banned all Buddhist religious activities. They also banned people converting from Hindu religion to Buddhism but traditional Buddhists were allowed to become Hindus.
Theravada Revival Movement In the early 1920s, Dharmāditya Dharmācārya began his campaign for the revival of Theravāda Buddhism, teaching that Nepal was the land of the Buddha‟s birth. Meanwhile, the Baisākha purnimā celebration and publicing of “Buddha Dhamma” magazine by Dharmāditya Dharmācārya had been inflaming the inner quest for spirituality in Nepalewse society. Furthermore, simulteniously, Tibeten Buddhism had been inspiring Newari Society to walk the path that was once nearly lost. One of the well-known monks who came from Tibet and preached the Dhamma to the Nepalese was Kyangtse Lama. Known in Nepal as Kyanchhe Lama, he had come on pilgrimage to Nepal. His sermons and the publication of the Lalitavistara inspired many to seek Buddhist ordination in the early period of the modern
history of Buddhism in Nepal. It was the fortunate conjunction of Nisthananda‟s translation of the Lalitavistara into the mother tongue, producing a Newāri version of the Buddha‟s life story, Dharmāditya Dharmācāryarevivalism, and the visits of Kyangtse Lama, which ensured that “the Bud of the Dharma” planted by the Venerable Lama, should flower so quickly and produce such impressive fruit. His influence on Newāri scholars was significant. One of them was Yogbeer Sing Kansakar, who was honoured for his efforts for the preservation of the Newāri language. The Lama also influenced the first Theravāda monks Venerable Mahapragya and Venerable Pragyānanda among others.
The closing years of 19th century saw reform movements in many Buddhist countries with idea of modernizing Buddhist movement. The term „Buddhist modernization‟ is used to refer to these new reformist activities. The aim of this movement was to bring back Buddhism to India and Sri Lanka. The Maha Bodhi Society was founded in India under the leadership of Anagarika Dharmapala.
This organization was the first Buddhist organization established with the aim of internationalizing Buddhism. The success of The Maha Bodhi Society encouraged Nepalese who came in contact with this society. They were mostly traditional Buddhists (Newar Buddhists) of Nepal who were merchants and pilgrims. They played an important role in Theravada revival movement in present day Nepal. However, it was students of Buddhism who gave a kick-start to Theravada movements in modern Nepal. Mr. Jagatman Vaidya, a traditional Buddhist by birth, went to India for further studies. He initiated the Theravada Buddhist revival movement with the help of The Mahabodhi Society. Mr. Jagatman, who later became known as Dharmaditya Dharmacariya devoted most of his time and energy to Buddhist Revivalism in Nepal by publishing Buddhist journal in Newari, Nepali, Hindi, English etc. One of his great deeds was to celebrate Baisakh day, Buddha Jayanti or Swanya Punhi in Nepal to commemorate Buddha‟s birth, enlightenment and death (Parinibbana). He established „Buddha Dharma Uddhar Sangha’, ‘Buddhopasaka Sangha,‟ and other organizations for the propagation of Buddhism in Nepal.
The Buddha Jayanti, which he has initiated, was celebrated for the first time in the history of modern Nepal in 1926 after a long gap. Now a day, this day is widely celebrated in Nepal. Every year people celebrate it with great joy and happiness. He was also responsible for stopping animal slaughter at Mayadevi temple in Lumbini and renovation of Kindol Vihar in Kathmandu. This Vihara became the center for Theravada revival movement. He published Buddhist magazine entitled „Buddha Dharma’ in Newari Language
(Nepalabhasa) emphasizing the importance of Buddha Jayanti celebration and Theravadian views. This was the starting point of Theravada activities and promotion of Theravadian views in Nepal after many centuries. Some Nepalese youths took ordination according to Theravada tradition in 1928. They were imprisoned for four days. The Government at the time was under the influence of Shaivait Brahmins who were calling for a ban against Buddhism. Later, he was arrested for his conversion from a Hindu to a Buddhist monk. Three new rules suppressing Buddhism had been issued:
(1) Conversion to Buddhism from Hinduism (Shaivaism) to be punished by one year in prison; (2) Acting as preceptor at a Buddhist ordination to be punished by three years‟ imprisonment; and (3) Attempting to ordain into Buddhism to be punished by a sixmonth imprisonment. They were exiled to India and all reordained into Theravada tradition with ven. U. Kosala in Buddhagaya. However, certain reasons they left the tradition. The history speaks only on Ven. Mahapragya but rest of other four monks still under discovery. The first Nepalese to take ordination in Theravada tradition was venerable Mahapragna, a Hindu Shrestha by birth in 1926. After few years study in Tibet again he went to India where he met Ven. U. Chandramani, a Burmese monk at Kusinagara. He was impressed with Ven. Chandramani and took Theravada ordination from him. This was the starting point for Theravada ordination once again in the history of modern Nepal after almost 600 years. Since then Theravadin monastic order been settled in modern Nepal.
On the other hand, Venerable Pragyananda (Karmasheel), who converted from Gelung of Tibetan tradition to Theravada with Ven. U. Chandramani at Kusinagara, India, was the first yellow-robed monk who appeared in the street of Kathmandu valley, at the end of 1930s.  He stayed at Kindol Vihar at the invitation of Dasaratna Shahu (later Ven. Dharmaloka) and gave discourses. The attendance at his discourses increased day by day and it worried then Rana government and arrested all the members of Vihar. They were imprisoned, fined and later released. Fortunately, Ven. Pragnananda was in different place and was not arrested. He went on pilgrimage to India with some devotees. His four devotees took ordination under guidance of Ven. U. Chandramani at Kusinagar. They were Samanera Shasana Jyoti, Anagarika Ratna Pali, Anagarika Dhamma Pali and Anagarika Sangha Pali. This was the first nun‟s ordination in Theravada Buddhism in modern Nepal. In the mean time, Dasaratna Shahu, who was running Kindol Vihar brought Civar and bowl from Sri Lanka for monk ceremonies. Soon after his release from prison, he took ordination according to Theravada tradition at Kusinagar from Ven. U. Chandramani and became Samanera Dhammaloka in 1932. He
visited Nepal as a monk but was arrested immediately on his arrival in Kathmandu and was imprisoned once again for six days and then released without charging him with any offences. Following his release from prison, he went to stay at Kindol Vihar and continued his religious activities. He was finally able to carry out religious activities freely in Nepal. He succeeded to propagate Theravada Buddhism in the streets of Kathmandu valley. Later, he founded Nepal‟s first Theravada Buddhist temple „Anandakuti’ at the foothill of Swayambhu hill and it became the center for Theravada Sangha in modern Nepal.
Venerable Amritananda was another well-known Buddhist scholar and pioneer person for revival of Theravada Buddhism in modern Nepa. He was ordained under Ven. U. Chandramani at Kusinagara in 1936 C.E. but was imprisoned along with Ven. Mahapragna at Bhojpur in 1937. In 1942, he came back to Nepal from abroad after completing his study and gave discourses at the request of Ven. Dharmaloka in Swayambhu during vassavasa days (Three months Buddhist lent). His public discourses impressed lay people and many people came to listen to him. Other Monks, Samaneras and Nuns of
Nepal who were studying abroad also came back and joined him and gave public discourses in different places of Kathmandu valley. This was a great breakthrough during isolationist Rana government. Rana government of the time banned any public assembly because of fear of political unrest and demand for political reform in Nepal. Because of their religious activities, they were arrested on 30th July 1944 and brought in front of then Prime Minister Juddha Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana for giving verdict on the charges of propagating the dhamma. He made rules to curtail the Buddhist activities. Those who didn‟t follow these rules were asked either to leave the country or return to worldly life. All the respected monks, who were active in revival of Theravada in Nepal refused to obey the order and were exiled once again from Nepal. The exiled monks this time included Ven. Pragnananda, Ven. Dharmaloka, Ven. Subhodhananda, Ven. Pragnarashmi, Samanera Pragnarasa, Samanera Ratnajyoti, Samanera Agga Dhamma and Samanera Kumar. The nuns were allowed to remain in the Vihar until the end of the Vassavasa.
Development of Theravada Buddhism
The exiled monks formed „Dharmodaya Sabha‟ - Nepal‟s first Buddhist organization with the help of other Buddhist organizations and individuals on 30th November 1944 in India under the chairmanship of Ven. U. Chandramani. Ven. Amritananda was its general secretary. Immediately after establishment of „Dharmodaya Sabha‟ Ven. Amritananda wrote a protest letter to Nepalese government and also appealed to other Buddhist organizations on behalf of Dharmodaya Sabha. He visited many places and various countries to get support against the expulsion of Buddhist monks from modern Nepal. One of the countries, he visited and undertook further studies was Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, he also succeeded in bringing a goodwill mission to Nepal in 1946 under the leadership of well-known scholar Ven. Narada Mahasthavir of Vajiraramaya, Colombo. The members of this mission consisted of Ven. Narada, Ven. Amritananda, Ven. Priyadarshi, Dr. Ratna Surya and Prof. Aryapal. They were able to meet the newly appointed Prime Minister Padma Shumsher J. Rana. Ven. Amritananda and leader of the mission Ven. Narada requested his
Excellency to give permission for the exiled monks to return to Nepal. Prime Minister Padma Shamsher accepted their request and permitted the exiled monks to return. Ven. Dharmaloka was the first one to come back to Nepal immediately after receiving a letter from Ven. Amritananda and arrived in Kathmandu in June 1946 (Jesth Sukla 6, 2003). Other monks also returned one by one and again started propagating Theravada Buddhism in modern Nepal. Ven. Narada visited Nepal three times and constructed a Sri Lankan Cetiya at Anandakuti Vihar. He brought a branch of Bodhi tree, Buddha‟s relic to Nepal. He also established the first Sima (Uposatha) of Nepal for Bhikkhus at the Vihara. During his third visit he met then Prime Minister Mohana Shamasher J. Rana and requested him to declare Baisakh Purnima or Buddha Day as a public holiday. His Excellency agreed and declared it as a public holiday for the Buddhist government civil officers. Since then, Theravada Buddhism gained ground in Nepalese society and made progress. Theravada monks propagated Buddhism by performing ceremonies, giving Dharmadesana and publishing Buddhist texts. Many Viharas were built in and outside the Kathmandu valley to propagate dhamma.
In 1950, democracy replaced autocratic Rana regime under the leadership of H. M. King Tribhuvan. This heralded rapid development of Theravada Buddhism. Buddhist monks and nuns were able carry out their duties freely without hindrances throughout the country. The office of „Dharmodaya Sabha‟ shifted from Kalimpong to Kathmandu after the advent of democracy in 1950/1. In 1951 Bhikkhu Sangha led by Ven. Amritananda formed ‘Akhil Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha’ (All Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha Council) for the further propagation of Buddhism in Nepal. Ven. Amritananda played a great role in propagation of Theravada Buddhism nationwide. His close relationship with their Majesties helped in his activities. He visited many countries on behalf of All Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha and Dharmodaya Sabha. In the same year Buddhists of Nepal succeeded in bringing the relics of Ven. Sariputta (Ven. Sariputra) and Ven. Maudhgalyana (Ven. Moggallana), the foremost disciples of the Buddha for the exhibition in Nepal. His Majesty King Tribhuvan chaired the reception committee and a reception party was held in the Royal Palace. Following year in 1952 Buddha Jayanti was celebrated throughout the country with the support of H.M. King Tribhuvan. On this occasion
H.M. King declared Baisakh Purnima or Buddha Jayanti day as a public holiday throughout the kingdom. In 1956 His late Majesty King Mahendra visited Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha and erected a Mahendra Pillar in Lumbini zone. In the same year, during 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebration H.M. king banned animal slaughter on this auspicious day throughout the kingdom. Nepalese Buddhists led by All Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha Council and Dharmodaya Sabha also organized the Fourth World Fellowship of Buddhist Conference (WFB) in Kathmandu on this year. His Majesty‟s government cooperated fully and gave every assistance for the success of the conference. Gradually, Theravada Buddhist monasteries were founded. Buddhist Education, Buddhapuja, meditation, public discourses, publications of Buddhist texts and mass ordination etc took place as a part of dhamma activities. Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries helped Nepal in its effort for Theravada revival. Soon after Theravada Buddhist monks established the first Bhikkhu training center- Sangharama Vihar and ordained number of novices under the leadership of Ven. Ashogosha Mahasthavir. Following their ordination, they were sent to Sri
Lanka, Burma and Thailand for their higher ordination and education. Many of these monks have returned to Nepal and are actively engaged in propagation of dhamma. Besides ordination of individual novices, mass ordinations for short periods were also held in different temple. After Anandakuti Vihar, the Viswasanti Vihara also established Vishwa Shanti Bauddha Shikshalaya, a Buddhist School under Ven. Nyanapunnika Mahathavir. It teaches both national and Buddhist curriculum to the novices. Now, there are nearly 100 Theravada temples, more than four hundred monks and Samaneras, and nearly 400 nuns in the country. Present Sangha Nayaka is Most Ven.
Subodhananda of Gana Mahavihara, Kathmandu. President of All Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha is Kumar Kashyapa of Ananda Kuti Vihar, Swayambhu, Kathmandu and the head office of All Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha is in Viswo Santi Vihara, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu.
Contribution to Nepalese society
Besides promoting Dhamma Theravada monks and nuns (Anagarikas) are also involved in other welfare activities like organising free health camps, training centers either in the monasteries or outside the monasteries. They also founded center for old age and Kindergarten. Late Ven. Sumangala Mahasthavira initiated free clinic at Buddha Vihar, a Buddhist home for the elderly at Benepa and a Buddhist Kindergarten. Free Clinics were popular because of lack of adequate government run clinics in Nepal. Many monasteries organized free clinics. Regular clinics like eye and Homeopathic were run either on weekly or monthly basis. Annual campaigns are also run when it was felt necessary. In 1964 All Nepal Bhikkhu Sangha established a Theravada education system Pariyatti Sikkha or Nepal Bauddha Pariyatti Siksa (Buddhist Saturday School). Classes are run in Theravada Buddhist monasteries, Tibetan monasteries, other Buddhist centers, in public and private schools. There are more than 32 centers throughout the
country. Presently, its head office is at Viswo Santi Vihara in New Baneswora, Kathmandu. Besides Pariyatti Sikkha, Ven. Amritananda founded a Buddhist school - „Anandakuti Vidyapith Boarding School‟ and a college- „Siddharth Science Campus‟. Both Buddhist monks and lay people used to teach in these institutions. It was started as a Buddhist school but for some reason it has become a private enterprise. Besides these, many monks and nuns are also running other educational institutions like „Nursery school (Siddhartha Shisu Niketan, Buddha Vihar), Primary school (Triple Gem Boarding School) and Higher Schools. There are some Higher Education institutes like Siddharth University in Banepa, International Buddhist University in Lumbini etc. Many Buddhist organizations were founded and they were also running different classes and research centers like Dharmakirti Buddhist Research Center. Anagarika Dhammavati founded this centre. Later on, Anagarika Dhammavati was ordained as Bhikkhuni according to Taiwanese tradition. She is one of the well-known nuns in the Theravada Buddhism in Nepal.
The Buddhist temples and organizations bring out number of publications annually, monthly, weekly and on special occasions. Dharmodaya, Anandabhumi and Dharmakirti are the oldest Buddhist journals in Nepal and still continued to be published. Ven. Amritananda was one of the greatest Buddhist scholars of Nepal. He wrote and translated many books on Buddhism. There are still no other monks or nun in Nepal who can be compared with him. Late Ven. Sudharsan Mahasthavir came close to him. Ven. Sudharsan was a pillar of Theravada Buddhism after Ven. Amritananda. He was famous for different reason. His field of interest beside dhamma work consisted literature, language, Archaeology etc. He was a resident monk at Srikirti Vihar, Kirtipur and held the post of professor in History, Archaeology and Buddhist philosophy at Tribhuvan University until his death in July 2002. Some of his books in Buddhism became course book for B.A. and M.A. students in Nepal. He had special interest in archaeology of Lumbini and was an expert on this subject.
Revival of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal also had profound effect in cultural and religious way of life of Nepalese. Daily chanting or Buddhapuja, short term ordination, observing Sila (Moral code), caste system, celebration of Vesak day, celibate life were introduced. In the month of Bhadra or Gunla days (August/September) Buddhist hymns are chanted and public discourses are given. Late Ven. Sudharshan Mahasthavir formed Sri Kirti Buddhist center at Sri Kirti Vihar with the aim of introducing Buddhism to other ethnic groups other than Newars- the original inhabitants of Katmandu valley. This project succeeded in bringing other ethic groups into Theravada Buddhism. As a result of this, many ethnic groups who were originally Buddhists have started organizing Buddhist conferences and Buddhist activities. Another important development is formation of Gyanmala Bhajan Khala - a Buddhist hymn group. This group sings regularly, especially during certain auspicious days at Swayambhu and other Buddhist sites. The songs they sing are based on Buddha‟s teaching and has been successful in promoting Buddhism in simple melodious hymns, which attracts many people who visits these religious places.
Theravadin in Nepalese Society For centuries Nepalese were aware of only Buddhist priest (Bajracharya) from Newar Buddhism (Vajrayana) and Tibetan Lamas. They were unaware of Theravadian Buddhist monks and nuns. Bajracharyas are household monks. They lead domestic lives and are not celibate. Not all Tibetan monks are celibate. It depends on the school they belong to. For example, monks from Sakya School of Tibetan tradition do not have to be celibate. Theravada monks wear distinctive saffron coloured robes. They are celibate and lead virtuous monastic life. These monks and nuns have different identity in the eyes of Nepalese, especially the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. Their simple way of life, their full dedication in their work for the benefit of mankind, easily understood Theravada Scriptures translated in different languages e.g. in Nepal Bhasa (Newari), Nepali, in Hindi and in English for easy accessibility by different groups helped to gain the heart of Nepalese people. Although many lay people have played pivotal roles in revival of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal, the leadership
of monks and nuns were vital in further development and survival of this tradition. The lay Buddhists of Nepal are pluralistic. They participate in Buddhist ceremonies such as Vesak day, daily chanting etc. At the same time they also follow Hindu customs in their daily lives. Buddhism is different from Hinduism and it is not a branch of Hinduism. Hindus believe that Buddha was a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Buddha never claimed to be anything other than a human being – although a unique one in the history of mankind. Buddhism in Nepal is unique because of existence of three different Buddhist traditions - Newar Buddhism (Vajrayana), Tibetan Buddhism (Mahayana) and Theravada Buddhism.
Different Buddhist groups practised different traditions. Although the principle underlying all these traditions is the same, they differ in details. Theravada Buddhist tradition is different from Tibetan or Newar Buddhist traditions but it is developing side-by-side with them. It was not possible for Theravada Buddhism to develop in Nepal without close co-relation with other traditions but later developed on its own right. These various Buddhist traditions are coexisting in present
day Nepal. Although they have different cultural traditions and are developing in their own ways but the followers are the same. Therefore, there is no separate identity of Theravadian lay Buddhists. There are number of lay Buddhist organizations, such as Dharmodaya Sabha, Dharmakirti Institute, Young Buddhist Associations, Female Buddhist Associations, more recently, Sukhi Hotu Nepal, which are playing important role in promotion of Buddha Dhamma but they are multi-cultural and multi religious in their daily practices.
CONCLUSION Theravada Buddhism was introduced to Nepal at the time when public meetings were banned. It faced many obstacles at the beginning. Strong dedications of monks and nuns made it possible for its revival in Nepal after many centuries of neglect. Even though the revival movement of this tradition was started only about 80 years ago it has already gained strong foot hold in Nepal and gaining popularity day by day. The reason for its popularity lies in many things - the simple and easily understood way the teachings were given, the simple way of life of monks and nuns lead and various beneficial activities undertaken by
Viharas. Theravadin Buddhist monks and nuns are well accepted by people and their contribution in promoting Buddha‟s teachings is widely recognized. Although small in number in comparison to other Asian countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka and Burma, both the number of monks and nuns; and monasteries of this tradition are increasing day by day. If this trend continues it will become one of the prominent religious traditions in Nepal. It is only natural that this oldest Buddhist tradition should gain its place of honour it deserve in a country where the founder of the religion was born.
Theravada Records in Nepal
List of Monks, Novices and Anagarikas studying abroad MONKS AND NOVICES I. Thailand 1. Bhikkhu Anil Man Dhammasakiyo (Sugandha) 2. Bhikkhu Vipassi Dhammaramo 3. Bhikkhu Jit Bahadur Gurung 4. Bhikkhu Krishna Thapamagar 5. Bhikkhu Pannamurti 6. Bhikkhu Sujan Sujano 7. Bhikkhu Anil Sumankitti 8. Bhikkhu Santosh Santosho 9. Bhikkhu Khemik Suddhasilo 10.Bhikkhu Suman Rocano 11.Bhikkhu Sanu Maharajano 12.Bhikkhu Santamano Dhwajjoshi 13.Bhikkhu Suman Dhwajjoshi 14.Bhikkhu Bijit Khemasakko 15.Bhikkhu Supreme Shakyavanso Samaneras 1. Samanera Buddharatna Maharjan 2. Samanera Dhammaratna Maharjan 3. Samanera Bipin Maharjan 4. Samanera Prajwal Shakya 5. Samanera Ukesh Sakya 6. Samanera Gopi Maharjan 7. Samanera Sudip Deshar 8. Samanera Sudat Deshar 9. Samanera Deepi Maharjan 10.Samanera Ramit Shrestha 11.Samanera Anup Deshar 12.Samanera Suman Bajracharya „A‟ 13.Samanera Rajendra Deshar 14.Samanera Kapila Maharjan 15.Samanera Arbin Shakya
16.Samanera Kabindra Bajracharya 17.Samanera Ujjawal Shakya 18.Samanera Satish Shakya 19.Samanera Bimal Gurung 20.Samanera Surya Gurung 21.Samanera Sameer Maharjan 22.Samanera Anup Shakya 23.Samanera Arjun Magar 24.Samanera Kiran Desahar 25.Samanera Dipesh Shrestha 26.Samanera Tejendra Tamang 27.Samanera Ashim Shakya 28.Samanera Jalap Bajracharya 29.Samanera Arya Dev Bajracharya 30.Samanera Sudarshan Maharjan 31.Samanera Sangharatna 32.Samanera Suman Bajracharya „B‟ 33.Samanera Kijan Maharjan 34.Samanera Ramesh Maharjan 35.Samanera Niroj Maharjan 36.Samanera Jen Maharjan 37.Samanera Denish Bajracharya 38.Samanera Pritam Bahadur Shakya 39.Samanera Abhishek Shakya 40.Samanera Bishal Shakya 41.Samanera Sajal Shakya 42.Samanera Suraj Bhakta Shrestha 43.Samanera Dinesh Chaudhary 44.Samanera Shiv Swatantra Tharu 45.Samanera Sambhu Lal Khang 46.Samanera Buddharatna Chaudhary 47.Samanera Mukesh Chaudhary
II. Myanmar (Burma) Bhikkhu 1. Bhikkhu Panavimala 2. Bhikkhu Dhyanratna 3. Bhikkhu Adiccho 4. Bhikkhu Vimalbuddhi 5. Bhikkhu Shobhan Samaneras 6. Samanera Amato 7. Samanera Jutimma 8. Samanera Buddhapiyo 9. Samanera Kavindo 10.Samanera Nagasena 11.Samanera Gyanavudho
III. Taiwan(ROC) 1. Bhikkhu Mangala IV. Australia
2. Bhikkhu Vazirbuddhi
1. Bhikkhu Upatissa
V. India 1. Bhikkhu Dharmajyoti 2. Bhikkhu Ashokakirti 3. Bhikkhu Narawang Tamang VI. United kingdom VII. U.S.A. 1. Bhikkhu Suman
1. Bhikkhu Pragnaloka
VIII. Sri Lanka Bhikkhus Bhikkhu Nanda Bhikkhu Vineeta Bhikkhu Ashoka Bhikkhu Triratna Bhikkhu Sagara Bhikkhu Sankicca Bhikkhu Vajirasiri Bhikkhu Sarada SARAMANERAS: Saranankara Piyadassi Bhikkhu Veenit Bhikkhu Ratana Bhikkhu Tissa Bhikkhu Vajira Bhikkhu Pannawimal Bhikkhu Medhankar Bhikkhu Pannasara
Dil Bhadra Chandima
Samita Narada „A‟ Piyaratna Kusala Lakkhana Udit Vibekanada Pannananda Mettananda Chandananda Yassari Upali Subodhi Mahanama Kashyapa Dhammapala Narada „B‟ Nalaka „A‟ Daywasa Santa Sobhana Santa Siddhartha Santa Maitri Santa Kosala Santa Sakya Suvaca Sukama Sila Siddhartha Nanda „A‟ Rahula Sudheera Kosala Dheera Panna Wansa Jina Wansa Mahinda Nanda „B‟ Seewali Mahapantha Assaji Sarada Sumana Ananda
Nalaka „B‟ Aloka Suwarna Subodh Udena Sangharatna „A‟ Gyanendra Khema Soma „A‟ Punna Panna Ransi Soma „B‟ Santa „A‟ Kapila Wansa Asita Wansa Sumanananda „a‟ Vijitananda Khemananda Silananda Medhananda Somaratna Soratha Pragyananda Sumangala Santa Citta Yasa Dhamma Kitti Panna Kitti Santa Dheera Vijitananda Sumanananda „b‟ Vajra Bodhi Dhammika Santa „B‟ Anuruddha Sumana „B‟ Jinavamsa Panna Vansa Buddha Ratna Dhamma Ratna Ariya Ratna
Sila Ratna Sangha Ratna „B‟ List of Anagarikas studying in abroad
I. Thailand 1. Anagarika Sirisuta Maharjan 2. Anagarika Ramsobha Shrestha 3. Anagarika Sunita Napit II. Myanmar 1. Anagarika Javanvati 5. Anagarika Darshana 2. Anagarika Vimalajnani 6. Anagarika Agrajnani 3. Anagarika Ambika 7. Anagarika Nandavati 4. Anagarika Buddhapali „b‟
1. Anagarika Rupashila
IV. Taiwan 1. Anagarika Pannavati 2. Anagarika Sani 3. Anagarika Nima V. Sri Lanka 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Anagarika Pannawati Anagarika Mettawati Anagarika Keshawati Anagarika Prasnnawati Anagarika Sukhawati Anagarika Shobhawati 7. Anagarika Subhadra 8. Anagarika Shraddhagautami 9. Anagarika Upananda 10.Anagarika Shantawati 11.Anagarika Suciwati
Residences of Theravādin Monks in Nepal 01. Abhinava Buddha Vihara, Lumbini. 1) Bhikkhu Vimalananda Mahathera. 2) Samanera Sunanda. 02. Anandakut Vihara, Swayambhu, Kathmandu. 1) Bhikkhu Kumara Kassapa Mahathera, 2) Bhikkhu Dharmamurti, 3) Samanera Kondanya, 4) S. Prajnaratna, 5) S. Asoka, 6) S. Kumarjeeva, 7) S. Assaji. 03. Bauddha Samaskrita Vihara, Bhaktapur. 1) Bhikkhu Dharmashobhana Mahathera. 04. Bodhicharya Vihara, Banepa. 1) Bhikkhu Bodhisena Mahathera, 2) Samanera Bodhideepa. 05. Buddha Vihara, Bhrikuti Mandap-Kathmandu. 1) Bhikkhu Kondanya, 3) Samanera Anuyoga, 4) S. Udena. 06. Buddha Vihara, Biratnagar. 1) Bhikkhu Aloka. 07. Buddha Vihara, Dharan. 1) Bhikkhu Maitri (Tamang), 2) Bhikkhu Chhavikirti. 08. Chatubrahma Vihara, Matatirtha. 1) Bhikkhu Thansettho, 2) Bhikkhu Samyakaratna, 3) Bhikkhu Bodhananda. 9. Charumati Stupa Vihara, Chabahil, Kathmandu. 1) Bhikkhu Tapassi Dhamma. 2) Bhikkhu Sushil, 3) S. Javana,
10. Dharmacakra Ashrama, Bagbazar, 1) Bhikkhu Milinda. 11. Dharmashila Buddha Vihara, Pokhara. 1) Bhikkhu Subhadda, 2) Bhikkhu Saddhananda. 12. Dhyanakuti Vihara, Banepa. 1) Bhikkhu Ashwaghosha Mahathera, 2) Bhikkhu Rahul, 3) Samanera Gautama. 13. Gana Maha Vihara, Kathmandu. 1) Sanghanayaka Bhikkhu Subodhanand Mahathera, 2) Bhikkhu Sobhita, 3) Bhikkhu Samvegakirti, 4) Samanera Sugatananda, 6) S. Chandananda, 7) S. Somananda, 8) S. Sumanavamsha, 9) S. Somavamsha, 10) S. Sumanasiri. 14. Ilayabahi,Tanabaha, Patan. 1) Bhikkhu Vimalkirti. 15. International Bauddha Pariyatti Vihara, Butwal. 1) Bhikkhu Jatila, 2) Bhikkhu Bhaddiya „B‟, 3) Samanera Jnanashree, 1) Bhikkhu Maitri Mahathera, 2) Samanera Mahapanta, 3) S. Vimala. 17. Jana Udaya Vihara, Sunakothi-Lalitpura. 1) Bhikkhu Dharmagupta. 18. Jitavana Vihara, Thankot. 4) S. Jotika. 16. International Buddhist Society, Lumbini.
1) Bhikkhu Dharmavamsha Mahathera, 2) Bhikkhu Sugatamuni Mahathera, 3) Samanera Sunita. 19. Kuti Vihara, Koteshwar-KTM. 1) Bhikkhu Yeshdhammo, 2) Samanera Wayamo, 3) S. Milindo, 4) S. Sunanalankara. 20. Manimandapa Mahavihara, Patan. 1) Bhikshu Shilbhadra Mahathera 2) Samanera Paduma, 21. Muni Vihara, Bhaktapur. 1) Samanera Tejendra, 3) S. Asima, 2) S. Jalapa, 4) S. Aryaputra. 3) S. Nayako.
22. Padma Sugandha Vihara, Kathmandu. 1) Bhikkhu Sumedha, 2) Samanera Sudatta. 23. Pati Vihara, Nagadesh-Bhaktapur. 1) Bhikkhu Varasambodhi. 24. Pranidhi Purna Maha Vihara, Balambu. 1) Samanera Sukha. 25. Pugatabhoomi Jetavana Vihara, Bhairahawa. 1) Samanera Jagaro, 2) S. Suvanno. 26. Purvaram Vihara, Dhulikhel. 1) Bhikkhu Gunaghosha Mahathero. 27. Sangharama Vihara, Kshetrapati, Kathmandu. 1) Bhikkhu Saddhatissa, 2) Bhikkhu Kolita, 3) Bhikkhu Sangharakshita. 28. Shakya Singha Vihara, Patan. 1) Bhikkhu Dharmapala Mahathera, 2) Bhikkhu Sunanda Mahathera,
3) Bhikkhu Dharmarakshita. 29. Shikhalapura Vihara, Dhulikhel. 1) Bhikkhu Dhammananda Mahathera. 30. Shree Kirti Vihara, Kirtipur. 1) Bhikkhu Kirtijyoti, 3) Bhikkhu Prajnakirti, 4) Bhikkhu Dharmakirti, 5) Samanera Sundara, 7) S. Subhashkirti, 6) Bhikkhu Pamit 8) S. Uttarakirti. 2) Bhikkhu Ananda,
31. Shreegha Vihara, Kathmandu. 1) Bhikkhu Dharmasagara, 2) Bhikkhu Medhankara. 32. Sudarshana Vihara, Banepa. 1) Bhikkhu Rastrapala. 33.Sumangala Vihara, Patan. 1) Sanghaupanayaka Bhikkhu Buddhaghosha Mahathera, 2) Bhikkhu Shobhan, 3) Bhikkhu Prajnaratna. 34. Surya Mangala Vihara, Kapilvastu. 1) Bhikkhu Suryamangala. 35. Tokha Buddha Vihara, Kathmandu. 1) Samanera Shobhana, 1) Samanera Uttama, 2) S. Jnanodaya. 2) S. Chandimo. 36. Veluvanarama Vihara, Thecho-Lalitpura. 37. Vishwa Shanti Vihara, New Baneshwar, 1) Bhikshu Jnanapurnik Mahathera, 2) Bhikshu Bodhijnana, 3) Bhikshu Nigrodha, 4) Bhikshu Udayabhadra. Samaneras :
1) S. Janak, 3) S. Obhaso, 5) S. Nandiyo, 7) S. Pajjoto, 9) S. Buddhadatta, 11) S. Kashyapa, 13) S. Nagita, 15) S. Suchitta, 17) S. Nemindo, 19) S. Jayanto, 21) S. Indriyo, 23) S. Bhanusarana, 25) S. Kittimo, 27) S. Adicca, 29) S. Nyanuttara, 31) S. Pabhassaro, 38.
2) S. Sujat, 4) S. Subhaddo, 6) S. Mahindo, 8) S. Aloka, 10) S. Panita, 12)S. Dharmaghosha, 14) S. Vinaya, 16) S. Sudatto, 18) S. Rohito, 20) S. Meghiyo, 22) S. Suppamedho, 24) S. Saddhadeepa, 26) S. Janeyyo, 28) S. Kosalla, 30) S. Bhaddaco, 32) S. Uttaro.
Yampi Maha Vihara, Patan. 1) Bhikkhu Bhaddiya.
39. Non residencial Monks: 1) Bhikshu Samyaka Sambodhi Pranputra, 2) Bhikshu Dhyanratna, 3) Bhikkhu Chandragupta, Balambu.
Present Anagarikas and resident in NEPAL 01. Amarapura Vihara, Bungamati. 1) A. Charujnani, 3) A. Palitajnani, 5) A. Padumajnani, 02. 2) A. Sunita, 4) A. Pamitajnani, 6) A. Rupawati.
Bauddha Samaskrit Vihara, Bhaktapur.
1) Anagarika Sanghashila 03. Buddha Vihara,Dharan. 1) A. Sumedhavati, 3) A. Kanchana, 1) Anagarika Prajnavati. 05. 06. Chatubrahma Vihara, Matatirtha. 1) Anagarika Anu. Dhammavasa Vihara, Khusibun. 1) A. Krishgautami, 3) A. Shilgautami, 5) A. Shyamavati. 07. Dharmakirti Vihara, Naghal-Kathmandu. 1) Anagarika RatnaManjari, 2) A. Dhammavati, 3) A. Dhammadinna (Chameli), 4) A. Anupama, 8) A. Jayavati, 5) A. Sanghavati, 9) A. Danavati, 6) A. Khemavati, 7) A. Indravati, 10) A. Tyagavati 11) A.Viryavati, 12) A. Shubhavati, 13) A. Ramavati, 14) A. Surammavati, 15) A. Hemavati, 16) A. Suppabhavati, 17) A. Supriya, 08. 09. 10. 18) A. Amata, 19) A. Vannavati, 20) A. Suvannavati. Dharmashila Buddha Vihara, Pokhara. 1) Anagarika Karmashila. Gautami Vihara, Lumbini. 1) Anagarika Sujata, Ilayabahi,Tana Baha, Lalitpur. 2) A. Khamesi. 2) A. Suchita, 4) A. Kshantigautami, 2) A. Sushilavati. 4) A. Shasanavati
04. Bauddha Rishi Mahapragya Ashram, Anamnagar.
1) A. Shilaparami, 3) A. Vineeta, 11. 1) A. Aggajnani, 3) A. Shantarakshita.
2)A.Viryaparami, 4) A. Shilachari, 2) A. Nirmalajnani
Int‟l Buddhist Meditation Centre, Shankhamul.
12. Jaya Mangal Vihara,Tana Bahal-Patan. 1) Anagarika Vijita, 3) A. Chittavati 13. Jyoti Vihara, Chapagaun- Lalitpur. 1) AnagarikaVirygautami, 2) A. Upeskshagautami. 14. 15. Kashivarna Buddha Vihara, Panuati. 1) Anagarika Satyaparami. Kindol Vihara, Swayambhu. 1) A. Sumana, 3) A. Sumitra, 5) A. Dhammavijaya, 7) A. Shyamavati, 16. 17. 18. 19. Kunsa Baha,Hyumat. 1) Anagarika Patachari, 2) A.Umavati. Mahabodhi Vihara, Tansen. 1) Anagarika Revati (Dhammadinna). Muni Vihara, Bhaktapur. 1) A. Sugandhavati, 2) A. Padmavati. Narsinharama, Thaina-Patan. 1) A. Jnanashila, 3) A.Shilavati, 6) A. Jeenvati, 7) A. Shilpavatisushma. 20. Padmachaitya Vihara, Butwal. 2) A.Satyashila, 4) A. Yeshavati, 5) A. Dharani, 2) A. Uttara. 4) A. Molini, 6) A. Tejavati, 2) A. Nekkhami,
1) A. Udayashila, 2) A. Santiwati. 21. Padmakirti Vihara, Kamalpokhari. 1) A. Kamala, 3) A. Pabbhavati, 5) A. Bhavanavati. 22. 23. 24. Prajnanandarama, Okubahal-Patan. 1) Anagarika Jnanavati. Pranidhipurna Mahavihara, Balambu. 1) A. Mudita, 1) Anagarika Abhaya, 3) A. Shilachari, 25. 26. 27. Shanti Sukhavasa, Chakupat-Patan. 1) A. Utpalavarna (Chini). Shree Kirti Vihara, Kirtipur. 1) Anagarika Mina. Sunandarama,Thaina-Patan. 1) A Madhavi, 5) A. Masudha, 28. Sulakshanakirti Viahara, Kirtipur. 1) A. Anoja, 3) A. Anula. 29. 30. Sangharama Vihara,Dhalko-KTM. 1) Anagarika Dharmarakshita. Vishwashanti Vihara, New Baneshwar 1) A. Shubha, 3) A. Sudhamma. 31. Vishwashanti Dharmakirti Vihara, Basundhara. 1) A. Dhajavati (Kusum), 2) A. Padmavati, 2) A. Khema, 2) A. Atula, 2) A.Masukhi, 3) A. Mashobha, 4) A. Mashraddha, 2) A. Chandrashila „B‟. 2) A. Chandrashila, SangharakshitaVihara, Patan. 2) A. Karunavati, 4) A. Dhyanavati,
3) A. Bhadravati. 32. Residing other Anagarikas: 1) Anagarika Chandrajnani, Patan. 2) A. Sraddhavati, Shankhamul. 3) A. Amaravati, Patan. 4) A. Dhammachari, Patan. 5) A. Nanda, Thasi.
Some Prominent Personalities in the Theravada Movement1 Sanghamahanayakas of Nepal
1. Ven. Pragyanand Mahasthavir 1930 – 1993 A.D. 2. Ven. Sakyananda Mahasthavir 1993 - 1997 A.D. 3. Ven. Aniruddha Mahasthavir 1997 - 2002 A.D. 4. Ven. Subodhananda Mahasthavir 2002 - 2006 A.D. 5. Ven. Buddhaghosa Mahasthavir 2006Amritananda, Bhikkhu (1918-1990) original name Lal Kaji Sakya from Tansen west Nepal, he ordain as a novice in 1936 from ven. Chandramani in Kusinagara. He studies and was ordained a monk in Sri Lanka in 1940. He return to Nepal in 1942 and preached first publicly in Kathmandu. He formed Dharmodaya Sabha in 1944 and All Nepal Bhikkhu Mahasangha in 1951 and remained its unchallenged leader until his death. He was well known and traveled widely outside of Nepal because of his dynamism and charisma. He was also one of the greatest Buddhist scholars and writers of Nepal. Aniruddha, Bhikkhu (1915-2003) original name Gaja Ratna Tuladhar, son of Dasa Ratna Sahu (Later Ven. Dhammaloka). He went to Sri Lanka in 1930 and ordained as samanera and studied there. He had served many years in Lumbini and third Sanghanayaka of Nepal.
Sarah Levine and David N. Gellner, Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth Century Nepal, (UK: Harvard University Press, 2006), pp. 293-296
Ashwaghosh, Bhikkhu (1926- present) original name Buddha Ratna Sakya and became a novice in 1944 and went to Sri Lanka for study, where he took higher ordination in 1949. he is known as „the communist monk‟ and was a nominee of the Unified Marxist-Leninist party, one of Nepal‟s two main political parites in the 1990s, to the Upper House 1993-5. He had established nepal‟s first Bhikkhu Training Center at Sangharama Dhalko and became abbot of this vihara. Presently he is abbot of Shrigha Vihara in Kathmandu and of Dyanakuti Vihara Banepa. Buddhaghosh, Bhikkhu (1921- present day) original name Sapta Ratna Vajracharya in Kwa Baha, Kathamandu. The founder of Pariyatti Education in Nepal and presently acting Sanghanayaka of Nepal (2006) and abbot of Sri Sumangala Vihara in Lalitpur. Chandramani, Bhikkhu (1876-1972): a Burmese monk who spent his life in Kusinagara, where he worked for the propagation of Buddhism until his death. He initiated with most of the early Nepalese Theravadins Monks and Nuns. He was the first president of Dharmodaya Sabha and father of Theravadins of Nepal. Dharmachari, Anagarika (1898-1978): born Laxmi Nani Tuladhar, she impressed by Ven. Pragyananda in Kindol Vihara and took the precepts from Chandramani in Kusinagara in 1934 and most prominent Nepali nun. She founded the first nunnery in Nepal at Kindol Vihara in 1947. Dhammaloka, Bhikkhu, (1891-1977): born Das Ratna Tuladhar, Asan, kathamandu. He traded in Lhasha, went to Sri Lanka and taught Buddhism as a layman. Later became a monk in 1932 after his son, Aniruddha ordain in 1930. he established nepal‟s first Theravādin Vihara „Ananda Kuti Vihar‟ in Kathmandu. Dhammawati, Anagarika (1925- present day): born as Ganesh Kumari Sakya in Uku Baha lalitpur. She ordain too precepts from Ven. Chandramani in Kusinagara and renamed as Dhammavati in 1950. She went to Burma for study and return in 1963 after passed the Dhammacariya Examination. She was able to established Dhammakirti Nunnery Centre in 1965 and leader of the Theravādin Nuns. She has been re-ordained as Bhikkhuni according to Mahayana tradition. Dharmaditya Dharmacharya (1902-1963): born as Jagat Man Vaidya in Chika Bahi, Lalitpur and the first Newar Buddhist modernist and the first newar cultural nationalist. He went to study in Calcutta where he became a follower of anagarika Dhammapala, the founder of Maha Bodhi Society.
He had formed Buddhist revival foundation and published Buddhist magazines etc. Nyanpurnika, Bhikkhu (1936- present day): Born as Hera Lal Sakya in Tansen. He studied with Buddhaghosh in Lalitpur, in Burma and in England. He is only monk who passed Dhammacariya examination of Burma. He was the founder of Vishwa Shanti Vihara and Vishwa Shanti Bauddha sikkyalaya where train novices. He is a prominent translator and writer. Kumar Kashyap, Bhikkhu (1926- present day): born as Krishna Man Sakya, he was one of those who exiled to India by the Ranas in 1944. He went to Study in Sri Lanka and hold nepal‟s first „Tripitaka acarya‟. Presently, he is president of All Nepal Bhikkhu Association and abbot of Ananda Kuti Vihara. Mahapragya, Bhikkhu (1901-1979) born Prem Bahadur (Nani Kaji ) Shrestha. He ordained into Tibetan tradition but exiled in 1926 and reordained as novice in Theravada tradition, one of the earlier Theravādin monks. He return to householderhood in Kalimpong in 1940s but then returned to Kathmandu as a Buddhist sage (Bauddha Rishi) in the 1960s, where he taught until his death. Pragyananda, Bhikkhu (1900-1993): born as Kul Man Singh Tuladhar in Itum Baha, Kathmandu, a trader in Tibet where he met Ven. Mahapragya and impressed by him to ordained. He became a Tibetan Gelung Karmasheel in 1928 and two years later a Theravādin under Ven. Chandramani in Kusinagara in 1930. He was nepal‟s first Sanghamahanayaka and well respected monk. Shakyananda, Bhikkhu (1909-1997): born as Chakra Dhan Sakya in Taksar, Bhojpur, East Nepal. He spent over forty years as a monk in Tansen outside the Kathmandu and second sanghamahanayaka of Nepal. Subodhanand, Bhikkhu (1916-2006): bor as Kul Raj Sakya in Taksar, Bhojpur, East Nepal. He was one of the monks exiled by the Ranas in 1944. He was a prolific composer of Hymns in Nepal Bhasa. In 2003, as the most senior monk in Nepal, he was the fourth Sanghanayaka of Nepal. Sudarshan, Bhikkhu (1934-2002): born as Rudra Raj Sakya in Uku Baha, lalitpur. He was famous a „the boy monk.‟ For many years he was a lecturer in the culture Department of Tribhuvan University, a prolific writer, preacher and abbot of Sri Kirti Vihara, Kirtipur, which is became multicultural center and especially for Buddhist meetings and conferences. He
was jailed for some months for Nepal Bhasa activities in the Panchayat period. He was a campaigner on Buddhist issues, particularly to do with Lumbini. Sumangal, Bhikkhu (1929-1999): born Bhakta Krishna Shilpakar in Lalitpur. He was famous as “Dollar bhante”. He ordained in 1959 in Burma, obtained a master‟s degree in Buddhism from Rissho University, Japan, in 1972, and was among the first monks to mobilize international connections for Buddhist projects in Nepal. He established Buddha Vihara in Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu. He helped raise funds from Thailand and Japan for IBMc (1985), brought the Japanese healing movement Sei Mei Kyo to Nepal, and in 1993 opened an old people‟s home in Banepa.
Glimpse of Theravādin activities in Nepal
Samanera ordination at Muni Vihara
Ordination Ceremony at Vishwa Shanti Vihara
Chanting Paritta in devotee‟s home
Giving Holy Thread to Devotees
Buddhist Art in Nepal
Main Buddha Image at Sri Kirti Vihara
Four holy places
Some of the Theravada Buddhist Viharas (Monasteries) in Nepal
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. Vihars In Kathmandu Valley Amarapura Buddha Vihar, Bungamati Anandakuti Vihar, Swayambhu Anandabhuwan Vihar, Bhuikhyo Ganamaha vihar, Ganabaha Gautam Buddha Vihar, Panga Caturbrahma Vihar, Matatirtha Carumati Vihar, Cabahil Baudhajana Vihar, Sunakothi Jitapur Gandhakuti Vihar, khona Jitawan Vihar, Thankot Jyoti udaya vihar, Capagaun Dhammavasa Vihar, Khusibun Dharmakirti Vihar, Srigha, Naghal Dharmacakra vihar, Bagbajar Nagar Mandap Sri Kirti Vihar, Kirtipur Nagadesh Buddha Vihar, Nagadesh Nirvanmurti Anagarikaram, Kindol Padmasugandha Vihar, Manjeshwori Pranidhi Purna Mahavihar, Balambu Pati Vihar, Thimi Pippali Theravad Buddha Vihar, Shiphal Punya Udaya Vihar, Jala, Harisiddhi Buddhabhoomi Mahavihar, Tokha Buddha Vihar, Bhrikuti mandapa Buddharatna Vihar, Putalisadak Bauddha samakrit Vihar, Bhaktapur Manimandap Vihar, Patko, Bhaktapur Muni Vihar, Bhaktapur Yampi Mahavihar, Ibahi, Lalitpur Yashodhara Baudha Bidyalaya, Thaina, Lalitpur Biswo Shanti Vihar, Baneshwor Biswo Shanti Dharmakirti vihar, Basundhara Beluvanarama Vihar, Theco Sakyasingha Vihar, Thaina, Lalitpur Telephone No. 5551068 4271420 4270429 4253454 c/o 4330576 4310558 4469897 c/o 5570209 C/o 5542846 4311912 C/o 5571459 4358688 4259466 4261976 4330836 C/o 6635397 4285811 4266255 4310592/4312455 C/o 6637601 4475066 C/o 5527456 4362514 4226702 4244277 6610842 5526517 6616464 5539644 5521435 4482384 4354251 C/o 5570062 5524760
35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.
Santi Sukhawas, Cakupat Siddhimangal Buddha Vihar, Thasi Sumangala Vihara, Lagankhel Sulakshan kirti Vihar, Chobhar Suwanrna Chatrapur Vihar, Lubhu Sangharama Vihar, Dhalko Visnumati Srigha Vihar, Nagal Vihars out side the Kathamandu Velley
c/o 5523613 5581495 5531715 4331718 5580430 4255960 4259110 Telephone No. C/o 075-520225/520216 C/o 056-521478 C/o 075-520024 061-520517 011-661244 071-546470 011-661979 C/o 057-520264/520136 025-520354 C/o 021-522146/530604 C/o 069-520354 011-661789 091-622174 C/o 029-420260 C/o 010-560153 C/o 079-529435 C/o 021-540080 C/o 025-520190 C/o 068-520921/520336
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
Ananda Vihar, Tansen Citravan Vihar, Narayangadha Taksar Vihar, Tansen Dharmashila Buddha Vihar, Phokhara Dyankuti Banepa, Banepa Padma Chaitya Vihar, Butawal Purwarama Vihar, Dhulikhel Pragya Mahavihar, Hetauda Buddha Vihar, Dharan Buddha Vihar, Biratnagar Beni Buddha Vihar, Myagdi Bodhicharya vihar, Banepa Lokachakra Buddha Vihar, Dhan gadhi Sakyamuni Vihar, Bhojpur Sugatapur Vihar, Trisuli Sugandha Vihar, Ridi, Gulmi Swoyambhu Chetya Buddha Vihar, Urlabari Swoyambhu Chetya Mahavihar, Dharan Gyanodaya Buddha Vihar, Baglung
Footnotes: This paper was written as a part of my M.A. thesis research on „The Revival of Theravada Buddhism and its contribution to Nepalese Society.‟ of Mahachulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and would like to thank Mr. Dharma Sakya for every suggestion, editing and help for the completion of this article. Nyanatiloka, Buddhist Dictionary, 3rd ed., The Free Distribution version, the Corporate Body of the Buddha education foundation, Taiwan, p. 179 Triratna Manandhar, „Present of Buddhism in Nepal‟, (Lumbini; A Journal of the LNBDS UK, Vol. 8, May 2005) p 15 ………… The New Encyclopedia of Britannica Vol.24, (USA : Library of Congress Catalog, 1993) p. 781; Dhanabajra Vajracharya, Cabahilko Abhilekha (Inscription of Cabahil), The Charumati Voice, (Kath: Charumati Buddhist Mission, 2001) pp. 17-20; Bhikkhu Sudarsan Mahasthavira, Nepal Upatyaka ma Ashokaki Chori Charumati (Charumati, A daughter of Ashoka in Nepal Valley), (The Charumati Vocie, (Kath: Charumati Buddhist Mission, 2001) p. 20 Beal, Samuel, Si Yu Ri, Buddhist Records of the Western World, (New Delhi ; Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1994) pp. 80-81; Bhuwan Lal Pradhan, Nepalama Buddhadharma, (Kath : Nepal Rajkiya Pragyapratisthana, 1988), pp. 102 – 103 N.B. Thapa, A Short History of Nepal, (Kath: Ratna Pustak bhandhar, N.d.) pp. 30-33; Nancy Grant, „The Monk who Would Return‟, The Nation; Thailand‟s English Newspaper (Sunday special) Oct. 18, 1987
Op.cit., N.B. Thapa, p.116
David N. Gellner, Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest, Newar Buddhism and its Hierarchy of Ritual, (Cambridge University Press 1996) pp. 41ff Bechert, Heinz & Jens-Uwe, Hartmann. “Observation on the reform of Buddhism in Nepal” Journal of Nepal Research Centre, vol. VIII, Kath. Kantipur Printing Press,1988.p. 6
Ria Kloppenborg, Theravada Buddhism in Nepal‟, Kailash; A Journal of Himalayan Studies. Vol. 5 no. 4/1977; p. 302 B.P. Lacoul, Nepalay Sthaviravada Gukathan Wagu Kha, (Kath: Hisi Press, Nepal, B.S. 2042/1985) pp.44ff
  
Ibit., Lacoul, Nepalay Sthaviravada p.47ff
Ibit., Lacoul, Nepalay Sthaviravada, p. 51-53; Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, (BKK: A Thesis of M.A., Mahamakut Graduate School, 2001) p. 97; Bhikshu Sudarshan Mahasthavir, „Role of Theravada in the Preservation of Newar Buddhism‟, www.ircnepal.org/papers
   
Op.cit., Lacoul, Nepalay Sthaviravada, p. 69-72 Op.cit., Observation on the reform of Buddhism in Nepal, p.10ff
Op.cit., Nancy Grant, „The Monk who Would Return‟; R.V. Vandya, Sanghanayaka Venerable Pragnananda Mahasthavir, (Kath: Nepal Co-operative Press, 1978) pp. 11ff Bhkkhu Dharmaloka Mahasthavir, A Pilgrimage in China, (kath: published by Bhikkhu Aniruddha Mahasthavir, 1999) p. 13-15; Op.cit. Lacoul, Nepalay Sthavirvada, p. 74-75
  
Op.cit., R.B. Vandya, Sanghanayaka, p. 15
Op.cit., Bhikkhu dharmalok, A Pilgrimage in China, pp,16ff; Op.cit., Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p.100
Ibit., Bhikkhu Dharmalok, A Pilgrimage in China, pp. 27-29
See Nhucche Bahadur Bajracharya, .. Amritanjali A Homage, (Kath: Anandakuti Vihar Trust, 1992); Kuladharma Ratna Tuladhar, Buddhism in Nepal, (Kath: Dharmodaya Sabha, 1986) pp.15; Op.cit., Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 100 Op.cit. K. R. Tuladhar, Buddhism in Nepal, 16; R.V. Vandya, Sanghanayaka ven. Pragnananda, p. 32 ff Op.cit., R.B. Vandya, Sanghanayaka Pragnananda, pp. 34-35; Op.cit. Lacoul, Nepalay Sthavirvada, p. 86
Op.cit., K.R. Tuladhar, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 18; Phra vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 101 Bhikkhu Amritananda Mahasthavir, A Short History of Theravada Buddhism in Modern Nepal, (Kath: Anandakuti Vihar trust, 1986) pp. 8-9; Ratna Sundhar Sakya, Bhikkhu Dharmalok Mahasthavir, (Kath: Anandakuti Vihar Trust, 1992) p. 25 Op.cit., K.R. Tuladhar, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 19; Phra vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 102
   
Op.cit., Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 102 Op.cit., Ratna Sundhar Sakya, Bhikkhu Dharmalok Mahasthavir,
p. 26 Op.cit., Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 104; Op.cit., K.R. Tuladhar, Buddhism in Nepal, p. 20 Ven. Panna Murti, A historical Study of Pariyatti Sikkha in Nepal, (BKK: A Thesis of M.A. Buddhist Study, Mahachulalongkorn University, 2547) p. 23  Op.cit., Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p 104; Op.cit., Ratna Sundhar Sakya, Bhikkhu Dharmalok Mahasthavir, p. 26 Amrit R. Sthapit, „who is who in Nepalese Buddhism; Bhikkhu Aswaghosha‟, Lumbini A Journal of the LNBDS UK, vol. 4, no. 1, May 2001, p.8 …………….. „Who is who in Nepalese Buddhism; Bhikkhu Nyanapurninka Mahasthavir‟, Lumbini A Journal of the LNBDS UK, vol. 7, no. 1, May 2004, p.13 ; Viswo Shanti Vihar, The Shanti Sandesh, (Kath: Viswo Shanti Vihar, 1998) Bhikkhu Sugandha, „An Obituary ven. Sumangala Mahasthavir; A monk who modernized Buddhism in Nepal‟, Lumbini A Journal of the LNBDS UK, vol. 2, no. 1, May 1999, p.10 Op.cit., Ven. Panna Murti, A historical Study of Pariyatti Sikkha in Nepal, pp. 52ff Rina Tuladhara, Dharmakirti: 25 Years of Dharmakirti Buddhist Study Circle A Glimpse, (Kath: Dharmakirti Vihar, 1996) ;Mallika Sakya,
      
„Who is Who in Nepalese Buddhism; Dhammavati Guruma‟, Lumbini A Journal of the LNBDS UK, vol. 5, no. 1, May 2002, p.10 Op.cit., See Nhucche Bahadur Bajracharya, .. Amritanjali A Homage,; Phra Vipassi, Buddhism in Nepal, p 108; Bhikkhu Sugandha, „An Obituary ven. Sudarshan Mahasthavir; A Gem of the Buddhism in Nepal‟, Lumbini; A Journal of the LNBDS UK, vol. 6, no. 1, May 2003, p.13