Austin Buddhist Maha Vihara is a Buddhist Temple of Theravada Buddhism, sponsored by the Sri Lankan Buddhist Association Inc. at Austin TX, a non-profit organization. The Austin Buddhist Maha Vihara is dedicated to serving the Austin community in presenting and practicing the Buddhist way of life. It is an educational as well as a religious organization founded on June 3rd, 2006 under the leadership of Venerabal Panditha Yatagama Sumanajothi Nayaka Thero.
Udumulle Saranapala Thero
Bhante Udumulle Saranapala Thero is the Chief Priest at the Austin Buddhist Maha Vihara. In 1992, he became a novice monk at a young age at Monaragala Sri Wijayawardanaramaya, Dambawella Sri Lanka. Bhante Udumulle Saranapala Thero attained Upasampada in 2004 at Malwaththa Vihara in Kandy and founded The Samadhi Viharaya at Nawala Colombo 5, where he also served as the Chief Priest.
Bhante Udumulle Saranapala Thero got his education foundation at The Vidyalankara Maha piriwena, Peliyagoda. In 2002 he was awarded the Rajakeeya Panditha Degree by the Government of Sri Lanka. In 2004 Bhante Udumulle Saranapala Thero completed a Bachelors Degree in Sinhala Language from University of Kelaniya. Further, he also completed a Masters Degree in Buddhist studies from Pali and Buddhist University in Homagama, Sri Lanka. He continued his education to receive a second Masters Degree, in Sinhala Literature from The Univesity of Kelaniya in 2006. From 2006 to 2013 Bhante Udumulla Saranapala Thero focused his continued education on Psychology and Counseling to receive a Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma and a Masters Degree from The University of Keleniya and University of Colombo .
Bhante Udumulle Saranapala Thero arrived in Austin Buddhist Maha Vihara in 2018 to serve the Buddhist community in Austin TX.
Ambilipitiye Hemasiri Thero
Bhante Ambilipitiye Hemasiri Thero became a novice monk in 1993 at Arambaegoda Purana Viharaya, Matara, Sri lanka and attained Upasanpada in 2003 at Rohana Sanga Sabhawa, Matara Sri Lanka.
Bhante Ambilipitiye Hemasiri Thero received his educational foundation at Vidyalankara Maha Pirivena, Peliyagoda and continued to receive a Bachelors Degree in Budhist Culture & Philosophy and Fine Arts from The University of Kelaniya in 2004. He worked in the Government Service as an Art teacher and also served as the Deputy principle at Indasara Vidyayathana Pirivena, Sri Lanka.
Venerable Bhante Ambilipitiye Hemasiri Thero has served the Buddhist communities in England, France, Sweeden, Qatar, India and Nepal. He came to Austin Buddhist Maha Vihara in 2015 to serve the Austin Buddhist community.
Kehelovitagama Subodha Thero
Bhante Subodha was born in 1984 at Kehelovitigama, Ratnapura in Sri Lanka. Six months after his birth, his mother tragically passed away. Orphaned, he lived in many different homes with his relatives, until he started school in 1989. He went to the local temple in 1990 with his father’s permission and got ordained one year later under the most Ven. Morawatte Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero, the chief incumbent of Godakawela Sri Mahinda Maha Viharaya, and Ven. Kompitiye Suseela Thero. He studied at the Pirivena for eleven years and passed the high school exam and the Prachina Panditha exam. In 2002, he attended The Vidyalankara Pirivena located at Peliyagoda. In 2003, he started his studies at the University of Kelaniya for four years and earned the university degree. In 2004, he took higher ordination at Malwathu Maha Viharaya in Kandy.
Bhante Subodha came to the United States in 2008. In 2010, after the passing away of Yatagama Sumanajothi Nayaka Thero, Bhante Subodha became the Chief Priest and took over the responsibilities of the temple, until 2018.
Panditha Yatagama Sumanajothi Nayaka Thero
Panditha Yatagama Sumanajothi Nayaka Thero was the Chief Resident Monk at the Austin Buddhist Vihara. He was ordained on September 24th, 1957 and received his higher ordination on May 24th, 1968 from Gaspe Sri Somananda Maha Ishtavira Thero and Panditha Vinayacharya Gaspe Deerananda Maha Ishtavira Thero in Sri-Lanka. After completing his primary education at the Vidyalankara Pirirvena, he obtained his Bachelors degree from The University of Kelaniya, Sri-Lanka in 1968. In 1969, he obtained the “Prachina Panditha” degree, with proficiency in the languages of Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit and Hindi.
He was the head resident monk of “Gampaha Hurikaduwa Vidyadarshi Pirivena”, Sri Lanka from 1968 – 1992. He continued his community service as the head resident monk at Lumbini Vihara, Nepal (2001-2003) followed by The Stockholm Buddhist Temple, Sweden (2003-2005). He assumed duties as the Chief resident monk of the Austin Buddhist Vihara in 2006 until his passing away in 2010.