TRIBUTES | Sunday Observer


Ven. Colombo Medhalankarakiththi Thera: 

A monk who fostered Buddha Sasana

The chief incumbent of Nayaru Gurukanda Vihara in Mullaitivu, Ven. Colombo Medhalankarakiththi Thera who performed a commendable service for the betterment of the Buddhists, passed away at the age of 73, recently.

The Thera who had humble qualities, conducted all the activities of the Nayaru Gurukanda Vihara with a few dayaka laities. He never forgot to treat them with gratitude and was hospitable to all who visited the place.

It was not easy for him. As there were only a few dayaka laities around the vihara, the Thera didn’t have enough facilities or donations and had to undergo much hardship. Nevertheless, he never missed any meritorious activities or religious rituals pertaining to the temple. He had managed to perform even the annual ‘Katina Pinkama’ several times. He used to call over the security forces, for their religious needs and preach Dhamma and chant pirith. He wanted to broaden the service of the sacred place and erect a Buddha statue in the temple compound. Even in times of extremist activities, he faced challenges due to his perseverance and the generosity of donors. The Thera suppressed many hostilities which took a toll on his life.

It is incredible to see today, an eye catching Buddha statue which stands majestically out there, as a result of his magnanimous and fearless dedication. His next idea had been to build a shrine. But he couldn’t succeed in time.

The courageous Thera did not spend his leisure confined to the temple. As the temple was located in an uninhabited area, there weren’t enough human resources or transport facilities. He roamed the area in search of hidden Buddhist ruins, despite the danger even to his life. He had discovered some ruins of ancient Buddhist viharas which belonged to the Anuradhapura era and even informed the authorities.

Before he was ordained, he had been a student of Nalanda College, Colombo. Even though he had the chance to lead a comfortable life as a Bhikkhu in Colombo, he chose this remote life in the Mullaitivu district. The Thera who was in Shanthi Padhanama at Borella, resided there since 2009 to perform religious rites.

There were many instances where due to the lack of Buddhists in the vicinity, the Thera had not received alms in time. However, he protected the place. His only endeavour was to develop the temple for the uplift of the Buddha Sasana.

It is our duty to pay homage to him in appreciation of his enormous services.

May he attain Nibbana!

Gamini Liyanage