The Venerable Royal Pundit Witiyala Seewalie Thera, chief incumbent of the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara, the temple which serves the Sri Lankan community and provides course and outreach to the mainstream community, was recently appointed Deputy Chief Sangha Nayaka of the North America with the title of “Dharmakeerthi Sri Pragnarama” by the Malwatta Maha Vihara, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Ven. Seewalie and temple devotees visited Sri Lanka last month to receive the Aktha Pathra, a formal letter of appointment, from the Most Ven. Maha Nayaka Thera of Malwatta Maha Vihara on June 17 at the Malwatta Maha Vihara in Kandy.
Upon his return, the community will celebrate this occasion by organizing a welcome ceremony for Ven. Seewalie and devotees at Minnesota Buddhist Vihara on July 9, 2011, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
Seewalie is a Sinhala Buddhist monk who is the founder and abbot of Minnesota Buddhist Vihara, a temple to serve the spiritual needs for people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.
Seewalie was born in Witiyala, Sri Lanka, and was ordained a Buddhist monk at the age of 12. He studied at Migadaya Pirivena in Matara, where he received upasampada – higher ordination – at age 20 – in Malwatta Maha Vihara, Kandy, Sri Lanka. He continued post secondary study at Vidyalankara Maha Pirivena, Peliyagoda, Sri lanka, earning a degree of Royal Pundit from Oriental Studies Society of Sri Lanka. He received a bachelor’s with honors degree from University of Kelaniya, a master’s degree from Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, and a Doctor of Literature degree from Vidyalankara College, Kelaniya.
Seewalie also received a Diploma in Pali Language and Buddhism from Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, and a Diploma in Bible Studies from Bible Society of Kandy. Before coming to Minnesota, Seewalie was the Principal of Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka.
For more information, please contact Susantha Herath at 320-209-8930, [email protected]; Wasantha Ranatunga at 507-624-0168, [email protected]; or Jayantha Atukorala at 612-618-6472, [email protected].