Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya
Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya is a monastery in the strict forest tradition in Sri Lanka, established in 1967 by Asoka Weeraratna (the founder of the German Dharmaduta Society and the Berlin Buddhist Vihara in Germany), who later ordained at the monastery as Most Venerable Mitirigala Dhammanissanti Maha Thero.
At its inception, it was guided by the distinguished meditation master, Most Venerable Mātara Sri Ñānārāma Mahā Thero, both the first Chief Kammatthānacāriya (meditation teacher) and the Chief Preceptor of Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya
During his time, Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya became one of the most respected meditation monasteries of Sri Lanka due to the fame of its meditation master as well as its secluded and contemplative life, where monks practiced sincerely with the aspiration of attaining Nibbāna in this life itself.
On his passing away in 1992, a senior student, Most Venerable Pānaduwe Khemānanda Mahā Thero became the new Abbott and Chief Preceptor, serving the monastery for fifteen years. Subsequently, Most Venerable Mitirigala Dhammavasa Maha Thero became the Abbott of the monastery until his passing away in January 2015.
Most Venerable Uda Eriyagama Dhammajīva Mahā Thero is the present day Abbott and Chief Preceptor of the monastery. Both a scholar and exponent of the dhamma, Venerable Dhammajiva is steeped in his knowledge and practice of both the Samatha and Vipassanā meditation methods and is the author of over forty publications.
Located in a dense forest reserve, the monastery has now served the Buddhist tradition for over forty five years and continues to be a home for forest mendicant monks, emulating the dhutanga practice as instructed by the Buddha.
Training at Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya involves strict discipline. Daily life at the monastery is underpinned by austerity, simplicity and seclusion where the resident monks spend at least fourteen hours of the day in ardent meditative practice.
The motto of Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya in short is nibbāna – it is guided by a single object, namely the attainment of magga phala (sainthood) in this life itself.