Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera

Year of birth : 1901
Place of birth : Srilanka
Parents : Dedduwa Jayathungage, Don Bastian
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“ The roots of the meditative life are Purification of Virtue and Purification of Mind. ” 

Books by the Master

'' The Seven Stages of Purification and The Insight Knowledge (A Guide to the Progressive Stages of Bud '' ... '' The Seven Contemplations of Insight: Treatise on Insight Meditation ''


Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera was an influential Sri Lankan Meditation Master, Scholar and Forest Monk of the 20th Century.

Young Jayathunga was ordained in December 1917. Young Nanarama was bent on perfecting his knowledge in dhamma pursued the dhamma education with utmost zeal. He received higher ordination on 10 July 1922 under Ven Sastrawelliye Upasena Nayaka Thera. Having mastered all the aspects of Tipitaka, Logics, Chandolankara, and other contemporary philosophies the young Nanarama pursued on the path to Nibbana with diligent practice.

In 1951 the Most Venerable Kadawedduwe Jinavamsa Mahathera started a programme of activities for upholding the diminishing status of Sangha in Sri Lanka, and invitedVen Nanarama to head the program of the newly established Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha.

During the auspicious year of 2500 Buddha Jayanthi, Ven Matara Nanarama Thera joined the retreats conducted, and advanced rapidly on the path of insight meditation. Having observed the extra ordinary talent and zeal of Venerable Nanarama, the Burmese masters taught him every aspect of the practice and acknowledged his status as a Kammatthanacariya (Meditation teacher) in the Burmese Vipassana system.

The distinguished senior monk Venerable Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera was the first abbot and the meditation master of Nissarana Vanaya monastery. During his period, 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 Nibbana in this very life. Many foreign monks and lay people also practiced meditation under the guidance of Venerable Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera. Due to his enormous influence on the revival and study of meditation techniques, Ven. Nanarama was appointed as the head meditation master of a chain of forest monastery throughout the island called Kalyani Yogâsrama Samsthava or Galduwa Samsthava. One ofVen. Nanarama's greatest gifts was his ability to incorporate the Burmese Vipassana techniques into Sri Lankan meditation traditions and balance them with the teaching of samatha meditation. It is here that the famous Buddhist nun Ayya Khema was taught by Sri Nanarama in the practice of the jhâna or samatha meditation.