Stockholm Buddhist Vihara is a Buddhist temple of Theravada tradition. It was established in 1985 by the Sri Lanka-Sweden Buddhist Association in conjunction with the arrival of the first resident Venerable Monk to Stockholm. It is the first ever Buddhist temple that was formed in Scandinavia and the members are mostly of Sri Lankan origin.
The Sri Lanka-Sweden Buddhist Association came into being in 1983 as a result of the untiring effort and dedication by a few ardent Buddhist devotees who gathered in Stockholm during the winter of 1982 to discuss the possibility of forming an Association. Their courage and determination resulted in establishing a temporary organisation named, the Sri Lanka-Sweden Buddhist Association which became permanent after the General Meeting held in March, 1983 at the SIDA Auditorium in Stockholm.
Once the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara was established in 1985 it moved to several temporary places through the years until the monks and the devotees succeeded in acquiring a permanent building for the Vihara in Jakobsberg in 1995
Bhante K. Siri Dhammaratana Maha Thera, the Chief Incumbent of SBV
Bhante Dhammaratana has been a monk since 1956. He is now 65 years of age. He received his higher ordination in 1964. He has B.A. (Hons.) from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, M.A. from the University of Jayawardenapura and Diploma in Education from the University of Colombo. He has further qualified in Oriental Studies including Pali, Sanskrit and Sinhala at the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka.
Bhante Dhammaratana has been a teacher in Buddhism at Shastrarawinda University Institute in Polgolla, Kurunegala in the late sixties. In 1969 he established the Vidumina Pirivena Institute of Maratugoda, which is a Buddhist educational center. In 1983 he started a training school (Pirivena) for novice monks at Meghagiri Vihara, Kirindigalla. In 1978 he worked as a visiting lecturer in Buddhism at the University of Kelaniya. In the period of 1990-1995 Bhante Dhammaratana was working as the Co-ordinating Director for Pirivena and Religious education in the Central Province, under the Ministry of Education.
Bhante Dhammaratana made his first visit to Sweden in 1989 when one of his disciples Bhante P. Sumanaratana was the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara. He then had the time to discuss future plans for the Vihara with Bhante Sumanaratana, other resident monks and the devotees. As a result of which a fund-raising campaign was primarily initiated with personal visits to several devotees who willingly joined the campaign. It was a great success as we were able to collect SEK 50.000:-, thanks to the ardent devotees. Bhante Dhammaratana left Sweden the following year but he returned in 1995 as the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and he has been holding that status since then.
In January 2007, Bhante Dhammaratana was awarded the title of Chief Prelate (Sangha Nayake) of Scandinavia, Vinaya Keerthi Sri Siddhartha Paryapthi Visharada by the Supreme Sangha Council of the Malwatte Chapter (The High Authority) in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Bhante Maratugoda Uparathana Thera
Bhante Uparathana has been a resident monk of the Vihara since June, 2002. He was born in 1957 in Sri Lanka and has been a monk since 1969. He is also a disciple of Bhante Dhammaratana Maha Thera. He obtained higher ordination in 1978.
He obtained the B. A. (Hons.) degree in Buddhism from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and M.A. also from the same University. He also has a Diploma in Education from the University of Peradeniya, Kandy.
Before coming to Sweden in 1989 along with Bhante Dhammatratana on their first visit, he has also been working as a teacher in Buddhism at the Maratugoda Pirivena Institute, where he was also the Vice Principal.
Bhante U Sobhana
Bhante U Sobhana was born in 1975 in Burma and he has been a monk since 1989. He received higher ordination in 1996.
He has passed monastic examination held by Myanmar Ministry of Religious Affairs. He completed his B.A degree in Buddhism and comparative study of religion at the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka. He has also obtained M.A degree in Buddhism and comparative study of religion from University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka.
Bhante U Sobhana came to our Vihara in the spring of 2009.
Rev. Dhammakkanda Thero hails from Sri Lanka. He was born in a good Buddhist family at Matale in the central province of Sri Lanka. He has several brothers and sisters. When he was a student, he had the urge and willingness to become a monk. So asked his parents for permission, which was given and the parents themselves found a temple for him, which they were satisfied with. They presented the young student to the Chief monk and other elder monks. The Chief monk was the most Ven.Ovisa Sri Medhananda Nayaka Maha thera and other monks were Ven.Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Thera ( who was the principal of Viduminapirivena college) and Ven.Maratugoda Dhammananda Thera (who was the vice principal of Vidumina pirivena College).
The new boy started to get the training which is necessary for the monks. Approximately two years he followed it successfully and was qualified for the monkhood. Thereafter he was ordained by the Maha Sangha according to the Vinaya rules, or regulations stipulated by the Buddha. At the same time he got his religious name as Dhammakkanda.
Rev. Dhammakkanda started to learn more and more the Dhamma which means Buddha’s teaching and other different kind of subjects such as Sinhalese, Pali, Sanskrit,English, history,social science,maths and soon. He followed all the courses successfully. Finally he got the university degrees, B.A. and M.A.
He followed some other courses too, such as social welfare service, inter religious and ethnic- dialogues. He was invited by the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara (The Buddhist Vihara Association) to assist the Chief Incumbent, Bhante Dhammaratana in the Buddhist activities. Therefore he came to Sweden in the year 2010. Now he is continuing his services at the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, at Jakobsberg in Sweden.