Chief Incumbent (Resident Monk)

The Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, Bhante Kirindigalle Sri Dhammarathana Maha Thero started his service to the Sri Lankans in Sweden in 1989 with his arrival in Scandinavia where his knowledge in Buddhism and the service to the Sri Lankan Buddhist community is well known. In 1995, he became the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, a position he holds to this day. 

Bhante Dhammaratana was ordained as a monk at the age of 13 in 1956 in Sri Lanka and received his higher ordination in 1964. He completed his higher education with a BA Honours degree in Buddhism at the University of Kelaniya and an MA degree from the University of Jayawardenapura in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, he has educational diplomas in oriental language studies such as Pali, Sanskrit, and Sinhalese. 

He has served extensively to his community in Sri Lanka first as a teacher in Buddhism and then as a leading monk and as a Co-coordinating Officer for training young monks. In 1969 he established Buddhist educational center, Vidumina Pirivena Institute in Maratugoda. In 1983 he started a training school for novice monks at Meghagiri Vihara, Kirindigalla. In 1978 he worked as a visiting lecturer in Buddhism at the University of Kelaniya. During 1990 – 1995 Bhante Dhammaratana served as the Co-ordinating Director for Pirivena and Religious education in the Central Province, under the Ministry of Education.

In January 2007, Bhante Dhammaratana thero 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 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Under his vision and leadership Buddhism in Scandinavia is blooming further with the onset of Copenhagen Buddhist Vihara in Denmark and Oslo Buddhist Vihara in Norway. Both temples owe its existence to the dedicated efforts of Bhante Dhammaratana Thero and are closely working with Stockholm Buddhist Vihara.

Dhammarathana Maha Thero is a living symbol of discipline set for Buddhists by Buddha. Through his profound knowledge in Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy and his leadership he has contributed immensely to his community in Sri Lanka as well as in Scandinavia.

You can read the following book (by Dr Naveendra De Soyza) that reveals his remarkable journey and the invaluable impact he has had on shaping the religious landscape of Europe especially in Scandinavia.