“I welcome you all to Mahamevnawa with Metta. Within our Dhamma service we have no restrictions with regard to the race, cast, language, colour or religion. The truth revealed by Gautama Buddha is open to everyone. If you are wise enough to understand that truth, then that truth is for you and for your own good and protection. Therefore, let us gather around that truth, the righteous Dhamma. Let us learn it, understand it and live accordingly. Let us share this splendid gift of Dhamma with everyone. That is our noble duty. May you all be blessed by the Buddha, the noble Dhamma and Sangha, good noble Dhamma friends and all deities!”

–​ Our Founder, The Most Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnānānanda Thero

The Most Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnānānanda Thero
Outdoor meditation hall at Mahamevnawa branch, Matara, Sri Lanka

Most Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnānānanda Thero is the founder of the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastic Order. He was born in Sri Lanka in 1961 and ordained at the age of seventeen. He received a traditional Buddhist academic education and entered the University of Sri Jayawardanapura. Having understood the inability to achieve what he wanted in a university, he quit and started visiting meditation centers and hermitages.

Using the experience gained from many years in monastic life, his deep practices of meditation and the understanding of Buddhist philosophy, Gnānānanda Thero started Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery in August 1999. He went on to write over 300 books in Sinhala (native Sri Lankan language) and English on the Buddha’s teachings in the Pāli Canon, unraveling the sacred Word of the Buddha to the public.

What's Different at Mahamevnawa?

The uniqueness of Mahamevnawa is the effort to bring the Dhamma to devotees in its original form. Ven. Gnānānanda Thero has translated the sacred Pali Canon to a comprehensible style in Sinhala and English and the Buddha’s teachings are presented in simple language. This style of teaching has attracted students of all ages to listen to the Dhamma, and go on to practice virtue, concentration, and wisdom, on the path to realize the Four Noble Truths revealed by the Supreme Buddha.

Over 800 disciple monks, 75 disciple nuns, and thousands of lay disciples practice the Dhamma at Mahamevnawa monasteries around the world. At present, there are more than 60 Sri Lankan branches and 25 international branches in Canada, United States, England, Germany, Australia, India, and Dubai.

Grand Temple of The ​Gautama Buddha

The Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa (Grand Temple of The Gautama Buddha) is described as one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, and was constructed under the guidance of Ven. Gnānānanda Thero. It was completed in 2012 to honor the Gautama Buddha and to commemorate the 2,600th anniversary of His enlightenment. The statues, paintings, carvings and all other art works in this magnificent temple are original creations of highly skilled Sri Lankan artists, made exclusively for the Sambuddharaja Maligawa. With the financial and volunteer support of thousands of devotees, the construction work concluded in under 1.5 years. On 2nd July 2012, the temple was offered to the Gautama Buddha during a grand opening ceremony, and was made accessible to the public.


How Buddhism was established in Sri Lanka...

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