Sangha Chief and President,
Venerable Pannila Ananda Thero
Bhante Pannila Ananda Nayaka Thera , is the founding President and the Abbot of the Houston Buddhist Vihara and and one of the founding directors of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles as well as its secretary. He is the Sangha Chief, or Nayaka Thera, of the Attanagalla Rajamaha Vihara in Sri Lanka. He provides dhamma services to Taiwan. Bhante Ananda has been in the Sangha, for more than 40 years. He received a B.A. (Honors) in Pali Language and Buddhist Studies from the Vidyalankara University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, in 1969. After receiving a scholarship to study in Japan , he studied at Kyoto University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies and received Diplomas in Japanese Buddhist Studies and in the Japanese Language respectively. During this period, he performed dhamma services in Kobe , Japan , from 1977 to 1978.
Venerable. Kamburagalle Nanda Thero
Venerable Nanda, from Attanagalla Rajamaha Vihara temple in Sri Lanka, is the president and chief monk of Houston Buddhist Vihara. He functioned as the secretary and treasurer of the Vihara since its initiation to the year of 2005. He was also the president of the Texas Buddhist Council. He devoted his life with great effort for the Vihara’s upbringing during difficult years and directed the construction of the main shrine hall and the educational building.
Venerable Nanda is also the founder, president and the chief monk at Texas Buddhist Meditation Center in Dallas, Texas.
Venerable. Basnagoda Rahula Thero
Venerable Rahula currently resides at the Vipassana Meditation Retreat, Willis, Texas and participates in services and Dhamma teaching activities at Houston Buddhist Vihara as needed. He is also associated with Attanagalla temple in Sri Lanka Ven. Rahula earned his M.A. in literature from University of Houston-Clear Lake and Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He is the author of Beautiful Living: Buddha’s Way to prosperity, Wisdom, and Inner Peace . In August 2006, he published a second book, Seekers of Wisdom: the Untold Story about Greek Rational Thought .
Venerable Bokanoruwe Devananda Thero
Bhanthe Devananda is currently residing at the Vihara. He came to the US in 2007 and was the resident bhikku at Florida Buddhist Vihara. Prior to coming to Houston he was in Seattle. Earlier, he taught the Dhamma in Singapore, Taipei, Malaysia and Australia for nearly seven years. Major part of this period was spent in Malaysia as a resident monk at the Buddhist Maha Viharaya in Malaysia.
He is a scholar proficient in Pali, Sanskrit, classical Sinhala, Hindi and in English and has published several books and suttas. He has performed research on the social philosophy of the Buddha as Depicted in the Pali Canon. He has graduate degrees in Education, Buddhist Social Studies as well as Buddhist Studies (in general). He holds Ph.D degree in Buddhist Social Studies.
Venerable Ellakkala Anuruddha Thero
Bhante Anuruddha from Attanagalla temple in Sri Lanka currently resides in the Vihara. He earned his B.A. degree in Buddhist studies from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. He has been in the Vihara since 1999. He conducts dhamma services and conducts children’s Dhamma classes at the Vihara.
Ven. Anuruddha currently pursues a M.A. degree in English literature at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Attanagalla Rajamaha Viharaya – ( Head Temple of Houston Buddhist Vihara)
Attanagalla Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the most famous ancient royal temples in Sri Lanka . Attanagalla Royal temples is the primary one among is nine subordinate temples and is situated in Western Province, Sri Lanka, 28 miles northeast of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. It is unique because it is the only ancient temple historically recognized as the place where a Bodhisattva ( a future Buddha ) fulfilled his Dana Paramita (one of the ten perfections to be completed by a Bodhisattva to become a Buddha, an Awakened One). He sacrificed his life by giving his head in gratitude for a favor he received from a poor and ordinary countryman. Known by the name of King Sri Sangabo (247-249 A.D.) he was recognized in the chronicles and other ancient literature of Sri Lanka as the most pious Buddhist king in Sri Lankan history. After King Sri Sangabo, his brother Gothabhaya (249-262 A.D.) became the king of the country and built a Stupa (Pagoda) at the place where his brother, Bodhisattva Sri Sangabo, made the great sacrifice fulfilling a parami. According to the Attanagalla Vihara Chronicle, during the reign of King Upatissa (365-406 A.D.), one of the monks, having practiced meditation, attained Arahanthship (enlightenment) at this temple. King Upatissa was very pleased to hear this and built a five story monastery which he offered to the Maha Sangha.