Ven. Pannila Ananda Nayaka Thera is the founding President and the Abbot of the Houston Buddhist Vihara. He is the Sangha Chief, or Nayaka Thera, of the Attanagalla Rajamaha Vihara in Sri Lanka. Besides, Ven. Ananda Thero also holds the position of Chief Headmonk of the Four Koralas, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the history of Sri Lanka.
Ven. Ananda Nayaka Thero received a B.A. (Honors) in the 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 and received Diplomas in Japanese Buddhist Studies and in the Japanese Language respectively
After completing his education in Japan, Ven. Ananda Thero immigrated to the USA where, along with Ven. Walpola Piyananda Nayaka Thero, he served Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles, California. In 1988, Ven. Ananda Thero opened Houston Buddhist Vihara with the support of Dr. Bandula and Shani Wijay family. . His service to the Buddha Sasana and his knowledge in the Dhamma were honored in 2001 with an honorary doctorate by the College of Buddhist Studies in LA, California.
Service-wise, Ven. Ananda Nayaka Thero stands supreme in Sri Lanka. During his tenure as abbot of Attanagalla Royal Temple, he has so far constructed and donated 14 school buildings. Besides, he spearheads a charity program that provides monthly scholarships to over 800 medical and other students in Sri Lanka.
Ven. Ananda Nayaka Thero is a perfect example of leadership as a Buddhist monk. He has admirers and supporters in China, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Having realized his trustworthiness and capabilities, they provide generous support for his charity work.