Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha
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Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha is an independent part of the Sri Lankan Ramañña Nikāya Buddhist ordination line, with their headquarters in Galduv, Kahawa – Ambalangoda. They are keeping a strict standard of Vinaya (commentarial interpretation), recognised as the strictest standard of any major organisation in Sri Lanka. It is the largest forest sect of the Sri Lankan Sangha. Their monks are easily recognised by the palm-leaf umbrella they are using and by the habit of wearing the Sanghati (double robe) whenever they walk outside the monastery boundaries. Remarkably for Sri Lanka, all castes are accepted for ordination. Foreign monks, who wish to become resident at one of their monasteries, are usually expected to undergo the so-called “Dalhi-Kamma” at Galduva, a short ceremony meant to reconfirm the validity of their original Upasampada according to Galduva standard. After that they are accepted according to their normal seniority.
Ven. Matara Sri Gnānāramābhidhāna Mahāthera
The Great Preceptor of Sri Lanka Rāmñña Mahā Nikāya, Chief Administrator of Sri Kalyāni Yōgāshrama Saṁsthā (The Association of Sri Kalyāni Hermitages), Abbot and Great Meditation Teacher of Nissaranawana Forest Monastery and Chief Advisor of Meetirigala Gnānārāma Academic Center, Rājakīyapandita Most Venerable Matara Sri Gnānārāmābhidhāna Mahāthēra.
Ven. Kadaweddūwe Sri Jinwaṃsābidhāna Mahāthera
The Distinguished Great Preceptor of Sri Lanka Rāmñña Mahā Nikāya, Sri Ariyavilāsawaṁsālankāra, Saddharmavāgīshwarācariya, Patipattisōbhana, Gaṇapāmoḳḳhācariya, Founder and Administrator of Sri Kalyāni Yōgāshrama Saṁsthā (The Association of Sri Kalyāni Hermitages), Great Advisor, Rājakīyapandita Kadaweddūwē Sri Jinwaṁsābidhāna Mahāthēra.
Ven. Na Uyane Ariyadhamma Mahāthera
Deputy Chief of Sri Lanka Rāmñña Mahā Nikāya, Great Preceptor, Late President and Patron of Sri Kalyāni Yōgāshrama Saṁsthā (The Association of Sri Kalyāni Hermitages), Tipitakadharācariya, Mahākammaṭṭhānācariya, Sri Jinawaṁsa Gnānārāmawaṁshāwataṁsha, Sāsanadhaja, Saddharmavāgīshwarācariya, Buddhahood Aspirant, Nā Uyanē Sri Ariyadhammābhidhāna Mahāthēra.
Ven. Pahalavitiyala Janananda Mahāthera
The Great Preceptor of Sri Lanka Rāmñña Mahā Nikāya, Sāsanakīrthishri, Patipattisōbhana, Sāsanasōbhana, Saṅghapati, Gaṇapāmoḳḳhācariya, Present President and Chief Advisor Most Venerable Pahalavitiyala Janānandābhidhāna Mahāthēra.
The (modern) history of arañña senasana or forest hermitages of Sri Lanka runs back to 1951, when Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinavamsa Mahathera (sometimes spelled Jinawansa) Thera, with the guidance of Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera, founded the Galduva Aranya, which was to become the centre point of the Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha – the first Association of meditation monasteries in Sri Lanka.
Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinavamsa Mahathera himself was ordained at the age of 13, and founded the Thebuvana Granthakara Pirivena (monk school) when he was only 25 and served as head instructor for over 20 years. He started the Yogāśrama Saṃstha at the age of 45, and enjoyed a long life of 98 years.
Following the way of the Buddha he strongly believed that all the riches of life meant nothing without vimukti (vimutti, “freedom” or “deliverance”) which he understood was the goal of Buddhist meditation and the reason d’etre for Buddhist monks. Consequently, he left all his students except for one, Ven.Gatamanne Vimalavamsa Thera, who accompanied him in his quest for a fitting dwelling for deep meditation. The support rendered by Ven. Gatamanne Vimalavamsa Thera and Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera in this quest, was immense.
To commemorate the 2500th birthday of the Buddha Buddha Jayanti Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinawansa Thera founded the Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha on 18 June 1951. Nimalawa Aranya Senasanaya in Kirinda was selected as the first aranya or hermitage of a number of aranya senasana which were all connected into an association named Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha. With the passage of time the fame of Kalyani Yogashrama grew. People in many walks of life flowed into the Aranya in search of the authentic way of meditation.
But setting up the Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha was no easy task. Although most lay persons were attracted to Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinawansa Theras extremely eloquent sermons, there were people, the lay and monks alike who resented and envied his success.
But thanks to his conviction the Kalyana Yogashrama Sanstha now has over 150 Aranya with over 1500 monks.
Sri Kalyāni Yogāshrama Saṁsthā has expanded to include forest hermitages like Ruwangirikanda monastery – Kurunegala, Nissaranawana monastery – Meethirigala, Budugallena monastery – Buttala, Piyaṅgala monastery – Ampara, Sri Kalyānadharma Āshrama – Colombo, Sri Shānthi Yogāshrama – Thalaṅgama, Nāthagana monastery – Māspotha, Na Uyana monastery – Malsiripura, Galpiyuma monastery – Padaviya, Nimalawa monastery – Tissamaharama etc. However, Sri Gunawardhana monastery – Galdoowa acts as the main.