He lived according to Dhamma rules

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 had the opportunity to associate very closely with the late Venerable 
Dr. Aluthwewe Soratha Nayaka Thera, the Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University, for about five years before leaving for Japan, when I resided with him in his temple. I saw the greatness in him as a person during that time and after going to Japan also, I received his blessings. I was fortunate in that, I was able to invite the Venerable Thera to Japan twice and show my gratitude. The late Thera was highly respected by the community of Sangha for possessing the highest qualities as a monk. The Ven. Thera lived according to the  characteristics laid down by the Buddha for a monk, namely oratorical skills, being simple, well versed in knowledge, widely read and living according to Dhamma rules.

He lived according to Dhamma rules

I had the opportunity to associate very closely with the late Venerable 
Dr. Aluthwewe Soratha Nayaka Thera, the Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University, for about five years before leaving for Japan, when I resided with him in his temple. I saw the greatness in him as a person during that time and after going to Japan also, I received his blessings. I was fortunate in that, I was able to invite the Venerable Thera to Japan twice and show my gratitude. The late Thera was highly respected by the community of Sangha for possessing the highest qualities as a monk. The Ven. Thera lived according to the  characteristics laid down by the Buddha for a monk, namely oratorical skills, being simple, well versed in knowledge, widely read and living according to Dhamma rules.

He grew up as a disciplined well behaved monk under the tutelage of the Most Venerable Parantenne Ananda Thera and Ven. Polonmaruwe Rewatha Nayaka Thera. He had his general education at Sri Lanka Vidyalaya, Maradana and graduated from the Sri Jayewardenepura University. Later, he obtained a doctorate. The Ven. Thera was well-known as a learned author who had written a number of books such as Kataragama Puda Sirith, Sri Lankawe Bodhi Sanskrutiya, Manasika Shikshanaya Sandaha Bauddha Bhavanawa and Kataragama Lipi.

The critical intelligence and research ability of the Thera can be seen from these publications and also in discussions in which he participated and lectures delivered on many an occasion. His ideas were rational, full of valuable facts and interesting. Although the Nayaka Thera was the head of the Kiriwehera at Kataragama, he had a doctorate, was a Chancellor of a University and received respect and was honoured by the community of monks. He was also very humble. Anybody could approach him, talk to him and he listened to everyone sympathetically.

A special characteristic of him was that he never got angry. He always helped the weak, those who were subject to injustice and the poor. It is customary for people to respect people with power and authority. But the Nayaka Thera always helped the underprivileged.

Another characteristic of the Venerable Thera was treating everybody alike without favour. He did not show any special recognition to anyone, whether he was the Prime Minister or the President. He did not praise them just to please them. He never neglected when the poor came to meet him. He spoke to them about their needs and satisfied them. He never criticized a person nor did he think ill of others. He knew that everybody has self-respect. Therefore, he treated everybody sympathetically and spoke to them in a pleasing way.

Ven. Dr. Aluthwewe Soratha Thera reached a high level in education and also was committed to upgrade the education of children in the area. As a teacher at Kataragama Maha Vidyalaya, he did a lot to improve the school. When he became the Deputy Principal, he was able to get the school up-graded to the level of a Central School and later a National School. He improved the physical facilities of the school and developed the human resources. Everybody accepts without doubt that Kataragama Central School became a leading school in the area, because of the Venerable Thera’s efforts. The establishment of a Dhamma School in the temple rendered a great service to education. In order to commemorate his great teacher it was named Ananda Rewatha Dhamma School. It has over one thousand children and it is a leading Dhamma School in the area. All students are provided with a simple attractive uniform and presents were given to encourage the children.

A Vocational Training Centre was opened which benefits thousands of youth in the area. It was established with the help of President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was the Minister of Vocational Training. Many facilities were provided to that centre. Venerable Thera’s intention was to guide the youth on the correct path and see that they are economically strong, so that they can be successful throughout their lives.His motto was helping the people.

Everybody knows that the Nayaka Thera strived to make the Kiriwehera at Kataragama a complete place of worship .When he came to the temple there was only the living quarters. He completed the temple in all aspects providing facilities for devotees who came there. Building facilities were provided for over one thousand children in the Dhamma School and also the necessary equipment. He established the Mahasen Society for devotees who came to observe Sil on Poya day and it was one of the most successful services rendered by the Nayake Thera. People from faraway places came to observe Sil at Kiriwehera, as a result.

The chief priest was a devoted person who worshipped the Buddha continuously and regularly without a break. He recited ‘Pirith’ every morning and evening at 6:30 and went to the Kiriwehera to worship. These qualities of the Thera are one of the important factors that helped him to lead a successful life.
He treated the poor people in the area with great sympathy and consideration. He advised the farmers to cultivate their fields during both seasons. He got a dam constructed across Menik Ganga called Kuda Gal Amuna, which provided water to the farmers for cultivation. He pioneered the construction of 200 houses for poor families in Mahagosha Pura. A large playground was constructed for the use of youth in the area to develop their sports skills with the assistance of the government.

Ven. Dr. Aluthwewe Soratha Nayaka Thera was respected by everybody due to his learning, good qualities and commitment to service. He was not after money and even the wealth that he earned in a just manner was used to spend, to the last cent, for the benefit of others. As such, he passed away as an example to the community of monks. Our society needs thousands of people of his calibre. May our Nayaka Thera attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!

Ven. Suduhumpola Wimalasara Thera

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