Ramanna Nikaya

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Ramanna Nikaya
Formation 1864
Type Buddhist monastic order
Headquarters Mula Maha Vihara, Payagala, Kalutara, Sri Lanka
Leader Most Ven. Napana Premasiri Thera (Head)
Key people
Most Ven. Ambagahawatte Indrasabhawara Gnanasami Maha Thera (Founder)

Ramanna Nikaya[2] (spelled Rāmañña in Pali, also known as Ramanya Nikaya or Sinhalese: රාමඤ්ඤ නිකාය) is one of the three major Buddhist orders in Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1864 when Ambagahawatte Saranankara,[3] returned to Sri Lanka after being ordained by the Neyyadhamma Munivara Sangharaja of Ratnapunna Vihara in Burma. It is one of three Sri Lankan orthodox Buddhist orders, along with Siam Nikaya and Amarapura Nikaya.

Most Venerable Girambe Ananda Thera, the Anunayake of this Nikaya died on February 20, 2018, at the age of 80.[4]

Similar orders[edit]

Ramanna Nikaya is said to be similar to the Thammayut Nikaya order of Thailand. Ramanna Nikaya is currently survived in Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka.

The Most Ven. Napana Premasiri Thera was appointed the Head of the Ramanna Nikaya on 3 September 2012 following the demise of Venenerable Weweldeniye Medhalankara Thera aged 103.

Ramanna Nikaya was established on 12 June 1864 in participation with Ven. Ambagahawatte Indaasabhawara Gaanasaami Maha Thera, Ven.Puwakdandawe Paññānanda, Ven.Warāpitiye Sumitta thera.

First Maha Nayaka Thero - Most Ven. Ambagahawatte Indrasabhawara Gnanasami Maha Thera. Main Station - Mūla Maha Viharaya ,Payagala, Kalutara.

Ascetic Tendency[edit]

In the beginning, the Majority of monasteries of Ramanna Nikaya were forest monasteries. Although many village temples have been emerged in modern days, the forest tradition is still being continued by Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha of Ramanna Nikaya which is the most strictest forest tradition in Sri Lanka.

Resistance to Modernization[edit]

Though it has been impossible to resist completely, Many old and simple traditions have been still survived in Ramanna Nikaya. The monks of the Nikaya can be distinguished by the traditions such as using Palm Leaf Umbrellas and Alms Bowls and covering both shoulders while traveling.

Meditation Practice[edit]

Most of the well known 'Forest Meditation Masters' and 'Forest Meditation Centers' are said to be in Ramanna Nikaya. Most ven. Matara Sri Gnanarama maha thera who lived in Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya was the 'Father of the Sri Lankan Forest Meditation Tradition'. Most ven. Katukurunde Nyanananda Mahathera, Most ven. Udairiyagama Dhammajiva Mahathera and Most ven. Nauyane Ariyadhamma Mahathera were the great meditation masters of Ramanna Nikaya Forest Tradition.

Currently Mitiigala Nissarana Vanaya forest monastery, Na Uyana forest monastery and Sanghopasthana Suva Sevana monastery are considered to be the most strictest and widely accepted meditation centers of Sri Lanka.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://payagalamulamahaviharaya.tk/
  2. ^ The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism,2014,p.696
  3. ^ The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism,2014,p.696
  4. ^ http://www.dailynews.lk/2018/02/20/local/143371/most-venerable-girambe-ananda-thera-passes-away

External links[edit]

  • Official website of the Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya
  • Official website of Ven. Weweldeniye Medhalankara Thera
  • The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism by Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr.,Princeton University Press,Princeton,2014,p. 696 :ISBN 978-0-691-15786-3