Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha

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Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha
Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha.JPG
Logo of Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha [1]
Formation 18 June 1951
Type Buddhist monastic order
Headquarters Galduva Aranya (Sri Gunawardhana Yogasramaya), Kahawa, Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka
Leader Most Ven. Pahalawitiyala Janananda Mahathera (Head)
Key people
Most Ven. Kadawedduwe Jinavamsa Mahathera (Founder)
Monks of Ramanna Nikaya in Galduva Aranya (Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha - Galduva tradition)

Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha (Pali: Siri Kalyāṇī Yogassama Santhā, Sinhala: ශ්‍රී කළ්‍යාණී ‍යෝගාශ්‍රම සංස්ථාව), also known as the Galduwa Forest Tradition[2] 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.

Related Forest Traditions are also found in other culturally similar Buddhist Asian countries, including the Thai Forest Tradition of Thailand, the Taungpulu Forest Tradition of Myanmar and a related Lao Forest Tradition in Laos.[3][4]


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.

Famous Monasteries[edit]

Śrī Kalyāṇī Yogāśrama Saṃstha has expanded to include forest hermitages like Kurunegala Ruwangiri, Meethirigala Nissarana Vanaya, Buttala Budu Gallena Aranya, Ampara Piyangala Aranya, Colombo Sri Kalyani Ashrama, Thalangama Sri Shanthi Yogashrama, Kurunegala Nathagana Aranya, Malsiripura Na Uyana Aranya, Padaviya Galpiyum Aranya, Nimalawa Aranya Senasana etc. However, Ambalangoda Galduva Aranya acts as the main.

See also[edit]