Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda (born Martin Gamage, 18 March 1919 – 31 August 2006) is a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk and scholar. He was ordained as a novice monk (samanera) at the age of 12 and was fully ordained in 1940.
His many books are widely read and have contributed greatly to introducing Buddhism to many English-speakers in Southeast Asia and beyond.
In 1962 he established the Buddhist Missionary Society (BMS) at the Buddhist Temple. It is largely responsible for the propagation of Buddhism through publications and the sponsorship of Buddhist seminars, lectures and talks, as well as regular Dharma discussions, youth leadership training and welfare activities. Its role as a missionary society is clearly stated among its «aims and objects» as follows:
- To study and propagate Buddhism
- To encourage, foster and develop the qualities of truth, compassion and to practise the teachings of the Buddha
- To arrange religious lectures wherever possible
- To print Buddhist literature
- To assist in the opening of religious schools and to render assistance to Buddhist organisations where necessary
- To render spiritual assistance/advice to members or any Buddhist in case of sickness and/or death
Publications and doctorates
Ven. Dhammananda wrote approximately 60 Buddhist works, ranging from small pamphlets to texts of over 700 pages. He also received a number of honorary doctorates:
— Ph.D. (honoris causa) in the Philosophy Division, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Bangkok, Thailand
— Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
— Darshana Visarada, Ph.D in Buddhist Philosophy, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, USA
A trained cardiologist will utilize all available equipment and do numerous tests to pinpoint the exact problem. Now that’s an analogy to differentiate between conventional knowledge and wisdom. Heart attacks are not cardiac infarctions, so therefore book knowledge is not mental development.
Buddhism gives full responsibility and dignity to man. It makes man his own master. According to Buddhism, no higher being sits in judgment over his affairs and destiny. That is to say, our life, our society, our world, is what you and I want to make out of it, and not what some other unknown being wants it to be.
Above all else, Buddhist education is more about moral and spiritual development. If the coming generation can appreciate this, then Buddhism will have a bright future in this country.
If prayer is necessary, it should be to strengthen the mind and not to beg for gains. The following prayer of a well-known poet, teaches us how to pray, Buddhists will regard this as meditation to cultivate the mind.