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Ven. Sayadaw W. Rahula,Dr.

Born in 1907 in Galle, Sri Lanka.

Had private education until his admittance in 1936 to Ceylon University College, then affiliated to University of London – he was the first Buddhist monk to do so. Ordained at the age of thirteen and studied Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit and Buddhist history. He studied English at a much later age.

Early 1930s, he was a well-known preacher, criticizing some popular Buddhist practices, published in a series under Satyodaya Patrika (truth revealing pamphlets, 1933-34). Interest in the social and economic welfare of his country led him to political involvement. His stand was documented in a Sinhalese work in 1946 and later translated into English in 1974 as Heritage of the Bhikkhu.

Obtained his BA from University of London in 1941, then in University of Calcutta followed by Ph.D. from University of Ceylon in 1950. Obtained a post Doctoral research fellowship in France (1950) and research on Mahayana Buddhism, was conferred the highest honorary title, Supreme Master of Buddhist Scriptures, a title held by less than a handful of scholars in Sri Lanka (1965), Sri Lanka Academy of Letters (1970, Sri Lanka), Doctors of Letters (1978, University of Sri Lanka), D.Litt (1978, Nalanda Mahavihara of Bihar, India), Doctor of Literature (1979, University of Oriental Studies, California), LL.D (1980, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka).

Served as a Senior Teacher at Vidyalankara Pirivena, a leading monastic college in Sri Lankawas an Academic Secretary of the College and a Secretary General of the governing body. In 1964, was appointed to the chair of Bishop Brashaves Professor of History and Literature of Religions – the first monk to hold a professorial chair in the western world, as Visiting Professor at Northwestern University (1964), Vice Chancellor of Vidyodaya University of Sri Lanka (1966), visiting Professor at Swarthmore College (1977). Later he served as the Chancellor of Kelaniya University, Sri Lanka and as President of the Paramadhamma Buddhist Institution, Sri Lanka, an international center for training of monks for missionary activities.

In 1971, he translated into French from Sanskrit, a difficult Mahayana Buddhist philosophical text, Abhidharmasamuccaya of Asanga.
Has delivered lectures and conducted seminars in various part of the world