Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero is the founder of Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery. He was ordained on 26 March 1979 at the age of 17, under Dambagssare Sumedhankara Thero and Dikwelle Pannananda Thero at Seruwavila. He received a traditional Buddhist academic education and entered the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. Having understood the inability to achieve what he wanted in a university, he quit and started visiting meditation centres and hermitages.


Our founder, Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero


His deep practices of meditation and the understanding of Buddhist philosophy led him to start up his own Buddhist monastery, Mahamevnawa in 1999 under the guidance of Kotapola Amarakitti Thero, in Waduwava, Polgahawela

Most Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero

"I welcome you all to Mahamewna with Metta. Within our Dhamma service we have no restrictions with regard to the race, cast, language, colour or religion. The truth revealed by Gautama Buddha is open to everyone. If you are wise enough to understand that truth, then that truth is for you and for your own good and protection. Therefore, let us gather around that truth, the righteous Dhamma. Let us learn it, understand it and live accordingly. Let us share this splendid gift of Dhamma with everyone. That is our noble duty. May you all be blessed by the Buddha, the noble Dhamma and Sangha, good noble Dhamma friends and all deities!"

The founder, Ven. Kiribathogda Gnanananda

At Mahamevnawa

Here the Buddha’s teachings are presented in simple language and style that is easy for everyone to understand. The uniqueness of Mahanevnawa is the effort to bring the Supreme Dharma to the devotees in its original form. Consequently, both young and old devotees listen to Dharma and practice virtue, concentration, and wisdom to realize the Four Noble Truths revealed by the Supreme Buddha. Presently there are more than 800 disciple monks, more than 75 disciple nuns, and thousands of lay disciples practicing Dharma at Mahamevnawa Monasteries around the world. Currently, there are more than 60 Sri Lankan and 25 international branches including in Canada, United States, England, Germany, Australia, India, and Dubai. Within twelve years from the start of the monastery, Mahamevnawa became one of the leading Buddhist organizations spreading the teachings of the Buddha.


Ven Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero has translated the sacred Pali Canon to a comprehensible style in Sinhala, one of the main languages of Sri Lanka. In addition, Ven Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero has written over one hundred books about the discourses of the Supreme Buddha. There are also hundreds of audio cassettes and CDs by the Ven Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero available for devotees. In addition, ‘Mahamegha’ Dharma newspaper by the Mahamevnawa and ‘Shraddha TV’ Dharma channel take the message of Dharma into the homes of thousands of lay followers around the world.

Grand Temple of The ​Gautama Buddha

The Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa (Grand Temple of The Gautama Buddha) is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. This magnificent temple was completed in 2012 to honor the Gautama Buddha and to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of his enlightenment. The temple was built with the meritorious intentions and guidance of most venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero,the founder of the Mahamevnawa monastery. The statues, paintings, carvings and all other art works in the temple are original creations of


highly skilled Sri Lankan artists, made exclusively for the Sambuddharaja Maligawa. As well, thousands of devotees connected to Mahamevnawa monasteries in Sri Lanka and abroad had extended their full financial and volunteer support. With the laying of the foundation stone, the construction work of the grand temple was started on 6th February 2011 and which was completed within one year and five months. On 2nd July 2012 the temple was offered to the Gautama Buddha during a grand opening ceremony and was made accessible to the public since then.