History of Jayasumanarama Maha Vihara (JMV)
The history of Jayasumanarama Maha Vihara dates back over 200 years. The Vihara was founded by a monk (name unknown) who came from Sapugodawela village near Hakmana, where people were venerating a Buddha statue that had been kept in a tree hole. At that time the property was called ‘Mandakele’ because a certain type of vine grew there. The villagers respectfully invited this monk to stay at the property for the rainy season, ‘Vassana period’. He spent some time there after the rains retreat before leaving. After that, various monks visited the place and resided for a while and then left. The villagers built a temple and named it Jayasumanaramaya. The temple was funded by market taxes as it was a village governing system.
During this time the villagers heard about a very famous senior monk who preached Abhidhamma. The monk was the Patriarch of Sri Lanka Ramagngna chapter named Venerable Matara Gnanindasabha. He ordained a number of monks for future services. One of his students, Reverend Atthadassi, was very talented and well known as a preacher as was his teacher. The devotees and the resident monk of Jayasumanarama temple wanted to invite Venerable Atthadassi to oversee the temple. They made the invitation and Venerable Atthadassi kindly accepted it.
When he arrived in 1904 to Jayasumanaramaya a prosperous time began. Venerable Atthadassi started a special monks training college named “Pagngnananda Vidyalaya” in honor of his teacher’s Dhamma service. He ordained several students and the first student was Venerable Kotawaye Suseema. Venerable Atthadassi passed away in 1949, after giving a great service to the Buddha’s Dispensation, and Venerable Suseema was appointed as the Abbot of the temple. After providing a great service to the community for over 55 years Venerable Suseema passed away in 2004. Ven Suseema’s first student named Venerable Walakande Gunaratana was appointed as the Abbot of the temple, but he did not want to hold the position as he already had a temple. Then he invited Venerable Diviyagaha Gnananada to take the temple. He arrived in 2005 and took responsibility for it. Venerable Gnanananda served the community for 15 years. During this time he was able to complete several development projects such as building a dining hall and monks’ accommodation; renewed the library building, etc. He passed away in March 2020.
Pioneers of JMV
Most Venerable Kotawaye Atthadassi Anunayaka Maha Thera
The Deputy patriarch of Sri Lanka Ramagngna Maha Chapter 1871-1949
Venerable Kotawaye Suseema Maha Thera
Venerable Diviyagaha Gnanananda Nayaka Maha Thera