Mission Statement

Atlantic Theravada Buddhist Cultural and Meditation Society, established in January 2015, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, thrives to institute Theravada Buddhism among a wider global community, by promoting traditional Buddhist culture and emotional and spiritual growth, while disseminating the teachings of the Buddha to all irrespective of nationality and age.

The serene place of worship, the meditation sessions, the Dhamma discourses and other opportunities available for exchange of ideas are a blessing to us, in attaining  inner peace and contentment. The Sunday Dhamma School provides a place of education for the young in Buddhist Philosophy and more importantly Buddhist culture, at the prime of life. We welcome you to be a part of this vibrant community and make use of the opportunities for your spiritual development.

Vision Statement

  1. To establish a permanent place to function exclusively for Theravada Buddhist religious, cultural and educational activities in Atlantic Canada.
  2. To provide a meetings place for those interested in learning, Dhamma and Buddhist culture, from qualified Buddhist monks.
  3. To facilitate Buddhist education activities within Nova Scotia, Canada.
  4. To deliver Bhavana (meditation) sessions and discourses throughout the Atlantic region.
  5. To disseminate the teachings of the Buddha (Dhamma) and Buddhist culture and rituals through public lectures, magazines, Buddhist library and newsletters published in print and electronically on the society website.
  6. To educate and guide children and youth on the traditional Buddhist culture and teachings that lead to peaceful living.
  7. To provide guidance and councelling from qualified Buddhist monks.
  8. To work collaboratively with all Buddhist organizations and sectors within Nova Scotia and Canada to guide spiritual nourishment among all, irrespective of ethnic and linguistic identities.
  9. To serve as a centre for benevolent activities to all those who are in need in Canada and abroad.
  10. To diminish stress and improve the emotional and psychological wellbeing via spiritual practices and mindfullness.

Temple Management Committee

Board of Directors

Reverend Sirinanda Bandagiriye
Indra Weerasinghe
Ramya Samarasekera
Shantha Ranepura
Vishva Danthurebandara

Members at Large:

Sanjeewa Soysa
Kokila Nalin

Area Coordinators:

Toronto       - Kawishwara Hissella
Truro         - Vasantha Rupasinghe
New Brunswick - Lakshman Ranasinghe
New Foundland - Sisira de Silva

Office Bearers

President               - Reverend Sirinanda Bandagiriye
Vice president          - Indra Weerasinghe
Secretary               - Ramya Samarasekera
Treasurer               - Sumedha Asalaarachchi
Editor                  - Swarna Weerasinghe
Fundraising coordinator - Shantha Ranepura

Chief Patron Venerable Ahangama Rathanasiri Mahathera

Venerable Ahangama Rathanasiri Mahathera was born at Ahangama in the District of Matara in Sri Lanka, on April 9 1950. He had his primary education at
Dharmarama Vidyalaya and Rohana Maha Vidyalaya, both at Ahangama. At the age
of 13, he was ordained a sāmanera (novice) on October 26 1963 at
Jayasumanarama Vihara, Ahangama, under the tutelage of Most Venerable
Pathegama Saddhatissa Mahathera and Most Venerable Godauda Sorata
Mahathera. He received Upasampadā (Higher Ordination) at higher ordination
ceremony presided over by His Holiness Madihe Pannasiha Mahanayaka Thera,
Supreme Patriarch of Amarapura Dharmarakshita Nikaya (Fraternity) of Sri Lanka,
which took place at Gangarama Vihara, Pelena, on June 30 1971.
From 1963 to 1968, he was a student at Dharmodaya Pirivena (Buddhist Monastic
College), Ahangama, where he received his primary monastic education. Venerable
Rathanasiri then got admitted to a prestigious seat of Buddhist learning in Sri Lanka,
the Vidyodaya Pirivena, Colombo, where he studied from 1969 to 1973 and
graduated with the Certificate in Final Examination, offering Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit,
Buddhism and Culture, History, and Logic and Theory. It was in 1973 that he got his
admission to Pirivena Teachers’ Training College, Rathmalana, where he earned his
Diploma in Parivenacarya upon successful completion of the studies and submission
of his thesis on “Buddhist Education Methods.” In 1982, he entered the University of
Kelaniya and obtained his B.A. (Honours) degree in Buddhist Philosophy and
German. It is at Aquinas College in Colombo where he was educated and during the
year 1981-1982 and graduated with Diploma in English. Continually enthusiastic
about further knowledge in Oriental Studies, he continued monastic education and
obtained the highest qualification in the area, the Pundit Degree in 1983. From 1983
to 1985, he studied at the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies of the
University of Kelaniya and obtained his M.A.
Venerable Rathanasiri Thera was Principal of Sri Naga Pirivena, Weliweriya,
Gampaha, from 1981 to 1985, and Principal of Nalanda Pirivena (Monastic Training
Institute), Mount Lavinia, from 1985 to 1989.
In October 1989, he left for Canada, where he assumed duties of Buddhist spiritual
and academic service as a resident monk at the Toronto Mahavihara Buddhist
Meditation Centre, the oldest Theravada Buddhist Centre in Canada. In 1992, he
was appointed Head (Viharadhipathi) of the Mahavihara. In June 1997, Venerable
Rathanasiri Thera became the Viharadhipathi of Jayasumanarama Vihara,
Ahangama, after the passing away of his teacher.
With the unanimous consent and approval of the Sri Dharmarakshita Chapter of the
All Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha headed by His Holiness Madihe
Pannasiha Mahanayaka Thera, Venerable Rathanasiri was elevated to the position
of “Sammāna Nāyake” (Honourary Prelate), in recognition of his deep understanding
of the Dhamma and his devotion to the services of the Buddha Sāsana in Sri Lanka and abroad.

Abbot, President Venerable Bandagiriye Sirinanda Thero

Born in Bandagiriya in the District of Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Venerable Bandagiriye Sirinanda had his elementary education at Yahangala
Primary School until Grade 4. He entered the monastic life as a novice on 2nd of
February, 1996 at the feet of The Most Venerable Athuraliye Ananda Thero, the
Chief Incumbent of Dhakshinaramaya, Mt. Lavinia and Late Most Venerable
Urugamuwe Piyananda Thero, former Chief Incumbent of Asokaramaya, Dikwella,
Kondeniya in Sri Lanka.
His primary monastic education commenced in 1996 at Nalanda Dharmayatana
Pirivena which is affiliated to Dhakshinaramaya Temple at Mt. Lavinia. In 2001 he
entered Saddharmakara Pirivena at Pinwatta, Panadura and successfully completed
G.C.E (AL) in 2003. He then entered The Gangodawila Sri Jayawardanapura
University for an under-graduate Degree Course in Buddhist Philosophy and Pali
with specialization in Psychology and was graduated in June 2009. He also received
the Psychology Counsellor Diploma from The Sri Lanka Psychology Foundation in
2009 and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology in 2011. In addition he also holds a M.A. degree in Buddhist Philosophy from the University of Buddhism and Pali, Sri Lanka since 2011.
He has worked as a Volunteer Teacher at Nalanda Dharmayathana Pirivena. Since
May 2010 he has been confirmed as a Permanent Teacher and works as the Deputy
Principal of Granthakara Pirivena at Tebuwana, Kalutara.
He received Higher Ordination on 1st of July 2006 in Amarapura Dharmarakshita
Maha Nikaya with Most Ven. Rajakeeya Panditha Weligama Gnanaratana
Mahanayake Thera as the Preceptor.
Now Ven.Sirinanda doing his graduate studies in Saint Mary’s University – Halifax
and he is the president of Atlantic Theravada Buddhist society.

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