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Contributing Authors and Translators: Biographical Notes

Contributing Authors and Translators


Contributing Authors and Translators

Biographical Notes

See also Indexes by Author and by Title

These biographical notes were adapted from the sources that follow each entry.

This is a work in progress. We welcome your help in filling any of the gaping biographical holes. If you have any information to provide, please let us know. We'd be especially grateful for references to previously published sources (book, newspaper, magazine, official website, etc.) that we can cite as trustworthy references. letter.jpg

sabbatical 20120823 This is a work in progress. I welcome your help in filling any of the gaping biographical holes. If you have any information to provide, please let me know. I'd be especially grateful for references to previously published sources (book, newspaper, magazine, official website, etc.) that I can cite as trustworthy references.

A | B | C | D | EF | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | PQ | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ


Amaravati Sangha ( - ) [amar]

“Amaravati Sangha” refers to the community of monastics (bhikkhus and ten-precept siladhāras) in the Thai forest lineage of Ajaan Chah that are associated with the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery near Hemel Hempstead, England, and its several branch monasteries across Europe, Australia, and North America. The community has kindly provided a number of sutta translations for distribution on Access to Insight.

Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera, Dr. Balangoda (1896-1998)

anandamaitreya_small.jpg Sri Lankan monk Ven. Ananda Maitreya was one of the twentieth century's most eminent scholars of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. For more about his life, see Bhikkhu Bodhi's "Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya: A Personal Appreciation".

Ariyadhamma Mahathera (1939 - 2016)

File source: Ven. Ariyadhamma Mahathera was born on 24 April 1939 to a traditional Buddhist family in Kurunegala and was educated at the Government School of Nilagama. His father was a supporter of Ven. Wigoda Bodhirakkhita Thera, who was resident at the nearby Na Uyana forest monastery. The close relationship with the monks from childhood inspired his decision to ordain, and he trained under Ven. Wigoda Bodhirakkhita Thera in 1956 as an upasaka. He went forth on 27 March 1957 with Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera as his upajjhaya and received upasampada on 15 July 1959 with Ven. Madawala Dhammatilaka Mahathera as the upajjhaya. Ariyadhamma was appointed the registrar of Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha in 1969, a position he held until being appointed the spiritual advisor and head of the organization in 2003. In his current capacity, Ariyadhamma leads about 1,500 forest monks in 193 branch monasteries. Ariyadhamma has written more than 100 books and booklets in Sinhala on meditation and Dhamma. A few of these have been translated to English. The assistant chief prelate of the Sri Lanka Ramanya Maha Nikaya, the Most Ven. Nauyane Ariyadhamma Maha Thera‍ has passed away on 7. Sept. 2016 while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo. The most Venerable Nauyane Ariyadhamma Thero was aged 78 at the time of his demise. The Mahathero was bestowed upon with many tiles. The Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya awarded Ariyadhamma the titles of Tripitaka Vāgīśvarācārya and Mahopādhyāya. The government of Burma awarded him the title Mahā Kammaṭṭhānācāriya. He was regarded as one who preached to the public in the most simplest of ways. [Source: Nauyane Ariyadhamma Mahathera - Wikipedia,]

Ariyesako, Bhikkhu ( - )

(No information available.)

Ashby, Dr. Elizabeth ( - )

(No information available.)


Bischoff, Roger (1955- )

Roger Bischoff was born in 1955 in Lausanne, Switzerland. His interest in Buddhism started very early and by 18 he had accumulated a collection of antiquarian books on Buddhism. After the baccalaureat in Switzerland he travelled extensively in the Middle East and eventually India and Burma. He encountered Vipassana meditation and began to study the Burmese language as well as Pali and Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. After the completion of the degree in Burmese language and Pali, he worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Afghan conflict. In 1989 he was asked by Mother Sayamagyi, his lifelong teacher, to assist her in teaching meditation at the International Meditation Centre UK in Heddington, and on her travels. He has been assisting Mother Sayamgyi ever since. [Source: Susan Elbaum, personal communication (2011.01.19).]

Bodhi, Bhikkhu (1944- ) [bodh]

bodhi_small.jpg Bhikkhu Bodhi (Jeffrey Block), Ph.D., is an American Buddhist monk and Pali scholar. After completing his university studies in philosophy at the Claremont Graduate School, he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received full ordination in 1973 under the late Ven. Ananda Maitreya. He served as editor of the Buddhist Publication Society (Sri Lanka) from 1984-1988 and and has been its president since 1988. His translations The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 1995) and The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 2000) are highly regarded by Buddhist scholars and practitioners around the world. He is currently the president of the Sangha Council of Bodhi Monastery (USA) and the chairman of the Yin Shun Foundation. [Source: Bodhi Monastery website and other sources.]

Bodhinandamuni, Phra ( - )

Phra Bodhinandamuni (Phra Khru Nandapaññabharana) is a Thai Buddhist monk.

Bogoda, Robert (1918- )

Robert Bogoda was born in 1918 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. His secondary education was cut short by the sudden demise of his father, which compelled him to work at a modest job as a teacher. While engaged in teaching, he obtained by self study the B.Sc. (Econ.) and M.Sc. (Econ.) degrees from the University of London, specializing in Social Administration. [Source: A Simple Guide to Life (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1994).]

Boowa Ñanasampanno, Phra Ajaan Maha (1913-2011)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Brahmali Bhikkhu ( - )

(No information available.)

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906 - 1993)

buddhadasa_small.jpg Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (Thai: พุทธทาสภิกขุ, Name by birth: Ngueam Panid (เงื่อม พานิช) was born on 27. May 1906 in Phumriang as a son of a merchant family and a father with Chinese origin. Ven. Buddhadasa got known by his social activism and has strongly embossed the term “no religion”. To get ride of the turbulences and imbroglio as to lead a simple life according to the old tradition he founded Suan Mokkh (park of liberation) in 1932. Before his death, in the year 1003 he founded the “International Dhamma Hermitage Center” on the other side of the highway to give international yogis a possibility to practice. Ven Bhante Buddhadassa has published may books but most of them try to get Dhamma into the world and not so many the world into Dhamma. [Source: various sources on Internet and Wikipedia, 2015).]

Buddharakkhita, Acharya ( - ) [budd]

buddharakkhita_small.jpg Acharya Buddharakkhita was born in Manipur, India. He is the founder and current director of the Maha Bodhi Society in Bangalore. In 1956 he served on the editorial board of the Sixth Buddhist Council in Rangoon. He is the author of numerous books and translations from Pali and also edits and publishes the monthly Buddhist journal Dhamma. [Source: Mind Overcoming its Cankers (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 2004).]

Bullitt, John T. (?-?)

File written by Adobe Photoshop� 4.0 John Bullitt, the builder of AccessToInsight, apart from the collection, careful design, cross-referencing and preparation of an abundant wealth of teaching material and information about Buddhism and meditation from a vast variety of sources, has also written a number of very instructive, informative and helpful articles himself: Apart from the numerous texts of introduction, commentary and cross-referencing which are found on many pages and keep the whole structure of AccessToInsight neatly together in one cohesive and conveniently explorable whole piece, with the “Path to Freedom” one finds didactically well prepared introduction into the teaching and tradition, including understandable explanations of many of the most important terms and concepts, a historical outline of the Buddha's life, and at its core a systematic and deep exploration of the Noble Eightfold Path, providing reliable guidance and inviting to and arousing interest in further investigation by oneself on many levels. [Source: own exposure to and occupation with John Bullitt's works. Picture was taken from]

Bullen, Leonard (1909-1984)

Leonard A. Bullen was one of the pioneers of the Buddhist movement in Australia. He was the first president of the Buddhist Society of Victoria when it was established in 1953 and one of the first office-bearers of the executive committee of the Buddhist Federation of Australia. He was also a co-editor of the Buddhist journal Metta. [Source: Buddhism: A Method of Mind Training (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1969).]

Burlingame, E.W. ( - )

(No information available.)

Burns, Douglas ( -1975?)

Douglas Burns was an American psychiatrist who intensely studied and practiced Buddhism in Thailand. He was last seen in Bangkok in 1975 before leaving on a trip to southern Thailand. He was presumed dead, but mystery surrounds his disappearance. [Source: Paul Daniels]


Chah Subhaddo, Phra Ajaan (1918-1992)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Conze, Edward (1904-1979)

conze_small.jpg was an Anglo-German scholar probably best known for his pioneering translations of Buddhist texts. He was educated at various German universities, graduating with a Ph.D. from the University of Cologne in 1928, he then proceeded to carry out post doctoral studies in comparative European and Indian Philosophy at the University of Bonn and the University of Hamburg. Conze had a talent for learning languages and picked up fourteen of them, including Sanskrit, by age 24. Like many other Europeans, he came into contact with Theosophy early in life. From 1933 until 1960 he lectured in psychology, philosophy and comparative religion at the University of London and the University of Oxford. Between 1963 and 1973 he held a number of academic appointments in England, Germany and the United States, including a significant amount of time as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Lancaster. At this point he discovered – or rather rediscovered – Buddhism. When 13 years old he had read Gleanings in Buddha Fields by Lafcadio Hearn. However, Conze's first significant contact with Buddhism was at this midpoint in his life, at the beginning of the Second World War, through the writings of D.T. Suzuki. Once intrigued, Conze devoted the rest of his life to Buddhism, and in particular to translating the Prajnaparamita or Perfection of Wisdom sutras, which are the fundamental scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism. Edward Conze wrote serval books on Buddhism and published transations from Pail and Sankrit. MOre information about his work and life might be found on the memorial page [Source: Edward Conze - Wikipedia]


DeGraff, Geoffrey

de Silva, Lily ( - )

Lily de Silva was educated at the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, where she received a B.A. with First Class Honors in Pali and the Woodward Prize for Pali and, in 1967, a Ph.D. She taught at the University for many years and served as Chair of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies until her retirement in 1994. Dr. de Silva was the editor of the Digha Nikaya Atthakatha Tika (Subcommentary to the Digha Nikaya), published by the Pali Text Society in three volumes, and has long been a regular contributor to Buddhist scholarly and popular journals. [Source: One Foot in the World: Buddhist Approaches to Present-day Problems (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1986) and the Department of Pali & Buddhist Studies, University of Peradeniya (]

de Silva, M.W. Padmasiri ( - )

Prof. Padmasiri de Silva was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and has held visiting positions at a number of universities, and is Research Associate in the School of Historical Studies, Monash University. He is author of many books on Buddhist psychology and ethics. In 2005 Palgrave MacMillan published a new 4th edition of his Introduction to Buddhist Psychology, first published in 1979. [Source: Monash University, 2006.]

Dewaraja, Lorna Srimathie ( - )

Lorna Dewaraja, M.A. (Ceylon), Ph.D. (London), formerly Associate Professor of History, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, is currently the Director of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka. [Source: International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka.]

Dhammananda, Ven. K. Sri (1919-2006)

dhammananda_small.jpg Born in Kirinde (Matara) Sri Lanka, Martin Garmage was given the name Dhammananda when he ordained as a novice monk at the age of twelve. At age twenty-two he received higher ordination. He pursued scholarly studies in Sanskrit, Pali, Hindi, and Buddhist Philosophy at universities in Sri Lanka and India, eventually receiving a Master of Arts degree in Indian Philosophy and a Doctor of Literature degree from the Benares Hindu University. He then returned to Sri Lanka, where he established the Sudharma Buddhist Institute, which tended to the educational, welfare, and religious needs of local villagers. In 1952 he traveled to Malaysia as a Buddhist missionary, and in 1962 founded the Buddhist Missionary Society to help disseminate the Buddha's teachings across Malaysia and beyond. He wrote more than 60 books (in English) which have been widely distributed worldwide and translated into more than a dozen languages. He passed away in August 2006. [Source: Adapted from “Life Story Of Ven Dr. K Sri Dhammananda” (]

Dhammadarsa, Bhikkhu ( - )

Born Norman Joseph Smith. First ordained in 1986 as a bhikkhu at Wat Thai Nakorn, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Disrobed in 1993. Completed a BA degree in 2004 at the University of Queensland, majoring in Chinese and Studies in Religion, focusing on Buddhism, including Pali, Buddhist Chinese and Sanskrit language studies, Linguistics and Psychology of Religion. Ordained as a bhikkhu in 2008. Currently resides in Thailand. [Source: Adapted from “Brief History of Dhammadarsa Bhikkhu [formerly Norman Joseph (Joe/Jou) Smith]”,, 2010.11.26.]

Dhammapala, Acariya (1864-1933)

dhammapala_small.jpg Anagarika Dharmapala was a Sri Lankan Buddhist revivalist and writer. He was one of the founding contributors of non-violent Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalism and Buddhism. He was also a pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in India after it had been virtually extinct there for several centuries, and he was the first Buddhist in modern times to preach the Dharma in three continents: Asia, North America, and Europe. Along with Henry Steel Olcott and Helena Blavatsky, the creators of the Theosophical Society, he was a major reformer and revivalist of Ceylonese Buddhism and very crucial figure in its Western transmission. Dharmapala is one of the most revered Buddhists in the 20th century.[Source: Anagarika Dharmapala - Wikipedia]

Dhammayut Order in the United States of America

The Dhammayut Order in the USA is the administrative organization that oversees the Thai Dhammayut temples and monasteries in the USA.

Dhammika, Ven. Shravasti (1951- )

dhammika_small.jpg Ven. Shravasti Dhammika was born in Australia and developed an interest in Buddhism in his early teens. At the age of twenty-two he went to India and was ordained as a Buddhist monk under the Ven. M. Sangharatana Mahathera. He later lived in Sri Lanka where he became well-known for his efforts to promote Buddhism. He worked in Singapore in 1985 as a spiritual Advisor to the Dhamma Mandala Society and several other Buddhist groups. He taught at the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore's Education Department and made several television films for the Institute. He currently resides in Singapore. [Source: Gemstones of the Good Dhamma (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1987) and Singapore Dharmanet (]

Dune Atulo, Phra (1888-1983)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)


Susan Elbaum (1945- )

Susan Elbaum was born in New York City and obtained a BA and an MA at the University of Michigan. She has been practising meditiation in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin as taught by Mother Sayamagyi for many years. [Source: Susan Elbaum, personal communication (2011.01.16).]

Fawcett, Brian ( - )

(No information available.)

Figen, Dorothy ( - )

(No information available.)

Fuang Jotiko, Phra Ajaan (1915-1986)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)


Gilbert, William ( - )

(No information available.)

Greenly, Edward ( - )

(No information available.)

Gunaratana, Ven. Henepola (1927- )

gunaratana_small.jpg Ven. Gunaratana (Ekanayaka Mudiyanselage Ukkubana) was born in Henepola, Sri Lanka and became a novice monk at the age of 12. He received his higher education at Vidyalankara College and Buddhist Missionary College, Colombo, and in 1947 received higher ordination in Kandy. He worked for five years as a Buddhist missionary among the Harijans (Untouchables) in India and for ten years with the Buddhist Missionary Society in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 1968 he came to the United States to serve as general secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society at the Washington Buddhist Vihara. In 1980 he was appointed president of the Society. He received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from The American University, where he also served for many years as Buddhist Chaplain. In 1985 he co-founded the Bhavana Meditation Center in West Virginia, about 100 miles from Washington, D.C. [Source: “Bhante Henepola Gunaratana,” The Bhavana Society.]

Gunaratna, V.F. (1905-1977)

Received his primary education at Royal College, Colombo and thereafter joined the Colombo Law College. After qualifying as as an Attorney At Law, he served as a lawyer for some time and joined the judicial service. He served for some time as a judge and was well known for attempts to bring amicable settlements to legal disputes. Eventually he joined the Public Trustee Office as an assistant Public Trustee and eventually became the Public Trustee in 1954 and held that post till 1962. His Buddhist lectures started when he was the Public Trustee and after retirement he engaged himself full time for the dissemination of the Dhamma. Mr. Gunaratna was a teetotaller, vegetarian and non smoker. As Public Trustee he started a scheme of gifting three wheelers to the disabled. His kindness to animals was well known and he saved many cattle from the slaughter house and provided shelter to stray cats and dogs. Mr. Gunaratna toured the island giving Buddhist lectures and compiled several very readable books on the Dhamma. The BPuddhist Publication Society has published several of his writings. Well known among them are The Satipatthana Sutta and its Application to Modern Life, Buddhist Reflections on Death, The Significance of the Four Noble Truths, Message of the Saints, Rebirth Explained, and Buddhist Broadcast Talks. Some of his books have been translated into other languages, including Bahasa Indonesia. [Source: Bhikkhu Nyanatusita, personal communication, Nov. 2008]

Guruge, Ananda W.P. ( - )

Ananda W.P. Guruge is a retired Sri Lankan diplomat and a scholar in the field of Indology and Buddhist Studies. He is the author of over thirty books, among the most recent a complete translation of the Sinhalese chronicle, The Mahavamsa, and a biography of King Asoka. [Source: The Buddha's Encounters with Mara the Tempter (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1997).]


Harris, Elizabeth J. ( - )

harris_small.jpg Elizabeth J. Harris studied Buddhism in Sri Lanka from 1986 to 1993 and obtained a Ph.D. degree from the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya. She is now Secretary for Inter-faith Relations in The Methodist Church in London. [Source: Detachment and Compassion in Early Buddhism, by Elizabeth J. Harris (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1997).]

Hecker, Hellmuth (1923-2017) [heck, hekh]

hecker_small.jpg Hellmuth Hecker is a leading German writer on Buddhism and a translator from the Pali canon. His books include a german translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (parts 4 & 5) a two-volume chronicle on Buddhism in Germany, and a biography of Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera, the first German Buddhist monk. The founding helper of many lay societies died at the high age of 93 years on 7. January 2017. [Source: Great Disciples of the Buddha, by Nyanaponika Thera and Hellmuth Hecker (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 1997).]

Horner, I.B. (1896-1981) [horn]

horner_small.jpg “Isaline Blew Horner was born in Walthamstow, 1896. She was educated at Prior's Field, Surrey, and Newnham College, Cambridge, BA, 1917, MA, 1934. She remained at Newnham College as Assistant Librarian, 1918-20, and Acting Librarian, 1920-1. She gave up her post to travel in Ceylon, India and Burma, where she became interested in Buddhism, 1921-3. She returned to Newnham College as Librarian and Fellow, 1923-36; Sarah Smithson Research Fellow, 1928-31; Associate, 1931-59 and 1962-76; and Associate Fellow, 1939-49. She also served on the Governing Body, 1939-49, and gave a donation for the building of the Horner Library, 1961-2. She lived and worked in Manchester, 1936-43, and London, 1943-81, and continued to travel extensively in Ceylon, India and Burma. She was Honorary Secretary of the Pali Text Society, 1942-59, and President and Honorary Treasurer, 1959-81. She was awarded the OBE, 1980. She lived with her companion Elsie Butler, 1926-59. She died in London, May 1981.” [Source: University of Cambridge Faculty Library Archive Collections,, retrieved 2007.]


Ireland, John D. (1932-1998) [irel]

John D. (“Jack”) Ireland was born in North London, England. He became a Buddhist at age eighteen and soon began studying Pali. From the 1960's onward he was a frequent contributor to the Buddhist Publication Society's Wheel and Bodhi Leaves series of booklets. But he is perhaps best known for his combined translation, The Udana & the Itivuttaka (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1997), in reference to which he wrote to a friend shortly before his death: “I feel I could die contented in the knowledge that I have done something to repay the great happiness the Buddha-dhamma has brought me in this life.” [Source: BPS Newlsetter No. 43 (33d mailing 1999).]


Jackson, Natasha ( - )

(No information available.)

Jayasili (Jacquetta Gomes) (1954- )

In 1975 Jacquetta Gomes was officially given the Buddhist name Jayasili by the late Venerable Narada Maha Thera (1898-1983). In 1983 she was authorized to teach Dhamma by Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Agga Maha Pandita (1896-1998); and in 1984 by Venerable Hammalawa Saddhatissa Maha Thera (1914-1990), then abbot of the London Buddhist Vihara. In 1991 she helped establish the Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada). In 1994 she received the bodhicari precepts from Venerable Ananda Maitreya in 1994 at the London Buddhist Vihara. Her name is listed in Burke's Peerage and Gentry as a 'Contemporary Person of Distinction'. She lives in the U.K. [Source: adapted from "Lotus: Journal of the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara", Issue No. 31, Spring 2010; retrieved 2011.02.21]

Jones, Ken ( - )

(No information available.)


Kantasilo, Bhikkhu ( - ) [kant]

(No information available.)

Kariyawasam, A.G.S (1933-2004)

kariyawasam_small.jpg Born in Sri Lanka, Siri Kariyawasam graduated from the Peradeniya University with Second Class Honors in Sanskrit with Sinhalese. He joined the teaching staff of St. Anthony's College, Baddegama for two years. In 1960 he became assistant editor of the Buddhist Encyclopaedia, to which he contributed sixty-six articles, and of which later served as Deputy Chief Editor until his retirement in 1989. He worked at the Buddhist Publication Society from 1991-1998 editing Bhikkhu Bodhi's publications and in 1998 he succeeded the late Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera as editor of Sinhala Buddhist publications. [Source: “Loss of Buddhist scholar, Mr. Kariyawasam passes away,” (]

Karunadasa, Y. ( - )

File source: Karunadasa's long and distinguished career in Buddhist scholarship began with his graduation from the University of Ceylon in 1958. After obtaining a PhD in 1963 from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), he returned to Sri Lanka, where he served as Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and Professor of Pali at Vidyalankara University (Kelaniya). He is presently Emeritus Professor at the University of Kelaniya. [Source: “Y. Karunadasa”, a resumé posted at (accessed 2008.07.23).]

Karunaratna, Suvimalee (1939- )

Suvimalee Karunaratna was born in Sri Lanka in 1939 and received her early education in Washington, D.C. and in Colombo. While living in Rangoon, where her father was posted as the Sri Lankan ambassador to Burma from 1957-61, she received meditation instructions from the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw and the Ven. Webu Sayadaw. Her first volume of short stories was published in 1973, and several of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of modern writing from Sri Lanka as well as in literary journals. She is the author of several titles in the BPS's Bodhi Leaves series of booklets, including The Healing of the Bull, Prisoners of Karma, and The Walking Meditation. [From The Healing of the Bull.]

Kawasaki, Ken & Visakha ( - )

kawasaki_small.jpg Ken and Visakha Kawasaki now live in Kandy, Sri Lanka, where they carry out work for the Buddhist Relief Mission. [Source: personal communication, February, 2008]

Kee Nanayon, Upasika (K. Khao-suan-luang) (1901-1979)

(See her entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Kelly, John (1952- ) [kell]

John Kelly is a lay Buddhist and student of the Dhamma and the Pali language, currently living with his wife and family in Brisbane, Australia.

Khamdee Pabhaso, Phra Ajaan (1902-1984)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Khantipalo, Bhikkhu (1932- ) [khan]

khantipalo_small.jpg Bhikkhu Khantipalo (Laurence Mills) first ordained as a novice Buddhist monk in India in 1959, then reordained in Thailand in 1966. In 1973, when he traveled to Australia, where, in 1978, he co-founded (with Ayya Khema) Wat Buddha Dhamma, and where he served for many years as teacher-in-residence. He later returned to the lay life and co-founded Bodhi Citta Centre in Cairns, Australia. [Source: (Bodhikusuma Meditation Centre and Jewels Within the Heart: Verses of the Buddha's Teachings, by Laurence Khantipalo Mills (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1998).]

Khema, Ayya (1923-1997) [khem, hekh]

khema_small.jpg Ayya Khema (née Ilse Kussel) was born in Berlin, Germany, educated in Scotland and China, and later became a U.S. citizen. In 1979 she ordained in Sri Lanka, becoming the first western Theravada Buddhist nun. In 1982 she established Parappuduwa Nuns Island in southern Sri Lanka as a training center for Buddhist nuns and other women of all nationalities wishing to lead a contemplative life. In 1989 she returned to her homeland to found the Buddha-Haus im Allgäu, where she passed away in 1997. [Source: I Give You My Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist Nun (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1997).]

Khin, U Ba (1899-1971)

khin_small.jpg Sayagyi U Ba Khin was born in Rangoon, Burma. Though a gifted young student, family pressures forced him to turn down a college scholarship and to earn a living instead; he soon entered civil service. In 1937 he learned meditation from Saya Thetgyi, and although Webu Sayadaw urged him in 1941 to consider teaching meditation, it was not until a decade later that he formally accepted this role. In 1950 he founded the Vipassana Association of the Accountant General's Office where lay people, mainly civil servants, could learn meditation. In 1950 he co-founded two organizations which were later merged to become the Union of Burma Buddha Sasana Council, the main planning body for the Sixth Buddhist Council, and in 1952 established the International Meditation Centre in Rangoon in 1952. He retired from an outstanding career in government service in 1967. From that time until his death in 1971 he stayed at I.M.C., teaching meditation. [Source: “Sayagyi U Ba Khin,” Vipassana Research Institute,]

Knight, C.F. ( - )

(No information available.)

Kumara Bhikkhu (1972- ) [kuma]

kumara_small.jpg Liew Chin Leag was born in Malaysia, where he received a degree in education from the University of Malaya. After university he was active at Subang Jaya Buddhist Association and Buddhist Wisdom Centre, and became a volunteer teacher in the Brickfields temple's Sunday Dhamma school. An active contributor to the online Buddhist community, he served as a co-maintainer of the original “Sadhu! The Theravada Buddhism Web Directory” and “Dhamma-list,” an email discussion group. He received the monastic name Kumara at his bhikkhu ordination in 1999. He currently resides at Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary, furthering his monastic training under the guidance of Ven. Aggacitta Bhikkhu, and acts as his assistant. While he learns Vinaya, Pali and the Pali scriptures from him, his main meditation teacher is Sayadaw U Tejaniya. From time to time, he conducts an 8-day Adult Dhamma Course that helps people to end unhappiness. [Source: Notes provided by the author, 2010.]

Kusalasaya, Karuna ( - )

(No information available.)


Ledi Sayadaw (1846-1923)

Lee Dhammadharo, Phra Ajaan (1907-1961)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Lewis, G.N. ( - )

(No information available.)

Liam Thitadhammo, Luang Por Phra Ajaan (1941- )

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)


Mahasi Sayadaw (1904-1982) [msyd]

mahasi_small.jpg Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw (U Sobhana Mahathera) began his studies at a monastic school in rural Burma. At age 12 he ordained as a novice monk, and in 1923 took higher ordination. After passing all three of the Government Pali examinations he traveled to Mandalay, where he studied under several renowned scholar-monks. He then studied meditation with U Narada and in 1941 returned to his native village, where he introduced the systematic practical course of Satipatthana meditation for which he would eventually become known worldwide. In 1949 he moved to Rangoon, where he taught meditation at an international meditation center for many years. In 1954-56, at the Sixth Buddhist Council in Rangoon, he carried out the duties of the Questioner (pucchaka) — the same role played by the Buddha's disciple Ven. Maha-Kassapa at the First Buddhist Council, some 2,500 years prior. [Source: The Progress of Insight (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1994).]

Medhānandī, Bhikkhunī (1949- )

Ayyā Medhānandī, a native of Montreal, is the founder and senior bhikkhunī at Sati Saraniya Hermitage, a prioneer training monastery for Theravada bhikkhunīs in Canada. She began to meditate at 21, then studied meditation with an Advaita sage in India, completed an MSc in nutrition, and managed international NGO and UNICEF projects for malnourished women and children. In 1988 she took 10 precept ordination with Sayadaw U Pandita while on retreat in Burma. For 10 years, she was a siladhāra nun at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, UK with Ajahn Sumedho as preceptor before choosing a more hermetic practice based in New Zealand and later Penang, Malaysia. She taught retreats in the antipodes, Asia and the West. In 2007, she received bhikkhunī ordination in Taiwan and returned to Canada in 2008 to establish Sati Saraniya Hermitage. She continues to teach retreats as well as meditation courses, particularly for hospice staff and volunteers in the Ottawa area. She is the author of Gone Forth, Going Beyond. [Source: personal communication, 2012.]

Mendis, N.K.G. ( - )

Dr. N.K.G. Mendis graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Sri Lanka in 1946 and did his post-graduate training in India and the U.K. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He specialized in thoracic surgery and practiced in Sri Lanka, England and Ghana. Since 1972 he has been in general practice in Nova Scotia, Canada. He acknowledges that, though born to devout Buddhist parents, he has been devoted to Dhamma practice only since 1975, when the circumstances of his life led him to seek refuge in the Triple Gem. He is a supporter of the Buddhist Vihaaras in Washington D.C. and Toronto. [Source: The Abhidhamma in Practice (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1985).]

Mun Bhuridatto, Phra Ajaan (1870-1949)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)


Nanayon, Upasika Kee — see Kee Nanayon, Upasika

Ñanajivako, Bhikkhu ( - )

No information available.

Ñāṇadassana, Maha Thera (1959 - )

nanadassana_small.jpg In 1959, Ioannis Tselios, later to be ordained as Bhikkhu Ñāṇadassana, was born in Greece to Orthodox Christian parents. He studied sociology at the University of Frankfurt in Germany and in 1981, at the age of 22 years, a trip to India resulted in the turning point of his life. The young Greek, whilst glancing through a tourist pamphlet, was deeply intrigued when he came across these memorable lines by the Buddha: “This is my last birth. I have crossed the ocean of existence.” Having now decided to find out more about the Buddha and his Teachings, he visited Kusinara, the place where the Buddha attained Parinibbāna, or final passing away. Here, under a senior Indian Buddhist monk, Tselios not only practised meditation but also read about Buddhism. His interest having now being whetted, he decided to search for the Buddha's original teachings and arrived in Sri Lanka. In 1982, at the age of 23 years, he entered monkhood for full-time study and practice. For four years he practised under the guidance of the late Most Venerable Mātara Ñāṇārāma Mahāthera, the renown meditation master of Nissaraṇa Vanaya, Meetirigala. In 1986, he took the higher ordination with the late Most Venerable Rājakīya Paṇḍita Kaḍavedduve Shrī Jinavaüsa Mahāthera as his preceptor. He then studied the Tipiṭaka with its Commentaries and Subcommentaries under three learned Mahātheras at Gnānārāma Dharmāyatanaya, Meetirigala, where he spent 16 years. Later he practised meditation in Burma for four and half years and in 2008 returned to Sri Lanka.

He is the author and translator of about ten Buddhist books in English, German, Sinhala, and Pāḷi and is adept at preaching the Dhamma in English and Sinhala. [Source: Karaṇāya Metta-Sutta: The Message of Peace and Universal Friendliness. Picture: Indonesia Tipitaka Center]

Ñanamoli Thera (1905-1960) [nymo]

File written by Adobe Photoshop� 4.0 Bhikkhu Ñanamoli (Osbert Moore) was born in England and graduated from Exeter College, Oxford. In 1948 he came to Sri Lanka, where he was ordained the following year. During his eleven years as a monk, he translated from Pali into lucid English some of the most difficult texts of Theravada Buddhism, including the Visuddhimagga. His original draft translation of the Majjhima Nikaya was posthumously edited and revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi and published as The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 1995). Other books include Mindfulness of Breathing and The Life of the Buddha, both published by the Buddhist Publication Society. [Source: The Life of the Buddha (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1992) and other sources.]

Ñanananda, Bhikkhu ( - ) [nana]

Bhikkhu Ñanananda is a Buddhist monk of Sri Lanka. Before his ordination, he was an assistant lecturer in Pali at the University of Peradeniya. After entering the Buddhist order in 1969 he resided mostly in remote hermitages. [Source: The Magic of the Mind (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1974)]

Ñanasamvara, Somdet Phra (Venerable Suvaddhano Bhikkhu, HH the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand) (1913- )

nyanasamvara_small.jpg HH Somdet Phra Ñanasamvara was born in Kanchanaburi Province, about 130 kilometers northwest of Bangkok, in 1913. At age thirteen he became a novice and in 1933 he received the higher ordination. On going back to continue his studies in Bangkok he was given new ordination as venerable Bhikkhu Suvaddhano, with the Supreme Patriarch Vajiranyanavong as Preceptor, at Wat Bovornives Vihara the next year. After furthering and completing his Dhamma and Pali studies to the highest grade (grade nine), he succeeded venerable Chao Khun Phra Brahmamuni as abbot in 1960. He was awarded the ecclesiastical title of Somdet in 1972 and has held various positions in the administration of the Thai Sangha. He was made supreme patriarch of Thailand in 1989. [Source: A Guide to Awareness (Bangkok: Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, 1997).]

Ñanavara Thera (Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya) ( - ) [nyva]

(No information available.)

Narada Thera (1898-1983) [nara]

File source:... Ven. Narada (Sumanapala) was born in Kotahena, Sri Lanka. A talented student, he attended St. Benedict's College, a Catholic secondary school. On his eighteenth birthday he became a novice; two years later he received higher ordination. He continued his scholarly studies at University College, Colombo. He spent the last fifty years of his life writing, translating, and tirelessly conducting missionary work, spreading the Dhamma across Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and the Americas. [Source: “Venerable Narada Maha Thera: A Buddhist Missionary Par Excellence,” by Olcott Gunasekera (; originally appeared in “The Island,” Sri Lanka, Sunday 03 August 2003.]

Nararatana Rajamanit, Chao Khun (Tryk Dhammavitakko) (???-1971)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Norman, K.R. ( - ) [norm]

K.R. Norman is the current vice president of the Pali Text Society.

Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994) [nypo]

nyanaponika_small.jpg Nyanaponika Thera (Siegmund Feniger) left his native Germany in 1936 for Sri Lanka, where he was ordained as a Buddhist monk by Ven. Nyanatiloka Thera (1878-1957). In 1958 he helped to found the Buddhist Publication Society, of which he served as editor-in-chief until 1984, and as president until his retirement in 1988. He passed away peacefully at his residence, the Forest Hermitage in the Udawattakele Reserve outside of Kandy, on the last day of his 57th rains retreat. His many widely-acclaimed books include The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, The Vision of Dhamma, Abhidhamma Studies, and (with Bhikkhu Bodhi) Numerical Discourses of the Buddha. [Source: Introduction to The Vision of the Dhamma (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1992) and “For the Welfare of Many” by Bhikkhu Bodhi.]

Nyanasatta Thera ( - ) [nysa]

(No information available.)

Nyanasobhano, Bhikkhu — see Price, Leonard

Nyanatiloka Mahathera (1878-1957)

nyanatiloka_small.jpg Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera was the first Continental European in modern times to become a Buddhist monk and one of the foremost Western exponents of Theravada Buddhism in the twentieth century. Born in Germany, he developed a keen interest in Buddhism in his youth and came to Asia intending to enter the Buddhist Order. He received ordination in Burma in 1903. The greatest part of his life as a monk was spent in Sri Lanka, where he established the Island Hermitage at Dodanduwa as a monastery for Western monks. His translations into German include the Anguttara Nikaya, the Visuddhimagga, and the Milindapañha. Ven. Nyanatiloka passed away in Colombo in 1957. [Source: Fundamentals of Buddhism: Four Lectures by Nyanatiloka Mahathera (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1994).]

Nyanatusita, Bhikkhu (1967- )

nyanatusita_small.jpg Bhikkhu Nyanatusita was born in the Netherlands and was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1993. In 2005 he was appointed editor of the Buddhist Publication Society (Sri Lanka). [Source: personal communication, 2007.]


Oates, L.R. ( - )

(No information available.)

Olendzki, Andrew ( - ) [olen]

olendzki_small.jpg Andrew Olendzki, Ph.D., is a Pali scholar who trained in Buddhist Studies at Lancaster University in England, as well as at Harvard and the University of Sri Lanka. The former executive director of the Insight Meditation Society (USA), he is currently the executive director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (USA). [Source: Barre Center for Buddhist Studies website.]

Many of Olendzki's translations that appear on Access to Insight were originally published in Insight Journal.

Ontl, Petr Karel (1942- )

Petr Karel Ontl was born into a Bohemian-American family in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1942, and emigrated to the United States in 1949. A certified foreign language teacher, he has worked in the fields of teaching, photography, care for the elderly, and translation. He has been a Theravada Buddhist for the past twenty years and is affiliated with the Bhavana Society in High View, West Virginia. [Source: Of Mindsets and Monkeypots by Petr Karel Ontl (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1993)]


Perera, H.R. ( - )

(No information available.)

Phut Thaniyo, Phra Ajaan (1921-1999)

A student of Ajaan Sao. (See Ajaan Sao's entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Piyadassi Thera (1914-1998) [piya]

piyadassi_small.jpg Piyadassi Thera was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and attended Nalanda College and the University of Sri Lanka. In 1934 he ordained under the tutelage of Ven. Vajirañana, Sangha Nayaka, a respected authority on Buddhism. The author of some sixty books, Ven. Piyadassi was a popular television and radio lecturer of Dhamma, both in Sinhala and in English. He represented Sri Lanka at several international religious and cultural conferences. He passed away in Colombo in 1998 after a brief illness. [Source: “The Daily News” (Sri Lanka), 18 August 2001 and The Buddha's Ancient Path]

Piyatissa Thera ( - )

(No information available.)

Price, Leonard (Nyanasobhano Bhikkhu) ( - )

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Leonard Price graduated from Dartmouth College, where he majored in English. He subsequently worked as an actor and writer. In 1987 he ordained in Bangkok at Wat Mahadhatu and took the name Nyanasobhano Bhikkhu. He has spent time in Thailand and Sri Lanka, and currently resides in the United States. [From Bhikkhu Tissa Dispels Some Doubts and Nothing Higher to Live For, both published by the Buddhist Publication Society.]

Prince, T ( - )

(No information available.)


Rhys Davids, C.A.F. (1857-1942) [rhyc]

File source: “Caroline Augusta Foley was born in Wadhurst, Sussex, 27 September 1857. She was educated at home and at University College, London, BA, 1886, MA, 1889. She was a member of staff of the Economic Journal, 1891-5. She worked on behalf of various societies for the welfare of women and children, 1890-4, and was a campaigner for women's suffrage, 1896-1914. She married Thomas Rhys Davids, 1894. She was appointed Lecturer in Indian Philosophy at Manchester University, 1910-13, and Lecturer in the History of Buddhism at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1918-33. She was Honorary Secretary, 1907-22, and President, 1923-42, of the Pali Text Society. She died in Chipstead, Surrey, 26 June 1942.” [Source: University of Cambridge Faculty Library Archive Collections,, retrieved 2007.]

Rosenberg, Larry ( - )

rosenberg_small.jpg Larry Rosenberg is the founder of, and a guiding teacher at, the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. He is also a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Society. Larry's spiritual practice began more than 30 years ago with J. Krishnamurti and Vimala Thakar. He received Zen training with Korean Master Seung Sahn and Japanese Master Katagiri Roshi for 8 years before coming to Vipassana. Anagarika Munindra was his first Vipassana teacher. Larry's main influence has been the Thai Forest tradition. He has practiced with Ajahn Maha Boowa, Ajahn Suwat, and Ajahn Buddhadasa. Larry has also practiced with Thich Nhat Hanh. He is the author of Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation and, more recently, Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Fully Alive. [Source: “CIMC Teachers and Instructors”,, retrieved May, 2006.]


Sao Kantasilo, Phra Ajaan (1861-1941)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Sayadaw, Mahasi — see Mahasi Sayadaw.

Sayadaw, Webu — see Webu Sayadaw.

Silacara, Bhikkhu (J.F. McKechnie) (1871-1950)

silacara_small.jpg J.F. McKechnie was born in Hull, Yorkshire, on October 22nd, 1871. After attending school he worked first as an apprentice stock-cutter in a clothing factory, then emigrated to the United States to work on a fruit and dairy farm. Around the turn of the century he came across the magazine Buddhism in a public library. He answered an advertisement from the magazine's editor, the Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya (Alan Bennett), for an editorial assistant in Rangoon, Burma, and soon found himself working for the magazine in Burma. He worked for the magazine for several years, and then ordained in the bhikkhu sangha in 1906. After many years of writing, teaching, and missionary work, in 1925 ill-health forced him to disrobe and return to England, where he continued lecturing and writing. During World War II he moved to an Old Person's Home, where he died in 1950. [Source: A Young People's Life of of the Buddha.]

Silananda, Sayadaw U (1927-2005)

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01 The Ven. Sayadaw U Silananda was born in Mandalay, Burma. He became a novice monk in 1943; four years later he received higher ordination. A natural scholar, by 1948 he had passed all three of the Government Pali examinations. In the next six years he received two more advanced scholarly degrees. In 1954-56 he served as one of the distinguished editors of the Tipitaka and Commentaries at the Sixth Buddhist Council in Rangoon. In 1979 he traveled to the US with Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw to teach meditation and Dhamma, after which he stayed on to continue teaching. He served as Spiritual Advisor of the Theravada Buddhist Society of America and was Spiritual Director of four other Buddhist centers across the country. He passed away peacefully on 13 August 2005. [Source: “Sayadaw U Silananda,” by the Theravada Buddhist Society of America and Newsflash.]

Sim Buddhacaro, Phra Ajaan (1909-1992)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)

Siriwardhana, Eileen ( - )

File written by Adobe Photoshop� 4.0 Mrs. Eileen Siriwardhana graduated from the University of Ceylon in English, Singhalese and Pali. She is now the Principal of Visakha Vidyalaya, the premier Buddhist Girl's School in Colombo. She is also a distinguished writer in Singhalese. [Source: The Heart Awakened (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1983).]

Soma Thera (1898-1960) [soma]

Ven. Soma Thera (Victor Emmanuel Perera Pulle) was educated at St. Benedict's College in Kotahena. After traveling widely in Burma, Thailand, China, and Japan, studying and translating Buddhist texts, he returned to Burma where he was ordained in 1936. He was a member of the Buddhist Mission of Goodwill to India in 1940, and the Buddhist mission to China in 1946. In 1946 he led the first Buddhist mission to Germany. He died suddenly of pulmonary thrombosis in 1960. [Source: The Way of Mindfulness (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1975).]

Soni, Dr. R.L. ( - ) [soni]

(No information available.)

Story, Francis (1910-1972) [stor]

Francis Story (Anagarika Sugatananda) was born in England in 1910 and became acquainted with Buddhist teachings early in life. For 25 years he lived in Asian countries — India, Burma, and Sri Lanka — where he deeply studied the Buddhist philosophy of life. With that background and endowed with a keen analytical mind, he produced a considerable body of writings, collected and published in three volumes by the Buddhist Publication Society. [Source: Rebirth as Doctrine and Experience: Essays and Case Studies, by Francis Story (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 2000).]

Sumana, Samanera (???-1910)

Samanera Sumana (Fritze Stange) was born in Germany and traveled to Sri Lanka, where he ordained as a novice in 1906. He and a Dutchman named Bergendahl (Samanera Suñño) were the first two pupils of Ven. Nyanatiloka. Sumana's ill health forced his return to Germany, but that same year he returned to Sri Lanka, re-ordained. He passed away in 1910. [Source: Going Forth: A Call to Buddhist Monkhood, by Samanera Sumana (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1983).]

Suwat Suvaco, Phra Ajaan (1919-2002)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)


Tan, Piya (1949- ) [tanp] :: {{.:tanpiya/tanpiya_small.jpg?80 }}] Piya Tan Beng Sin, chinese origin, was born 20 August 1949 in Malacca, Malaysia and is also known as Piya Tan or Piyasilo (former monastic name). Having spend 20 years as a Theravadin monk he has co-founded the "Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia" as Vice-President and is now a full-time lay Buddhist writer-cum-teacher in Singapore. He actively teaches the Buddha's Dharma, meditation and Pali to various Buddhist groups (see also [[#yahoo|Yahoo Pali Group) and organisations, and also works as a “meditation therapist” and counsellor at The Minding Centre. He is contributor of many translations and detail essays (mainly free of charge) of suttas and Dhammabook. A well maintained collection of his work can be found on his website [Source: Piya Tan (Wikipedia-Jan. 2014), and his websites]

Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1949- ) [than]

thanissaro_small.jpg Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) is an American Buddhist monk of the Thai forest kammathana tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he traveled to Thailand, where he studied meditation under Ajaan Fuang Jotiko, himself a student of the late Ajaan Lee. He ordained in 1976 and lived at Wat Dhammasathit, where he remained following his teacher's death in 1986. In 1991 he traveled to the hills of San Diego County, USA, where he helped Ajaan Suwat Suvaco establish Wat Mettavanaram (“Metta Forest Monastery”). He was made abbot of the monastery in 1993. His long list of publications includes translations from Thai of Ajaan Lee's meditation manuals; Handful of Leaves, a four-volume anthology of sutta translations; The Buddhist Monastic Code, a two-volume reference handbook for monks; Wings to Awakening; and (as co-author) the college-level textbook Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction.

Thate Desaransi, Phra Ajaan (1902-1994)

(See his entry on the Thai Forest Traditions page.)


U Ba Khin — see Khin, U Ba

U Silananda — see Silananda, Sayadaw U

Uppalavanna, Sister (1886-1982)

uppalavanna_small.jpg Else Buchholtz was born in Hamburg in 1886. Both her parents died in a Cholera epidemic soon after. Adopted by wealthy foster parents, she was brought up in the Tiergarten quarter of Berlin. She led a carefree life, with all the comforts of German high society, and music, singing, dancing and horseback riding were an important part of her upbringing. She was proficient in the violin and possessed a trained musical voice. In 1912, her foster parents also died and she inherited a considerable fortune from them. She moved to Odenwald, in the Schwarzwald. Here she found many poor and needy people, whom she helped financially. In 1919, she gave shelter at her home to two German Buddhist monks, Ven Nyanatiloka (the first non-British European to become a Buddhist monk) and Ven Vappa. In 1920, she paid for the passage of the two monks and herself to the island. However, the country was still a British colony and the three were denied entry as enemy aliens. They therefore decided to go to Japan. Here Buchholtz studied Mahayana Buddhism for five years. In 1926, she went once again to Sri Lanka and was this time allowed to enter. On 20 May 1926 Buchholtz was ordained a Buddhist nun beside the Sri Maha Bodhi ( the tree that grew from a sapling of the Bo Tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment) at Anuradhapura, probably by Ven. Nyanatiloka. At first Sister Uppalavanna lived in a small thatched hut close to the Vajirarama monastery in Colombo and later in Weligama. After this she moved to a simple hermitage above the town of Gampola, in the cooler hill country. In 1938 she was invited by the Lay Committee of the Vihara Maha Devi Upasikaramaya nunnery to be chief nun. When she was 94, in failing health, she was persuaded to move to the Mallika Home for the Aged, an institution established by Mallika Hewavitharana (wife of Don Carolis Hewavitharana). She died there, peacefully, two years later. She should not be confused with the main contributor of transaltions of the Anguttara Nikaya on, Uppalavanna from Galla who currently lives and practices in Sri Lanka. [Source: Sister Uppalavanna - Wikipedia; personal communication with Bhikkhu Mettavihari, the editor of]

Uppalavanna from Galle, Sister (??-??) [uppa]

Ven. sister Uppalavanna (from Galle) is a Sinhalese nun, who translated serval books of the Anguttara Nikaya into English. The name “from Galle” has been given to prevent a possible confusion with the German nun Uppalavanna and on the infomation that she uses to maintain her practice mainly in the province Galla in Sri Lanka. An extensive collection of here translations can befound on [Source: personal communication with Bhikkhu Mettavihari, the editor of]


Vajira, Sister (1928-1991) [vaji]

File source: Sister Vajirā (Hannelore Wolf), born in Hamburg (Germany) was a dasa sil mata, a Buddhist ten precept-holder nun in Sri Lanka. Hannelore was looking for religious meanings and in early summer 1949 she came across the teachings of the Buddha. Hannelore was so impressed that she came to the seminary group of Debes. In June 1954 the Sinhalese monk Ven. Nārada turned up in Hamburg and Hannelore took the opportunity to request to go to Ceylon and become a nun. She took on the 10 training rules and was ordained as Sister Vajirā by Ven. Nārada on the full moon of July in 1955 at the Vihāra Mahā Devi Hermitage at Biyagāma near Colombo. Many years later, after successful practicing, rapidity and intensity of the change of her views caused a kind of nervous breakdown and she disrobed, returning to Germany in 22 February 1962. In 1986 Samanera Bodhesako had written to her from Ceylon to request permission to publish parts of her letters to Ven. Ñānavīra in the planned book Clearing the Path and she consented. She died on 7 December 1991 in her room in Maschen. A booklet of her translations has been printed under the name “Last Days of the Buddha (DN16)”. A biography of her was written by Hellmuth Hecker and is avaliable in its english Translation on Path Press [Source: Sister Vajira - Wikipedia]

van Gorkom, Nina (1928- )

vangorkom_small.jpg “Nina van Gorkom was born in 1928 to a family of socialist intellectuals. Her father was a member of the Dutch parliament. She studied at Leyden University and during this time she became a Catholic. In 1952, she married Lodewijk van Gorkom, a Dutch diplomat. In 1965, Lodewijk was posted to Thailand and Nina started learning Thai language. She took a keen interest in Buddhism, attending classes for foreigners at Wat Mahathat. There she met, in the summer of 1966, Sujin Boriharnwanaket. Impressed by the profundity of the Buddhist teachings, she became convinced of the truth of the Buddha's words and later assisted Khun Sujin in discussions about Buddhism for Thai radio stations. These talks were later published as Buddhism in Daily Life, her first book. Nina and Lodewijk left Thailand in 1970 and lived in Japan, New York, Indonesia (where Lodewijk was the Dutch ambassador) and Austria. Lodewijk retired in 1990 and they now live in The Hague in Holland.” [Source: “Interview with Nina van Gorkom, September 1999, by Robert Kirkpatrick,” (

Varado Bhikkhu, Mahathera (??-??) [vara]

Ven. Varado Mahathera graduated in Medicine in 1984. He was ordained as a Bhikkhu by Ajahn Sumedho in 1988. Most of his monastic life has been spent at Amaravati Monastery where he has periodically taught Vinaya. He was the editor of the Forest Sangha Newsletter 2003 – 6. Resisting in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, he translated serial text, like the Dhammapada, The Verses of the Elders and the Sutta Nipata from the Pali-Canon, some together with Ven. Bodhesako into English and counts as the generous compiler of the “Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms”. [various sources on internet]

von Glasenapp, Helmuth (1891-1963)

vonglasenapp_small.jpg Helmuth von Glasenapp was an eminent West German Indologist. He taught at the University of Königsberg and occupied the indological chair of the University of Tübingen. Among his many scholarly publications are books on Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and comparative religion. [Source: Vedanta and Buddhism: A Comparative Study (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1978).]


Walshe, Maurice O'Connell (1911-1998)

walshe_small.jpg Maurice O'Connell Walshe was born in London and studied German at the universities of London, Berlin, Vienna, and Freiburg, eventually becoming Deputy Director at the Institute of Germanic Studies, London. An active Buddhist since 1951, he was Vice-President of the English Sangha Trust, as well as author of numerous articles on Buddhism. His published works include a three volume set of essays of the 13th century mystic, Meister Eckhart and, in 1987, Thus Have I Heard, a new translation of the Digha Nikaya. A few months before he died he completed a Buddhist Pali dictionary. [Source: Thus Have I Heard (London: Wisdom Publications, 1987) and “Maurice O'Connell Walshe — A Tribute” in Forest Sangha Newsletter, July 1998</a>.]

Webu Sayadaw (1896-1977)

webu_small.jpg Webu Sayadaw was born in Upper Burma. He ordained as a novice at age nine and took higher ordination at twenty, assuming the monastic name U Kumara. He studied for seven years at a monastery in Mandalay, after which time he wandered for four years in the solitude of the forest wilderness, practicing the ascetic dhutanga practices. He returned to his native village and began teaching the meditation techniques he had mastered in the wilds. Once he became an established teacher he assumed the name Webu Sayadaw. He continued teaching meditation until his death in 1977. [Source: The Essential Practice: Dhamma Discourses of Venerable Webu Sayadaw (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1991).]

Wijesinghe, Mahinda ( - )

Upasaka Mahinda Wijesinghe is a Sinhalese practicing Buddhist, who wrote several short Essays of principal teachings, especially on fundamental qualities in regard of the training.

Woodward, F.L. (1871-1952) [wood]

woodward_small.jpg “In 1919, F.L. Woodward, who for 16 years had been principal of Mahinda College in Galle, Sri Lanka, arrived in Australia. He settled on an apple orchard near Launceston in Tasmania, and for the next 33 years devoted his time to translations of the Pali canon for the Pali Text Society. He is perhaps best known for his anthology, Some Sayings of the Buddha, first published in 1925.”[1] He died peacefully at age 81 at Beaconfield in Tasmania.[2] [Sources: [1] “A multi-faceted religious community,” University of Canberra, Australia (; and [2] Pali Tipitakam Concordance, Vol I (Oxford: PTS, 1990).]


Yahoo! Pali Group [yaho]

The Yahoo! Pali Group is an online forum where Pali students and scholars gather to discuss the Pali language and to make collaborative translations of texts from the Tipitaka. Contributors to the translations on Access to Insight include: Derek Cameron, Dimitri Ivakhnenko, and Piya Tan.

Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu ( - )

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90 Venerable Yuttadhammo (formerly Noah Greenspoon) is a Canadian-born Theravada Buddhist monk, ordained in 2001 under the guidance of Venerable Ajaan Tong Sirimangalo of Chiang Mai, Thailand and has practiced intensive and daily meditation following the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition since January 2000. He has taught intensive meditation in Thailand, Sri Lanka, USA and Canada since 2003 and gives online teachings via YouTube. He studied Sanskrit, Pali and Indian Religion at McMaster University and University of Toronto, formal Thai Dhamma, Abhidhamma and Pali studies at Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong and teaches Pali classes to advanced meditators from time to time. He is currently the head of the Parideha Forest Monastery in Manitoba, Canada. Next to the publication of several books especially for newcomer to meditation, he has created a Digital Pali Reader which is used by Pali scholars around the world. [Source: Just Another Buddhist Monk's Weblog ]



The four characters in square brackets that follow the names of translators are Reserved Translator Codes, which are used in assigning file names to Pali translations.

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