05 October 2008

Project Proposal:

Kaleniya International Buddhist University


Buddhism originated in India some 2,500 years ago and yet suffered severe destruction from the 11th century onward. Nowadays, Buddhism is mostly found outside of India.

Generally speaking, present Buddhism can be divided into two major traditions: the Theravada Pali tradition that is found in Sri Lanka and other southeast Asian countries and Mahayana tradition that is furtherer divided into the Chinese-literary tradition and Tibetan tradition.

It is the goal of Kaleniya International Buddhist University to bring different traditions together in order to promote inter-tradition dialogue, mutual understanding and share thoughts and spiritual practice.


  1. To advance academic study in Buddhism and to cultivate talents in Buddhist studies;

  2. To revive the bhikkhuni sangha in Sri Lanka and to improve the status of bhikkhuni around the world;

  3. To encourage educational activities and to apply Buddha-Dharma in the social-cultural works;

  4. To collect and preserve Buddhist texts, literature, arts, etc.;

  5. To support inter-traditions dialogue and academic exchange.

Proposed Programs

There will be long-term as well as short-term programs at the university. They are either diploma-intended or degree-intended programs. Postgraduate degrees will also be provided.

Site location

  1. Only 10 km. to the capital Colombo and 40 km to Bandaranaika International Airport.

  2. A total of 40 acres of site measure.

  3. The Lord Buddha visited Kaleniya.

stupa at the site of the university

the bodhi tree


How we began

While the formally formation of our organisation was carried out in Taiwan in the year 1999 by Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima the fundamentals of our organised charity work dates back earlier.Our founder had in his home country Sri Lanka already brought the Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation as part of his charity work into being in 1993.
With his projects like the Dharma Chakkra children's homes he had the goal to transcend the boundaries of nations and races by involving people from various backgrounds and to realize the Bodhisattva path.As stable financial income is a requirement for the continuity of charity projects Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima accepted the donation of a ground-floor apartment in San-chun, Taipei from Ms. Chen Jiezhi and Mr. Huang Saiying in 1995.Hereby the basis of the Theravada Samadhi Education Association was laid and so our organisation was founded for the purpose of funding charity projects in Sri Lanka. Mr. Wang Zhuqing was elected as the first president.
In the course of time our association grew and in the end the San-chun premises have no longer been big enough to accommodate our congregation. When The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation heard about our difficulties, it gladly donated bigger premises to us without hesitation.In the year 2004 the Theravada Samadhi Education Association moved to the current location in Shipai, Taipei. Our new address is only a 10 minutes walk away from Shipai MRT station.
We hope that with this convenient and more spacious location, those who either wish to learn about Dharma or want to take part in our charity projects may find it easier to join us.

Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima

Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima was born in Matara District of southern Sri Lanka on 3rd February 1957. Sri Lanka, or 'Ceylon', as she was called during the colonial era, lies in the Indian Ocean, south of India. She is a beautiful island, flourishing with thousands-year-old of Buddhist culture.

According to a Sri Lankan chronicle, the Mahavamsa, it was to the people of Sri Lanka that the Buddha gave the auspicious responsibility of protecting Dharma before his final nirvana. Since young, Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima has been nourished in Dharma.When he was eleven, his aunt invited three monks to take the rainy season retreat at her house, for there was no proper place nears the village for the monks to hold the retreat.

Young Chandima was attracted to the Dharma the monks disclosed and the bright yellow color of robes the monks wore at the first sight. He went to his aunt's place every day after school to hear the Dharma sermon from the monks.'Mama,' he begged his mother, 'I want to wear that robe.'

At the first, his mother refused. But after awhile, she relented. So three months later, young Chandima followed the three monks to their temple and as he had wished, wore the robe.

But soon, young Chandima found out that wearing the monastic robe was no fun at all! He must get up at four in the morning for the morning prayer. Everyday, there was sutra-studying and there was so much to be learnt! He ran away three times. But each time, his teacher went after him and persuaded him to return.

Despite all the hardship of monastic life, young Chandima remained in the robe.

In 1970, at the age of 13, young Chandima formally received Buddhist monastic ordination. After the ordination, he was sent to study at Maha Mantinda Pirivena. A pirivena is a Buddhist monastic school where young monks (and after 1980s young nuns) are trained. The subjects of study at a pirivena include Pali, Sanskrit, Tiripitaka, social studies, Sinhala, mathematics, etc. Studying at a pirivena is no easy task and one needs great determination to finish the strict and demanding courses. After seven years of study, Ven. Chandima graduated from the pirivena with a Distinction and he stayed on at the pirivena as a teacher.

In 1980, after more than ten years of 'wearing the robe', Chandima received the higher ordination and became a Bhikkhu, a full member of the Sangha (Buddhist monastic order).

In 1982 Ven. Bodagama Chandima was admitted into the renowned Buddhasravaka-Dharmapithaya University in the northern Sri Lanka. There he studied courses such as English, Pali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Sinhala, Tiripitaka, Abhidharma, meditation, Buddhist history and culture, etc. After three years of study he was granted a B.A. degree and in 1986 a M.A. degree. At the same time he also studied at Peradeniya University as an external student and was eventually granted a M.A. degree in Buddhist philosophy.Although as soon as he obtained his M.A. degree, he was invited to be the principal of a pirivena, he felt that he had yet seen the world.

So between 1986 and 1988 he traveled to Thailand for trainings in meditation. And later he went to Malaysia to study under the revered Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera and at the same time helped to translate Pali texts. During his stay in Malaysia, library was where he spent most of his time.In 1990 under the encouragement of Chinese Buddhists in Malaysia, Ven. Bodagama Chandima came to Taiwan to study Chinese.

He thought that he would stay in Taiwan only for a few years and after acquiring Chinese language skills, he would return to Malaysia to spread Theravada Buddhism to the Chinese population there. Little did he know that he would go on to make Taiwan his home!At the first he took a Chinese language course at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

During this period (1990~1993) all of his tuition and living expenses were paid by Mr. Jian Fengwen, the former Chairperson of The Corporate Body of Buddha Education Foundation. After he finished his Chinese language course, he was invited by the Corporate Body of Buddha Education Foundation to teach meditation and to translate Pali texts into Chinese. This has never stopped. Till today, Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima still engages in the task of translating Pali texts for the Corporate Body of Buddha Education Foundation and holds regular Dharma sermons and meditation classes there.Even though he lived in Taiwan, he never forgot about the needy in Sri Lanka.

Thus, in 1993, he founded the first Dharma Chakkra children's home near Colombo as well as the Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation for the upkeep of the children's home. In the meantime, he always tries to spread Dharma. For example, between May and September of 1997, he was invited to New York, Atlanta, Paris, and Germany to teach meditation and give Dharma sermons. But charity works remain important to him. In 1999, he founded the Theravada Samadhi Education Association in Taiwan for the purpose of funding various charity projects in Sri Lanka.In 2001 he was granted a honorary Ph.D. degree in philosophy by Kandy University. And in 2003 he was granted another honorary Ph.D. degree in Buddhist study from Southern University.

In Buddhist legend, there is a mystic bird called 'garuda'. A garuda has wings miles wide and when it flies, it can fly from one end of the world to the other within blinks. It flies alone but it is strong. Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima is like a garuda. In the dark sky of night, he frequently flies between Sri Lanka and Taiwan, spreading Dharma and compassion.His ability and compassion soon gained the attention of Ven. Dhamma Kitthi Thera, the abbot of the Sangharaja Museum, Kandy.

He then offered Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima a temple in Kaleniya near Colombo. Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima was puzzled. He asked Ven. Dhamma Kitthi Thera: 'Why did you give me this temple?'. The elderly Ven. Dhamma Kitthi Thera gave a simple but assured reply: 'I have confidence in you.'.Manelwata Vihara in Kaleniya is a big but half-ruined temple. Given its approximate to the capital Colombo, Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima thought that he might utilize this temple. The idea of 'Kaleniya Buddhist University' was thus born.

He plans to establish a Buddhist university at the location. And in order to provide better understanding among Buddhists of different traditions, the 'Kaleniya International Buddhist University' will differ from other Buddhist universities in Sri Lanka, in the way that it will provide not only courses in Pali and Theravada Buddhism but also courses in Buddhist studies of other traditions.

However, because of the devastating situation caused by the 2004 tsunami, all fund-raising events for the establishment of Kaleniya Buddhist University have been diverged to Tsunami relief projects.

As soon as the tsunami relief project was completed to a satisfying stage, a catastrophe, caused by the May 2008 cyclone, hit Myanmar. Forever compassion, Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima immediately threw his energy to help the cyclone victims. Therefore, the "Kaleniya International Buddhist University" will have wait even longer.

04 October 2008

Make a donation

Name of Bank: Hua Nan Commercial Bank
Branch: Shipai Branch

Branch Address: No.78, Shipai Rd. Sec.1, Beitou, Taipei, Taiwan

A/C Name: Theravada Samadhi Education Association in Taiwan R.O.C

A/C-No.: 123970023130

Please remark: “Relief for Myanmar”

Kaleniya International Buddhist University

University projectThough the Manelwata Vihara temple in Kaleniya near Colombo comprises a big site, however it lies half in ruins.

After the elderly Ven. Dhamma Kitthi Thera, the late abbot of the Sangharaja Museum, Kandy, conveyed this temple as a gift to our founder Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima, the idea to establish a university at this site was soon born.

In order to provide better understanding among Buddhists of different traditions the Kaleniya International Buddhist University will differ from other Buddhist universities in Sri Lanka.

It will provide not only courses in Pali and Theravada Buddhism but also courses in Buddhist studies of other traditions.The fundraising measures for the establishment of the university have however been diverged to the tsunami relief project, because of the devastating situation caused by the Tsunami in the end of 2004.

Let's hope the Kaleniya International Buddhist University will be with our collective efforts the reality in the near future anyhow.

Scholarship Project

Due to financial difficulties students from Asian countries are often unable to successfully finish their studies.Our founder Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima made a public appeal to help those students and many people gave generously. So those scholarships have helped more than 100 students in the past years, more than 40 students among them have been from overseas.We provide different scholarships for students who want to study in Sri Lanka. Among are scholarships for medical studies, for Buddhist studies and scholarships for excellence. The recipients of our scholarships are both Buddhist monks and laypersons.

Dharma Chakkra children's homes

With the accommodation in a comfortable and well looked after home we want to offer orphaned children as well as for children from problem families a happy environment to grow up.Our first children's home was opened on the 29th November 1998 in the presence of the president of Sri Lanka. This home is exclusively housing boys and offers approximately 100 children accommodation.In the beginning of 2005 we have started the construction of a second children's home on our site in Bandaragama, which meanwhile is completed. This home is exclusively for girls, which shall be prepared for a independent live by a family environment and good educational opportunity and has accommodated 9 girls so far.The costs for clothing, food, health care, education, etc. amount to approx. 35 US-Dollars per child per month. The Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation is raising the total expenses by donations. So fare more than 400 children already profited from this project.

Samadhi housing project

Up to 500,000 humans have been made homeless by the Tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sri Lanka. After carrying out relief actions we have concentrated our efforts onto the reconstruction for the lasting support of the people affected.Already on the 19th January 2005 we have been able to start with the works to realise our master plan. The project comprises besides the construction of a 1,000 residential houses substantial measures for the upgrading of the infrastructure and further accompanying projects.For the first construction stage of our Samadhi housing project we have obtained 80 acres of land on the southeast coast in the Hambantota District from Sri Lanka government and we have been able to complete the first housing complex with fully-equipped houses in the village Uahapitagoda Gramasewa. Those houses have been donated to 300 Tsunami affected and destitute families with a total of 1200 family members on the 10th September 2005.In the meantime the building of the second and third stage has started. The parcel of land for the second construction stage is located in Bataata, Hungama and was donated by Cetiyagiri Viharaya. The third phase of the project will be created in Panama, Madakalapuwa. Those two construction stages are estimated to be completed in December 2006.We still ask you for your participation in this project, because substantial work still needs to be done. Please join us in helping the Tsunami victims, for that the persons affected will be put in the position to build a new existence!

Tsunami relief

In the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sumatra the third strongest recorded earthquake in history triggered Tsunamis in the entire region on the 26th December 2004. Based on estimations in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and in another 8 countries up to 230,000 humans lost their lives and up to 1,700,000 have been made homeless in the course of this natural disaster.In Sri Lanka especially the east and the south of the island have been effected. Besides substantial damages caused to the infrastructure of the country the disaster did cost there up to 38,000 humans their lives and up to 500,000 have been made homeless. Many of the survivors lost their entire belongings as well as their basis of existence.As the news of the devastating effects of the Tsunami disaster reached us, we immediately started the relief work. Already on the 28th December Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima traveled with a few helpers to Sri Lanka and so we have been able to instantly put 5 million rupees immediate aid at disposal.Our team toured across the affected regions afterwards and distributed auxiliary goods like medicine, food, clothing and kitchen utensils. Further relief actions have been performed by us in the beginning of 2005.In the further order of our work the reconstruction of the affected regions moved in the foreground and so we made the decision to concentrate our efforts onto the construction of free houses for the displaced victims. We call our new project the Samadhi housing project.Our organisation is still committed to the Tsunami victims, for many persons affected still wait for adequate help!

Activities in Taiwan

We conduct various actitivies at our location in Taipei. Besides the planning of our charity projects we do hold volunteer training sessions there, to prepare them for their work in Sri Lanka.We also offer various classes and events like for example meditation classes, chinese classic reading for children or Buddhist studies. New this spring term is a Sinhala class, as many of our members realized the need for knowledge of the Singhalese language in order to intensify their invovlement in charity projects or to pursue their meditation training in Sri Lanka.

Lianxian kindergartens

As the population in rural Sri Lanka is due to financial difficulties often not in the position to offer their children adequate preschool education, our organisation support the Lianxian kindergartens.By supporting those kindergartens we give children from less privileged families an early opportunity to obtain a basis for their future education. So they have regardless of their origin the chance to go a successful path of life.The kindergartens are located in impoverished areas and are free of charges due to our support. So far we have been able to promote 10 Lianxian kindergartens. Lianxian is a Chinese word and can be translated with lotus mind.

Medical project

To improve the health care of the population in Sri Lanka we support medical teams from Taiwan, which offer free treatment and free medicine during several days stays.The local media informs the population before the arrival about the offer and so patients often wait for the team already since early morning. The doctors and nurses than often have to work till late in night.This free help means a lot to the needy as otherwise they would not be in the position to receive proper medical treatment.