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West Virginian Monk Receives Higher Ordination

By Tom LaVenture, Asian American Press, May 6, 1007

HIGH VIEW, West Virginia (USA) -- Samanera Bisho Kirti Maharjan, 23,a resident monk at the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara in Minneapolis, obtained Higher Ordination on May 6, 2007, while at the Bhavana Society in High View, West Virginia.

<< Samanera Bisho Kirti Maharjan, 23,a resident monk at the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara in Minneapolis, obtained Higher Ordination on May 6, 2007

This event indicates that a monk is at least 20 years-old and has obtained the degree of monastic education in Buddhism, to be tested and ordained by their superiors.

The testing and ceremony was conducted under the preceptor Most Ven. Dr. Henepola Gunarathana Maha Thera, the founder and abbot of Bhavana Society and Chief Monk of the U.S.A. The renowned philosopher and highest-ranking monk in North America, is a Sri Lankan native who came to America in 1968 to study for his Doctorate in Philosophy from the American University, and serve as the Honorary General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara in Washington, D.C., the first Theravada Vihara in the country.

He opened the Bhavana Society in 1984 as a retreat and school to train and ordain monks, nuns and lay people to become future Dhamma and meditation teachers. Samanera is the 25th monk to receive Higher Ordination at the West Virginia Buddhist retreat.

“This is the most important event of a monk’s life,” said the Ven. Witiyala Seewalie Thera, founding president and Abbot of Minnesota Buddhist Vihara.

Samanera Bisho Kirti Maharjan was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. He was just 14 years-old when he was ordained a monk at Sri Kirti Vihara, Kirtipura, in Kathmandu, under the preceptor Most Ven. Buddhaghosha Mahathera and under the teachers the late Ven.Sudharshan Maha Thera, the abbot of Sri Kirti Vihara and professor of Tribuwana University in Kirtipura, and Ven.Kirtijothi Thero, the present abbot of Sri Kirti Vihara.

After ordination, Samanera was sent to Sri Lanka to continue his Buddhist studies at Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena, Mount Lavinia under the late Ven. Dr. Mapalagama Wipulasara Maha Thera, the abbot and director. There, he studied Pirivena Monastic Education and Oriental studies and obtained a University Diplomas. He now speaks seven languages.

Samanera is presently a resident monk at the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara in Minneapolis, where he continues his Buddhist studies under the Ven. Witiyala Seewalie Thera, founding president and Abbot, and Ven. Kirtijothi Thero.

While in Minneapolis, Samanera registered as a licensed minister in the State of Minnesota, in order to lead meditation and conduct religious, social and cultural activities of the community. He also serves as the Principal of the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara Dhamma School. His responsibilities will increase with the Higher Ordination.

For more information contact the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara, Inc., at 612-522-1811, online at www.mnbv.org or email mnbvusa@yahoo.com.



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