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Ven. Bambalapitiye Gnanaloka is a much respected forest monk in Sri Lanka. He is well known through out Sri Lanka for his strict ‘Duthanga’ practice. He is a monk much sort after by bikkhu, bikkhuni, Upasaka , Upasikas for his guidance on meditation and sila.
During the civil war in Sri Lanka, when people were being bombed and killed this monk walked freely and in pindapatha in the war zone in the eastern provence of Sri Lanka, unharmed by either party. He was welcomed and was offered dana by both parties. He often stays in the forstes, with the wild animels such a elephants, leopards and bear. Whenever possible he will walk and prefer to find his dana by pindapatha. In 2015 he nearly died from hgh altitude sickness in the Himalaya forest, after that he has decided to offer teachings to the general public.
Ven. Gnanaloka had his early education at Trinity College Kandy which is a prestigious British Missionary school and currently one of the leading boy’s schools of this country. Later he moved to live in Lesotho in South Africa with his parents when his father accepted an UN appointment to be attached to the National University of Lesotho as a lecturer. Ven. Gnanaloka had his secondary education in a school in South Africa and entered a University in Cypress to read for a degree in Business Administration when he realized that his future was a spiritual path. He then returned to Sri Lanka in search of his spiritual journey.
On his arrival in Sri Lanka Ven. Gnanaloka met and had close links with Ven. Gnanawimala the last of the German Buddhist monks at the Island Hermitage in Polgasduwa , Dodanduwa. Ven. Gnanawimala is a deciple of Ven. Gnanathiloka the author of many books on Buddhism such as ‘word of the Buddha’ and the much famous Buddhist Dictionary. Ven. Gnanaloka had the privilege to be under the tutelage of Ven. Gnanawimala. Ven. Gnanaloka then received ordination in Dec 1999 by two of Sri Lanka’s most respected monks Ven. Agga Maha Panditha Madihe Pannaseeha, Maha Nayak of Amarapura Sect and Ven. Ampitiye Rahula.
Ven. Gnanaloka received higher ordination in June 2000.
After some years of living in the Island hermitage in Polgasduwa Dodanduwa as a pupil and attendant to the then aged and ailing Ven. Gnanawilmala , Ven. Gnanaloka was granted permission to live in solitude in the forest caves in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Now with a vast experience of living in solitude and meditation he then traveled to the Himalayas and meditated extensively in temples in Mt. Kailash and Ladakh. He was also able to have long stays in Bodhgaya.
Having had experience in meditation styles of Mahasi Sayadaw, Ajahn Chah, Dhammakaya and some Tibetan, Pandit Bhikku claims no lineage other than Buddhism. His own approach uses reflection on the six senses to hold the mind in empty alert awareness, but there are various techniques that are useful at different times in one’s practice. So long as you are making an effort, with the right goal in mind, progress will be made.
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