The Beginning of the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery

With a genuine intention of hoping ‘to create a group of people who would brighten the Order of the Gautama Buddha’ the meritorious premises named ‘the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery’ was originated for the wellbeing of both human and deity worlds since the foundation stone was laid by the hands of Most Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero on August 14th, 1999. The Mahamevnawa became one of the famous Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka and as well as in other countries around the world, only within twelve years of the short time period since the monastery was started.

The ‘dissemination of the Dhamma’ started by the founder of the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monasteries, Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero, with his thirty years of experience as a Buddhist monk, was widespread throughout the country in a very short period of time. As a result of describing the Buddha’s Dhamma in a comprehensible language pattern, devotees of all ages started to join Venerable Thero’s meditation programs. Because of his talent in presenting the meditations in a way so that one’s mind will get easily surrendered, these programs became accommodating for many people who were looking for meditation classes. Activated by His innovating style of presenting the Dhamma to elevate the faith towards the Buddha, humans’ hearts started to open to perceive the taste of the contents in the discourses that have been preached by the Gautama Buddha. Especially, the effort to bring the Tripitaka Dhamma to the devotees in its original form was the distinguishing quality of the Mahamevnawa. Consequently, a collection of young people who listen to the Dhamma and practice meditation was created around the world. More people who are fond of the Dhamma and observing virtue were also formed. Together with these two groups, another group of elderly people was also formed to practice the Dhamma with an aim of realizing the Four Noble Truths revealed to the world by the Supreme Buddha.

Presently, there are more than 650 young disciple Bhikkhus, more than 100 young disciple Bhikkhunis, hundreds of thousands of lay disciples, and more than 50 local and foreign branches of the monastery were created in twelve years of short time period as a result of this effort.

Dissemination of the Dhamma in Overseas

Also, there are branches of the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery in other countries like Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada, South korea, Cyprus, Italy, France, India, Netherlands, Dubai, United States of America and Germany. Furthermore, spreading of the Dhamma is being carrying out in many other countries.

The Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monasteries participated in the preaching ceremony of the Tripitaka carried out in the sacred premises of Buddhagaya of India in years 2006, 2007, and 2008 by presenting Sri Lanka.

Centers for weekly meditation programs are also created for the lay disciples to practice the Dhamma by residing in the premises. Weekly meditation centers in Tabhakanda and Bhavana Kanda are dedicated for male disciples while Mutugala Anagarika Monastery is for female disciples.

Disciplined Bhikkhu disciples ordained under Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero also perform meditation programs in the Mahamevnawa Meditation Centers around the country. More Dhamma programs are conducted in many temples around the country too. A large number of devotees gather in these Dhamma programs each time to listen to the exalted Dhamma bearing the Four Noble Truths. There are times when Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero conducts the Dhamma program more than 15,000 people would participate.

Mahamevnawa Bhavana Monastery & Meditation Centre of New Zealand

Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery in New Zealand is an international branch of the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery (MBM) in Sri Lanka, an organisation founded by the Chief Abbott of the Mahamevnawa Monastic Order, Most Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero. The monastery was established with the noble and genuine intention to increase the knowledge of the Supreme Buddha’s teachings amongst the broader community in New Zealand, Auckland during an era when the words of the Blessed one are slowly fading away from humanity. Mahamevnawa Auckland, New Zealand, in particular, was founded as the first Mahamevnawa Monastery in New Zealand on the 2017.

Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery is a place for everyone, regardless of background or experience, to learn and practice the ancient teachings of the Buddha. You will discover a like-minded community of people who are interested in finding happiness that is not based on endless consuming and accumulating more and more things. By learning and practicing the teachings of the Buddha, you will gain a peace and happiness that is not tied to the ups and downs of ordinary life.Mahamevnawa, meaning “Great Cloud Monastery,” was the name of the first monastery established in Sri Lanka and the place where Arahant Mahinda Thero first introduced the Buddha’s teachings to the island.The monastery is led by monks ordained and trained in the oldest tradition of Buddhism,Theravada. Through their guidance we are able to provide many opportunities for you to learn all of the Buddha’s teachings of mindfulness, meditation, morality, and generosity. We have several Dhamma programs as well as other chances to learn the teachings.


As mentioned before, our key aim is to provide awareness as to the original form of the teachings of the Supreme Buddha to the broader community. The Monastery provides children, youth and the elderly community, effective spiritual support as well as systematic guidance for training and practising the principles of the Dhamma (the teachings of the Supreme Buddha) while emphasising its multifaceted benefits.

In order to achieve this goal, Mahamevnawa Monastery in New Zealand has implemented a variety of short term and long-term strategies to promote both regular and special programs. With the original Buddhist teachings as its foundation, it has prioritised developing the fundamental behavioural traits necessary to bring about wholesome mental states needed to reach the end goal of Nibbana. Such traits include but are not limited to loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy and equanimity.

Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery in New Zealand encourages the community to observe and protect the Precepts, the fundamental virtues that lead to the development of noble qualities, social cohesion and the ultimate happiness that comes with the ending of all suffering. The methodical approach adopted in the monastery programs helps participants abandon harmful speech and actions in order to live peacefully and in harmony with others in this diverse, ever-changing society. The Monastery encourages and guides its devotees in understanding the importance of practising the qualities of patience, compassion, generosity, gratitude and respect towards parents, teachers and elders. These qualities lay a solid foundation for the wholesome aptitudes required to live a peaceful and happy life filled with mutual respect.


  • Fostering ethnic & harmony and spiritual education through the teachings of the Supreme Buddha aimed at diminishing greed, hate and jealousy within people which in turn results in:
  • Reduced domestic violence and social crimes
  • Development of lawful and disciplined citizens
  • Conducting meditation sessions, which are a panacea to today’s stressful life and thereby play an instrumental role in the upbringing of healthy and happy citizens free from stress.
  • Dhamma school for Children for those who are in the age group of 6-15 years and the Youth Dhamma program for those in the age group of 16-25 years.
  • Providing blessings and spiritual advice for members of the congregation and taking care of the needs of elderly devotees by visiting retirement villages, nursing homes and hospitals and helping relieve their mental and physical concerns through counselling and meditation practices.
  • Monks also provide pre-marital advice and blessings for couples, blessings for pregnant mothers, counselling for youth, adults and families as and when requested.
  • Preventing youth from addiction to drugs and guiding them to be better citizens of the future through teachings of the Dhamma.
  • Organising community service activities that includes,
  • Blood donation campaigns,
  • Helping the needy through donations and meals for the disabled inmates of care centres.


  • Vesak festival celebrating the Birth, Enlightenment & Parinibbana (Death) of the Supreme Buddha (On the Full moon day in the month of May each year).
  • Poson festival celebrating the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka (On the Full moon day in the month of June each year).
  • Katina festival to commemorate the end of Vassana/Rainy retreat period.
  • New year blessings ceremony for the congregation is held on the 1st of January each year.
  • Meditation and Dhamma Sermons are held at the Monastery premises and at various community halls.
  • Monthly meditation program, which is a mix of instructions and guided meditations.
  • Monthly observance day, when the devotees observe higher precepts to cultivate a disciplined mind.
  • Childrens Dhamma School held fortnightlyfor Children who are in the age group of 6-15 years.