Most Ven. Paravahera Chandarathana Thera turns 70 | Sunday Observer

Most Ven. Paravahera Chandarathana Thera turns 70

10 September, 2023

Chandasena, born on September 10, 1954, in Paravahara village, Matara district of Ruhuna, to Karanelis Sedara and Wagachchige Hinnihami, enjoyed a joyful childhood alongside his seven siblings.

Even before his formal schooling began, Chandasena, deeply inspired by his parents, immersed himself in reciting books like the Three Sutras. Chandasena embarked on his monastic journey as Ven. Paravahera Chandarathana Thera at Nakiadeniya Ashokarama, Galle, in March 1965, as a student of Ven. Kadurupokuna Dhammavasa Thera.

An extraordinary twist in his life occurred during his studies when he suffered a severe stomach infection that led to hospitalization. The doctors at Galle Hospital deemed his condition critical, but through a series of surgeries, he made a miraculous recovery.

His academic journey took an inspiring turn when he pursued history at the university. By 1981, he earned his honors degree in history. During his time at the University of Colombo, he crossed paths with Dr. Roland Silva, the director of the Cultural Triangle, who became instrumental in guiding him towards international service.

Equipped with a basic knowledge of French, Ven. Chandrarathana Thera set foot in France in 1981. He initially resided at a Cambodian temple near Paris before transitioning to a Vietnamese temple, where his future path began to crystallize.

He enrolled at the University of Paris in 1982 and went on to complete his master’s degree in history. His academic pursuits culminated in a doctorate from Sorbonne University in 1988.

Ven. Chandrarathana Thera embarked on a mission dedicated to his country, nation, and religion. In 1984, he initiated the Paris Buddhist Temple and, by 1988, laid the foundation for the International Buddhist Centre in France. He expanded his services to the Sri Lankan community, undertaking numerous noble social initiatives, such as supporting the development of temples, establishing educational computer centres, and providing scholarships to underprivileged individuals.

Over the past four decades, he has overseen various projects in Sri Lanka. Ven. Chandaratana Thera stands as a beacon within our Bhikkhu Sasana.