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Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals. - Buddha

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Academic Staff

Founder & President

Ven. Witiyala Seewalie (President, resident) (Rajakeeya Panditha , B. A. Hons., M.A. , D. Litt)

The Venerable Witiyala Seewalie Thera, abbot and president of Minnesota Buddhist Vihara, was born and raised in Sri Lanka. He was ordained as a samanera at age 12 and received higher ordination (upasampada) at age 20. Seewalie Thera has had a distinguished academic career spanning both monastic-pirivena and modern university in Sri Lanka. He has earned the following degrees: BA with honors, MA, DLit and Royal Pandit (Oriental Studies Society of Sri Lanka) in addition to diplomas in Buddhism, Pali and Bible Studies. In 1996, he was appointed the 27th, and thus far the youngest, principal of the historic Parama Dhamma Cetiya Pirivena, the premier center of Buddhist monastic education in modern Sri Lanka. He arrived in the United States in 2003. Since 2004, he has resided in Minnesota as the president-founder of the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara. He also serves as a volunteer chaplain for the Minneapolis Police Department.

Dean of Buddhist Studies

Professor Ananda Guruge (Dean Buddhist Studies) (PhD, D. Litt)

Professor Ananda Guruge is a senior scholar of Buddhist Studies with a distinguished academic record of over forty years teaching and research in the field. He is currently Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of the West in Rosemead, California. Professor Guruge has held academic appointments at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura and the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. Professor Guruge is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books includinga definite biography of the emperor Asoka and an acclaimed historical novel ‘Free at last in Paradise’. He received a PhD and DLitt from the University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka.

Dean of Pali Studies

Professor Kottegoda Warnasuriya (Dean Pali Studies) (PhD)

Professor Kottegoda Warnasuriya is a distinguished scholar who counts over thirty years in the field of Buddhist Studies. He is currently Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of the West in Rosemead, California.  Professor Warnasuriya has taught Pali, Buddhist Philosophy, History of Buddhism and Sanskrit at the Universities of Colombo, Kelaniya and Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. He has also taught at Carleton College, MN. He received his PhD from the University of Lancaster, UK.


Ven. Bisho Kirti Mahajan (Treasurer, resident) (Diploma Pali Language)

Other Staff Members


Ven. Talgaswewe Seelananda (B.A. M. A. , M. Phil)


Ven. Maitipe Wimalasara (B.A., M. A.)


Ven. Madawela Punnaji


Ven. Heenbunne Kondanna (B. A., M. A.)


Bhikkhuni Satima


All know the Way, but few actually walk it.

- Buddha

Do not speak- unless it improves on silence.

 - Buddha

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