Founder of Mahabodhi Society Bangalore
Late Venerable Dr. Acharya Buddharakkhita
Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita, founder-President of Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore and its branches and sister organizations in Mysore, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, was born in the eastern state of Manipur in India. He was born on March 12, 1922, a full moon day, in Imphal.
He was a bright student graduated from the Institute of Engineering Technology, Calcutta (Kolkata) in Automobile Engineering. He joined Government of India Defense Ordinance. The job took him to Malaysia, Singapore and various other places during the Second World War. He saw the destruction of life and property and misery that the war brought in the lives of people, which led him to turn towards spirituality. He resigned his job and left his home in search of truth and freedom. For some years he traveled through the length and breadth of India and studied Indian religions in various institutions.
In 1949 he took ordination as a Buddhist monk under the most Venerable Chandamani Mahathera, Abbot of Maha Parinibbana Vihara, Kushinara, U.P. He then studied Vinaya, Sutta,
Abhidhamma and Pali in Sri Lanka and Burma and practiced meditation under the most eminent master like Mahasi Sayadaw. He was a member of the editorial board of the Chattha Sangayana – the Sixth Buddhist Synod held in Rangoon, which brought out a complete edition of the Pali canon.
He taught Buddhology at the Nalanda Pali Postgraduate Institute, Bihar. In order to spread the teachings of the Buddha in his own quite way he resigned the job and started Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore on a piece of land offered by the niece of Ven. Anagarika Dhammapala, Maha Upasika Mrs. Bianca Moonasinghe, which was offered by the Maharaja of Mysore for the purpose of building a Buddhist center in Bangalore. Since then till his final days he was engaged in spiritual and humanitarian activities. He was a prolific writer and a compassionate Dhamma teacher giving every Sunday discourses.
Thus the Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore was founded in 1956. Since then he has been active in conducting weekly discourses on Buddhism, writing articles and books, creating awareness among the people of Karnataka and India about Buddhism. He extended his activities to other countries of the world to disseminate the noble teachings of the Buddha
His compassion prompted him to undertake many projects to alleviate suffering of people, like building medical centers, monastic institutes, residential schools in different parts of India for displaced and poor children.
In 2001 seeing the urgent need of training good monks in India, he started MAHABODHI MONASTIC INSTITUTE, BANGALORE, on the auspicious day of 2545th Buddha Jayanti Celebrations. Today the institute has the strength of 250 monks from different parts of India who are getting monastic training in Bengaluru and other campuses.