Four Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and three Buddhist Priests have been conferred with honorary religious titles by the President of Myanmar U Win Myint.
The President of Myanmar has decided to confer the Honorary Religious Title of “Aggamahāpaṇḍita” on four Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and several other Honorary Titles on three Buddhists Priests and one Layman from Sri Lanka.
The Foreign Ministry said the titles have been conferred in honor of the 73rd Anniversary of the Independence Day of Myanmar.
Ven. Mihiripenne Sobhita Thero, Sri Maha Bodhi Maha Viharaya, Dehiwala, Ven. Dr. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sanha Rakkhita Maha Thero, Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya and Kithsirimevan Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Tirikunamale Ananda Mahanayka Maha Thero, Sri Amarapura Dharmarakshitavamsa Maha Nikaya and Ven. Dodampahala Chandrasiri Maha Nayaka Thero, Sri Kelayanivasa, Amarapura Maha Nikaya have been conferred with the Aggamahapandita Title.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ven. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero of Buddhist and Pali University and Prof. Dr. Ven. Medagampitiye Wijithadhamma Thero, Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies of University of Sri Jayewardenepura have been conferred with the Honorary Religious Title Aggamahasadhdhamma Jothika Dhaja.
Ven. Thumbowila Dhammaratana Thero, Thumbowilapurana Maha Viharaya, Piliyandala and Prof. Asanga Tilakaratne (retired), of the Damrivi Foundation have been conferred with the Honorary Religious Title, Maha Sadhdhamma Jothika Dhaja.
The Foreign Ministry said Aggamahāpaṇḍita is an honorific Buddhist Title conferred by the Government of Myanmar to distinguished Theravada Buddhist Bhikkhus. The meaning of Aggamahāpandiṭa, is “foremost great and wise one,” which is derived from the following Pali terms. The Title is awarded to Buddhist Bhikkhus who are highly proficient in teaching Dhamma. As an annual event, the President of Myanmar, confers the Title, after a thorough examination of a Bhikkhu’s wisdom and achievement by the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, a government-appointed body of high-ranking Buddhist Bhikkhus that oversees and regulates the Sangha (Buddhist clergy) in Myanmar.
A number of Sri Lankan Bhikkhus have also been conferred the Aggamahāpaṇḍita Title by the Government of Myanmar in the past and the latest Title was conferred to Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Anunayake Thero in 2020.
The Ministry further said Aggamaha Saddhamma Jothika Dhaja and Maha Saddhamma Jothika Dhaja are also Titles conferred by the Government of Myanmar to appreciate mostly the Bhikkhus who have rendered a remarkable service to educate and who excel in Dhamma. In some instances, several lay persons have also been conferred the Title of Maha Saddhamma Jothika Dhaja to appreciate their services to the Dhamma. (Colombo Gazette)