Sabbe Sañkhara Aniccã: All Conditioned Things Are Impermanent

Not to do any evil, to cultivate good, to purify one’s mind,
this is the Teaching of the Buddhas. – Dhammapada


New York, N.Y. At the age of 92, the Most Venerable Kurunegoda Sri Piyatissa Nayaka Maha Thero (Bhante Piyatissa) passed away in his room peacefully with mindfulness in the morning of October 11, 2019 at 10.10 a.m. At that time, residential monks who have gathered in his room were chanting discourses of the Buddha with mettha (having great loving kindness). He has been a Buddhist monk for last 82 years.

He was ordained at the age of ten years. Generously, he shared his knowledge which he had obtained since his ordination by studying, contemplating and practicing the dhamma. Being one of the exemplary Buddhist missionaries he did not understand any man-made boundaries among human beings.

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-15 at 1.39.26 PMHis Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama meeting with Most Venerable
Kurunegoda Sri Piyatissa Nayaka Maha Thero in 1998.

Even though he has done a great service in Sri Lanka as a teacher for the monks at the Bhikkhu Training Center in Maharagama, Vice Principal of the Gangarama Sri Jinaratana Pirivena in Colombo, and as a popular teacher in dhamma at Ananda College which is a leading Buddhist school in Colombo as well, his deep dhamma knowledge and boundless compassion in his heart did not permit him to limit his service only to the Island of Sri Lanka where he was born, got ordained and studied. He extended his dhamma mission to the west by crossing the seas to London in 1970s.

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-15 at 1.39.38 PMMost Ven. Kurunegoda Sri Piyatissa Nayaka Maha Thero in London in the 1970s.

After ten years, in 1980s, he extended his dhamma service further to the west by starting a small place of worship in New York, USA. Later he gave leadership to construct a much more spacious place of worship which is known as ‘The New York Buddhist Vihara’ where many hundreds of people could gather and found inner peace and guidance for worthier life.


Under his spiritual guidance a few more Buddhist temples such as Staten Island Buddhist Vihara, New Jersey Buddhist Vihara, New England Buddhist Vihara, Long Island Buddhist Vihara, South Carolina Buddhist Vihara, Connecticut Buddhist Vihara and Hudson Valley Buddhist Vihara, have been established to support the spiritual wellbeing of all communities.

Anyone who associated him even for a short period of time would be amazed by his knowledge and be touched by his compassion and loving-kindness. In the East or the West, guidance of such a spiritual leader is more important at present than in the past. Hence his demise is a great loss.

We wish this great Buddhist missionary to be born again in human or divine realms in order to inspire the sentient beings on practicing dhamma and finally to attain the ultimate bliss of Nibbana.

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-15 at 1.41.44 PM

New York Buddhist Vihara
Website |Facebook | 718/468-4262 |
214-22 Spencer Avenue, Queens Village, N.Y. 11427

The Theravada Buddhist population of New York had, for a long time, experienced a pressing lack of a suitable place that could cater to their religious needs and serve them in the way of a Vihara. The need remained all but a dream until a few enthusiastic Buddhist monks inspired by Ven. Galboda Gnaissara Thero formed the American-Sri Lanka Buddhist Association with a view to launching a drive to make it a reality. Initially an interim Vihara opened in a small apartment in Flushing, New York in December 1980.

After the arrival in January 1981 of Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Maha Thero, who was invited from the London Buddhist Vihara for the specific purpose of propagating Dhamma activities in New York, a Vihara was set up in another location in Flushing, Queens. It remained there until January 1986 when it was moved to 84-32 124th St., Kew Gardens. In July 2000 the Vihara moved to its present, permanent location at 214-22 Spencer Avenue, Parkside Hills, New York.


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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation ( There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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