Madawela Punnaji

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Madewela Punnaji

Sri Lanka
Occupation(formerly a physician), Buddhist monk
Home townKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Known forBuddhist teacher, author, monk
Religious beliefsBuddhism, Theravada

Bhante Madewela Punnaji (b. November 26, 1929) is from Sri Lanka and is a scholar of the Pali Canon and also has extensive studies in science, medicine, and western psychology. He wrote the Foreword to author Dr. David N. Snyder's Buddha's Lists and has written and presented several other articles around the globe as well.



Early Dr. Pushpanda
Early Dr. Pushpanda

Born Pushpananda Madawela, Ven. Punnaji began meditating when he was five years old [1]. As he grew up in Sri Lanka, he began getting interested in Buddhism while other children were starting school.

Academically, he went on to medical school to become a general practicioner, where his name was Dr. Pushpanda Madawela. Ten years later, the doctor changed his name to Ven. Madawela Punnaji and then changed aspirations to become a monk. In 1968, Rev. Madihe Pannaseela at Sri Vajiragnana Dharmaya Ayathanaya, Sri Lanka, ordained the now Ven. Punnaji as a monk.


Godfrey, Hilda and Gamini, Ven. Punnaji's family
Godfrey, Hilda and Gamini, Ven. Punnaji's family

Ven. Punnaji's ancestry traces to Herat Mudiyanselage Madawela Basnayake Nilame (1830), whose son was Sri Lankan politician Godfrey Edward Madawela (1878 - 1932)[2]. Ven. Punnaji's brother is Godfrey Ernest Madawela, pictured here.

Teacher at the Buddhist Maha Vihara

After the passing of the late Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda at the Brickfields Malaysian Buddhist Maha Vihara [1], Venerable Punnaji traveled there to give the eulogy for K. Sri Dhammandana and was such a good a teacher of the Dhamma that he was asked to stay, which he did.

Relations to Vipassana Foundation and Dhamma Wiki

Ven. Punnaji has frequently visited Las Vegas, the Vipassana Foundation and wrote the forward to Dr. David N. Snyder's book, Buddha's Lists.

See also


  1. Chai Mei Ling. "A scientific approach to religion". Retrieved on September 28, 2008.
  2. Githal Madawela. "Madawela Family Tree". Retrieved on September 28, 2008.

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