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Suddhananda Mahathero passes away

Published : 03 Mar 2020 10:19 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 01:50 PM

Suddhananda Mahathero, the foremost Buddhist religious leader in Bangladesh and chief abbot of Kamalapur Dharmarajika Buddhist Mahabihar, died on Tuesday while undergoing treatment in a Dhaka hospital. He was 87.

He is survived by countless disciples, relatives and a host of Buddhist monks and admirers. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in expressing ‘deep shock and sorrow’ at his death.

He was a pioneer of non-violence as well as a messenger of peace and humanity who dedicated himself to the social services, the prime minister said, recalling the works of the ‘Ekushey Padak’-winning Buddhist Sangha Nayak.

Suddhananda Mahathero is also the President of Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha. 

The prime minister said his demise is an ‘irreparable loss’ for Bangladesh and the Buddhist community.

“The contributions of Shuddhananda Mahathero to creating bonds of friendship and harmony among the people irrespective of castes, creeds, religions and communities as well as strengthening the sense of brotherhood of the Bangalees will be remembered forever,” she said.

The prime minister prayed for salvation of the departed soul and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members, well-wishers and followers of Shuddhananda Mahathero.

The Indian High Commission in Dhaka also expressed condolences at his death. “We are deeply saddened to hear about the demise of His Holiness Sanghanayaka Suddhananda Mahathero, President of Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha on 3/3/2020. May his soul rest in peace,” the High Commission said in a Facebook post.

Samprity Bangladesh, a platform of eminent citizens who promote secular thoughts, in a statement signed by its President Pijush Bandyopadhyay and Member Secretary Prof Mamun Al Mahtab Shwapnil expressed their deep shock.

Suddhananda Mahathero was the member of the advisory board of the Samprity Bangladesh.

He had been suffering from respiratory obstruction, diabetes and other old-age complications. His mortal remains will be kept at his hermitage in Dharmarajika Bouddha Bihar for the followers to have a glimpse and pay tribute to the religious leader.

The mortal remains will be kept preserved by blessings into a casket for ceremonial cremation at a convenient time, according to the state news agency BSS.