World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Henepola Gunaratana

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Born (1927-12-07) 7 December 1927
Henepola, British Ceylon
Occupation the abbot of Bhavana Society, High View, West Virginia
Website website

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk. He is often affectionately known as Bhante G.


  • Early life 1
  • Missionary work 2
  • Arrival in the United States 3
  • Published works 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Henepola Gunaratana was born December 7, 1927 in the small Sri Lankan village of Henepola. He was ordained as a monk at the age of 12, and received his education at Vidyasekhara Pirivena, a monk's school at Gampaha. He received upasampada when he was 20, in Kandy. He received his higher education in Sri Lanka at Vidyalankara College in Kelaniya and the Buddhist Missionary College (an affiliate of the Maha Bodhi Society) in Colombo.[1]

Missionary work

After his education, he was sent to India for missionary work as a representative of the Maha Bodhi Society. He primarily served the Untouchables in Sanchi, Delhi, and Bombay.

He also served as a religious advisor to the Malaysian Sasana Abhivurdhiwardhana Society, Buddhist Missionary Society, and Buddhist Youth Federation. Following this he served as an educator for Kishon Dial School and Temple Road Girl's School. He was also the principal of the Buddhist Institute of Kuala Lumpur.

Arrival in the United States

Bhante Gunaratana came to the United States at the invitation of the Sasana Sevaka Society in 1968 in order to serve as the General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society of Washington, D.C.. He was elected president of the society twelve years later. While serving in this office, he has conducted meditation retreats and taught courses in Buddhist Studies.[2]

Gunaratana earned a bachelor's, master's, and doctorate in philosophy at Bucknell University, and the University of Maryland, College Park. He also lectures at universities throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. He is the author of the book Mindfulness in Plain English.

Bhante Gunaratana is currently the abbot of the Bhavana Society, a monastery and meditation retreat center that he founded in High View, West Virginia.[3][4]

Published works

  • The Path of Serenity and Insight.  
  • The Jhanas in Theravada Meditation.  
  • Mindfulness in Plain English.  
  • Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path.  
  • Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G.  
  • Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English.  
  • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English.  


  1. ^ a b Twarkov, Helen (Spring 1995). "Going Upstream: An interview with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana". Tricycle (New York: Tricycle Foundation) 4 (3). Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  2. ^ Seager, Richard Hughes (1999). "Major Traditions". Buddhism in America. Columbia University Press. p. 152.  
  3. ^ Luo, Michael (29 April 2006). "Calming the Mind Among Bodies Laid Bare".  
  4. ^ Prebish, Charles S. (1999). "North American Buddhist Communities". Luminous passage: The practice and study of Buddhism in America. University of California Press. p. 151.  

External links

  • Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  • Bhante Gunaratana's books at Wisdom Publications
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.