Oct 13, New York: The Chief Incumbent of New York Buddhist Vihara, Rajakeeya Pandit Dr. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Thero has passed away, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York announced.
According to the New York Vihara, the chief incumbent of the Vihara was born in 1928. Ordained in 1941, he received his higher ordination in 1950.
After obtaining his Royal Pundit degree followed with a bachelor's and a master's degree, he served as a teacher at the Central College, Polgahawela and Ananda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka for several years before proceeding to the United Kingdom on Buddhist missionary work in 1972. He came to New York in 1981, being appointed as the President of the American-Sri Lanka Buddhist Association, Inc.
He was the founder and President of New York Buddhist Council, President of Sri Lanka Sangha Council, Vice president of the World Sangha council of North America, Executive Committee Member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace and a Faculty Member of the New School University in Manhattan, New York City.
Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero has authored several books in Sinhala and English and conducted regular group discussions on Dhamma and meditation at the Vihara.
In September 2017, President Maithripala Sirisena presented a felicitation scroll to Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero in recognition of his social and religious services to the society. The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka and the New York Buddhist Vihara, under the guidance of the Venerable Maha Thero, have closely collaborated on several occasions, including in commemorating the annual Day of Vesak at the United Nations and the initiative to have the "Thripitaka" declared as a national heritage in the UNESCO "Memory of the World" Register.
The cremation of the remains of Kurunegoda Piyatissa Thero will take place on Thursday, 17 October 2019 at All Souls, Crematorium
At 72-02 Astoria Blvd. East Elmhurst, NY