Rajguru Aggavamsa Mahathera, was one of the delegates from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in the Sixth Buddhist council held in Yangon, Burma in 1956

Childhood: Rajguru Aggavamsa Mahathera was born on 8 December 1911 in a village which was surrounded by green hills and dense forest called Kutubdia in Chittagong Hill Tracts. His father’s name was Rudrasingh Mahajan and mother Mrs. Icchavati Tanchangya. His parents named him Fulanath Tanchangya. He began his formal education in Rainkhong Kutubdia Christian School. His teacher’s name was Mon Bahadur. After completion of his primary education he was admitted to Rangunia High School and later Koya Para High School.

Ordination and studying Tipitaka literature: He renounced his home, wife, son and daughter and took ordination at the Lord Abbot of Bawgaltali Buddhist temple venerable Tissa Mahathera during the full moon day of Vesakha in 1939. And he received his higher ordination under the preceptor Lord abbot of Bawgaltali Buddhist temple the same of his novice preceptor in 1942 in the full moon day of Vesakha. Then his preceptor given the name of Venerable Agga Vaṃsa Bhikkhu. Then after a few months of his receiving of his higher ordination, he left Bawgaltali Buddhist temple and received as a preceptor of the staying monk at Chittagong eminent in Tipitaka and the teacher of Vipassana venerable Ananda Mitra and started to learn Tipitaka Doctrine and Vipassana meditation. Under the Lord Abbot of Ranguniya Icchamati Dathu Ceti Complex Late Venerable Dharma Nanda Mahathera he received beginner to higher education. He with his preceptor meditated in the depth of the jungle by solidarity in each mountain at Kutubdiya Village.

Education Life: In the year 1947 on 15 June he came to Rangoon (Yangon), Myanmar for higher education of Buddhist Literature and to learn meditation. He obtained M.A. degree in Buddhist philosophy. He has been honoured as “Vinaya Visaradha” by the Let Perhang University and Kamaihada University in Burma. He took training on Vipassana meditation in internationally famous Vipassana Bhavana centre at Mahasi Vipassana centre for 5 month and honoured as Vipassana Acharya. He spent 10 years in Rangoon and became a scholar of Theravada Buddhism. He worked in the protocol section of Sixth Buddhist Council from 1954 to 1956. He studied Tipitaka literature for 12 years.

Return from Myanmar: After attending in the Sixth Buddhist Council went back to Bangladesh in 1958. And the king later by holding grand ceremony received as the Chakma Patriarch in Raj vihar in Rangamati. On 26 December 1957 he returned to his motherland. In the year 1958 on the request of the Chakma Raja Tridiv Roy, he became the Lord Abbot of Raj Vihara and honoured as CHAKMA RAJGURU, unprecedented in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Disciples: He had good number of disciples, among them Jyotipal Mahathera (Arunachal Pradesh), Tilaka Nanda Mahathera now president of Parbatya Bhikku Sangha, Prabarananda Mahathera (Subalong), Sumana Nanda Mahathera (Chengi), Subhachar Thera and many others. He had given the name Sadhana Nanda at the time of Upasampada to most renowned Buddhist Monk Sadhanananda Mahathera popularly known as VANA BHANTE. 

Monkhood Life: At that time situation was different. The people were confused on Buddhism represented by the illiterate Rauli Monk influenced by Tantricism. He began to work for the revival of Theravada Buddhism, Buddhist culture and education. Rajguru Aggavamsa Mahathera moved from village to village, preaching Theravada Buddhism. He brought waves on Buddhist culture amongst the people. He re-established Kathina Civara Dana Ceremony, Buddha Puja, in a manner followed by the ancient Buddhist and continued efforts a great social and religious revival took place in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Books: He wrote some dozen books on Buddhism,[1]:54 namely:

  1. Manab Dharma Pancasil
  2. Stop Genocide in Chittagong Hill Tract. 1981. Calcutta.
  3. Sramanera Kartabya, published on 1977.
  4. Buddha Pasana (Lokuttara), published on 1982
  5. Buddha Pasana ( Lokiya), published on 1984.
  6. Samavaya Buddha Passana, published on 1858.
  7. Buddha Ponjika, published on 1961.
  8. Parinam(drama), published on 1972.
  9. Mangla Sutra in Chakma lyric, published on 1972.
  10. Buddha Samantika, published on 2008.
  11. Abhidhammattha Sanghaha unpublished
  12. Buddha O Rabindranath unpublished
  13. Dharma O Sawmaj unpublished
  14. Dharshan O Vidharshan unpublished
  15. Maha Manab Gautama Buddha unpublished
  16. Buddhawr Awbawdan(3 Volumes) unpublished.

Awards: He has been honoured as “Tipitaka Visaradha” by the Sangha Raja Bhikkhu Mahasabha of Chittagong. He has represented in the 3rd world Buddhist conference from Chittagong Hill Tracts. He became Mahathera on 9 April 1965. He founded Boudha Juba Sangha, Arjyapur M.E School, now Kangra Churi High School, Bagal Toli Boudha Vihar, Rainkhong Kutubdia Boudha Vihar, “The Buddhist Mission” “The Parvattya Chattagram Buddha Samity”. He was founder president of Parbatya Bhikkhu Sangha in Chittagong Hill Tracts in 1958. He came to India in the year 1979 and visited religious Buddhist Centre in India. Ven. Dharama Pala Mahathera Lord Abbot of Dharamankur Boudha Vihara has extended hearty welcome. He founded The Buddhist Mission at Kolkata with the help of Sri Gopal Bhusan Chakma, eminent social worker at Bagoihati, Kolkata. He was honoured as a PANDIT by the Calcutta University. He was appointed as a visiting professor of Pali literature, and also as an external examiner of PhD thesis of the Calcutta University. In the year 1986 Ven. Vimal Tissa Mahathera came to India and met with Ven Rajguru at Kolkata. Ven. Rajguru shared his experience, guidance, and gave moral support to Ven. Vimal Tissa Mahathera. Both together with the association of eminent Chakma living in Kolkata founded the great institution “Shishu Koruna Sangha” in the year 1986. He also the founder of Shisu Karuna Sangha(Bodhicariya) with his disciple Venerable Vimal Tissa in Kolkata, India.[2] Because of his contribution for his reformation in the society’ He was honoured as the hounarable title of Aggamahasadhammajatikadajja in 2004 at the Maha pasana cave, Yangon, Myanmar by the Myanmar Government.

Return from India: He had always a strong feeling for his motherland in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. Due to old age he was suffering from diseases. Due to due to the political turmoil of Bangladesh he left for India in 1979. Having stayed in India for many year he started his journey on 19 January 2001 from India to Bangladesh. Venerable Vimal Tissa Mahathera had made all arrangement. Prajananda Mahathera, the lord abode of Shakkya Muni Buddha Vihar, Dhaka extended all necessary assistance. Later on he went to Rangamati at the request of Chakma Raja Debasish Roy.

Buddhist Activities: He had participated in the All India Bhikkhu conference held at Bodha Gaya in the year 1973 where he had presided one day in the conference. He had also participated in a 3 days conference at Mahabodhi Society Hall, Kolkata in the same year. He attended in the International Buddhist Conference held in Nepal in the year 1977. In the year 1982 he had attended human Rights Conference in the Netherlands and presented his speech on the inhuman torture by the military to the mass tribal people of Chittagong Hill Tracts. He was invited by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Geneva on 29 July- 2 August 1985, Commission on Human Rights on Minorities Working Group on Indigenous people. He utilized the opportunity to focus the plight and sufferings of the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts. He visited United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, France, ThailandSri Lanka, Nepal and many other countries, and preached humanity, international brotherhood and world peace. He established relationship with a number of Internationals Organization such as World Fellowship of Buddhist, Thailand, Mahabodhi Society of India, Kalinga Nippon Buddhist Sangha, Japan, Union Buddha Sasana Council, Burma, The Colombo Young Man Buddhist Association, Sri Lanka, The Burma Buddhist World Mission Myanmar, London Buddhist Society, London and All India Bengal Buddhist Association, India.

Dead: At the age of 94 years he died on Saturday at 9 PM (BST) 5 January 2008 at Raj Vihar, Rangamati, Bangladesh

 

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