12th His Holiness Sangharaj Most Ven. Dharmasen Mahathero

Name: Mr. Rashadhar Barua, Pali Name: Ven. Dharmasen Mahathero

Father’s Name: Mr. Mahiraj Barua, Mother’s Name: Mrs. Surabala Devi Barua.

Date of Birth: Sunday 17 June 1928, Period of Supreme Patriarch: 2004 – 2020 years.

Village: Unaipura, Upazila: Patiya, District: Chittagong (Presently Chattogram), Bangladesh.

Education and Monastic Life:

Mr. Rashadhar Barua has completed his primary education but most of time he was sick in early childhood. Having fully recuperated from his illness, Surabala Devi held her promise and requested that her son Rashadhar become a Buddhist monk under his most respected Ven. Gyaniswer Mahathero at Unainpura Lankaram Buddhist Monastery. At the age 14, on the day of Asalha Full Moon Day he becomes novice in 1942. His Pali name was Sri Dharmasen Sraman.

On the occasion of annual National Ceremony “Robe Offering Ceremony (Kathina Cibar Dana) Sri Dharmasen Sraman received higher ordination under the preceptor Most Ven. Gyaniswer Mahathero at Unainpura Purnachar Ordination Hall (holy Sima hall) in 1947. Then his monkhood pali name Ven. Dharmasen Bhikkhu. He diligently studied Buddhist teachings (Tipitaka), Pali scriptural language and monastic discipline (Vinaya Pitaka). His preceptor Most Ven. Gyaniswer Mahathero was a prolific Buddhist scholar, as well as a dependent meditation practitioner (Vipassana). His monumental compilation Pali Prabesh (Entrances to study Pali Language) is a prominent textbook at Dhaka University, Chittagong University of Bangladesh and Kolkata University of India.

Ven Dharmasen Bhikkhu’s Dhamma talk instilled a sense of harmony for the villagers of Unainpura and larger Bangladeshi society. He contributed numerous books and articles in Bengali language. He has many valuable publications (Buddhist literature) are namely Triratna Vandana (1962), Vinaya Sangraha (1978), Bodho Dharmo Sikkha (1981) and Tri Mahajibon (1990). Ven Dharmasen Bhikkhu firmly established guidelines under his spiritual leadership and codes of conduct which created a sense of unity for the monastic Sangha. For the propagation of the virtuous dharma in Bangladesh, he fostered relationships with prominent based Buddhist organizations: Bangladesh Sangharaja Bhikkhu Mahasabha (The Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladeh) and Sangharaja Purnachar Bhikkhu Sangsad (The Sangha Council of Sangharaja Punachar).

He has many disciples some of them namely

Ven. Somananda Mahathero, Sumangal Bihar, Karal.

Ven. Bodhimitra Mahathero, Unainpura Lankaram,

Ven, Sharanasen Mahathero, Tekota Saddharma Bikash Bihar,

Ven. Priyabangsha Thero, Srilanka.

Ven. Joysen Thero, Deyang Pahar Shakyamoni Bihar.

Receive Award: His Holiness Dr. Dharmasen Mahathero was awared from home and abroad. Bangladesh Sangharaj Bhikkhu Mahasabha (Supreme Sangha council) appointed him as 12th Supreme Patriarch of Bangladesh (Sangharaja) on 29 January 2004 by the General Meeting at East Joara Central Sraddhananda Buddhist Monastery, Chandanaish. The highest religious leader of the Buddhist in Bangladesh was conferred with series of citation and awards that include a warm welcome extended by the then Honorable President of India in 2004, the title “Shaddharma Bisharad” by Indian Government in 2004. Myanmar Government offered “Aggamahashaddharmajyotikaddhaja” in 2004. Govornment of Srilanka offered “Tripitaka Shahitya Chakraborty” in 2004. “World Role Model” from Thailand in 2004. ‘Atisa Dipankara Srijnana and Vishudhananda Gold Medal” in Bangladesh in 2005. The 5th World Supreme Buddhist Conference offered “Supreme Buddhist Leader” from Japan in 2008. Honorary Doctorate Degree “Doctor of Humanity” from convocation of Vietnam Buddhist University on 22 July 2009 and 2nd Honorary Doctorate Degree from Prominent Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) on 24 May 2010. Gold medal “Sarmedha Gunalongkar” by Bangladesh Bouddha Samiti in 2015.

Visited Countries: His Holiness Sangharaj Most Ven. Dharmasen Mahathero has visited many countries namely India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sirlanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan etc. 

Passed Away: His Holiness Sangharaj Most Ven. Dharmasen Mahathero passed away on 20 March 2020 at Royal Hospital in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Time around 12.58 am (Bangladesh Local Time).