Name: Mr. Lokonath Barua, Pali Name: Ven. Jnanashree Mahathero
Father’s Name: Mr. Prem lal Barua, Mother’s Name: Mrs. Menka Barua.
Date of Birth: Wednesday, 18th November 1925 AD.
Period of Supreme Patriarch: 2020 – running years.
Village: West Gujara Domkhali, Upazila: Raozan, District: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Education and Monastic Life:
This religious saint was born in a remote village called ‘West Gujara Dhumkhali’ of Raozan Upazila on Chittagong, Bangladesh at 18th November 1925 AD, Wednesday. His family name is Lokonath Barua. His Father Name is Late Prem lal Barua and Mother Name Late Menka Barua. His father was a service holder of Bengal British Police department and mother was a pious housewife.
Suddenly one day his mother was died. When his mother was died his father again married to Snehalata Barua for take care of Child Lokonath. Because of mothers die boy Loknath was so upset but he grew up with brave, energetic and piously by his step mother Snehalata Barua and Father’s affectionate love .His life was spend with various problem on side of Halda rivers plain. In 1932 he started his student life in native Primary School and finished there till class 5. But during this time when Second World War (1939-1945) broke out around with dangerous situation then boy Lokonath’s study was stopped for a while. On other hand Loknonath was bewildered about Father’s Illness and families deficiency situations. Suddenly his family fallout when grandmother also died. At this situation his Uncle Nagendra lal Barua (Sarananda Mathera) were stand with them . His uncle had Business in Akiyab of Myanmar but not interested on family life but in Monastic life. So when he got back from Myanmar he admitted to Monastic life at West Binajuri Shmashan Vihara and got a name with Rev. Saranananda Samanera. Rev.Sarananda when promoted to Samanera to Bhikkhu then he brought up the boy Lokonath with him from Dumkhali to Binajuri . According to see his eagerness to study and talent he took with him for a while at Binajuri Shmashan Bihar and then dedicated him to Upasangharaj Ven. Gunalangkar Mahathera as disciple.
Higher Ordination and Education
Mr. Lokanath was much closed to touch various religious activities and circumstance at temple when he studying since primary education. Besides he studies Buddhists scriptures and learning Buddha studies with eagerly from his preceptor Upasangharaj Gunalangkar Mahathera. In 1944 AD pious boy Lokonath admitted to as Novice of monkhood called Samanera as disciple of Upasangharaj Ven.Gunalangkar Mahathera at Jobra Sugata Bihar of Hathazari, Chittagong. Ven Gunalangkar named his new disciple “Jnanashree” literally meaning is prosperity of knowledge. After be novice Jnanashree Samanera more affectionate to Religious studies than academic studies and raised his religious knowledge much more. He stays at Mirzapore Shantidham Vihar as an Abbot and started by pure Theravada monk novice life and practicing and preaching applied Buddhism.He admitted to Mirzapore High School from native school and passed Martculation from here.
In 1949 AD. Jnanashree Samanera attained to Higher Ordination (Bhikkhu) at Historical place Rajanagar Shakyamuni Vihara Pashan Sima and started with Monastic Bhikkhu life preceptorship of upasangharaj Gunalangkar Mahathera.His Sima achariya was 6th Sangharaja Rev. Dharmananda Mahathera and Instructor was Rajguru Dharmaratna Mahathera.On this auspicious ceremony monk also attended named Rev.Achariya Jnanishwara Mahathera ,Vinayachariya Rev.Banghshadwip Mahathera,Vidarshanachariya Rev.Vishuddhananda Mahathera, Rev.Dharmananda Mahathera(Rangunia),Rev.Anandamitra Mah athera and Rev.Prajnananda Mahathera.
Path to Dhamma Propagation
Ven Jnanashree stays Binajuri Sashan Vihar to Jobra Sugota Vihar since admitted as Shramanera.After attained higher ordination Ven. Jnanashree Bhikkhu stays in Mirzapore Shantidham Vihar from 1949 to 1954 and developed the temple as unheard of success with is great organizational talent.He also first launched fist feed collection system as a formula of organizational development.
In 1955 he appeared to Raozan Bimalananda Vihar with new hope and awakening and began to accomplish his mission as Chief Lord Abbot from Mirzapore Shantidham Vihar. Here he developed many constructional and socio-religious traditions with his great energy and talent. He founded here Buddha dharma preaching group called “Jataka Parishad” and so many religious activities. He resided here till last of 1957 AD.
At Chittagong Hill Tracts
In 1958 AD. Ven. Jnanashree appeared to Mubachari village of Rangamati Hill Tracts as an Abbot of Mahalchari Goutamashram Vihara invited by Mr.Puranjai Mahajan and Mr.Bindukumar Khisha. There he played significant role for the propagations of Buddha’s teaching to promote the morality of mankind. He established here Dharmodaya Pali toll. In 1960 AD. He came to Boalkhali of Khagrachari Hill Tracts. He established here Parbatta Chattal Bouddha Anathalai(Orphanage) and Pali toll. To convey the message of Buddha he walked miles after mile try to motivate the Hill Buddhist Peoples to send their Children to school and religious institution or seek their cooperation for changing their life style. As a result he created very important disciples for Indigenous Buddhist Society like as Venerable Bimala Tissha Mahathera, Venerable Prajnananda Mathathera, Venerable Shraddhalangkar Mahathera and so many disciples. Later Ven. Jnanashree founded Moanoghar Orphanage with his three disciples (Bimal,Prajnananda & Shraddhalangkar) in Rangamati Hill Tracts. His other disciple Ven. Bimala tissa Mahathera founded Bodhichariya Orphanage in Kolkata, India.
Again in Plain Land:
In 1974 AD he back to return plain land Buddhist society from Chittagong Hill Tracts and adorn to position of Chief Abbot of Kadalpur Sudharmananda Vihar of Raozan ,Chittagong. In the same time he was nominated as General Secretary of Sangharaj Bhikkhu Mahamandal. In 1977 he founded Mahamandal Dhrmiya Shiksha Parishad(Morning Religious Education Committee). In 1980 he founded Buddhist dormitory and research centre at Jobra of Hathazari, Chittagong. In 1983 he established Kadalpur Bhikkhu training centre and orphanage with cordial assistance with Ven. Prajnabangsha Mahathera and Ven. H. Sugatapriya Bhikkhu.
In 1995 he was nominated as Chief Abbot of World Peace Pagoda and Gunalangkar Buddhist Hostel at Jobra,Hathazari,Chittagong.
In 1997 he returned to West Binajuri Shmashan Vihar as life Chief Abbot of Raozan, Chittagong. He stays here till 2002 AD.He established here Binajuri Dhammakathik Orphanage,Binajuri High School,Gyanashree International Meditation Centre and reconstructed old temple.
At Chittagong Buddhist Monastery: In 2003 AD. He appeared at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery as Chief Abbot invited by Bangladesh Bouddha Samiti and still continues to residing here. Here his most remarkable contribution is every evening one hour Meditation to pious devotees. He also founded here Bhikkhu Training Centre in 2004 AD. He has many contribution to this Buddhist temples development and Bouddha Samiti. As result Bangladesh Bouddha Samiti organizing his 93th Birthday at 17th and 18th November 2017 AD on Buddhist Temple premises.
Founded Buddha Shasan Kalyan Trust (Buddha Regime Welfare Trust):
In 2014 Ven.Jnanashree founded Buddha Shasan Kalyan Trust with his whole reverence collection of life. Every year the trust authority provides scholarship towards poor student of the marginal family. The Trust authority also administrates all the institutes which is founded by Ven. Jnanashree . Buddha Shasan Kalyan Trust is Ven. Jnanashree’s dream foundation ever and exemplary model of Bangladesh Buddhism.
Foreign Tour of Ven. Jnanashree and obtains Award Honor:
He visited many foreign countries to preach Buddha Dharma and receive award with great honor.Visited foreign country is India, Thailand, Japan and Srilangka. He has meet with several Buddhist monastic celebrities, writers, reformers, leaders, vipassana teachers and exchange to the opinion and views regarding religious culture activities with them during the visiting period.
In 20th September 1981 he was awarded honored title of Shasana Shovana Jnanavanok by Phra Dhammadhiraj Mahamuni,abbot of Wat Paknam ,bachisaran,Bangkok,Thailand.
In 2001 Ven. Jnanashree honored the titled with Vinayachariya by Sangharaj Bhikkhu Mahasabha(The Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladesh)
In 2004 Ven. Jnanashree Crowned the titled of Upasangharaj(The Deputy Supreme Patriarch of Sangha) by Bangladesh Sangharaj Bhikkhu Mahasabha(The Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladesh)
On 2nd March 2007 Ven. Jnanashree honored the title with Mahasaddhammajyotikadhwaja by Govt. of the Union of Myanmar.
On 18th May 2007 Ven. Jnanashree honored the Degree with Honorary Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) in Buddhism by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyala University Council, Bangkok, Thailand.
On 23rd February 2008 Ven. Jnanashree honored with the award Vishuddhananda Gold Award by Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha at Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery, Dhaka.
In 2012 Ven. Jnanashree honored the titled with Dhammavandagarika by Sangharaj Bhikkhu Mahasabha(The Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladesh)
In 2014 Ven. Jnanashree honored with Prestigious Award by The World Fellowship of Buddhist- Youth (WFBY) for his outstanding contribution to propagate the sublime message of Buddha in home and abroad for the benefits of human kind.
In 2016 Ven. Jnanashree honored with Saramedha-Punnachar Memorial Gold Award by Bangladesh Buddhist Association at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery.
In 2020 Ven. Jnanashree Crowned the titled of H.H.The 13th Sangharaja (Supreme Patriarch of Sangha) by Bangladesh Sangharaj Bhikkhu Mahasabha(The Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladesh)
In February 2022 Ven. Jnanashree Awarded Countries 2nd Highest Honor The Ekushey Padak’2022 by The People Republic of Bangladesh Government.
Research and Writing of Dhamma Books :
Ven Jnanashree has written and published so many dharma books for propagation the sublime message of Buddha. So in 1975 AD he established jointly with H.H. 8th Sangharaja Ven. Shilangkar Mahathera the Tripitak Prachar Board (Tipitaka Publishing Board). The following Dharma Books are published several editions due to tremendous demand of the young leaders from Tripitak Prachar Board written by him is—1.Bouddha Niti-Manjuri(1965),
2.Jatakabali (story of bodhisattva).
3.Bouddha niti-mala (Buddhist Livelihood)
4.Bishakha by Ven. Shilalangkar Mahathera (1964),
5.Jibaka by Ven. Shilalangkar Mahathera(1965),
6.Ananda by Ven.Shilalangkar Mahathera(1966).
List of Founded Organization and Associates with:
Most Ven. Jnanashree Mahathera was associated with various socio religious and organizations which were founded by him by his great noble initiative. Would like to mention the name of the some organization which was founded by him is below…
1.Kadalpur Pyari Mohan Sumantissa Buddhist Orphanage
2.Kadalpur Bhikkhu Training Centre and Vihar Complex
3.Karnaphuli Nalanda Jnanashree Shishu Sadan.
4.Jobra Gunalangkar Buddhist Orphanage
5.Binajuri Dharmakathik Buddhist Orphanage .
6.Moanoghar Buddhist Orphanage.
7.West Binajuri High School.
8.Mahamandal Dharmiya Shiksha Parishad.
9.Guimara Dewan para Dr.Jnanashree Bouddha Vihar and Orphanage.
10.Guimara Dewanpara Dr. Jnanashree Primary School.
11.Uchai Surjapur Dr. Jnanashree Bouddha Vihar,Joypurhat.
12. Uchai Jnanashree A.H. High School.
13.Nurpur Jnanashree Bouddha Vihar,Joypurhat.
14. Barkandri Dr. Jnanashree Bouddha Vihar,
15.West Binajuri Dr. Jnanashree Vipassana Meditation Centre and Old Shelter home.
16.Bangladesh Buddha Shasan Kalyan Trust.
List of Disciples:
He has many disciples; some of most seniors are namely
01.Ven. Priyadarshi Mahathera –Vill:Kadalpur
02.Ven. Bimal Tissha Mahathera ,Vill- Mainee
03.Ven. Prajnananda Mahathera,Vill- Mainee,Dighinala
04.Ven. Shraddhalankar Mahathera,Vill-Katarang chara,
05.Ven. Arjyashree Mahathera,Vill-Mirzapore
Biography of H.H. Ven. Tejabanta (Bangachandra) Mahathero by Professor Arthodorshi Barua, Chittagong College. Magazine “Sangharaj”, pp. 15-22.
Biography of H.H. Ven. Dharmasen Mahathera by Dr. Sumanpriya Bhikkhu. 15 Nov. 2021.
Biography of H.H. Ven. Nagasen Mahathera by Professor Arthodorshi Barua, Chittagong College.
Biography of H.H. Ven. Shasansree Mahathera by Professor Arthodorshi Barua, Chittagong College. Shasansree Smarak,
Biography of His Holiness Sangharaja in Bangladesh by Ven. Rupananda Bhikkhu, Suchia Sukhananda Bihar, Chandanaish. 10 January 2022.
Ek Surjer Anek Alo by Reporter Mr. Joysen Barua, 28 Feb. 2016.
Hironmoy Dharmasen by Mr. Prof.Avijit Barua Manu, Bhikkhu Dharmeswar, Dr. Sanghapriya Thero, Prof. Shimul Barua, Prof. Dilip Barua. (HH Ven Dharmasen Mahasthabir Diamond Jubilee Celebration Committee) 5 February 2010.