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Mahasthavir, Abhayatisya

Mahasthavir, Abhayatisya (1884-1974) the seventh supreme Buddhist patriarch of Bangladesh, was born in May 1884 at Mijritala in banshkhali, chittagong. He was the only son of Nabin Chandra Barua and Kuleshwari Barua. He studied at Jaldi Primary School and in 1893 entered the novitiate under Vaishnava Mahathero. He was ordained in 1903. He studied the tripitaka with Prajnalankar Mahathero. He went to Akyab where he was reordained by Keyyaru Chheyada.

Returning to Chittagong, Abhayatisya Mahasthavir was appointed chief abbot of Santi Vihara at Satbaria. During his stay at this monastery, he established Prajnalankar Pali Vidyalaya in 1938. In 1958 he founded Sasana Kalyan Pali Parisad.

At a general meeting of the Bangladesh Sangharaja Bhikkhu Mahasabha held on 18 April 1956, he was selected Sangharaja (Supreme Patriarch) of Bangladesh. During his tenure as Sangharaja he did much for the revival of buddhism in the subcontinent and for unifying the Buddhist communities. He breathed his last at Santi Vihara on 1 July 1974. [Sumangal Barua]