Dharmabangsha Mahasthavir, Aggamahapandit

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Dharmabangsha Mahasthavir, Aggamahapandit (1872-1939) Buddhist preacher and educationist, was born on 23 September 1872 in Kolkata. He studied at Bahubazar Missionary School, Kolkata. At the age of eighteen he was initiated into Shramanyadharma in Bahubazar Navin Vihara. He then proceeded to Myanmar where he studied buddhism and Philosophy. He took upasampada (vow of chastity) at the hand of Sagara Mahasthavir, the rector of Vaijayanti Vihara, at Moulmein, and was renamed 'Dharmabangsha';. From Myanmar, Dharmabangsha went to Sri Lanka for further studies.

In 1904, Dharmabangsha took over as rector of a Buddhist vihara in chittagong. At the same time he joined Chittagong Collegiate School as pali teacher. In 1911, when Chittagong Government College opened its Pali Department, he joined as its first lecturer and continued to teach there for sixteen years.

In recognition of Dharmabangsha';s contributions to Buddhism, the Burmese Government conferred on him the title of 'Aggamahapandit'; in 1927. He expired on 3 December 1939 at Satbaria Buddhist Monastery. [Bhikkhu Sunithananda] [Sunithananda, Bhikkhu Lecturer, National University]