New Vice Abbot and Vice President, Bhante K. Uparatana
Bhante Katusgastota Uparatana was appointed as the vice abbot and vice president of the Bhavana Society by Abbot Bhante Gunaratana on May 22, 2016. Bhante Uparatana, who is a non-residential vice abbot and vice president of the monastery, was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1966 and received higher ordination in Sri Lanka in 1974. He graduated from Kelaniya University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sanskrit, Buddhist Philosophy, and Mass Communications. Arriving in the U.S. in 1982, he became assistant to Bhante Gunaratana at the Washington Buddhist Vihara in Washington, D.C. After graduating from the University of the District of Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Bhante Uparatana has served as Buddhist Chaplain of the American University. He has established three temples in the U.S.: the Maryland Buddhist Vihara (MBV) in Wheaton, Maryland; the Austin Buddhist Vihara in Pflugerville, Texas; and the Austin Buddhist Center in Del Valle, Texas. In 2003, the Kandy Malwatta Chapter conferred on him the title of Justice o the Peace of the United States, in honor of his service to Buddhists in the U.S. Currently, Bhante Uparatana serves as President and Chief Prelate of the Maryland Buddhist Vihara in Wheaton, Maryland, and as a member of the Board of Advisors to the International Buddhist Committee of Washington, D.C. He also teaches Sinhalese language and culture to U.S. diplomats at the Foreign Service Institute.