(Ven. Soorakkulame Pemaratana)
Bhante Pemaratana, born in Sri Lanka, came to the United States in 2008 to serve in the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center. Bhante Permaratana became a Buddhist monk in 1986 at the age of 10 years old. His monastic training was under the tutelage of the most Venerable Attangane Sasanaratana Maha Thero at Sripathi Pirivena Monastery in Kuliyapitiya, Sri Lanka.
Bhante Pemaratana holds a bachelor’s degree with first class honors in Buddhist Studies from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and a master’s degree in philosophy from the National University of Singapore. Amongst the places he has lectured are the University of Peradeniya and the Buddhist and Pali College of Singapore.
He received his Ph. D. in Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh in April 2017. He is currently the chief abbot of the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center. He offers workshops on meditation at the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center and Yoga studios in the greater Pittsburgh area and provides spiritual counseling to help people to deal with challenging issues of life.
(Venerable Akurugoda Punna)
Bhante Punna is a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka who was ordained at the age of 10 years of age in 1983. Bhante Punna’s monastic education and training was with a respected and renowned Pali scholar, most Venerable Kodagoda Gnanaloka Maha Theor at Vidyachandra monastery in Galle, Sri Lanka. Prior to coming to the United State in 2007, Bhante Punna served in a Buddhist monastery in Brisbane, Australia. At the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center Bhante Punna is known for his Loving Kindness meditation instructions.
(Venerable Balangoda Mettananda)
Bhante Metta, born in Sri Lanka, came to the United States in 2018 to serve in the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center. Bhante Metta became a Buddhist monk in 1996 at the age of 12 years old and received his higher ordination in 2004. His monastic training was under the tutelage of most Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maithreya Maha Nayaka and most Venerable Karagoda Uyangoda Maithree Murthi Maha Nayaka Thero at Sri Dharmananda Vidyayatana Pirivena in Balangoda, Sri Lanka.
Bhante Metta holds a bachelor’s degree with first class honors in Pali language from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He has lectured at the University of Peradeniya and the University of Kelaniya before coming to the US. At the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center, Bhante Metta leads Buddhism classes for children and Pali chanting classes for adults.
(Venerable Karalliyadde Kamalasiri)
Bhante Kamalasiri, born in Wendaruva village near Karalliyadda town in Sri Lanka, arrived in the United States in December 2021 to serve Pittsburgh Buddhist Center (PBC). Bhante became a Buddhist monk in 1997, at the age of 13 years, and received his higher ordination in 2008. His monastic training was under the tutelage of most Venerable Nagollagoda Rahula Nayaka Thero of Sri Sarananda Pirivena in Karawitagara, Chilaw, Sri Lanka. In addition to his monastic education, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Buddhist studies, Sanskrit, and Sinhala from the University of Peradeniya in 2007, and served as the vice principal and teacher at Sri Sarananda Pirivena, Karawitagara, Chilaw. Then, while completing a master’s degree in Buddhist studies from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka in 2018, he served as the principal of Karawitagara Sri Gunarathana Dhamma School promoting Buddhist education among children. Bhante then travelled to Cyprus, in 2019, to pursue a master’s-level English course at the American College, Nicosia, Cyprus. Currently residing at the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center, Bhante Kamalasiri conducts meditation programs, Buddhism classes for children and Pali chanting classes for adults while overseeing the PBC’s library.