Dr. K. Sri. Dhammananda Nayake Maha Thera
When Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda first came to this country fifty years ago, on Jan 2 1952, Malaya had barely emerged from the devastation of the Second War and was embroiled in the communist emergency, which has begun some years earlier. The economic and social conditions were begun some years earlier. The economic and social conditions were far from satisfactory and the practice of Buddhism was practically non-existent, although large numbers of Chinese professed to be Buddhists. The Thai and Burmese communities in the north, the Singhalese in Taiping, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka practiced their religion in almost exactly the same way as was done in their respective countries of origin but they did not encourage locals to join their activities.
There were however, small numbers of western educated Chinese who were aware that what was passed for Buddhism within their community was largely a hodge podge of debased Taoism, folk religion and elementary Conficianism. There was a need and a desire among them to discover what the Buddha really taught. In the past this need had been satisfied by a very small number of English educated Theravadian monks in Malaya.