IMG_0489Maithree Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center was established in 1992 under the auspices of Venerable Dr. Ittepana Dhammalankara Nayaka Thero.  The Temple facility was a generous gift donated by Dr. P.M. Sarathchandra, his wife Dr. Kumari Sarathchandra and their sons Dr.  Darshana and Panditha Sarathchandra.  Their donation goes down in the annals of history as the largest such donation made by a Sri Lankan in the last century.

The primary objective of Maithree Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center is to make the Buddha’s teachings available for daily learning and practice for the public.   Since its inception, we are encouraged and supported both by the Sri Lankan immigrant community and the non-Sri Lankan communities in the USA.


monk1Venerable Dr. Ittepana Dhammalankara is the founding President and Abbot of Maithree Vihara.
monk2Venerable Pallebage Chandrasiri served as the Resident Abbot for 12 years from 1994.
monk3Venerable Aparekke Punyasiri became a Buddhist monk in 1980 in Sri Lanka. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy and Pali (First Class Honors) from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka in 1993 and served as a Lecturer at the University of Ruhuna and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. He holds a Master’s degree in Religion from Temple University, Philadelphia and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of the West.

Since 2005, Venerable Punyasiri is the incumbent abbot of Maithree Vihara.

monk4Venerable Dhammananda (Roger Jahnke)   is a resident Monk of Maithri Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center in Sun Valley, CA. Dhammaananda is a teacher of pristine Theravada Buddhism, Anapanasati Meditation and an engaged Buddhist serving the community. As a Temple Monk, he is an active participant in devotional services conducted at Maithri Vihara.

His principal Buddhist teacher is the Ven. Aparekke Punyasiri Thero, Abbot of Maithri Vihara. While Dhammaananda was a resident of South India, he studied Yoga and Meditation with TKV Desikachar.

Dhammaananda Bhikkhu was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He became Buddhist at 14 and attended college in Boston Massachusetts. Following graduation he moved to South India where he was a teacher for several years. Prior to ordination as a Theravada Monk, he had a secular career as an Analyst underwriting complex commercial transactions for financial institutions throughout the State of California.