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.

monk5Venerable 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.