Aluthgama Nayaka Thero of Malwatta Chapter who departed at age of 103 years this month ... announced his death last month!
Agra Maha Panditha Aluthgama Shri Dhammananda Nayaka Thero who was a senior thero has specifically predicted towards the beginning of September that he would be passing away in another month's time.
"My age is now 103 years. I have extended my duties to the sasana, country and the nation to the best of my ability during my lifetime. I am happy about it. My service will come to an end at the end ofthis year".
"Why is that Nayaka Thero?
"I will die before the end of this year".
"How can you say that ... you are hale and hearty".
"No ... My heart tells me that I will pass away towards the end of this month or at the beginning of next month. In the last birth also I was a monk. Even in that month I have lived to a ripe age and it is in this age that I have passed away".
The thero passing away in the same period he had reckoned is something to be surprised at. Aluthgama Dhammananda Nayaka Thero was born on November 22nd, 1915. If he had lived for another month, his age would have been 104 years. Aluthgama Dhammananda Nayaka Thero character should be someone whose name should be written in gold letters not only in the history of Malwatta Maha Vihara, his life story has not really become socialised as such.
There is a special bond between Bogambara prison and Aluthgama Nayaka Thero. It was he who started a Daham Pasela for inmates of the prison. His religious service was provided to Bogambara prison from 1950. Not only that, he happened to Dhammananda Nayaka Thero who preached a suitable sermon to those sentenced to death on the day they were to be hanged. This Nayaka Thero happened to be present to give a sermon to 'Maru Sira', the last to be hanged at Bogambara. "When I went there to deliver a sermon. Maru Sira said, "what sermon to me who is to be hanged in a short while? You better go and deliver a sermon to another". I told him, "but listen to one verse of bana and go on the last journey" and delivered my sermon and came back".
It was indeed a wonderful memory that Dhammananda Nayaka Thero entertained about roads of the city of Kandy. It was 'Victoria Drive' the name given by the British government from the front part of Queen's Hotel to the wewa roundabout of Sri Dalada Maligawa. It was Aluthgama Nayaka Thero who was instrumental in naming 'Landale Road' to be changed to Saranankara Road. It was he who established the Sangharaja Daham Pasela of Sangharaja Pirivena in 1951. It was because of Aluthgama Dhammananda Thero that the 'Katina poojothsawaya' of the Malwatta Maha Vihara and the annual 'Sangharaja Perahera' commenced. The nayaka thero was a mentor to a large number of lay persons. The thero went on to bestow his service after he was appointed as a 'dharmacharya' of Dharmaraja Vidyalaya of Kandy from 'Parama Vignartha association.
Information -- Dharma Shri Thilakawardena