Venerable V. Dharmawara Mahathera,

known to his friends by the simple epithet Bhante, was born in Cambodia. He was well educated and became a lawyer, judge and provincial governor before he began studying Buddhism and became a monk in his 30's. Bhante practised in the Forest Tradition in Thailand before travelling through Burma and India, where he spent much of his life. He studied natural healing and became well known for his healing abilities, in recognition of which he was given the land on which to found The Asoka Mission in New Delhi by Jawarharalal Nehru, first Prime Minister of Independent India. He was a gifted linguist - fluent in many tongues and able to use words very precisely as many of his friends and disciples will remember. He was a living example of a "homeless one" always travelling to teach meditation and healing to groups in many countries. He taught meditation, particularly on colour, every year to the students at Mr Bennett's Academy for Continuous Education in Sherborne, Gloucestershire. Later, Bhante moved to USA and worked tirelessly to help settle the thousands of refugees who fled there from the war in Cambodia. He founded the first Cambodian Buddhist temple in America in Washington DC and later Wat Dharawararama in Stockton, California. He passed away on June 26th 1999, at the great age of 110. His ashes have been interred in a memorial at Asoka Mission in Delhi where a celebration of his life is held every year on his birthday, 12th February. Towards the end of a lifetime of Love and Compassion, he pronounced a simple message:

"You are
what you think
you are
what you eat and drink"

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