The Ananda Maitreya International Dhamma Duta project was established in 1998 to honour the life and work of one of the great spiritual figures of the 20th century - the Most Venerable Agga Maha Panditha Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Maha Thera. This renowned Sri Lankan monk who was respected and loved the world over, passed away in July 1998 at the age of 102. His spiritual message touched the lives of people from many religious backgrounds. Before he passed away the Ven. Ananda Maitreya entrusted the continuation of his teaching to his disciple, Ven. Polpitiye Kassapa (Bhante). Before Ven. Polpitiye Kassapa passed away, he entrusted the teachings to his close disciples of 36 years, the nuns Venerable Sudharma Silmatawa and Venerable Dhammachari Silmatawa.
Bhante Kassapa was the founder of Rockhill hermitage, an international Vipassana Meditation and Dhamma study centre in Sri Lanka in the Theravada Tradition. He was a disciple of the Most Venerable Agar Maha Panditha Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Maha Nayaka Maha Thera. This renowned Sri Lanka monk was one of the great spiritual figures of the 20th century whose spiritual message touched the lives of people from many religious backgrounds. He was respected and loved in both the
Buddhist and non-Buddhist world. Venerable Ananda Maitreya passed away in July 1998 at almost 102. His teaching is continued by his disciples.
Bhante Kassapa was a very senior teacher and taught in many meditation centers around the world - Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, India, New Zealand and The Netherlands. He lectured in both local and international universities and at the Monash Medical Centre (Melbourne, Australia) Bhante participated in many national and international events including
the inaugural Australasian Buddhist Convention(2002)and the visit of the Dalai Lama to Australia(2002), during which he was invited to participate in the panel discussions with the audience. He attended an Interfaith Forum, sponsored by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Australia in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The Vipassana Insight Meditation Foundation (VIMF) and Dhamma study group was initiated by
Bhante in Melbourne, Australia. Under Bhante's guidance, about 15 Westerners and more than 20 monks from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar have been ordained at Rockhill Monastery, another 10 women became Buddhist Nuns (Dasa Sil Mathas).