Born in 1949 to a Chinese Peranakan family in Melaka, Malaysia, Bhante Mahinda was ordained as a Buddhist monk under the tutelage of the late Venerable Dr K Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Thera in 1976.
He undertook basic Buddhist studies and training in Sri Lanka and trained in Buddhist meditation under several masters in Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, and Thailand. He has also been inspired by Mahayana masters from China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, as well as Vajrayana masters from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. He has traveled to more than 30 countries to share the peace message of the Buddha.
Founder and Spiritual Director, Aloka Foundation
General Advisor, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia
Since 1976, Bhante Mahinda has been conducting the annual Novitiate Programme at the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, every year for 32 years. In 2007, he began conducting Novitiate Programmes in the Buddha’s holy sites in India and Nepal. The first Novitiate Programme was organised in Lumbini in November 2007 by Friends of Aloka, followed by Bodhgaya in 2008, and Sarnath in 2009. In 2010, it was held in Kushinara and extended to Sravasti before ending in Lumbini, Nepal.
In 2011, Bhante Mahinda initiated the 24Hr Metta and Metta Round the World initiatives, gathering like-minded people throughout the world in the practice of loving kindness for world peace, harmony and stability. Bhante Mahinda also inspired the organising of Metta Conventions in Singapore (2013), Sri Lanka (2014), Australia (2016), and Malaysia (2018).
In addition to his roles in Aloka Foundation and the Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia (BMSM), Bhante Mahinda is the Abbot of BMSM Samadhi Vihara. He also serves as the Religious Patron to the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia and advises several other Buddhist organisations in Malaysia.
In Australia, Bhante Mahinda is the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Australian Buddhist Mission and Aloka Meditation Centre, among others. Bhante Mahinda also serves as the Religious Advisor to the Singapore Buddhist Mission.
Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia (BMSM)
In 1961, Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda, the abbot of the Brickfields Buddhist Maha Vihara, saw the need to establish a society to bring forth the message of the Buddha to the masses. He then gathered a group of Buddhists for this purpose. Consequently, the Buddhist Missionary Society was registered on April 3, 1962.
In 1996, following an amendment to its Constitution, its name was changed to “Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia” (BMSM), allowing it to establish Branches, thus making it a national Buddhist organization. Currently, it has established branches in Kajang and Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam. It also has a meditation and retreat centre known as “Dhammavijaya” in Dengkil, Selangor.
To date BMSM has more than 10,000 members throughout the country compared to 27 members when it first started.
For more information on BMSM and it’s activities and calendar of events, please visit us at http://bmsm.org.my/
Aloka Foundation is a non-profit organisation incorporated in 2002 under the Companies Act, 1965 to establish and operate retreat centres and to organise activities to promote educational, humanitarian, and spiritual activities for the well-being and happiness of all Malaysians regardless of ethnicity, creed, and belief.
Founded by Venerable Mahinda, Aloka Foundation’s initial project was the establishment of Alokarama, an eco-holistic retreat centre on an 8.9-hectare of orchard located near Asahan, in the district of Tampin in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Since its completion in 2006, Alokarama has been the host venue for many healthy mind and body retreats and workshops.
Mitraville is another eco-holistic health and spiritual sanctuary on a 5.2-hectare piece of land at Mersilau, near Kundasang, Sabah. Located at almost 1,900 metres above sea level, just at about the half-way mark of Mount Kinabalu, one of the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia and with accompanying natural attributes, Mitraville is an ideal retreat centre for the cultivation of the mind.
Over the years, Aloka Foundation has organised and facilitated numerous activities and projects that have benefited many. These working groups, projects, and activities have evolved into various forms and organisations over the years.
In gathering and encouraging like-minded individuals and organisations the world over to cultivate and practise Metta and to put Metta in Action for world peace, harmony, and stability, currently, Aloka Foundation co-organises or lends its support to the following projects:
• 24Hr Metta
• Metta Round the World
• Metta Convention
• Metta Pantry