Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa was selected as Mahanayaka Thera of the Amarapura Order in May 2017, after the passing of Ven. Agga Maha Panditha Davuldena Gnanissara Thero (1915–2017). Prior to that he had been given the title Aggamaha pandita (foremost great and wise one) by the government of Myanmar in March 2007.
He was known for giving sermons over national radio for more than 50 years, and for his humility and ecumenical spirit. Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa was a co-president of the global organization Religions for Peace. Additionally, he was the author of more than 36 books on subjects related to Buddhism dating back to the 1960s.
Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa’s talks drew audiences from around the world, including devotees in China, Germany, India, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and the US. Siri Vajira Bhikkhu, a lecturer at Lumbini Buddhist University, offered his condolences from Nepal.