Singapore DharmaNet Homepage

Biography of Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena
(Founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMIC) Leh, Ladakh, INDIA.)

Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena was born in the Himalayan region of Ladakh - an ancient state in the northern most part of India. He was brought up in a religious family among people, who followed the ancient Buddhist traditions and believed in peacefulness, humility and innocence as the natural way of life.

At seventeen, he joined the Indian Army where he developed a strong sense of personal discipline. 1977 was a particularly significant year in his life, for this is when he felt the inner spiritual call and decided to leave the army. He left the mountains of Ladakh behind him to become a disciple of the renowned scholar and celebrated Buddhist monk, Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita Maha Thera, the Founder President of the Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore, India.

Having received full ordination, Ven. Sanghasena undertook enthusiastic studies of the Dhamma and also practised various methods of Buddhist meditation.

In 1986, Venerable Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) in Ladakh. Since then he has worked tirelessly to put the Buddha's teachings on loving kindness and compassion into action through multifarious charitable humanitarian services which are being carried out in the 250 acres of moon-like desert that forms the impressive backdrop to the Devachan campus at Choglamsar, Ladakh. The major activities carried out by MIMC are as follows:

  • Mahabodhi Meditation Program - dedicated to physical and mental well-being, social harmony, world peace and the realization of enlightenment.
  • Mahabodhi Jetavana Monastery - dedicated to the training of young monastic students.
  • Mahabodhi Milarepa Meditation and Trekking Camps - dedicated to spiritual life in harmony with nature
  • Mahabodhi Educational Programs - a holistic educational movement - dedicated to the eradication of illiteracy and poverty.
  • Mahabodhi Residential School and Mahabodhi Boys & Girls Hostels - dedicated to holistic education and providing a safe home and for inviting deprived children.
  • Mahabodhi Temisgam Branch School - dedicated to education of rural children.
  • Mahabodhi Bodhkharbu Branch School - dedicated to education of deprived and neglected rural children.
  • Mahabodhi School and Hostel Project for Blind and Visually impaired Children.
  • Mahabodhi Nubra Branch (to be started soon).
  • Mahabodhi Karuna Charitable Hospital - dedicated to the welfare of sick people.
  • Mahabodhi Mobile Health Clinic - dedicated to health-care of the communities of remote and inaccessible areas.
  • Mahabodhi Maitri Charity program - dedicated to emergency relief for the very poorest members of society.
  • Mahabodhi Home for the Aged and Destitute - devoted to the care and respect of the elderly and destitute.
  • Mahabodhi Nunnery - dedicated to the upliftment of Nuns and women.
  • Mahabodhi Adult Women Literacy Project -- dedicated to the empowerment of women.
  • Mahabodhi Environmental Projects -- dedicated to afforestation and nature conservation.
  • Mahabodhi Interfaith Program - dedicated to inter-religious harmony and peaceful co-existence.
  • Mahabodhi Youth Wing - dedicated to building character and confidence in local youths.
  • Mahabodhi Right Livelihood Enterprise and Mahabodhi Eco Resort Camp - a step towards self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
  • Mahabodhi Padmaloka Girls Hostel, Bangalore - dedicated to the higher education of girl students.

    Venerable Sanghasena has distinguished himself as a tireless spiritual and social worker. In public recognition of his selfless service to the society, he has been presented with the "National Award for the Welfare of People with Disabilities" by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. The Gandhi Peace Foundation, India honored him with its prestigious "World Peace Award for the Year 2004" in recognition of his work for world peace and interfaith service and inter-religious harmony.

    He has also received several awards and certificates from a number of international organizations. In 1999, his name was included in the prestigious book "Marquis' Who's Who". "Marquis Who's who" believes that men and women around the globe whose achievements influence the people of today are worthy of permanent record. In 2002, Venerable Sanghasena was recognized as the "Man of the Year 2002" by The American Biographical Institute, Inc.

    On the 84th Birthday Celebration of the Most Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita Maha Thera, which fell on the Holy Falguni Full Moon Day of 25 March 2005; Venerable Sanghasena was nominated as his successor as the life-long President of the Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore & its sister organizations. In keeping with the Acharya Parampara, on the same occasion the Most Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita conferred the religious designation of Acharya to Venerable Sanghasena.

    Recently he was nominated as the Chancellor of the International Association of Educators for World peace, IAEWP, Huntsville, U.S.A. for Jammu and Kashmir Chapter, INDIA. On the occasion of the United Nations "World Environment Day, Third World Congress", held in Verbania, Italy in 2005, the "Peace Environment Award was presented to Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena in recognition of his invaluable contribution to a Culture of Peace through Education and International Friendship. The Lama Gangchen International Centre for Advanced Studies and Research in Global Environment and International Institute of Ecology and Environment has also appointed Venerable Sanghasena as their Global Ambassador and Regional Director.

    Venerable Sanghasena has traveled extensively around the world and participated in many international conferences, seminars and workshops. He urges everyone to promote spiritual and cultural values, literacy, environmental protection, non-violence, inter-religious harmony, co-existence, global villages and world peace. He actively supports the elevation of the status of all women, poverty stricken people and raises his voice against destructive armaments, destruction of the environment and ecology, human injustice, consumerism, economic imbalance and racism.

    Venerable Sanghasena is also working with several other national and international organizations, holding the following positions

  • President, Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore, India
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Buddha's Light International Association, Los-Angeles, U.S.A.
  • Vice President, World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Executive Member, The World Buddhist Sangha Council, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • President, International Association for Religious Freedom, Ladakh Group, Leh, India.
  • Director, Vipassana Valley Project, Ladakh.
  • Founder President, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC), Leh-Ladakh
  • Chancellor, International Association of Educators for World Peace, IAEWP, Huntsville, U.S.A. for Jammu and Kashmir State Chapter, India.

    For more details about Venerable Sanghasena and his many humanitarian and spiritual projects, please contact:

    Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC)
    Devachan, P.O. Box 22.
    Leh-Ladakh-194101 INDIA
    Telefax: 0091-1982-264372,'264905
    E-mail: or

    Gifted men seized time and work as their opportunity.
    They make them great and grand
    There is nothing great in the world but man, and then there is nothing
    Truly great in man but Character and Wisdom.
    Virtue and Wisdom could also be compared to the eyes and the feet of a man.
    Virtue is like a vehicle that brings man up to the gate of salvation,
    But the actual key that opens the gate is widsom.


    Return to Singapore DharmaNet