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The Malwatta and Asgiriya monastic establishments have been closely associated with the sacred Tooth Relic to the extent that the Mahanayakes of the two monasteries, together with the DiyawadanaNilame, play the role of the three custodians of the sacred Tooth Relic.
All religious rituals throughout the year, expositions of the sacred Tooth Relic and other matters relating to the sacred Tooth Relic are executed under the jurisdiction and the blessings of the two Mahanayakes. The two Mahanayakes today play the role of guardians of the State of Sri Lanka in that the Heads of States seek their blessings in the practice of State policies.
The two monastic establishments seem to have been following the age-old monkish avocations – gamavasi (City dwellers) and vanavasi (Forest dwellers). Of these, Malvatu Maha Vihara comes closer to gamavasi sect with more closer association with the ruling houses, while Asgiri Maha Vihara traces its origin from the vanavasi sect of the well known Dimbulagala forest monastery of Polonnaruwa. Over the years, the two monasteries have grown in stature and significance and both play equal roles in the reiligions activities of the Sri Dalada Maligawa.

Most Venerable Mahanayake Theros of the Siyama Maha Niyakaye’s Asgiriya Chapter (Since 1765)

  • Most Venerable Urulawatte Siridhammasiddi Mahanayake Thero 1765 - 1778
  • Most Venerable Idhawalugoda Dharmapala Mahanayake Thero 1778 - 1807
  • Most Venerable Pothuhera Siri Rathanapala Mahanayake Thero 1807 - 1814
  • Most Venerable Mawathagama Siri Piyadhassi Sobitha Mahanayake Thero 1814 - 1822
  • Most Venerable Yatawatte Siri Chandrajothi Mahanayake Thero 1822 - 1824
  • Most Venerable Yatanwala Sri Sunanda Mahanayake Thero 1824 - 1835
  • Most Venerable Kotagama Sri Gunarathana Mahanayake Thero 1835 - 1845
  • Most Venerable Udumulle Siri Rathanajothie Mahanayake Thero 1849 - 1851
  • Most Venerable Yatawatte Siri Swarnajothie Mahanayake Thero 1853 - 1868
  • Most Venerable Wattegama Dhammakiththi Siri Sumangala Mahanayake Thero 1869 - 1885
  • Most Venerable Yatawatte Siri Chandrajothie Mahanayake Thero 1886 - 1893
  • Most Venerable Kapuliyaddhe Sri Piyadhassi Mahanayake Thero 1893 - 1914
  • Most Venerable Ambagasvawe Sri Dhammapala Rathanaothie Mahanayake Thero 1914 - 1921
  • Most Venerable Gunnepane Sri Dhammasiddi Saranankara Mahanayake Thero 1921 - 1929
  • Most Venerable Mullegama Dharmakeethi Sri Chandrajothie Gunarathana Mahanayake Thero 1929 - 1947
  • Most Venerable Yatawatte Dharmakeerthi Sri Sumangala Dhammarathana Mahanayake Thero 1947 - 1966
  • Most Venerable Udugama Sri Budhdharakkitha Rathanapala Mahanayake Thero 1966 - 1970
  • Most Venerable Godamunne Sri Nagasena Dhammananda Mahanayake Thero 1970 - 1975
  • Most Venerable Palipana Sri Gunarathana Chandananda Mahanayake Thero 1975 - 1999
  • Most Venerable Aggamaha Panditha Udugama Saddharmakeerthi Sri Dhammadassi Rathanapala Buddharakkithabidana Mahanayake Thero 1999 - 2015
  • Most Venerable Galagama Dhammasiddhi Sri Dhammananda Aththadassiayabidhana Mahanayake Thero 2015 - 2016
  • Most Venerable Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi Sri Pagghananda Gnanarathanabidhana Mahanayake Thero since 2016

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