The monk accepts the invitation and is brought in procession to the ‘bana saalawa’ as the preaching hall was identified. He occupies the single room in the premises. A few of his students are given shelter in cubicles separated by robes worn by them.
‘Vajiraramaya’ is thus born, named after the resident monk, Venerable Pelene Siri Vajiranana who had obtained higher ordination ‘(upasampada’) the previous year (1900). The road is named Vajira Road.
The donation of a block of land by Muhandiram (a title conferred by the then British colonial administration on personalities who were leaders in the community) P J Kulatilleka in 1909 with two rooms and a library provide a little more space for the monks to reside and do their studies under the chief monk.
The story of Vajiraramaya is synonymous with Venerable Pelene Vajirgnana – how he transformed a preaching hall to a world renowned Buddhist institution, how he built up a community of monks who became Buddhist missionaries spreading the teachings of the Buddha worldwide, how he nurtured the Buddhists to be a pious, devoted and committed part of society, how he he guided the younger generation to be useful citizens, and how he moulded the society to follow virtuous lives through his writings and sermons.
There are three main Orders (Nikaya) of the Sangha in Sri Lanka. They are Siyamopali Maha Nikaya, Sri Lanka Amarapura Nikaya and Sri Lanka Ramanna Maha Nikaya. There are sub-orders under these main orders.
Having got ordained under a monk in the Amarapura Nikaya, Venerable Pelene Vajiranana Thera belonged to that Nikaya. Amarapura Nikaya has 23 sub-orders and the venerable monk belonged to the Amarapura Sri Dharmarakshita Nikaya. Taking his erudition and seniority into account, Pelene Thera was made the patron of his sub-order and the following year he was appointed Maha Nayaka Thera (Chief Prelate).