Δάσκαλος Theravada Ιωάννης Τσέλιος Βhante Νyanadassana
In 1959, Ioannis Tselios, later to be ordained as Bhikkhu Ñāṇadassana, was born in Greece to Orthodox Christian parents. He studied sociology at the University of Frankfurt in Germany and in 1981, at the age of 22 years, a trip to India resulted in the turning point of his life. The young Greek, whilst glancing through a tourist pamphlet, was deeply intrigued when he came across these memorable lines by the Buddha: “This is my last birth. I have crossed the ocean of existence.”
Having now decided to find out more about the Buddha and his Teachings, he visited Kusinara, the place where the Buddha attained Parinibbāna, or final passing away. Here, under a senior Indian Buddhist monk, Tselios not only practised meditation but also read about Buddhism. His interest having now being whetted, he decided to search for the Buddha’s original teachings and arrived in Sri Lanka.
In 1982, at the age of 23 years, he entered monkhood for full-time study and practice. For four years he practised under the guidance of the late Most Venerable Mātara Ñāṇārāma Mahāthera, the renown meditation master of Nissaraṇa Vanaya, Meetirigala. In 1986, he took the higher ordination with the late Most Venerable Rājakīya Paṇḍita Kaḍavedduve Shrī Jinavaüsa Mahāthera as his preceptor.
He then studied the Tipiṭaka with its Commentaries and Subcommentaries under three learned Mahātheras at Gnānārāma Dharmāyatanaya, Meetirigala, where he spent 16 years. Later he practised meditation in Burma for four and half years and in 2008 returned to Sri Lanka.
He is the author and translator of about ten Buddhist books in English, German, Sinhala, and Pāḷi and is adept at preaching the Dhamma in English and Sinhala.