The wife of Hewavitharanage Don Carolis, a wealthy businessman, delvered a son on Sunday, 17th of Spetember 1864. The new born child was named David Dharmapala. It was the vogue those days of the high class Sinhalese families to name their children by Christian names instead of using pleasant local names.
This child who was brought up like any other normal child, become Anagarika at the age of 17. Anagarika in Sinhalese, means a person who has given up all desires of home life. Thence forth he began to work for the upliftment of the Sinhalese and Buddhism. Ven. Hikkaduwa Sri Sumangala and Ven. Migettuatte Gunananda were his closest associates.
In 1880 when he was only a youth of 16 years, Dharmapala received the opportunity of meeting colonel Henry Steel Olcott and Madam Helena Blavatsky who were the founders of the Theosophical movement founded in New York in the year 1875.
Dharmapala was a junior clerk in Education Department when in 1886 he fully resolved to dedicate his life for the benefit of Buddhism and the Sinhalese. Later he became the General Secretary of the Buddhist section of the Buddhist Theosophical Society in Colombo. He was also the manager of the journal ”Sandaresa”.
In 1891 when he visited India, he happened to see the miserable condition of the ‘Buddhagaya’ the birth place of the Lord Buddha .This tempted him to form the ‘ Mahabodhi Society’. ‘Save Buddhagaya. Sinhalese, get up from your slumber’ was his slogan.
Anagarika Dharmapala was also the pioneer of ‘Sinhala Bauddhaya’ newspaper established in 1906. In 1931 Anagarika Dharmapala became a Samanera in the name of Sri Devamitta Dharmapala. He was them living in India. He who received the highest ordination in 1933 passed away on April 29.1933 at 3.00 pm at the Mahabodhi Vihara in Benares india. ‘Let me be reborn 25 times to spread the dharma’ was his last wish