Since July 20, 1985, a new higher ordination (upasampadā) movement has emerged at the Dambulla Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The architect of this movement, a Sinhala Buddhist monk named Inamaluwe Sumangala, challenges the contemporary Buddhist monastic practice of ordaining monks on the basis of their castes

On the face of it, the movement seems to involve a debate about the irrelevance of caste to higher ordination between Sumangala and the monks of the Asgiriya temple, one of several chapters of the Siyam Nikaya that ordains only high-caste Buddhist males. However, the challenge constituted by the new ordination can be seen as part of a broader attempt on Sumangala’s part to redefine monastic identity