Ruwan Prasanna Gunaratne

Convinced his followers to commit suicide to transition quickly to the 'next birth'

2010s - 2024

Ruwan Prasanna Gunaratne (via gossiplankanews)

Ruwan Prasanna Gunaratne was a spiritual teacher who traveled to various temples and used social media to spread his teachings. Despite his passionate efforts and years of spreading his spiritual insights to thousands, Gunaratne's appears to have struggled to attract a large following and is believed to have been struggling financially. His path took an unexpected turn when he prophesized the destruction of India, urging his followers to uproot their lives. In pursuit of salvation, his family sold everything, relocating to a swanky apartment complex in Homagama, India, with dreams of eventually moving abroad.

Gunaratne eventually started telling his followers that India was being destroyed and that they must leave. With this belief, his family sold their property and moved into a luxury apartment complex in Homagama, India, with plans to move overseas. 

However, his message took an even more radical turn when he started telling his followers that they must commit suicide in order to attain the next birth more quickly. Soon, he took his own life by drinking poison on December 28, 2023. But the saga didn't end there. A heart-wrenching twist followed three days later when his wife, in a harrowing echo of her husband's fate, took the lives of their three children and herself. Authorities began interviewing cult members in a search to find answers, but those members also committed suicide a few days later. The day after their deaths, two more members attempted suicide, but were unsuccessful, prompting urgent warnings from officials about the dangers of Gunaratne's ideology.

As this chilling narrative continues to unfold, a cloud of unanswered questions looms. The ripple effect of Gunaratne's teachings has been catastrophic and authorities are diligently working to prevent further tragedies, hoping to close this dark chapter without more loss of life.

Religion: Buddhism

Founder: Ruwan Prasanna Gunaratne

Founded: 2010s

Ended: 2024

Location: Sri Lanka

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