The inauguration ceremony of the Leeds Buddhist Vihara took place on Saturday 10th June 2017 at Moor Allerton Sports and Social Centre, Stonegate Road, Leeds in the presence of nearly 200 devotees and 4 members of Maha Sangha from Ketumati Buddhist Vihara in Manchester.
The ceremony started with a colorful procession of the devotees carrying flowers and Buddhist flags followed by the observance of the five precepts. Venerable Pidiwille Piyatissa Maha Thero unveiled a Buddha statue flown in from Sri Lanka and Venerable Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero unveiled the statues of the two chief disciples of the Lord Buddha.
Members of Leeds Buddhist Vihara Trust and a number of other devotees who provided invaluable support to establish the Vihara were invited to light the traditional oil lamp while the children of the Leeds Dhamma School recited Jayamangala Gatha.
Addressing the gathering, Most Ven. Pidiwille Piyatissa Nayaka Thero talked about how the idea of setting up a temple in Leeds became a reality and thanked everyone for supporting this meritorious project. The Nayaka Thero also talked about the hard work that went in to finding a suitable property for the new Vihara and then converting the living room in to a beautiful Shrine Room.
The Treasurer of the Leeds Buddhist Vihara Trust, Mr. Chanaka Mudalige gave an introduction to Leeds Buddhist Vihara project including the need for having a Buddhist temple in Leeds. He thanked the devotees for their generosity.
Poson Bathi Gee were sung by a number of devotees. With the vote of thanks by Venerable Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero, the chief coordinator of Leeds Buddhist Vihara Trust and blessings by the Maha Sangha, the ceremony was concluded.
Traditional milk rice with lunu miris, seeni sambol, maalu paan and kevili were served at the end of the ceremony.The Leeds Buddhist Vihara is the very first Sri Lankan temple to be established in Yorkshire.
The administration and management of Leeds Buddhist Vihara is carried out by the Leeds Buddhist Vihara Trust under the guidance of Most Ven. Pidiwille Piyatissa Maha Thero who is the Chair of the Trustees and Ven. Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero who is the Chief Co-ordinator. The other Trustees are Mr. Shalindra Panditharatne (Secretary), Mr. Chanaka Mudalige (Treasurer) and Dr. Chaminda Weerasekara.
Leeds Buddhist Vihara can be contacted on 01134433488.It is hoped that Leeds Buddhist Vihara will act as a place of worship for devotees in the North of England for generations to come.