Vesak Celebrations at Shanthi Vihara & Meditation Centre - 2018
Shanthi Vihara & Meditation Centre held its 6th Vesak Celebrations on Sunday, 27th of May 2018 at St Patrick’s Church Hall in Nottingham, in denotation of 2562nd ‘Vesak’ month. The event was organised under the guidance and directions of Venerable Teldeniyaye Amitha Thero, the head of the Shanthi Vihara.
The spiritual sil programme initiated in the morning with Ven. Amitha Thero conducting the Buddha Pooja, and administering the Eight Precepts (Ata sil) to a large gathering of devotees appropriately wearing white attire, who spent the day paying homage to the Buddha, by observing and emulating the innumerable noble qualities of the Buddha. The devotees took part in devotional offerings to the Buddha, listening to sermons, practising meditation and engaging in Dhamma discussions.
First and foremost, a guided mindfulness session by Venerable Amitha Thero, was conducted in the morning. Mindfulness meditation is now trending over the world which is applied by many people as a method of releasing stress; however Ven. Amitha thero emphasised that the art of meditation is originally supposed to be utilised to end the Suffering, agitation of ‘sansara’ by practicing Moral Dhammas.
Reverend Nepalaye Suwachaseela thero, a resident monk of Shanthi Vihara, delivered a Dhamma sermon following the meditation session. Titling “Nibbanam Paraman Sukham” Rev. N. Suwachaseela Thero addressed about the responsibility and the generosity of the Buddhist society to transfer the cultural values and sacred message of Buddha to the next generation.
After the Buddha puja and mid-day alms giving, another Dhamma sermon was delivered by Venerable Anamaduwe Wimalajeewa Thero, a resident monk of the Shanthi Vihara. It was followed by a Dhammma discussion. In this Dhamma sermon Ven. Wimalajeewa thero had an accurate and clear account on Merit and Moral (Pina and Kusala) which led to meaningful topics for discussion.
After the Gilanpasa offering, a special Dhamma sermon was conducted by Venerable Akurala Samita Thero, Head of the Dhamma Nikethana Buddhist Temple, Letchworth in English.
The Vesak Bethi Gee Saraniya which is alternatively designated as “Buddhabhivandana” remarked an insightful occasion throughout the vesak ceremony generating devotion and joy amongst all devotees, young and old. The events of the day were concluded after the usual “Dansala” for all the devotees attended.
The venue, St. Patrick church hall was colourfully decorated with Vesak lanterns, Buddhist flags, fresh flowers and other decorations to generate the peaceful and serene environment for the day. The programme was highly successful with devotees participating to ‘observe Sil’ and attending with much devotion to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha.