The Annual Noble Kathina Ceremony of Bristol Buddhist Vihara 2018
The annual noble Kathina ceremony of Bristol Buddhist Vihara for 2018 was held on 10th November 2018 in great splendor and a great gathering of devotees. The ceremony had been gracefully organized under the guidance of the Venerable Pelwatte Dhammananda Thero, the Founder & Head Monk of Bristol Buddhist Vihara and lead by other resident monks of the Vihara, Venerables Devalegama Pannananda thero and Monaragala Sumedha thero. This is the one and only Buddhist vihara of the Theravada Tradition in the South-west of England so this festival has been the only one of the pageants in the area and had the fullest support of many devotees from throughout the area.
This was the 7thconsecutive Kathina Ceremony since the formation of the Vihara. This year, the Kathina Ceremony was mainly sponsored by Mr. Neil Jayaweera with his beloved wife Mrs. Shiroma de Silva, accompanied by their lovely daughters Methara and Sanuli and the members of their family, Mrs. Damayanthi, Mr. Ashvin and Mrs. Krishanthi together with all the members of the Bristol Buddhist Vihara
The ceremony was held in the graceful presence of over 22 Venerable Buddhist Monks representing leading Buddhist Temples in the United Kingdom such as the Jetavana Buddhist vihara of Birmingham, Sambodhi viharaya of London, Sambuddhaloka viharaya of Liverpool, Santhi viharaya of Nottingham, Buddhist vihara of Oxford, Abhayaram viharaya of Enfield and Thai vihara of London.
The ceremony was startedby offering alms for the venerable monks who then performed the Pirith chanting ceremony and it was the prominent and important feature at the time when there started the recital of ‘Dhammacakkappavattana sutta in the morning itself, in order to mark the well being of the devotees and the well-wishers. The performance of the Buddha puja and the dana took place following the chanting ceremony. Following the large procession, which reminded all the participants of such significant events that create a religious atmosphere of a typical Kathina ceremony found in many Sri Lankan Villages the Kathina Robe was offered to the monks by the devotees with their hearts full of devotion.
There was a special Dhamma sermon delivered by most Venerable Galigamuwe Gnanadeepa Thero, who came to Britain for a series of eventful Dhamma sermons. In addition there were Venerable Kahavanugoda Vimaladhamma thera, Venerable Madugalle Mahanama thera, Venerable Tuissapura Sumanaratana thera and the Venerable Sumana of Nepal who delivered dhamma sermons in both Sinhala and English.
It was a memorably large crowd of Sri Lankan Buddhists who had taken part in this annual occasion representing Bristol, Cardiff, Swindon, Reading, Gloucester, Southampton, Bridgwater, Taunton and London. Moreover it is extra special as there were a group of Buddhist English Nationals among the participants. Their support greatly counted for the success of the ceremony. Apart from that there were a large number of children representing the Dhamma schools and the attractive Kathina procession they exhibited with their parents, projected a light to this event and It was a very educational and joyful opportunity for them to experience the traditional Buddhist Culture.
This year we continued our tradition to publish a special Dhamma book, parallel to this memorable meritorious deed and to be distributed free among the devotees, of ‘The dhammacakkappavattana sutta’. The specific feature of this book was inclusion of Pali words in phonetic English, enabling them to pronounce easily and correctly and the inclusion of an English translation too. This valuable work has been created by Professor Mahesh Sooriyabandara, Ruwini Sooriyabandara, Daham Sooriyabandara and Dhyani Sooriyabandara and other members of the devoted family. This was a free distribution.