Thames Buddhist Vihara celebrated its annual
'Katina Cheevara Pooja', (offering of the 'Katina'
robe) Ceremony, on Sunday 13th November
2016, for the 34th year,
attended by a large gathering of devotees,
many of whom, clad in traditional white 'Sil'
attire, had observed the 'Nine Precepts' (Navanga
Upositha Seela), administered by Ven.
Kothmale Sumedha Thero, Thames
Buddhist Vihara. Ven. Kanthale Wijithawansa
Thero, Acting Head of Thames Buddhist Vihara,
while explaining that ‘Katina’ was the
highest of the eight meritorious acts that a
Buddhist can perform, as ‘Katina’ was a
rare, 'once a year only' opportunity,
emphasised that only by purifying the mind
of defilements, the reality of the human
condition could be understood.
The 'Katina' Ceremony
was the culmination of 'Vassa' (Rains
Retreat) observed by Venerables, who were
invited, three months before, by the
devotees to spend 'Vassa' at the Vihara,
promising to attend to all their needs and
Venerables in return, promising to engage in
additional religious performances and Dharma
discussions, for mutual benefit. The
devotees who observed 'Nine Precepts'
participated in a day–long programme of
Buddha 'Poojas', sermons, Dharma
and offerings of 'Ata Pirikara' and other
robes to the Venerables. The morning session
ended with the 'Dana', (midday meal),
sponsored by Mr and Mrs Sanjaya Kodithuwakku,
parents of the Sunday School
children, to the assembly of Venerables,
those who have observed 'Nine Precepts' and
to all participants.
For the second year
running, the devotees added the popular
element to the Ceremony, by taking the
‘Katina’ robe in a procession (Srilankan
tradition) along the whole length of
The procession was led by the Troupe of
young drummers (Sunday School
pupils trained by Neeta Rohini Wijewickrama),
clad in stunning, elegant and ceremonial
garments. Residents of the neighbourhood,
who have been informed of the event
beforehand, gathered along the route to
enjoy the Pageant.
The 'Katina' robe,
stitched and prepared according to the
cherished Buddhist tradition, was sponsored
by the Kodithuwakku family. Ven. Kamburawala
Rewatha Nayaka Thero, Chief Incumbent of
Scotland Buddhist Vihara and Lecturer of
Glasgow University, conducted the formal 'Katina'
Ceremony, and the dedication of 'Kapruka',
the wish fulfilling tree, laden with gifts.
The assembly of the Venerables, by common
consent, elected Ven. Kanthale Wijithawansa
Thero, as the worthy recipient, of the 'Katina'
Ven. Kamburawala Rewatha Nayaka Thero outlined
the laudable service rendered by the Thames
Vihara and reminisced over his long
association with the Thames Vihara and its
devotees. Ven. Dodamgoda Siri Sumedha Thero,
Acting Head of Leicester Buddhist Vihara, in
his sermon, explained how the teachings of
the Buddha could be incorporated into our
day-to-day living. Ven. Mathugama Palitha
Thero, Scotland Buddhist Vihara, Glassgow;
Ven. Madugalle Mahanama Thero; Sri Sambodhi
Buddhist Vihara, Upton Park; Ven. Wanduramba
Kasspa Thero, Head of Athuladassana Buddhist
Vihara, Hounslow; Venerables Agalakada
Pangnarama Thero and Omalpe Sumanasara Thero,
Dharmasoka Buddhist Vihara, Leicester, also
took part in the Ceremony.
On behalf of the
resident Venerables and Members of the
Thames Meditation Society, President Dr.
Herath Kularatne expressed his gratitude and
profusely thanked those who helped to make
the Ceremony a great success and in
particular, those who organised the
procession. Drs. Shiroma Bandara and Mathesa
Gunathilake conducted meditations and
religious discussions. Ceremony ended with
the 'Buddha Pooja' usually held on