|Vesak May 2019|
|Written by Dr. Sena Nanayakkara|
|Annual Vesak Celebrations at Leicester Buddhist vihara 2019|
Leicester Buddhist Vihara celebrated the annual Vesak Day on Sunday 19th May 2019 with a full day religious programme, in the presence of a very large gathering, under the guidance of the resident monk Ven Marassana Saddhananda Thero.Photos from the event can be accessed here.Main theme of the day was the opportunity for the members and the devotees of the East Midlands Buddhist Association (EMBA) to observe the Eight Precepts(Ata Sil). Large number of adults and children participated.The religious activities commenced in the morning, with a brief introduction by Ven Saddhananda, on the significance of the Buddha Day (Vesak Day). He then administered the Ashtanga Sila to all the devotees including children. The shrine room and the back garden was beautifully decorated and illuminated with Buddhist flags and the colourful Vesak lanterns assembled by the families & children.Morning dhamma sermon on Akkhana Suththa was delivered by Ven Saddhananda. All devotees then participated jointly in the offerings and the venerations to the Buddha( Buddha Puja) which was conducted by Ven Saddhananda.The resident monk was offered the ‘dana’ into his ‘begging bowl’ ( Paaththara) in the traditional pindapatha style (Pindapatha Charika). All the Upasika,Upasika (‘sil’ observers) then were offered their mid-day meal (Dana) by the group of helpers. Large number of the devotees present partook their mid-day meal afterwards.The afternoon session commenced with the chanting of Dhamma Chakka Pawathana Suththa by all the devotees led by Ven. Saddhananda.Ven Kovida –a visiting monk from Jethawana Vihara (sponsored by Samanthi Hill and Shantha Perera) delivered a dhamma sermon highlighting the pragmatic approach to understand the significance of ‘Sadhdha’ and how we could follow the practice of Dhamma. A short period of meditation followed. The religious activities were concluded with the evening Sambuddha puja (offerings to the Budha (Gilan Pasa) & vandana followed by the sharing of Merit ( Punyanumodana).In the evening, a bevy of devotees sang traditional Vesak Bhakthi Gee ( Devotional songs) which was greatly appreciated by all, followed by the English Meditation Group who recited Karaneeya Meththa Suththa ( in Pali) to the admiration of the entire gathering.More than 100 candles were lit in memory of all those who perished during the 21st April Easter Sunday terrorist attack in Sri Lanka. All present were served with hot ‘milk coffee’ and short eats ‘dansala’ provided by Vipula Athukorala, his family & friends.Everyone was impressed with the Day’s busy proceedings with such precision and time managed. Our sincere thanks must go to Ven Saddhananda for his meticulous planning and to all those who supported him in the organisation of the full Days’ programme, to all the participants and to all those who helped in various ways in the provision of cooked food and refreshments, pirikara offerings, decorations, transport etc. and Ven. Saddhananda for his guidance and leadership.
(prepared by Dr Sena Nanayakkara)