Vesak Celebrations at the Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in
The Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara held its annual Vesak celebration on May 09 and 10th. This gave the Buddhist immigrant population of Sri Lanka an ideal place, also an opportunity to observe the religious and cultural practices of the homeland.
The celebration was organized under the compassionate guidance of Ven.Dr.Walpola Piyananda who was assisted by the resident monks, Sunday Dhamma school staff and all parents.
On Saturday May 09th evening, a speech contest was held and about twenty-five contestants participated. Prizes were awarded to the first three winners in the two categories, while all participants were recognized by giving certificates.
The Sunday school children sang Bhakthi Gee or devotional songs praising the virtues of Gautama Buddha. All Sunday School students were given gifts.
Furthermore it was a joyful moment for all mothers when they were recognized on Mothers Day .as it fell on Sunday.. They were presented a lovely shawl which they used without delay to keep off the cold chill.! The event concluded with a sumptuous "dansala" for all invitees and visitors. This was made possible by the generosity of all the parents who contributed the food the necessary items and also volunteered to make it a memorable event.
We could really observe the Buddhist spirit of giving "dana" and the satisfaction derived by the congregation.
On the next day, May 10th a sil and meditation retreat was held. .It was a pleasure to see Sri Lankans old and young along with foreigners and local Americans who had come early ,all dressed in white to observe the Eight Precepts.This program was held in both English and Sinhala to benefit all participants.
We must mention that the highlight of the Vesak program was the acceptance of Buddhism by eight candidates who had studied the doctrine under the guidance of the venerable monks.. They were recognized in three categories ;1 Upasika/Upasika 2.Dhammacari 3.Bodhicari.This initiation ceremony which originated at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara is an ongoing program where the recipients are expected to adhere to a certain code of ethics and also disseminate the Dhamma by being examples of the Buddha’s teachings.
A Bodhi puja was held to bless everyone, especially the Armed Forces in Sri Lanka who are risking their lives to make Sri Lanka a peaceful ,resplendent island.
- Asian Tribune -