Thames Buddhist Vihara-35th Annual Pirith Chanting CeremonyAs in previous years, on Saturday 15th July 2017, Thames Buddhist Vihara, held its Annual Pirith Chanting Ceremony to celebrate its 35th year. The Chanting Ceremony (Intoning of selected Suttras) got under way soon after members of the congregation paid Homage to the past 28 Buddhas, including the present Gauthama the Buddha, by special offerings, each comprising, ‘Ata-Pirikara, Chathumadura, Floral Arrangement and Lamp’, to the statuettes placed on stylishly decorated row of tables. It could only be described as one of the most eye- catching displays to behold. The Homage Ceremony was conducted with flair and devotion by the resident Venerable of the Thames Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Kohukumbure Siridhamma Thera, who while bestowing merit on the founder of the Thames Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana Nayaka Thera, emphasised the need to incorporate the sublime qualities of the Buddha into our lives. The casket containing relics of the Buddha, ‘Piruvana Poth Vahanse’ most venerated Buddhist Lexicon and the Venerables taking part in the Pirith Chanting Ceremony were conducted in procession, through the Hall, full of devotees, by a troupe of ceremonially clad professional drummers, to the specially erected Pagoda, exquisitely decorated internally and externally in typical Sri Lankan style, providing comfortable seating accommodation for the Venerbales. The attractive soft and pulsating illuminations gave the Pagoda an added elegance, fitting the occasion. The Acting Head of Thames Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Kanthale Vijithawansa Nayaka Thera, and President of the Thames Meditation Society, Dr. Herath Kularatne, in their speeches, while extending a warm welcome to all the Venerables, the representative of the Sri-Lanka High Commission, 3 rd Secretary, Mr. Vithurson Vincendrarajan and the devotees, profusely thanked those who helped in numerous ways, to make the occasion an outstanding success, especially by the conversion of the front of the Vihara, into an ornamental flower garden. Of the many noble intentions, the Annual Pirith Ceremony was to transfer merit to devotees who have passed away, to bless present devotees, well-wishers, people of Sri-Lanka and the whole of humanity, wishing everyone good health, well-being and happiness. Special mention was made of the late Mr. Nimal Weerasinghe for his generous gift of the Pagoda, custom made and imported from Sri-Lanka and a special tribute paid to Mrs. Vijayanthimala Atapattu for the donation of 28 Buddha statuettes. Ven. Dr. Vitharandeniye Kassapa Nayaka Thera, Head of Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara, praised the laudable service provided by the resident Venerables of the Thames Buddhist Vihara, attending to the spiritual needs of the Buddhist community. Ven. Akurala Samitha Nayaka Thera, Head of Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya, speaking in English, emphasised the importance of exposing children, from a young age, to the teachings of the Buddha, for their physical and mental well-being. Ven. Dr. Kabalewe Sirisumana Maha Nayaka Thera, Head of Barking Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Thavalama Bandula Nayaka Thera, Deputy Head of London Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Dediyawala Wimala Nayaka Thera, Head of Letchworth Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Pethigamuwe Hemaratana Nayaka Thera, Head of Redbridge Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Waduramba Kassapa Nayaka Thera, Head of Heathrow Athula Dassana International Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Gunnepane Sumanarama Nayaka Thera, Head of Edmonton Samadhi Meditation Centre; Ven. Makure Mangala Nayaka Thera, Head of East Ham Lumbini Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Madugalle Mahanama Nayaka Thera, London Sri Sambodhi Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Mathugame Palitha Nayaka Thera, Scotland Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Kalugamuwe Kassapa Thera, London Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Viharagala Kusala Thera, Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara; Ven. Dodangoda Sumedha Thera, Heathrow Athula Dassana International Buddhist Vihara; Ven. Teldeniye Amitha Nayaka Thera, Nottingham Shanthi Buddhist Vihara and Ven. Kothmale Sumedha Thera, Thames Buddhist Vihara, also took part in the Pirith chanting ceremony. Devotees enjoyed a lavish, traditional Sri Lankan style dinner after the ceremony, organised by the members of Thames Meditation Society and the parents of the Thames Buddhist Vihara Dhamma School Pupils, who also served the Venerables, “Heel Dana”, the following morning, in keeping with the Sri Lankan tradition.
Prize giving to Pupils of Thames Buddhist Vihara Sunday SchoolThe annual prize giving to pupils of the Thames Buddhist Vihara, Sunday School, was held on Sunday 8th January 2017. The ceremony commenced in the afternoon, when Venerables Kanthale Wijithawansa Nayaka Thera, Acting Head of the Vihara, Gonulle Assaji Thera, Kothmale Sumedha Thera, and other distinguished guests were ceremonially escorted into the Main Hall, by the Sunday School Drum Troupe, clad in resplendent attire, fitting for the occasion. After the pupils and devotees paid homage to the Buddha by offering flowers, Venerable Kothmale Sumedha Thera administered the five precepts. Formal proceedings began with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, by the Chief Guest the High Commissioner for Sri-Lanka in the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Amari Mandika Jayawardene, accompanied by other invited guests, including the Mayor of Haywards Heath Town Council, Councillor Sujan Wichremaratchi, also Member of the General Committee, Thames Meditation Society. In his welcome speech, Venerable Kanthale Wijithawansa Nayaka Thera, while extending a very warm welcome to everybody, detailed the laudable services rendered by the dedicated and committed group of teachers of the Sunday School, imparting the useful, vital and essential qualities, to prepare the pupils to be good citizens of the future. He also praised the parents for the sacrifice they make in bringing the children to the Sunday School and encouraging them to take part in social and cultural activities organised by the Vihara. Her Excellency the High Commissioner extolled the virtues of the Buddhist way of living and the qualities instilled into her, brought up in a good Buddhist family in Sri-Lanka, which had stood her in good stead in her carrier and now engaged in bringing up her own family inculcating in them the same noble qualities. She commended the excellent work done by the Thames Vihara Sunday School in teaching our children the Buddhist way of living. The prize giving was a well organised, meticulously planned programme of music and dance, depicting, not only the talents, resourcefulness and abilities of the pupils, but also the creativity of the dedicated Sunday School teachers. The whole programme, interspersed with speeches by adults and pupils, both in English and Sinhalese, was expertly managed by the competent compere, Mrs. Lushani Kodithuwakku, who took turns to respectfully invite the Venerables, distinguished guests and others to present Certificates of Merit, Trophies and Medals, to pupils who have excelled in the final examinations and booklets and folders to other pupils who have excelled in other categories. In recognition of their voluntary services, the resident Venerables, teachers and others connected with the running of the Sunday School were presented with gifts as tokens of appreciation. Miss Niduki Ama J W Botheju, received the special award for the best performance spanning all categories. The booklet composed by Venerable Kanthale Wijithawansa Nayaka Thera, for exclusive use by the pupils of the Sunday School, was produced to a high standard with the assistance of young members of the congregation, competent in computer technology. Dr. Herath Kularatne, President of Thames Meditation Society paid tribute and thanked everyone who helped to make the occasion an outstanding success.
THAMES MEDITATION SOCIETY – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2016
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING THIS YEAR WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2016 AT THE SELSDON TEMPLE AT 4.00 PM
NOMINATIONS FOR THE GENERAL COMMITTEE SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE SECRETARY BY NO LATER THAN SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2016 BY EMAIL AT firstname.lastname@example.org
“Deepening Spiritual Friendship And Community”
Venerable Ajahn Bramavamso Mahathera, known to most as Ajahn Brahm, is the Abbot and Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia.
Ajahn Brahm will be visiting UK in October 2016 and will be conducting a public talk on “Deepening Spiritual Friendship And Community” at Thames Buddhist Vihara in Selsdon, Croydon on Thursday 27 October at 7:30pm.
For more information on all events please refer to the following website & attached Flyer.
All are welcome.
Thames Dhamma School – Dancing