Special ‘Mathaka Vasthra Puja’ at the Thames Buddhist Vihara
At the invitation of Venerable Kahattewela Chandrajothi Nayaka Thera, Venerable Members of Maha Sanga, on Sunday 24th March 2013, held a special ‘Mathaka Vasthra Puja’ at the Thames Buddhist Vihara, to administer last rites according to Buddhist tradition and to bestow merit on the Chief Sanga Nayaka Thera,
‘Kalyani Samagri Sanga Sabha’, Siam Maha Nikaya of Sri-Lanka, Pandit Gattepola Wimalarathana Maha Nayaka Thera, Head of the Gampaha Vidyaravinda Maha Pirivena, Pahalagama, Gampaha, who passed away, at the age of 104 in Sri-Lanka.
Head of the London Buddhist Vihara, Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala Chief Sanga Nayaka Thera; Head of the Plaistow Lumbini Buddhist Vihara, Venerable Makure Mangala Thera; Babarakotuwe Ananda Mangala Thera; Head of the Seruwila Buddhist Centre, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo, Sri-Lanka; Kotapola Amarakiththi Maha Nayaka Thera; Cambridge University Lecturer, Venerable Dr. Dedunupitiye Upananda Thera; Bhikkhu Assaji Thera; Venerable Denagama Dhammarama Thera, Scotland Buddhist Vihara; and Venerable Kariwilakotuwe Dhammthilaka Thera, Thames Buddhist Vihara, participated in the special Puja ceremony.
Speaking on behalf of Venerable Pahalagama Somarathana Nayaka Thera and also as an old pupil of Gampaha Vidyaravinda Pirivena, Venerable Kahattewela Chandrajothi Nayaka Thera outlined the exemplary life and commendable character of the late Venerable Gettepola Wimalarathana Chief Sanga Nayaka Thera, and praised the services he has rendered to the Srilankan society in general and to the propagation of Buddhism in particular.
After administering the five precepts, Venerable Makure Mangala Thera, conducted the ‘Mathaka Vasthra Puja’. He described the high esteem in which the late Maha Nayaka Thera was held by the people of Sri-Lanka for his laudable services to Buddhist community and their indebtedness for providing a useful pupil with a missionary zeal like Venerable Pahalagama Somaratana Nayaka Thera.
While extolling the virtues of the late Nayaka Thera, Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala Chief Sanga Nayaka Thera, in his long speech, explained the inestimable services rendered to the preservation and propagation of Buddhism and the hard work undertaken by the late Nayaka Thera in training a whole new generation of highly educated and proficient Buddhist Venerables, during his time as the Head of the Vidyaravinda Pirivena. Due entirely to his exemplary conduct, dedication to duty and disciplined life of a Buddhist Venerable, he was able to enjoy 104 years of healthy and happy life. He was also a visionary, keen to take the message of the Buddha to the widest possible community, one example of which was his ability to train one of his able pupils Venerable Pahalagama Somaratana Nayaka Thera to take the message of the Buddha to the world community.
Representing and on behalf of all the Srilankan Buddhist Venerables in UK, Venerable Dr. Dedunupitiye Upananda Thera, Cambridge University, speaking in English, said that the late Chief Sanga Nayaka Thera, was an embodiment of the real qualities of a committed member of the Maha Sanga, who spent a simple life, that the Buddha advocated his followers to abide by.
Venerable Kotapola Amarakiththi Thera, the creator of the concept of the famous ‘Pichcha Mal Puja’ conducted a special puja and transferred the merit thus accumulated, to the late Sanga Nayaka Thera.
The President of the Thames Meditation Society, Dr. Herath Kularatne while expressing his heartfelt gratitude to all those participating, said that the late Chief Sanga Nayaka Thera came to England to take part in one of Thames Vihara anniversary celebrations and won the hearts of the devotees during his short stay.
Report from Thames Buddhist Vihara