Celebration of 153rd Birth Anniversary of Great Anagarika Dharmapala at LBV
A Memorial Lecture, Paritta Chanting and a Morning Dana programme was held at the London Buddhist Vihara on the 16th and 17th September to remember and pass merits on the occasion of the 153rd birth anniversary of the founder and a relentless crusader of the revival of Buddhism the great Anagarika Dharmapala as well as to celebrate the 91st Anniversary of the Vihara..
Programmes commenced with the Memorial Lecture by Dr. Elizabeth J. Harris based on 'Early Buddhist Pioneers bringing Buddhism to the West’.
Ven. Konwewe Ariyarathana Thera welcomed the gathering. Head of the Vihara,Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain Most. Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera introduced the key note speaker and gave a brief description on the day's proceedings.
During her lecture Dr. Harris discussed the importance of the work done by Christmas Humphreys, Sir Edwin Arnold,Charles Henry Allen Bennet and Anagarika Dharmapala.
Dr. Harris said that the appellation that Anagarika Dharmapala was the world’s first global Buddhist Missionary is resoundingly valid. His pioneering efforts to spread the Dhamma in both USA and UK have left magnificent edifices such as the London Buddhist Vihara.
A large number of people including the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK. H.E.Amari Wijewardhana, the Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna and President of The Buddhist Society Dr. Desmond Biddulph CBE attended.
Evening Puja was conducted by Ven. Kalugamuwe Kassapa Thera. Ven. Seelawimala Nayaka Thera paid a floral tribute at the Dharmapala Statue. More than 20 monks from various Sri Lankan temples in the UK attended the Paritta Chanting, including Ven. Dr. Handupelpola Mahinda Nayaka Thera from Sri Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury, Ven. Dr. Kabalewe Sirisumana Nayaka Thera from Barking Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Keppitiyagoda Gunawansha Nayaka Thera, Head of Jethawana Vihara, Birmingham and the Chief Sangha Nayaka to Great Britain for Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya, Ven. Pethigamuwe Hemarathana Nayaka Thera, Head of Ilford Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Akurala Samitha Thera, Head of Lechworth Dhamma Nikethanaya, Ven. Dediyawela Wimala Thera, Head of Letchworth Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Gunnepane Sumanaaraama Thera, Head of Samadhi Vihara, Edmonton, Ven. Theldeniyaye Amitha Thera, Head of Shanthi Vihara,Nottingham, Ven. Madugalle Mahanaama Thera, Head of Sambodhi Vihara,Ven. Mathugama Palitha Thera from Cambridge Buddhist Vihara,Ven. Gammadagama Piyadassi Thera from Paduwa Sammasathi Vihara in Italy, Ven. Mapalagama Soratha Thera and Ven. Thissapura Sugatharathana Thera from Jethavana Vihara, Birmingham, Ven. Mahanuwara Sudhamma Thera from Dharmashoka Vihara, Leicester, Ven. Viharagala Kusala Thera from Birminghama Maha Vihara, Ven. Galayaye Dhammadassi Thera from Sri Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre, Kingsbury, Ven. Bandarawela Gnanasumana Thera from Lumbini Vihara Eastham, Ven. Kanthale Vijithawansha Thera and Ven. Kohukumbure Siridhamma Thera from Thames Buddhsit Vihara, Ven. Bambarabotuwe Ananda Mangala Thera, Ven. Thawalama Bandula Thera, Ven. Konwewe Ariyarathana Thera, Ven. Kalugamuwe Kassapa Thera and Ven. Hokandara Pagnaawamsa Thera from the London Buddhist Vihara.
On the 17th Sunday morning Dana followed by transferring of Merits to Anagarika Dharmapala, all the Maha Sangha and devotees who helped in various was in the development of the London Buddhist Vihara during it's long history was held. Ven. Seelawimala Nayaka Thera paid Punyaanumodana to every one who helped in arranging this year's Anagarika Dharmapala Memorial Pinkama.