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Photographs by Tissa Madawela

The annual commemorative ceremony was held in London in memory of late Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera by the Isipathana Old Boys Association UK branch. Venerable Soma Thera was a past pupil of Isipathana College and in 1974 ordained as a novice monk under the guidance of Most Venerable Madihe Pannaseeha Maha Nayake Thera and Venerable Ampitiye Rahula Maha Thera.

He continued to study the teachings of the Buddha at Maharagama Bhikkhu training centre. Having  obtained his higher ordination in 1976, he took a keen interest in meditation and spreading of the Dhamma. His greatest attribution was his ability to engage with all communities in SriLanka, Sinhala Muslim and Tamils. In a fast changing modern world he wanted to mould the younger generation to live according to the Dhamma teachings. Traveling throughout the country, he supported and helped the needy people in various ways and encouraged other sangha to follow his vision. During these travels he noticed alcohol was affecting the society and strongly campaigned to open the eyes of the nation, especially the younger generation, showing the dangers of alcohol use. He also did not appreciate the worship of Hindu gods by the Buddhists and wanted to root out this practice and  criticized having Devala at temple premises.

He visited London on two occasions attracting larger crowds to listen to his sermons. He also fulfilled part of his vision by opening two temples in Australia, one in Victoria and the other in Melbourne.

This years ceremony commenced with a Dharmadesana (sermon)  conducted by Venerable Konwawe Ariyarathana Thero on 16th December 2017 at London Buddhist Vihara. During his sermon Venerable Ariyarathana Thero reminded the vision and the legacy Venerable Soma Thera created and the importance to continue  with the work he did. On this day OBA also commemorated the eleventh anniversary of the passing away of Dr Medagama Vajiragnana Nayake Thero , the founder and former head of the current Vihara.  The ceremony was concluded with a Dana, Pan Wadeema and Atapirika Puja to Venerable Maha Sangha at London Buddhist Vihara on17th December 2017.

Head of London Buddhist Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera in his Anusasana paid special Punyanumodana to Asanga and Ishani Gajasinghe and their family and friends for kindly accommodating the Isipathana OBA in the Dana Pinkama which was previously arrange to commemorate their son Trevon's 1st birthday.   

The OBA thanked Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera, the Maha Sangha, Gajasinghe family and all those who helped and participated in this event.




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