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Photographs by Heathrow Athula Dassana International Buddhist

දර්ශනීය තොරණ 2013 වෙසක් පුර පසලොස්වක පොහෝ දින සැමරීම වස් ලන්ඩනයේ වෙසෙන ශ්‍රී ලාංකික යන්ගේ බුද්ධාලම්භන ප්‍රීතිය ඇතිකිරීම උදෙසා මැයි මස 24,25,26 සහ 27 දිනයන් හිදී මහජන ප්‍රදර්ශනය සඳහා ප්‍රදර්ශනය කෙරේ.

විහාරාධිපති පූජ්‍ය වඳුරඹ කස්සප හිමියන්ගේ ප්‍රධාන අනුශාසකත්වයෙන් හා දීපාල් කරුණාතිලක, ඉන්දික සේනාරත්න යන මහත්වරුන්ගේ පූර්ණ ආධාර උපකාර කැපවීමේ ප්‍රතිඵලයක් ලෙස මාස හයක කැපවිමක ප්‍රථීපලයක් ලෙස මෙය ඉදිකරන ලදී.

Vesak is an annual public holiday observed traditionally by practicing Buddhists in Asian countries, especially in Sri Lanka. Sometimes informally called 'Buddha’s birthday', it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment Nirvana, and passing (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.

During the Vesak season, a special Nawa Arahadi Bodhi Pooja programme was held at the Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple. It was started from 18th-24th May2013, The days were a great success. Devotees and other members of the community organised the event under the guidance of the head of the temple Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa Thero. More devotees participated in the event with great devotion. Devotees had a chance to donate for the pooja and it was kept in small beautiful pavilions at the temple which were specially made to highlight the nine values of Lord Buddha.

In Vesak season, Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple organized many events. The Vesak 2013 was celebrated from Friday 24th , Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May 2013.During these three days, celebrations included various religious and alms giving activities for adults and children.

From 24th of May we started to display a large Pandol until 26th of May. Electrically lit pandols called 'thorana' which illustrates a story from the Buddhist talks, in this

instance 'The Manikara Kulupaga Thissa story'. Most of the work of the pandol including the framework and illuminations were done by Deepal Karunathilaka and IndikaSenarathna. And many volunteers worked together and donated their valuable time.

It consisted of 10,000 bulbs. It was very colourful and is influenced by Sri-Lankan culture. The Vesak pandol was opened at the auspicious time on Vesak full moon day. It was the first time to display a Pandol in the UK. One of the biggest events unique to Sri Lankan. Vesak festival is the Vesak pandol which is a huge construction with paintings. During the three days more than 2000 people came to see the Pandol.

Food arrangements were set up by Buddhist devotees called dansälas, which served free food and drink to all who came to the temple. Even though we planned to display the pandol for three days, it was extended by an extra day by popular demand. In addition, colourful lanterns called Vesak koodu were hung in the temple premises. The children of dhamma school made these lanterns.

On the 25thnof May Sil programme for children between the hours of 9am-4pm, and on the 26th of May, Sil programme for the adults was held at the temple premises from 7am-9 p.m. There was a great dhamma talk which was conducted by Ven. Wanduraba Kassapa Thero where he explained the importance of Vesak Celebrations. Many devotees spent the whole day at the temple with renewed determination to observe the Observance of the Eight Precepts of Buddhism.

Our Vesak celebrations brought together a lot of people, whereby renewing our sense of community. Generous donations by the devotees during the celebrations have aided our fund raising which is being carried out to purchase the adjoining property, in order to expand our temple.

We are a temple that is helping to instil the Sri-Lankan values amongst our migrant Sri-Lankans as well as educating non Sri-Lankans of our culture and the Buddhist religion.

We aim to help people through their strenuous lives with the teachings and understandings of Buddhism.

I wish you the blessings of the Triple Gem, and Thank you for taking part and helping with our festivities at our temple.

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Photographs by Heathrow Athula Dassana International Buddhist

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