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Photos by Nimal Navaratne

Thames Buddhist Vihara celebrated 'Poson' on Sunday 23rd June 2013. 'Poson', the full moon day of June is a day of great significance to Srilankan Buddhists throughout the world, because it was on that day 2302 years ago, that Arahath Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka of India, brought Buddhism to Sri-Lanka. Arrival of Buddhism in Sri-Lanka was a landmark in its history. It established on a firm footing our cherished traditions in religious, cultural, educational and social aspects in Srilankan society.

As part of the celebrations, Vihara premises were decorated with banners, flags, lanterns of various descriptions and a huge illuminated revolving Srilankan style 'Poson' lantern, built by Messrs Cyril Randeniya and Ishan Aunradha Surige.

Religious ceremony began with Ven Kahattewela Chandrajothi Nayaka Thera conducting the Buddha 'Pooja', and administering the 'Navanga Uposita Sila' nine precepts to a large gathering of devotees, clad in white, who spent the day taking part in devotional offerings to the Buddha, listening to sermons, practising meditation and engaging in religious discussions. An enthusiastic group of young Srilankans led by Chathuranga Lakmal and Dumindu Ramanayaka also participated, some of whom observed the nine precepts. Ven Chandrajothi Thera, while outlining the importance of 'Poson', especially to Srilankans, emphasised that it was Buddhism that transformed Srilankan society to what it is today, where compassion, loving kindness, mutual understanding, tolerance and harmonious living are cherished ideals.

Ven Kohukumbure Siridhamma Thera who has recently joined the resident Venerables of Thames Vihara, delivered the main dharma sermon. Venerables and Sunday School teachers conducted a separate 'Poson' programme for the pupils who have observed the precepts. Dr Shiroma Bandara and Mrs Lushani Kodithuwakku conducted meditations. Mr Darshana Priyashantha Ranmuthuge and Dr Priyantha Gamini Jayasinghe gave informative talks on various aspects of Buddhism and conducted discussions.

Pupils of Sunday School joined their parents and teachers singing 'Bakthi Gee', Buddhist devotional songs. Ven Chandrajothi Thera thanked everyone who helped to make the celebrations an outstanding success, specially, parents of the Sunday School pupils and devotees, for organising the 'dana', mid day meal for Venerables, 'Upasakas' 'Upasikas', and everyone present and also Mr Santha Dissanayaka and others for organising the traditional 'Dan Sela' free meals and drinks for everybody.

 


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Photos by Nimal Navaratne

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