The Inaugural Katina ceremony of Nottingham Shanthi Buddhist Vihara
Devotees across the East Midlands were blessed with the opportunity of partaking in this meritorious monastic tradition that is over 2500 years old as the Shanthi Buddhist Vihara of Nottingham held its inaugural Katina ceremony on the 3rd of November 2013 at the St Patrick’s Church Hall in Watnall, sponsored by Mr Ravi Sanjeewa and family.
The venue had undergone a magical transformation owing to the multitude of Buddhist flags, the centrepiece Buddha statue with its mini ‘pandol’, the beautifully presented ‘Katina civara’ (Katina robe), and even a life sized ‘Kapruka’ (a bountiful wishing tree). Weeks of planning ahead culminated in a well patronised and successful ceremony, which has rapidly become a hallmark of all events organised by the Vihara thus far.
A total of fourteen venerable monks representing the following Buddhist Viharas from all corners of the UK added to the grandeur of the occasion: Kethamuthi Buddhist Vihara in Manchester; Letchworth Buddhist Vihara; Scotland Buddhist Vihara; Athula Dassana International Buddhist Centre in Heathrow; Birmingham Maha Vihara; Jethavana Buddhist Vihara in Birmingham; and Samadhi Meditation Centre in Edmonton. The chief incumbents present amongst the attending ‘Maha Sangha’ were Ven. Pidiville Piyatissa Nayaka Thero (Kethamuthi Buddhist Vihara Manchester), Ven. Dediyawala Vimala Thero ( Letchworth Buddhist Vihara) and Ven. Kamburawala Rewatha Nayaka Thero (Scotland Buddhist Vihara).
Ven. Amitha Thero (chief incumbent of the Shanthi Buddhist Vihara in Nottingham) commenced the proceedings by extending a warm welcome to the visiting monks and devotees. Following the ‘Buddha Pooja’ and ‘Vandana’, preparations were made with great haste for the offering of ‘Dana’ to the ‘Maha Sangha’. The devotees were then treated to a well earned lunch break offering a delectable spread of Sri Lankan cuisine savoured by all.
The much anticipated and colourful ‘Perahara’ offered the more ‘junior’ devotees in attendance a chance to participate in the day’s proceedings, after which the ‘Katina civara’ was formally offered to the ‘Maha Sangha’. Following a unanimous decision by all monks in attendance, Ven. Amitha Thero was deservedly offered the ‘Katina Civara’. Several enlightening Dhamma talks were delivered by Ven. Kamburawala Rewatha Nayaka Thero, Ven. Pidiville Piyatissa Nayaka Thero , Ven. Siyambalapitiye Buddharakkhitha Nayaka Thero and Ven. Baragama Piyarathana Thero highlighting the significance of the ‘Katina ceremony’. The day’s events drew to a close with the offering of blessings and ‘Punyanumodana’.
Text BY Dr. Chamira Rodrigo.