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Photographs by Tissa Madawela

The London Buddhist Vihara has planned a week of programmes to commemorate the 150th birthday of it's founder late Anagarika Dharmapala.

Anagarika Dharmapala was a pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in India after it had been virtually extinct there for several centuries, and was the first Buddhist in modern times to preach the Dharma in three continents, Asia, North America, and Europe.

In 1926 he opened the London Buddhist Vihara which was the first Theravada Buddhist Temple founded outside the Asian continent.

Anagarika Dharmapala was born on the 17th September 1864. 

The 150th Birthday of this revered Buddhist revivalist will be held from the 13th to the 20th of September this year.

At a meeting of the organising committee held at the London Buddhist Vihara, chaired by the Head of the Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain, Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero, it was decided to organise a Pariththa Chanting ceremony to bestow merits, hold a week long exhibition depicting the life and work of the late Anagarika Dharmapala and a Celebration at the Hammersmith Town Hall with a key note speech by Dr. Ananda Guruge.

Producing of a documentary film discussing  Anagarika Dharmapala's intention of setting up a Theravada Temple in the west and it's impact on introducing the Dhamma to the Western Society as well as the history of the the London Buddhist Vihara is also planned.

As a part of this celebration arrangements are made to unveil portraits of Anagarika Dharmapala  at the London Buddhist Vihara and at the Buddhist Society at 58, Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PH. 

A memorial publication containing essays written by prominent scholars on the importance of life long dedicated service rendered by Anagarika Dharmapala to the revival of Buddha Dhamma in the modern times and his part in saving all the Buddhist Archaeological sites in India will also be published.

Anagarika Dharmapala will be the theme of this year's London Buddhist Vihara Dhamma School annual prize giving ceremony, which will be held on Sunday, the 30th March. 

During the programme children of the Dhamma school will present speeches, dramas and power point presentations on the life and work of this great Sinhala patriot, who has dedicated his life for the protection and promotion of Buddhism.


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Photographs by Tissa Madawela

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