London Buddhist Vihara Founder’s Day Celebrations
A week end commemoration ceremony was recently organised to honour the 145th birth anniversary of the late Anagarika Dharmapala, founder of London Buddhist Vihara and the 85th Anniversary of the London Buddhist Vihara.
The two day programme consisted of a memorial lecture, Pariththa Chanting and morning Dhana for the participating Bikkus. The memorial lecture was delivered by Ven. Luang Por Sumedho, Head of Amarawathi Buddhist Monastery.
For the Pariththa Chanting, 25 monks from all Sri Lankan Buddhist temples in the UK participated, including Ven. Pahalagama Somarathana Nayaka Thera, Ven. K Sri Rewatha Nayaka Thera Head of Scotland Buddhist Vihara and Ven. Sumanasiri Nayaka Thera of Buddhist Realists’ Vihara.
The welcoming Anusasana was delivered by Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera, Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain and Head of London Buddhist Vihara. Over 200 devotees and well-wishers from all other communities, including Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to UK Justice Nihal Jayasinghe took part in the ceremony.
Anagarika Dharmapala (17 September 1864 - 29 April 1933) was a leading figure in initiating two outstanding features of Buddhism in the twentieth century. He was a pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in India after it had been virtually extinct there for several centuries, and he was the first Buddhist in modern times to preach the Dharma in three continents: Asia, North America, and Europe. He was also a major reformer and revivalist of Sri Lankan Buddhism.
Photographs by Tissa Madawela