|SRI LANKA EMBASSY COMMEMORATES VESAK WITH A DANA AT
The Sri Lanka Embassy commemorated Vesak with
a dana at the Embassy premises on May 5, 2007. It was
the third celebration of Vesak at the Embassy, the continuation
of a decision taken to celebrate at least one religious event
of each religion followed by Sri Lankans.
The dana was held with the participation
of the Washington Buddhist Vihara and the International Buddhist
Center (IBC) in Wheaton. Nine Buddhist priests from the two temples
participated in the dana. Ven. Katugastota Vidura Thera
of the Washington Buddhist Vihara administered pan-sil,
while Ven. Danthure Pannaratana Thera of the IBC delivered the
anusasana and Ven. Dr. Beligalle Dhammajothi Thera, a
visiting priest at the Washington Vihara engaged in the transfer
of merit (punya anumodhana).
Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke who spoke at
the event, said that Sri Lankan Buddhists celebrate two very important
religious events, every year - Poson, as the day that Buddhism
was brought to Sri Lanka and Vesak as the day the Prince Siddhartha
was born, achieved Enlightenment and attained Nibbana as the Buddha.
However, Buddhists all over the world have one special celebration,
which is Vesak. He said that historically, Sri Lanka has been
instrumental in spreading the Buddha’s word the world over,
first in South-east Asian countries like Thailand, Laos Myanmar
etc., subsequently, in the west as well, a trend that intensified
after receiving independence in 1948. The Ambassador said that
currently there are over 40 Sri Lankan Theravadha Buddhist temples
in the U.S. In the recent past, Sri Lankan Buddhist temples were
established in Minnesota, North Carolina, Boston and Pittsburgh.
The Ambassador thanked the members of the staff
of the Embassy who helped organize the event and every one who
participated, including the representatives of the Sri Lankan
organizations in the Greater Washington area, who were present
at the dana.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
08 May 2007