VESAK DAY AT THE SRI LANKA EMBASSY IN
On May 07, 2009, Vesak was celebrated at the
Sri Lanka Embassy with an alms giving for the priests of all three
Buddhist institutions in the Greater Washington area - Washington
Buddhist Vihara, the International Buddhist Center (IBC) and the
Bavana Society of West Virginia.
Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Nayaka Thera of the
Washington Buddhist Vihara administered Pan-Sil/ Ven. Nikahatiye
Soratha Nayaka Thera, a visiting priest of the Washington Buddhist
Vihara, engaged in the transfer of merit.
The Vesak commemorative sermon was delivered
by Ven. Bhanthe Rahula of the Bhavana Society of West Virginia
who spoke on the significance of Vesak and the universality of
Lord Buddha’s teachings, and encouraged the audience to
reflect more deeply on the Buddhist way of life.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya in his speech
emphasized the importance of the Vesak mentioning that “For
over 2,500 years, the Buddha's timeless teachings remain as relevant
as ever. In our everyday life, the Five Precepts, which emphasize
respect for life, property and family; responsible speech; and
mindful consumption of food and drink, are basic moral codes that
help create social harmony. If one thinks it over, he will realize
that the Five Precepts reveal the way any responsible member of
society should behave towards others.”
The Ambassador recalled an American who came
to Sri Lanka and became a giant among men in Buddhist circles:
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott. Col. Olcott is remembered with love
and gratitude by Sri Lankan Buddhists, since he reawakened the
nation and inspired them to struggle for their legitimate rights.
The Ambassador thanked the representatives of
the Sri Lankan organizations in the Greater Washington area, as
well as American well wishers, for their presence at the occasion.
Included among them were members of the staff of the Embassy who
helped organized the event.
The Vesak Message of H.E. Mahinda Rajapakse was
read by Mr. Tissa Wijeratne, Deputy Chief Mission.
The Embassy premises were illuminated with a
beautiful Vesak lantern and other Vesak decorations. Representatives
of the Sri Lanka Organizations in the Greater Washington area
and American well wishers attended this annual event.
The religious ceremony was followed by Dana.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
09 May 2009