The Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington D.C. organized a Vesak Programme including a ‘Buddha Pooja’ Dhamma Sermon and a Pirith Chanting at the Embassy premises followed by a Dhana (Alms Giving) for Maha Sanga at the Sri Lanka residence on 26 May 2021 with the Participation of Buddhist monks from all the Temples in the Greater Washington Area. The founder and Representatives from the International Buddhist Association of America (IBAA) and the Chiefs of the Dhayaka Sabha of the respective Buddhist Temples.
Rajakeeya Panditha Wahihene Pannaloka Thero, Chief monk of Washington DC, Ven. Katugastota Uparatana Nayaka Thero, Chief incumbent of Maryland Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Piyarathana Thero of Dhamma Hadaya Buddhist Meditation Center, Arlington,Ven. Wathuliyedde Rathanaseeha Thero of Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Yogavachara Rahula Thero of ‘Lion of Wisdom’-Meditation Center, Maryland ,Ven. Saddhajeewa Thero ,Vice Abbot of Bhavana Society of West Virginia attended the event.
The most Venerable Rajakeeya Panditha Wahihene Pannaloka Thero observed Pancha Seela and joined in the chanting of ‘sethpirith’ by the Venerable Maha Sangha.
Conducting the Dhamma Sermon, the most Venerable Katugasthota Uparathana Nayaka Thero who had participated in the celebration of Vesak at the White House,on 25 May said, it was the first time in the US history when Vasak was celebrated at the White House, in the presence of three Venerable theros representing the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions. The ceremony was attended by the Second Gentlemen, Mr. Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. Venerable Uparathana Thero invoked blessings on the Government and the people of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankans residing in the US.
Venerable Saddhajeewa Thero, Vice Abbot of the Bhavana Society in West Virginia conducted an ‘Anushasana’ on Buddhist teachings and the significance of Vesak.
Addressing the event, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said, the most significant gift which Sri Lanka has been able to provide the world is Buddhism and Vesak is a great occasion to pay reverence to the efforts made by the Maha Sanga in order to promote Buddhism in a foreign country like the US. Further, the Ambassador while appreciating the continuous support provided by the International Buddhist Association of America in spreading the word of Lord Buddha across the community in the USA and commended IBAA for enabling the celebration of Vesak in the White House.
The Founder of the IBAA, Ms. Wangmo Dixey, in her speech noted that Mindfulness and the Meditation become popular in the world. While giving her sincere appreciating the Magha Sanga for their dedication towards the protection, promotion and preservation of Buddhism for future generations. She conveyed thanks to the Ambassador and the staff of the Embassy for organizing such an event to signify the Buddhist culture and tradition.
The event was concluded with a ‘Sangeeka Dhana’ which was held in the Sri Lanka residence with the participation of the staff of the Embassy and guests. – -Embassy of Sri Lanka–Washington DC