2551st Buddha Jayanti Celebration in London, UK
Lumbini Nepalese Buddha Dharma Society (UK) celebrated 2551st Buddha Jayanti (Buddha Day) on Sunday, 13th May 2007 at the Priory Community Centre, Acton, London. The celebration started with Buddha Puja by devotees followed by blessing from Venerable Bhikkhu Sujan, chanting according to Tibetan tradition by Venerable Lodro Thaye and administration of Panca Sila. Mr. Amrit Sthapit, founder President, gave brief explanation on two types of respect we can show to the Buddha (Amisa Puja, by offeri
ngs and Pratipatti Puja, practising the Dharma). Mr. Dipendra Bista, Chargé d’affaires, Nepalese Embassy, London emphasized the importance of Buddha Purnima. He told the audience that the Buddha spent his whole life in teaching truth of suffering, cause of the suffering and the way out of the suffering – the noble eight fold path. He also emphasised the necessity of practising ahimsa for the world peace and gave the example of the greatest proponent of peace in our time the Mahatma Gandhi. Observing and practising Panca Sila is also necessary especially by our leaders if we are to achieve lasting peace.
2551st Buddha Jayanti (Buddha Day) was celebrated in Nepal on 2nd May 2007 (Full moon day). In Nepal people enjoy national holiday to celebrate this day. In United Nation’s headquarter in New York, it is celebrated as Vesak Day (Buddha Day) and Buddhists get day off to celebrate this auspicious event.
During the occasion Venerable Ajahn Metta from Amaravati Buddhist Monastery conducted guided meditation. Her calm, gentle and serene way of conducting this session had a deep effect on the people. She emphasised to sit comfortably in compassionate way and not to force it. Meditation practice even for 10 minutes every day will make a difference in our life especially when we are experiencing difficulties. Venerable Bhikkhu Sujan gave a brief account in Nepali on ‘Buddha Dharma in present day Nepal’. Dharma Shakya presented ‘Lumbini and its environs’ using slides from Mr. Min Bahadur Shakya, Director of Nagarjun Institute which he presented to an International Conference held in Hawaii a few years ago. Many people were surprised to learn that there were so many beautiful things to see in Lumbini. After seeing these beautiful slides some people expressed their desire to visit Lumbini in near future.
To mark the occasion, the society’s publication LUMBINI magazine was released. Mr. Madan Thapa and Mr. Pabitra Man Shakya played Mangal Dhoon and sang devotional songs in between the talks. Mr. Krishna Chakhun and Mr. Binod Shrestha accompanied them with musical instruments.
Miss Smrita Sthapit thanked every one for their help and for attending the celebration and Mr. Ram Babu Thapaliya conducted the programme professionally with comments in English and Nepali where appropriate.
The hall was decorated appropriately with Buddhist flags for the occasion.
About 150 people from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Britain, Germany, Poland and France attended the ceremony despite the bad weather condition. People from the press and coordinator of Nepali Samaj UK took notes and photos for their respective publications. Sujan and Ujwal Shakya provided an excellent sound system. After the formal programme every one enjoyed the traditional Nepali refreshment ‘Kheer’ generously provided by members and well-wishers of the society.