2552nd Buddha Jayanti Celebration in London, UK

BuddhaLumbini Nepalese Buddha Dharma Society (UK) celebrated 2552nd Buddha Jayanti (Buddha Day) on Sunday, 1st June 2008 at the Priory Community Centre, Acton, London. The celebration started with procession of newly acquired Buddha statue in a ceremonial way and placed with due respect in the stage for every one to pay homage - Buddha Puja by devotees followed by administration of Panca Sila by Venerable Bhikkhu Sumana and chanting according to Theravada tradition by Venerable Sumana and Sujan, Zen tradition by Venerable Sucho and Tibetan tradition by Venerable Lodro Thaye. Nepalese ambassador to the UK Mr. Murari Raj Sharma gave a brief speech in which he emphasized the importance of Buddha's teaching in the present day world.

During the occasion Venerable Bhikkhu Sumana gave a talk on ‘Buddha's message of peace' and Venerable Sochu from Japanese Zen tradition gave an inspiring talk on ‘Six Parmita (six perfections)' which would be Bodhisattvas need to practice. Venerable Bhikkhu Sujan conducted guided meditation and emphasized the importance of regular meditation for calming the mind and preparing oneself for the day in a better mood. A DVD of Namo Buddha prepared and presented in an international Buddhist conference in Taiwan in 2007 by Mr. Min Bahadur Shakya, Director of Nagarjun Institute was shown. Namo Buddha is one of the holy Buddhist sites in Nepal where the prince Mahasatva fed his own flesh to a hungry tigress who was about to eat her own cubs because of extreme hunger.

To mark the occasion, the society's publication LUMBINI magazine was released. Newly formed UK Gyanmala Bhajan Khalah: Angela Singh, Binod Shrestha, Sharmila Singh and Chorus (Nani Shova, Rasana, Anu, Reema and Rabindra) sang devotional songs in between the speeches. Music: Keyboard - Krishna Chakhun, Tabala - Sabin Rajbhandari and Guitar - Binod Shrestha. Gyanmala Bhajan (Garland of wisdom devotional songs) was used by early Theravada Buddhist monks in Nepal to propagate Buddha's message to ordinary people at a time when any Buddhist teaching especially in Nepal Bhasha was strictly prohibited. At present it has become an established and effective method for propagating Buddhism in many Nepalese cities. These devotional songs are sung at many Buddhist sites in Kathmandu and outside Kathmandu not only at special occasions but also regularly at some important religious sites.

Dr. Swayambhu Tuladhar thanked every one for their help and for attending the celebration and Mr. Amrit Sthapit conducted the programme professionally with comments in English and Nepali where appropriate.

The hall was decorated appropriately with Buddhist flags and tankas for the occasion. About 200 people from Nepal, India, Britain and other countries attended the ceremony. People from the press and director- public relation 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

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