2554th Buddha Jayanti Celebration in London, UK (Sunday, 6th June 2010)
Lumbini Nepalese Buddha Dharma Society (UK) celebrated 2554th Buddha Jayanti (Buddha Day) on Sunday, 6th June 2010 at the usual venue of Priory Community Centre, Acton, London. The celebration started with offering of flowers, candles, incenses etc to Buddha (Buddha Puja) by devotees followed by administration of Panĉa Sila by Venerable Bhikkhu Seelawimala and chanting according to Tibetan tradition by a visiting Lama. The ambassador of Nepal, Dr. Suresh Chandra Chalise gave a brief speech and told the audience with inspiration from Buddha’s message of peace, hopefully Nepal will attain peace in 10 years time. He also informed the audience that when then prime minister visited Sri Lanka a few years ago then president of Sri Lanka told the Nepalese prime minister that Lumbini could be developed as a cultural centre for peace and Sri Lanka is more than happy to help in this project.
During the occasion Venerable Bhikkhu Bogoda Seelawimala, Head of London Buddhist Vihara and Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain presented slides of Buddhist pilgrimages in India and Nepal – Lumbini, Bodhagaya, Sarnath and Kusinagar with explanation of importance of each site. Our society’s senior advisor Venerable Bhikkhu Sugandha who is visiting UK from Thailand at the invitation of Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, Oxford university gave an excellent talk on Buddha’s advice to lay people (in Nepali) - for personal and social well being. Our society’s president Venerable Bhikkhu Sumana gave talk on ‘Why Meditation?’ and this was followed by a brief meditation practice.
To mark the occasion, the society’s journal LUMBINI 2010 with Karunamaya temple from Bungamati, Patan, Nepal in the front cover was released and distributed as a Dharma Dana for the benefit of readers.
As a fitting end to this auspicious day Venerable Sugandha, Venerable Sumana and Venerable Sujan did Paritran chanting and blessed the audience and offered sacred Paritran thread to those who wished to have them.
The hall was decorated appropriately with Buddhist flags and tankas for the occasion. An additional feature of this year’s celebration was display of Buddhist artefacts at the reception area which was very much appreciated. About 200 people of various nationalities attended the ceremony. The editor of Sagarmatha Times attended the ceremony and Nepal Television took video recording of the session for their respective media. Sujan and Ujwal Shakya provided an excellent sound system. After the formal programme every one enjoyed the traditional Nepali refreshment generously provided by members and well-wishers of the society.