Leeds Buddhist Vihara held its Vesak Day Celebrations on 18th of May 2019 at Leeds Trinity University with the participation of a large gathering of Sri Lankan families and local devotees.
The event was organised by Venerable Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero (Deputy Head Monk of Leeds Buddhist Vihara), under the guidance of Most Venerable Pidiwille Piyatissa Maha Thero, Head Monk of Leeds Buddhist Vihara. Most Venerable Siyambalapitiye Buddharakkhitha Maha Thero, Venerable Kaluaggala Saranasiri Thero and Venerable Kekundeniye Shantha Thero also attended the event. The participants were blessed to have five senior monks to lead different Dhamma sessions throughout the day.
The religious ceremony commenced in the morning with conducting the Buddha Pooja, and administering the Eight Precepts (Ata Sil) to a large gathering of devotees. Both adults and children observed Sil.
Devotees appropriately wearing white attire spent the day paying homage to the Buddha by observing and practicing the innumerable noble qualities of the Buddha. The devotees took part in devotional offerings to the Buddha, listening to sermons, practising meditation and engaging in Dhamma discussions. The venue was decorated with Vesak lanterns and Buddhist flags to create a calm and serene atmosphere befitting the occasion.
After Sangika and Upasaka Dana, a video of Buddha’s life story was presented to the gathering, mainly for the benefit of the children. The children of Leeds Dhamma School delivered a number of presentations on the significance of the Vesak Poya Day.
A separate session was organised for the children in the afternoon where they were involved in creating Colourful Vesak Kudu and several other Vesak activities. The adults were engaged in a Dhamma discussion at this time.
The programme concluded with afternoon refreshments for all devotees who participated in the observance of Sil with much devotion to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha.