Vesak commemorates the three most important milestones in the life of Gautama Buddha – His birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana. The Heathrow Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple held its vesak celebration programme on the 13th of May 2017 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lampton School, Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 4EP.
Devotees - young and old - clad in white gathered early morning to observe 'ata sil'. As Buddhists, all who observed the Sil participated and spent the Vesak Poya day engaged in meditation and meritorious deeds, as it is considered appropriate to make a special effort to assist those in need and bring happiness to others during one’s lifetime.
Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa thero; Chief incumbent of Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple and Ven. Dodamgoda Sumedha thero delivered special Buddhist sermons emphasizing the importance of practicing Buddihst way of life and good deeds. They also enlightened the devotees on the benefits of Buddhist teachings about meditation, compassion, non-violence etc. toward attaining moral high grounds.
In the afternoon Ven. Kanthale Vijithawansa thero delivered a Dhamma sermon highlighting the importance of and engagement in practice of Dana, Seela Bhavana alongside compassion and wisdom in true veneration to our noble teaching, the flower of human kind, Lord Buddha. Mr. Bandara Wannaku and Dr Tony Fletcher conducted Dhamma talks and discussions on mindful, positive thinking and motivation. One of the key highlight of the evening was the chanting of the Mangala Sutta by our Dhamma School Children; it was an important high point as it demonstrated the learning and the progress of our Children.
For children, Vesak is also an opportunity to be creative by building ‘Vesak Lanterns’. With the help of parents, our Dhamma School Children created many beautiful lanterns. They were consisted of paper lanterns, intricate ‘kudu’ which are large lanterns surrounded by tiny lanterns decorated in many colours.
Finally there was a special exposition of the relics at the premises enabling the devotees to pay homage to the Lord Buddha. The day’s activities were concluded with a 'Nawa Arahadi Pooja'.
2017 Vesak Programme was organised under the guidance of the head of the temple Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa Thero and would like to express our sincere appreciation to everyone who enormously contributed their generous support to make the event a success.