The Annual Kathina Ceremony of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, Manchester
The annual Kathina Ceremony of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, Manchester was held on Sunday the 15th October 2017 amidst a large gathering of devotees under the guidance of the Chief Incumbent of the Vihara, the Most Ven Pidiville Piyathissa Maha Thero. This was the 18th Kathina Ceremony of the Ketumati Buddhist Vihara. This year’s Kathina ceremony was sponsored by family members of Prof. Dilanthi & Sanjaya Amaratunga, Kushal and Thanuja Ariyawansa, Prof. Bingu and Dr. Nelu Ingirige, Dr. Kaushal and Gayathri Keraminiyage, Mishantha and Dr. Champika Liyanage, and Drs. Akalanka and Samitha Weerasekara together with support of other devotees of the temple.
The event comprised of a series of meritorious religious rituals conducted with the assistance of a total of thirteen guest and resident monks namely: the Chief Incumbent of Jethavana Buddhist Vihara Birmingham, Ven Keppetiyagoda Gunawansa Thero along with Ven Mapalagama Soratha Thero, Ven Mewellewe Pannathissa Thero, Ven Godamulle Chulanaga Thero, and Ven Mapalagama Soratha Thero; Ven Theldeniyaye Amittha Thero, the Chief Incumbent of Santhi Buddhist Vihara in Nottingham; Ven Tissapura Sugatharathana Thero from Sri Sambuddha Viharaya, Liverpool; Ven Kaluaggala Saranasiri Thero; Ven Henanaigala Siripalalnkara Thero from, Leeds Buddhist Vihara; Chief Incumbent of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, Manchester Ven Pidiwille piyataissa Thero, Ven Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero, and Ven Kaluthara Miththa Thero.
Sponsors of the 2017 Kathina prepared the Kathina Chivara (robe) at the temple premises with the help of many devotees. The Kathina robe was offered to the temple on the 7th October 2017 as a cloth to be cut according to required measurements and stitched, which took place from 7th until 14th October at the temple promises with the input from devotes of the temple.
On the 15th October, the ceremony commenced with the welcome speech describing the significance of Kathina Ceremony by most Ven Pidiwille Piyatissa Maha Thero, the Chief Incumbent of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara. Ven Henanigala Siripalankara Thero paid homage to the Triple Gem and administered five precepts. Ven. Tissapura Sugatharathana Thero conducted Sanghika Dana rituals and subsequent Punnyanumodana. Prime portions of the food items were offered to the Lord Buddha followed by monks.
After Sanghika Dana, the afternoon session started with an elegant Kathina procession organised by the students, teachers and the parents of the three Dhamma schools of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara in Manchester, Stoke On Trent and Leeds.
Highlight of the Kathina Ceremony, the offering of Kathina robe then took place. The Kathina robe offered during the ceremony takes pride of place since such a robe can only be offered once a year, only at the ceremony after the vas retreat.
Religious rituals associated with Kathina robe was conducted by Ven. Keppetiyagoda Gunawansa Thero of Birmingham Jethavana Buddhist Vihara. Once the Kathina robe was offered to Maha Sangha, they eloquently pronounced words of acceptance and subsequently they conferred amongst themselves to come to a consensus as to whom the robe would be offered. Accordingly, 2017 Kathina robe was offered to Ven. Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero, one of the resident monks of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, Manchester. Thereafter, other offerings of Pirikara were also made to the participants’ monks.
Ven Theldeniyaye Amitha Thero, the Chief Incumbent of Santha Viahara Nottingham delivered a dhamma sermon in Sinhala signifying the importance of the “Vassana retreat”. The dhamma sermon in English was delivered by Ven. Kaluthara Miththa Thero for the benefit of the young devotees of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara on the importance of the ‘Vassana Retreat”.
With the vote of thanks by Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga representing the Kathina sponsors and other devotees, followed by the blessings from the Mahasangha, the 2017 Annual Kathina ceremony was concluded around 2.00 pm with lunch served to all devotees. This is the 3rd annual Kathina ceremony held at the new proses of the Ketumati Buddhist Vihara –Manchester.
Ven Galpottayaye Pemananda Thero of Kethumati Buddhist Vihara guided the devotees from the beginning in making sure to the smooth running of the Kathina programme scheduled for the day under the further guidance of Ven Pidiville Piyatissa thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Vihara.