Inaugural All Night Pirith Chanting at Leicester Buddhist Vihara ( EMBA)

by Dr Sena Nanayakkara On behalf of the EMBA/Leicester Vihara

An inaugural all night Pirith Chanting Ceremony was successfully conducted at Leicester Buddhist Vihara under the auspices of East Midlands Buddhist Association (EMBA) on Saturday the 4th January 2020, to invoke the New Year Blessings to Ven Ratnajothi the Head monk of Leicester Vihara who is indisposed and to all the EMBA members, devotees and all participants.

Total of 12 Buddhist monks participated in this historical inaugural Event on the invitation of the resident monk Ven. Marassana Saddhananda Thero. The community of guest monks was led by Ven Keppitiyagoda Gunawansa- Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain and the Head monk of Jethawana Buddhist Vihara Birmingham and also Head monk of Liverpool Sambuddha Vihara, followed by Kahawanugoda Wimaladhamma Nayaka Thero, Kadawatha Bimbaramadipathy Hurigaswewa Saddhawasa Nayaka Thero, Ven Mapalagama Soratha Thero deputy head monk at Birmingham Jethawana Vihara, Ven. Udunuwara Indarathana Thero- teaching staff at Paliyagoda Vidyalankara Pirivena, Ven. Tissapura Sugatharathana Thero, Deputy Head of Liverpool Sambuddha Vihara, Ven. Kalawane Rathanajothi Thero, teaching staff at Vidyalankara Pirivena, Ven Galpottaye Pemananda Thero, Deputy Head of Kethumathi Buddhist Vihara, Manchester, Ven. Hapugoda Subodha Thero, Ven Pannala Sumana, and Ven. Mawarale Santhindriya Thero both resident monks at Leeds Buddhist Vihara.

The Pirith Mandapa was attractively decorated and well illuminated and all the required decorative materials were brought all the way from Sri Lanka by Dr Sunil Perera.

All the monks were conducted in procession to the special enclosure (Pirith Mandapaya), with the casket of Buddha Relics carried in front of the procession by Dr Sena Nanayakkara followed by Pirith Poth Wahanse carried by Dr Sunil Perera.

Ven M. Saddhananada Thero thanked all the members and their spouses and friends who helped him in various ways and warmly welcomed the guest monks for their kind acceptance of the invitation and for their presence, travelling all the way from Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Sri Lanka and for their guidance and advice as to how the Event is to be conducted.

Buddha Puja ( offerings to the Buddha and the venerations) and ‘leading the pirith chanting’ ( Pirith Pe -kirima) was conducted by Ven Tissapura Sugatharathana Thero.

Anusasana was delivered by Ven Gunawansa Nayaka Thero in Sinhala whilst Ven Indarathana Thero delivered the Anusasana in English.

Formal Invitation to Pirith Chanting (Aradana Gatha) was delivered by Kadawatha Bimbaramadipathy Hurigaswewa Saddhawasa Nayaka Thero.

Ven Tissapura Sugatharathana led the Pirith Chanting. Non stop chanting commenced around 8.30 pm and continued through the night and was concluded around 5.30 am.

After the all night Pirith Chanting, all the monks were served with Heel Dana ( early morning meal) with a variety of alms offered ( hoppers, string hoppers, pittu, pol roti, samosa, milk rice, green grams and lot more being prepared fresh and warm, mostly in the premises itself by several groups & families.

Pan Waduma ( pouring of water)and transfer of merit to all those departed was conducted by the community of monks. The Unique Event was concluded with the chanting of Seth Pirith to offer the blessings and to share all the merit accrued ( Anumodana) to all the EMBA members, devotees and all participants.

Mr Samitha Guruge, president of EMBA on behalf of the Exec Committee, the Trustees and the members of the EMBA offered his sincere thanks:

-to all the guest monks for their support and active participation,

-Ven Saddhananda for his devotion, initiative and organisational skills in mobilising all the senior monks, sponsors and members, families and devotees to make this event a great success,

-all the members and groups for their energy, hard work and co ordinated efforts in the execution of this enormous task.

In addition to all the blessings and the accrued merit, the inaugural religious event was greatly appreciated by all participants and the visitors as a Special Event to be remembered for years to come.

Our sincere thanks and appreciations should go to all those(regret our inability to thank them individually due to large numbers of volunteers) who helped in various ways and offered the fullest support, financially and in kind, and to the untiring efforts over many days and the initiative and perseverance shown by our resident monk Ven Marassana Saddhananda Thero.

(Video and Photos provided by Devapriya Perera, Gayan, Chanuka Wijesinghe)