Ven. Thiththagalle Anandasitri Thera conducted Dhamma Discussion programmes for children and adults at the Sri Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre on Friday the 25th August. He is a renowned Abhidharma and Meditation teacher in Sri Lanka. At present he is touring the UK holding Dhamma Sermons and Discussions in various Sri Lankan temples.
In the afternoon Ven. Anandasiri Thera held a Dhamma discussion with the Saddatissa Dhamma School children. In very simple and plain language that the children could understand as quickly, easily, and completely as possible, he explained the core value of the Dhamma and the benefits any one can gain by following it. Ramya Jayawardhana, a Dhamma School teacher helped with the translating.
Ven. Anandasiri Thera took examples of the lives of two poor destitute children who lived during the Buddha's time, Suneetha and Sopaka, and discussed the way, with the guidance and kind help from the Buddha, managed to overcome the miserable lives they were having to become educated monks and went on to help the needy in various ways.
During the Dhamma Discussion Ven. Anandasiri Thera discussed the effects of the numerous rituals that the followers of this great teaching has accumulated through out it's long history. "Rituals such as Chanting, praying, celebrating Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing Away often involve symbolism and speak to our subconscious. And when they are repeated frequently, they shape our dispositions. When done whole-heartedly, they help us discover and express some of our deepest feelings and aspirations. However as important as precepts and religious observances, they alone cannot liberate people. To rely on them for liberation is a hindrance to liberation it self." the Thera said.
Buddha's teaching in a nut shell is "Sabba papassa akaranam, Avoid all evil, Kusalassa Upasampada, Cultivate every thing good, Sachitta Pariyodapanam Purify your mind" nothing less nothing more, so following the Dhamma is much more helpful and important than following just the rituals" he said.
After the Dhamma Discussion all the monks were offered Gilampasa and the lay devotees were given a simple but dilicious dinner.
Ven. Anandasiri Thera's Abhidharma, Pattana Desana and Dhammapada sermons can be listened on the following website: www.mmbbss.com
Photographs by Tissa Madawela