Many Devotees undertook Ata Sil (observing the eight precepts) at the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre on the actual Vesak Day on 10 April 2017 and Aggamahapandita Galayaye Piyadassi Sangha Nayaka Thero arranged a special programme for these devotees.
On Sunday 14 May 2017 the official Vesak programme commenced at 7.00AM. The Buddha Vandana and Sil Pavareema was done by Aggamahapandita Venerable Galayaye Piyadasi at 8.00 AM.
A new Buddha Statue donated by a Devotee was ceremonially brought to the SSIBC in a colourful procession from the Kingsbury Town Centre.
Meditation sessions were conducted by Venerable Nepale Tissa Thera and Ms Harshini Perera. During the course of the day sermons were delivered by Venerable (Dr) HanduPelpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero, Ven. Nepale Tissa Thero, Ven. Nepal Sumana Thero and Venerable Galayaye Dhammadassi Thero. A special Dhamma Talk was delivered By Dr Aruna Gamage, Senior Lecturer in Pali and Buddhism at the University of Kelaniya and presently at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
After the Buddha Pujava at 7.00PM, the Anusasanava was delivered by Ven. Padukka Pannawasa Thero, Head of the Sri Sudharshanaramaya, Batuwita, Horana. Afterwards, Bakti Geetha and Buddhist Religious Songs were sung by the SSIBC Choirs, junior, senior and adult, before a large gathering. The Programme ended with the Bath Dansala and the showing of a one and a half hour video on the Life of Lord Buddha, adopted from paintings and with sub titles in English, which was specially commissioned by Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Sangha Nayaka Thero for this year’s Vesak Ceremony.
The children’s Vesak programme was organised at the Hyde School On Saturday 13th May 2017. This was because the over 300 Dhamma School students could not be accommodated at the SSIBC premisses. The school Hall was gaily decorated in traditional Sri Lankan style and the hundreds of Vesak Lanterns made by the students for a competition were proudly displayed.
The Sri Saddhatissa Dhamma School was the second biggest outside of Sri Lanka and the students sit for the Colombo YMBA Buddhism Examinations and the results during the last few years have been excellent. The cause for these outstanding results is the expertise of Principal of the School. Venn Nepale Sumana Thera and the excellent staff. They also coach the students for the GCE Exam in Buddhism and Sinhala. The YMBA Dhamma and Abhidhamma certificates and certificates for other competitions held by the Sri Saddhatissa School were distributed on this occasion.