Most Venerable Dr. Galle Udita Maha Nayake Thero
“Sihapura Sanghapati”, Dharshana Visharada, The Chief Sangha Nayake of Singapore & Malaysia, Senior Religious Adviser of Buddha Vihara Society, Singapore, The Lecture of Singapore Buddhist & Pali University, The Director of Wijayananda Buddhist Training Institute.
Respect to Elders & The Association of Good Company….
Buddha says in the Dhammapada that living of one day practicing morality is better than living of hundred years with immoral practices.“Yo ca vassa satam jive – Dussilo asamahito Ekaham jivitam seyyo – Silvantassa jayino”. One day life of an individual who practices morality and meditation is excellent than that of a person lives hundred years with committing vices and out of restrain. The elders are three categories based on aging, virtues, and wisdom. Elderly in age (Aayu Vuddha) would know many things and have experiences in life than that of young people. Therefore, they deserve respect from younger people. But some of those elders enjoy drinking, gambling and commit other vices also despite their old age. Some spend their time doing nothing but talking nonsense and looking for subjects to quarrels or playing ‘Mahjong’. Some are not patient but violent complaining for every minor matter. Therefore, young people may not like to respect them. Anyway, we need to respect some elders, like parents and grand parents to show them gratitude for their sacrifice for our life even they are not keeping to their morals. Those elderly people used to protect us and guide us in our childhood.
Elders based on virtues (Guna Vuddha) deserve respect from others. They are good examples for the society. They do not kill, steal, indulge in sexual misconduct, do not lie, and do not drink liquor. They are generous and kind. They do a great service to society with their virtues. They do not fight for own benefit. They are friendly with others. Therefore, they are easy to associate by others. The next kind of elders based on wisdom (Nyaana Vuddha) deserve respect due to their intelligent activities. Understanding of cause and effect and understanding the reality are the features of wisdom. Everybody does not have such wisdom. The opposite of the wisdom is the ignorance. Many animals are killed every day for human consumption, but human beings never think that those dump animals are suffering. They are so selfish to enjoy their senses with sensual pleasures giving suffering to innocent beings, killing, cutting parts of the body and putting them into cages, catching fish for pleasure, organizing bull and cock fighting for betting. Many people are killed in the battlefield, but human beings enjoy with their greed for power. Human beings care of dangerous drugs and intoxication drinks as source of good income than regarding them as harmful and cause for many sicknesses to mankind. This is the ignorance of the world, and the man doesn’t see that his life is momentary and subject to pain.
Ignorant people lead the society into wrong path. They hold a lot of superstitions that are very dangerous. Those ignorant people hold mainly ten wrong views numerated in Buddhist teaching such as 01.There is no result of giving. (Natthi Dana) 2. There isn’t result of offering. (Natthi yittha) 3. There isn’t any result of any great offering. (Nathi Huta) 4. There is no result of good and evil. (Nathi sukata dukkattanam phalam vpako) 5. There isn’t another world for those who die. (Natthi iha loko) 6. Beings from another world do not come to this world. (Natthi paraloko) 7. There isn’t any good result of caring mother. (Natthi Mata) 8. There isn’t any good result of caring father. (Natthi Pita) 9. There aren’t spontaneous beings in the world. (Natthi satta opapatika) 10. There aren’t recluses that practice celibacy. (Natthi samana Brahmana samma patipanna parisuddham brahma cariyam pakaseti). Ignorant people not only they go to hell but take others also to hell despite helping them to get rid of their suffering. There were six teachers at the time of Buddha in India who used to hold such views. One teacher said destroying of life is not true there isn’t killing but it is an arrow going through the elements only. Another teacher said man should not do anything because everything is fated. Another teacher said one must toucher oneself then Karma will be destroyed to attain salvation. Another said on the moment of death all four elements are dispersed and it is the end of life, and nothing transcend to next life, there isn’t next life. They didn’t believe Karma and its result.
Lord Buddha has revealed the Dhamma with His great wisdom for people to practice and therefore many people escape from suffering and attain Nirvana. Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas and Arahants are the worthy ones of respect and honor as they are endowed with great virtues and wisdom. Buddha says that respecting of the nobles that deserve respect is a factor for welfare and blessing. The blessings of elders tend to achieve longevity, beauty, good health, and happiness of the people who care and respect them. Bodhisattva in his past life born as a tiny bird wanted to respect the elder among friends. An elephant and a monkey were its friends, and they discuss to choose the elder. Then they saw a banyan tree nearby and they used the banyan tree to choose the elder. The elephant said that the tender leaves of the banyan tree were touched his belly when it was small. The monkey said that he used to pluck leaves from the banyan tree when it was growing. To the surprise the tiny bird said that the banyan tree was planted from the seed that it has dropped after eating a fruit from another banyan tree. Then the elephant and the monkey regarded the tiny bird as the elder and since then they used to respect him as most senior among them.
The society won’t go down or Buddhism will not decline if people respect the elders, according to Buddha. Young people must listen to the elders, learn from their experiences and then they will be safe from many dangers. Young monks must learn from elderly monks and teachers, and they will be safe. They will have unknown knowledge from the elders. Some people do not like to respect elderly people due to their pride. Even when our Buddha went to his hometown Kapila Vatthu His relatives did not want to respect him thinking that he was younger than others in age. Then Buddha performed twin miracle discharging fire and water from poles of his body lifting Himself in the air. Then those proud Sakiyans greeted him as he was great in wisdom and spiritual attainment although He was young. One of the Arahant named Lakunthaka Bhaddiya was very short, and it was due to his previous Karma that he was being a carpenter in the past made the funeral pyre of the Paccheka Buddha very short while people proposed him to make it bigger.
Baka Brahma was very proud by thinking that he was the creator of the world. But in front of the Buddha he was embarrassed when Buddha explained that it was his mere belief and no one could make the world. Pride, arrogant nature is the main cause for not to respect others and consequently the person is born being inability by receiving any care and respect from others, born in the poor and law caste family. Such person would suffer from many physical and mental disorders. A minister named Santati of King Kosala attained Nirvana instantly by hearing Dhamma from the Buddha with his beautiful royal costume. He did not have the opportunity to ordain himself although he has been An Arahant. The reason for his enlightenment being a minister with royal costume was that he used to praise Triple Gem and encourage people to respect them and practice Dhamma also in the past.
Devadatta tried to kill the Buddha by many ways despite respect Him as his teacher was dragged to hell. Suppabuddha the father of Devadatta was also dragged to hell as he despised and disturbed the Buddha. Catta Manvaka the young man and Matthakundalee the innocent child were born in the heaven as they were happy with the virtues of the Buddha and greeted him. Ambapali looks down a Bhikkhuni in her previous life therefore she was born as a prostitute. Greeting, honouring, caring of elderly virtuous people is a blessing and a cause for the success and welfare according to Mangala Sutta and Dhammapada. “Abhivadana silissa – Niccang vuddha pacayino Cattaro Dhamma Vaddhanti – Aayu Vanno Sukhang Balang”. Person who respects virtuous elders, cares the elders will improve in four things, that is longevity, beauty, happiness and health. “Asevana ca balanam – Panditanan ca sevana Puja ca pujaniyanam – Etam Mangala Muttamam”. Not to associate young and foolish and associate the wise, intelligent elderly people, to respect and service to the people who deserve the respect will lead to the welfare of oneself. Therefore, let us remember to respect elders and listen to them. May all beings be well and happy !
Five Divine Messengers….
We in the human world always commit mistakes. But the wise is very careful in doing things. He investigates the noble teachings and finds out three unwholesome roots, greed, hatred and illusion as the main causes of all evil deeds. Killing, stealing and sexual misconduct are committed by body. Lying, slandering, abusive speech and useless talk are committed by speech. Craving, anger and wrong views are committed by mind. All the activities either good or bad are designed, planed by thoughts. Therefore, the culprit is the mind and its mental concomitants. Craving, anger and illusion are also mental concomitants. The tree cannot stand without roots. Likewise, unwholesome deeds have those roots. They have totally fourteen concomitants as 01. Illusion (Moha), 02. Shameless (Ahirika), 03. Fearlessness (Anottappa), 04.Restlessness (Uddhacca) 05. Craving (Lobha), 06. Wrong view (Ditthi), 07. Conceit (Mana), 08. Anger (Dosa), 09. Jealoucy (Issa), 10. Stinginess (Macchariya), 11. Worry (Kukkucca). 12. Sloth (Thina) 13. Torpor (Middha) and 14. Doubt (Vicikiccha). Those fourteen immoral mental concomitants constitute unwholesome volitional activities.
One must be mindful on what is running in one’s mind. Then it is the way to control the bad. There are some guidelines in the following story of the Lord Buddha. Once the Lord Buddha addressing the monks, reveals that there are five divine messengers in the human world. People who commit unwholesome activities would be born in the hell. Then the servants of Yama, the king of the hell take those people to him. Then Yama the king of the hell would ask them “Haven’t you seen the first messenger a baby in the human world? a baby cries, urinates, defecates and is dirtied all around him. He suffers in getting wet and being dirty with stools. He is smelly, abhorrent and he would not know when he will be cleaned by someone who comes across. He is just crying for food, l bitten by mosquitoes and troubled by flies. That is your first messenger to awaken you to make merit to get rid of suffering. But you didn’t notice it. Now it is the second messenger Haven’t you seen an old man with haunch back, walking with a stick? He is skinny and his face and body are dried, and he has wrinkles all over his body. His hair is white. He has poor eyesight and hearing. He has no teeth. He cannot walk straight. He needs the help of someone. Everybody would disgust him and abandons him. Seeing him is an inauspicious thing for others as they consider him as he is bringing bad luck. Walking stick is the only partner of him to support for his standing. Then why didn’t you do good despite committing evils?
Now the third messenger, haven’t you seen a diseased man. His legs are wrapped here and their due to wounds that are oozing pus. He cries due to the pain of his body. He is in difficulty in breathing, so he is panting hard. He is shivering either with cold or fever and he is suffering from various sicknesses. He feels pain on his head, pain on the knee, pain on the back, pain on the joints and knuckles. He lies on the bed in pain and is not able to sit or stand. He is just lying for the help of others. Why didn’t you do good having seen that suffering? Now the fourth messenger is the criminal that is punished by the law due to his crimes. He is handcuffed, beaten with battens, he is pushed to jail, he is fined or imprisoned for many years. The judge would order him to be excited, put in the dark room forever, confiscate all his properties, to isolate him in an island, declare him bankrupt, or banish.
Now the fifth messenger is the decease. That motionless body is very cold and stiff. It becomes swollen, blue, and rotten. A few days’ time it oozes out pus and bodily fluids. It is smelly and disgusting. Nobody wants it to keep even it is the body of the beloved, the mother, the father, the teacher or beloved son or the daughter. Why didn’t you do good? why didn’t you stop committing evils after seeing the impermanence? So, there is no excuse for your negligence, for your bad deeds, unwholesome deeds. You deserve the effect of your own karma. Thus, the lord of the hell orders. By this reference one must not wait. Definitely Kamma is the heir to each individual. Just like the heavy load carried by the bull behind the bullock cart one carries his own evil karma, when the bull goes forward the wheels too rotates. Likewise, the Karma follows the individual producing pain. On the other hand, Good karma follows the individual giving good result. One mango seed produces many fruits if you have planted it well and manure. Likewise, Karma is multiplied because it is natural phenomena. Let us stop any evil by today itself. Messengers are lessons for us all to understand the reality of life and make our life better.
Peaceful & Happy Society Through Five Principles….
As a result of killing life becomes short. As a result of hurting and being violent towards the others the culprits suffer from many sicknesses as it is said in Kamma Vibhanga Sutta. A pig butcher who killed pigs for fifty-five years living just behind the Jetavana temple in Saawatti in India suffered for seven days walking and crying like a pig and he was born in the hell after death. Therefore, taking life of another reacts sever results although it won’t be immediate but when the kamma is matured. A goat laughed when a man wanted to kill him then he cried in sadness. Then man was in puzzle with the dual actions of perplexity. He was told that the goat was happy as it was ending of its Kamma by completing five hundred times of effects caused by killing of a single animal that it has committed in past life and it was sad as that karma was going to pass to the man. Then the man stopped killing it but the goat was killed by lightning as the karma was inevitable. A family killed a pig. Then an Arahant stopped them cutting it until he comes. He advised them to cut the belly of the pig carefully. When they cut the belly of the pig there was a snake in the pig. Then Arahant told them to cut the belly of the snake. Then there was a frog in the belly of the snake. Arahant revealed that they all have been family members. Accordingly, we eat the flesh of our own family members without knowing it. Abstaining of killing is not only a precept but there is positive action of an individual to show kindness to all beings. He should not use any instrument to attack any being too.
Stealing – Abstaining from stealing means one cannot take any one’s property without permission. Not only stealing something from another but taking a salary without doing the job properly and wasting time in spite of working also are considered stealing. Taking a service from a person who belongs to someone without permission is also stealing according to the Dhamma. That belongs to the category of stealing of mobile properties. Many problems in the society have been conditioned by this offence. It creates doubts and fear among the community and the business. One becomes poor every life due to stealing.
Adultery – The third precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct is very important to maintain the peace and harmony in the family. Faithfulness between husband and wife cements relationship and love. Wellbeing of the family depends on this confidence. If husband or wife is not confident to each other the family is subject to collapse, innocent children will also have to suffer due to the misbehaviour of parents. It is also conducive to constant quarrels and fighting between them. Finally it can be ended in cutting and killing each other too. Those who commit adultery are also subject to be unhealthy of both mentally and physically. There are many people who suffer from sexually transmittance illnesses too.
Lying – Abstaining from lying is next precept that is conducive to the disappearance of confidence of both individually and socially. No one wants to give any responsibility to a liar. He may destroy himself as well as others through his cheating and frauds. Speaking of truth and maintaining the honesty could be beneficial in achieving the success and highest goal of an individual. This honesty and truthfulness are the root causes of material success of any business company also.
Taking intoxicants – Taking of intoxicants causes the untidy nature of the individual as he is subject to drunk and many sicknesses. He loses his wealth having many drunkards surrounding him as his friends. He is not safe, his wife and children also are not safe. His family status is going to dog reigning over by social insults, abusing, and despising. He would summand poverty and debts in spite of success in his life. He won’t be welcome any more by his friends when he has lost himself. Finally, he may die like a beggar being disappointed in his life. Therefore, one must be mindful in doing things and behaving.
These five moral rules in Buddhism condition many benefits as Buddha said. Virtuous man becomes rich as he does not need to spend anything same like culprits do as they were forced to pay fines and receive punishments. He gets popularity and good reputation from the society and associates. He can be brave and glorious in a crowd as he bears moral conduct. He is able to die mindfully and is born in a blissful realm according to the teaching of the Buddha. Society based on these principles is peaceful. The family can be happy and successful. Finally, those who follow these moral principles not only help themselves but also help others through their exemplary life.
Righteous Society Based on Five Moral Rules….
The world has been grown materially to sky high but spiritually it has gone down to hell. Therefore, it cannot be regarded as real development, but it could be paralyzed development. Everyday there are killings not only innocent animals but also human beings. Every day there are reports of suicides. More and more hospitals are made. More and more prisons are made. How it can be a development? More hospitals mean, there are more patients. More prisons mean there are more criminals etc. The development means to the people is to have wide roads, beautiful cities, high ways, more eateries etc. but man’s morals are very low, and he is not able to enjoy the pleasures rightly as he is vacant in morals. Therefore, everyday there are clashes, rallies, conflicts, strikes etc in the public. The world is very restless and violent. Abusing of modern technology – People abuse modern information technology to pass all kinds of rubbish, ugly news to society without consideration of its repercussions and influences on the human mind. Family morality has gone to the dogs through information technology. The information technology lets you see that even father indulges in sex with the children. Sons indulge in sex with mother; brothers and sisters also enjoy sexually. Ladies sex with dogs and horses and other animals. The man commits such adultery with women etc. Many types of wrong and evil behavior have been introduced to the public just to please them with the intention of getting abundant income. It is seen how the man has skillfully organized desire, ill-will and delusion to the destruction of moral rules of the family and the society.
Five principles in Buddhism – Therefore, Buddhism teaches five moral rules to maintain real development of the individual and the society. That is, not to kill, not to steal, not to indulge in sexual misconduct, not to lie and not to take intoxicants. Taking life of another whether animal or human is wrong and sinful. The reason is that everyone loves their life. Dhammapada says, “Sabbe tasanti dandassa- sabbe bhayanti macchuno – Attanam upaman katva – na haneyya na ghataye” – All are trembled by punishments, all are feared with death, therefore compare your- self with others then don’t hurt and kill others. Knowing there is life and committing a killing after planning with an intention of killing becomes a sin. There are many reasons for killing. Mainly killing animals is done for eating. Killing is done to protect the life such as from enemies or dangerous animals. Killing is done in order to revenge. Killing is done for power. Killing is done for religious purposes. But main reasons of killing are desire, anger and delusion. These three immoral roots are causes of all immoral deeds just as the roots of a tree. When man is killing another, anger comes first because without any ill-will, the man is not able to destroy anyone. When the man thinks that he cannot get what he wanted, he kills his previous lover justifying to himself that it is not wrong. That is how the delusion is playing its role. He kills because he loves to possess his lover that has taken by another. Then there is desire too.
Man likes to enjoy animal flesh and he thinks of his good health and strength. Therefore, he should eat live fish or any live being. He kills monkeys. He kills iguanas. He kills pigs. He kills serpents etc. Has the man gone wrong? He should be questioned what about the elephants, horses, bulls and buffaloes that eat vegetation. Are they weak in strength? Regarding eating of meat does not have hard and fast rule in Buddhism. But ever since man starts eating meat more sicknesses have been created. Obesity, blood presser, heart diseases, and so many other sicknesses have been caused by the eating animal flesh. Animals die in anger when they are killed. There dirty blood mix with human blood. The man gives suffering to innocent beings just to enjoy his desire. He is a slave to his mouth-watering desire to enjoy the flesh of others just like animals.
Killing is done due to the power that man wants to show. There is pride in committing evil. Some old men having one leg to death also can be seen fishing at their leisure and take their baskets full of fish home. Then let someone to ask them that won’t they notice that the fish have the life and they suffer when they catch fish. Animals kill animals because they are born with their own karma to live in such a way. Therefore, we are not able to guide them for not to kill. But human beings have the brain to think and do things.
One is getting married with the intention of leading a happy life with wife and children. Drinking destroys this intention, and the person becomes ignorant and disappointed. As an individual one has to look after the family well. He needs to provide daily food to the family. Wife always expects beautiful cloths and ornaments. She also wants to take care of the children, the house and all properties. If husband does not give money to her she may not able to look after the children well. Children need cloths, books and others. Family has to welcome visitors. They have to attend functions of people and give presents. Occasionally family needs to visit interesting places local or foreign and relax their life. They also have to help other people who need their help. They also have to help religious institutions or country whenever they ask. Therefore life means is not just eat and sleep. There are so many duties to be completed with their income. A drunkard doesn’t care of all those responsibilities or duties.
Disadvantages of taking drugs and drinks – 01 – Singalovada Sutta reveals that the drunkard is confronted with six kinds of disadvantages 02 – Sanditthika Dhananjani : getting loss of wealth is seen here and now. 03 – Kalahappawaddhini: Increasing of quarrels 04 – Roganam Ayatanam: Body becomes the source of all sorts of sicknesses 05 – Kopinang Nidangsani: He doesn’t shy to commit any evil 06 – Akitti sanjanini: Ill-fame arises 07 – Pannaya Dubbalikarani: Knowledge and wisdom deteriorates
The peaceful family – The peace of the family depends on the husband. If husband is mindful in his business and help the family, there is peace in the family. Addiction to drugs and drinks is the notorious enemy of the peace of the family. Everyday husband would discuss family matters with his wife if they are mindful and come to certain conclusion to solve problems in the family. They also take certain ways and means to improve their family income. Keeping money in the bank, minimize he expenditure, starting of a new source of income are those that they think of improving their life. Family would get together every night and talks each other. Weekend would be a good time to work together for them in their house for cleaning or gardening. Drug taking people are not free to meet their own families or work together. They wouldn’t have no any responsibility. They just think of how to satisfy their thirst of drinks and drugs. Those that don’t take drugs or drinks have enough time to think of their religion and They go to their religious places to meet clergy or practice their religion. Therefore, they are peaceful and happy.
Drug Free Society….
Since when Buddhism introduced to Sri Lanka in 236 BC five precepts have been adopted to the society and people stopped killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and taking intoxicating drinks and drugs. They also used to observe eight precepts on new moon days and full moon days. Eventually their life became very simple and affordable. Buddhism established in Sri Lanka when some Sinhala people became Buddhist monks and not only they follow the teachings of the Buddha, but they guided people also to follow the moral rules and meditation. Buddhist monks managed to safeguard the noble culture and the teachings of the Buddha with their effort imides many difficulties. However, it was not possible to avoid influences of foreign habits perfectly. Therefore, some ignorant people imitated habits of gambling, killing, and drinking from foreigners etc. But still Sri Lanka maintains the moral way of life for some extent. Because of five precepts family life of Sri Lanka is still better than that of the west. Because some young people in modern society in the west do not get married and just enjoy life. Some wanted to have same sex marriage. Buddhism teaches the doctrine of Karma therefore Buddhists know there is good result of veneration to elders, service to elders etc, but some may argue asking why should respect and do service to others when we are same human beings. They do not appreciate service to elders or doing some work for free as they are taught to depend on themselves. There are healthy people but do begging therefore those who don’t believe Karma do not want to support them. Old people work in their old age and some become collectors of waste materials or cleaners. Where is compassion and gratitude?
Charity, morality, service and honour to elders, helping the needy, greeting with join hands, covering of body with suitable attire, maintaining love between husband and wife, joining meaningful pilgrimages, welcome guests, showing hospitality, seeking spiritual guide in their problems are Buddhist values. While old people in some countries having ball dances, enjoying parties and gambling old folks in Buddhist countries follow precepts fortnightly engage in pilgrimages etc. The discipline that they have inherited from Buddhism is very marvelous and great. Buddhists are more caring, sharing and finding information of each other due to the teaching of the Buddha.
Drug free Buddhist economy – Buddhist economy mainly depends on most basic needs of mankind namely clothes, food, shelter and medicine. To have rightly earned wealth and properties brings happiness to a layman and he would enjoy wealth using it for daily necessities, managing it well without borrowing to be indebted and doing right things not becoming victim of evils. As thousands of jobs are available to be selected according to the interests of an individual r why he has to depend on wrong livelihood, evil trade such as, selling living beings, selling flesh of animals, selling poisons, selling weapons and intoxicating drinks and drugs etc. A business cannot last long If the boss is a drunkard or a person of extravagant in spending. There is a report in Buddhist history that the daughter and the son of two bankers became a couple and wasted all the wealth inherited from parents in gambling and drinking. Finally, they became beggars on the streets. Their life was vanity and empty with everything and they’ve gone to hell.
One of the disadvantages of taking intoxicating drugs and drinks is wasting money and wealth. Drunkard has to serve his drinking friends every day. He won’t be able to stop drinking suddenly as he becomes an addict to drinks or drugs. So, every day he wastes away money. Body starts to complain many sicknesses such as headache, pain, blood pressure, stomach and kidney problems etc. Therefore, he needs to see doctor and then he spends money for many sicknesses. While he takes liquor, his wallet may be taken by some body. Wife and children always very worry about him, but he keeps anger to them. Every day after coming home having drunk quarrels with wife or shouts to neighbors or relatives without any reason but with self-made reasons or for trivial matters. Those who don’t drink enjoy their life and save their money and all properties. They are mindful in spending. Their economy increases day by day as they know the meaning of life well. Laziness, gambling, drinking, wandering in the night, looking for various entertainments, and association with bad company are the channels of dissipating the wealth.
Wholesome Activities & the Offering of Kathina Robes….
“Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammaa sambuddhassa – Punyam ce puriso kayiraa – Kayiraa te tam punapppunam Tamhi candam kayiraatha – Sukho punyasaa ucchayo”
Brothers and Sisters in the Dhamma, Meritorious deeds – Offering of Kathina robes is done in the period between full moon day of October and the full moon day of November. Many Buddhists do their duties during the retreats of monks in spite of difficulties that they face. Those duties actually are called meritorious deeds or Punnya Kamma in Pali language. The Pali poem that I have quoted from Dhammapada deals with the importance of doing meritorious deeds. It says that the man must do meritorious deeds again and again, not only that he has to do them regularly but he must also have some enthusiasm, the interest or eager to do them because accumulation of merit is able to yield happiness according to the Buddha. Merit in English is the feature that deserves praise but Punya is the good deed that is beneficial to oneself and others and also the deeds that are done in the absence of attachment, anger and illusion. The opposite of Punnya is the Apunya in Pali language. All immoral deeds such as killing, stealing and sexual misconduct are based on three immoral roots namely attachment, anger and illusion. Respectively they are Lobha, Dosa and Moha in Pali.
Mind is related to all Karmas – Mind is the prime cause of all verbal physical and mental deeds. Those bad actions produce nothing but sufferings in the hell, animal world, spirit world and the world of demons. People who follow Taoism offer hell passports to the dead but Buddhists do not need hell passports but they should have heaven passports just like Punya book, the Pinpota that Buddhists used to record all their good actions in the ancient time in Sri Lanka.
Offering Kathina Robes – Presently Buddhist people used to offer Kathina robes to monks after the retreat of the monks. Offering of Kathina robe is one of the eight great offerings in Buddhism as the Pali poem says,“Kathinam ca parikkhaaram – Vaasadaanam ca uttamam Buddhappamuka sanghassa – Daanam Dhammassa lekhanam Khetta daanam ca sanghassa – Patimaa karanampi ca Karanam Vacchakutiyaa – attha punyaani vucchare” Kathina is an especial robe that is offered to monks who have followed the precepts of the rainy retreats. The Pali word Kathina implies that the merit one accumulated by offering a Kathina is very solid like the earth. It is also unshakable like the Mountain Meru, that is unable to move away by the wind and also it is not able to destroy as that of a diamond rock.
Robe offering – Robe is an embodiment of higher virtues such as compassion, kindness, confidence and truthfulness etc. An ordinary man is transformed into a holy man with those sublime virtues. It is also the banner of Arahants. The value of a Kathina robe is limitless and very precious. Items that are used by famous stars like Michael Jackson and Princess Diana are subject to be auctioned to millions of dollars, therefore the robe of an arahant could be valued to a limitless amount due to the sublime virtues that monks practice.
Dress of a laymen – Dress of a layman is also an ornament. A man or a woman without a dress cannot be beautiful. People wear different kinds of clothes and by different fashions. But the purpose of wearing clothes is to cover nakedness and prevent heat and cold. Civilized people wear suitable garments in proper way in order to make themselves look better. There are extra benefits of wearing a robe by a monk. Robes help monks to prevent from mosquito biting, to prevent from heat and cold and to maintain mainly their precepts. When they wear robes, they reflect the purposes of wearing them and it is a subject of meditation also.
Recommendation of Kathina robe – Buddha recommended monks to have three robes in the beginning. But some of the monks who lived in Paavaa wanted to visit Buddha when He was residing at Jetavana Vihara in Sawatthi. When monks were travelling, they had a lot of difficulties on the way due to heavy rain. Therefore, they could not proceed their journey and stopped at the place called Saaketa. They observed rainy retreat in a monastery in Saketa. They started their journey to visit the Buddha again at the end of the retreat. They could arrive Jetavana monastery after walking many hundreds of miles but still facing problems due to rain and muddy roads to see Buddha. Buddha heard their difficulties upon His enquiries in the discussion with them and then Buddha recommended monks to have extra robe at the end of a retreat namely, Kathina. Since then, offering of Kathina robes was started by the people.
Sangha Kamma – Offering of Kathina robes is to be done by an act namely Sangha Kamma. After people offer Kathina robes, monks have to choose one of the suitable robes to give to the selected a monk that has followed the rules of the retreat. Then monks take the robe to a Seema house where they officially offer it to the selected monk by an act. The formular of handing over the robe to the monk who has duly completed his retreat is recited by two monks for three times after getting the approval from monks after asking for three times. The procedure of legally handing over Kathina robe is done according to the democratic system introduced by the Buddha for the first time in the world. It is understood that Buddha has given a great value to virtues rather than outward appearance caused by the robe.
Benefits of offering Kathina – Kathina robe offering is the only offering that is offered two times. First it is offered to monks by the devotees and then it is offered again to a particular monk who followed the precept of the rainy retreat by the Sangha. Both the Monks and lay people receive benefits of offering Kathina robes. The monk who receives the Kathina robe is free to go out without permission of other monks. That is the first benefit of receiving Kathina. The second benefit is that he is free to go out without having three robes that have been determined to use. The third is that he is able to accept invitation from laymen against normal procedure. The fourth is that he is able to accept many robes. The fifth is that all the requisites that are brought to temple belong to him. It is understood that the Buddha has made those rules flexible to monks for them to relax at least for five months who receive Kathina robes legally. Laymen who offer Kathina robes are not born in the hell. They are born either human world or heaven. They are also able to become the ruler of the world or the king of the heaven.
Karmas that have been committed by an individual contain three stages of resulting. One seventh of javanas in a thought process that constitutes Karma is resulted in this very life. The last portion of the Javanas is resulted in the second life. The five portions of the Javanas in between first and the last out of seven Javanas are resulted any time after the second life until attainment of Nirvana. Whatever Karma that is unable in yielding results in due time is subject to disappear as Ahosi Karma. Merit of Kathina offering is so powerful that it prevents evil Karma that could result in the hell, animal world, spirit world and the world of demons. Therefore, some of the Karmas disappear when their time expires as the merit of Kathina offering is always fore-running. Those who offer Kathina robes are also become higher officers when they are born in the human world. They also become healthy and handsome. They enjoy happy life and when they meet Buddha in the future. They are able to attain Nirvana by hearing Dhamma at the end. They are also able to become monks as a result of offering Kathina robes.
Design of a Kathina robe – Lay people did not offer robes to monks in the beginning as Buddha had advised them to make robes by themselves by collecting pieces of cloths and joining them. The robe was sewn according to the design of the paddy field of Magadha as advised by the Buddha. Later it was coloured with the water boiled with some barks and stem of some trees like jack fruit or Mahogany trees. This natural colouring of the robes were good for the health and preventing heat of the body. The colour also depicts the doctrine of impermanence. First time Jivaka the physician of the Buddha offered a robe.
Significance of Kathina offering to Sangha – Once Prajapati the foster mother of the Buddha offered a robe to Lord Buddha made by herself but the Buddha refused to accept it and told her to offer it to the Sangha. Then later Buddha explained to her when she offered the robe to Sangha, it was also offered to the Buddha and it was more meritorious when it was offered as a common offering to the Sangha. That is why Kathina is offered to Sangha today. The robe is not suitable to wear by a person who does not follow morality and meditation according to Dhammapada poem. “Anikkasaavo kasaavam – Yo vattham paridahessati Apeto dama saccena – Na so kasava marahati” Devadatta used to wear a very precious robe in front of such great disciples Sariputta and Moggallana. In a previous life pretended like a monk he wore a robe to cut away the tusks of an elephant as the elephant used to respect the monk. The wearing of the robe is only suitable to the person who is endowed with morality, discipline and truth as explained in the Dhammapada poem. “Yo ca vanta kasaavassa – Silesu susamaahito Upetodama sacchena – Save kaasaava marahati”
Eight great offering – Besides the offering of Kathina robes, offering of eight requisites, temples, offering of food to the Buddha and the Sangha, writing of Dhamma books, offering of lands to Sangha, making of Buddha statues or pagodas, making of toilets and bathrooms are the great offerings in Buddhism. “Kathinan ca parikkhaaram – Vaasadaanan ca uttamam Buddhappamuka sanghassa – Daanam dhammassa lekhanam Khetthadaanan ca sanghassa – Patimaa karananpi ca Karanam vacchakutiyaa – Atthadaanaani vuccare” Then again Kathina is the best offering as it says, “Giriraaja samam naasim -Sanghe deti teceevaram Ekassa kathina daanassa – Kalam naaggati solasim”. Offering of three robes as many as to the size of the mountain Meru is not worth to one part out of sixteen divisions of merit as an offering of a Kathina robe. It is so powerful and effective that it produces abundant merit.
Benefits of Merit – “Maanusikaa ca sampatti – Devaloke ca yaa rati Yaa ca nibbana sampatti – Sabba metena labbati”. Merit creates happiness in the human world, long life, beauty, good health, happiness, wisdom and all necessities. It also creates the heavenly happiness. Not only the happiness in blissful realms but it creates the bliss of Nibbana also. Therefore, let us do meritorious deeds regularly and continuously as it is the way for the happiness. May the covid 19 and terrorism disappear from the world and may all beings be well and happy. May peace and harmony prevail in the world.
Golden Memories of my life in the past
My childhood – I have been to this world in the afternoon on one of the Sundays in August 1947 according to my birth certificate. My name was written as Munirathna. Then my house was at No. 10, Baduwatta, Eliott Road far from two kilo mitres from Galle town, the capital city of Southern Province in Sri Lanka. My birth has been taken place at home with the help of a midwife. Four sisters and two brothers had already come to this world before me. Three younger sisters came to this world after me. My father W. Luis Hami was a manufacturer of turtle shell items such as spectacles, bangles, ladies’ bags, trays etc. Being an enterpriser 20 over people worked under him. I remember that he had a big land nearby back of home and another house at Madapatala in the same area. I had the good karma that two men known as David Appuhami and Hendrick Appuhami used to visit my home and they took me to temple nearby known as Atapattam Vihara (Octagon shape temple) every day. David Appuhami plucked flowers from Sal tree near the Bodhi tree of the temple and offered to the shrine of the temple every day. He used to collect some coins from the people by placing a till at the first step of the stair case of the temple facing to the main road. He took the attention of the people by shaking the till and shouting by the word ‘Gahe Badu, Gahe Badu’ Then he used to buy coconut oil and joss sticks and would go to offer oil lamps, flowers and joss sticks to the pagoda, the shrine of the Buddha, cave shrine of the Arahant Mahinda and Bodhi Tree. He accompanies me too and recites Pali verses together. He would not allow me to see here and there and let me focus on the recitation. David Appuhami and Hendrick Appuhami observed eight precepts on every new moon and full moon day together with me in the temple and I had to recite Sutta of mindfulness (Satipatthana Sutta) together with them.
I used to collect yellow flowers from the flower bushes on the hill that was back of the temple to offer to Buddha. There was a long stair case to the temple at one side starting from the road. Another staircase also was about hundred metres away of the road to the preaching hall. The Bodhi tree and a Sal tree were in between those two staircases on the slope of the temple. There was a wall around the Bodhi tree. My younger brother and I were admitted to primary class of the Dhamma school where there was a monk known as Bhante Kandawatta who taught us Buddhism. Whenever monks used to visit my father, they have proposed father to get me ordained as a novice monk but my parents refused their proposal and told them that his son must complete his learning first. In reply he used to recite Sinhala poems, Pali or Sanskrit verses or sometime stories “Amita guna nuvana yutu uthumou paba da – Anatha vehesa laduvath noma vethi duha da – Digatha pathala suvadaethi sonda sadhun kanda – Sinditha madhitha ekalesa pethireyi suvn da”
(The wise man never become bad by any means of effort as if the sandal wood spreads out more and more fragrance when it is cut and damaged.) “Pinmada puthun siyayak laduvath nisa ru – Guna naena belen yuthu puthumaya ithaa garu – Eka pun sandin duruveyi lova gana andu ru – Neka tharu raesin elesata nomaveya du ru” (Even hundreds of sons without virtues are useless. The virtuous and wise son is the best because the full moon illuminates whole world but hundreds of stars are not so.) I used to hear such poems very often uttered by my father that were inspired me.
Life in the School – My younger brother and me were admitted to Mount Calvary Sons’ school at Kandawatta, in Kaluwella and Mr. Benjamin was the principal. I was taught by Mrs. Benjamin in the primary class. She made us exercise in Sinhala poem that I remember a part of it as follows, “Ath Ussan- Perata Thaban” (“Raise your hands -Forward your hand so on”) She utters the song ‘’Paayanaa Kaaledee – Rae Daval Mahansivee- Kantade Raeskarayi Kumbiyo – Un Itaa Ikmanin Yanneme Santosin – Kammaelee Nae Koheth Kumbiyo” – (The ants collect food day and night in the summer with their effort for their winter, they are never be lazy but live happily”)
My teacher used to rub my head and ask whether I had taken breakfast as I like to place my head on the desk, then she feeds me with a sandwich and an apple. I studied in primary school up to grade 4 and my teachers were very good and they cared me very well. But some days I was sent to the principal because I didn’t attend the school as I observed precepts on new moon and full moon days. My teacher taught me to respect elderly with joined hands by telling the words “Long life to you” (Aayu Bovan) I can still remember the poetic verses that has inspired me very much learnt in my primary class.“Anaagataya babuluwanna – nidahas diviyak gevanna – Thutunam kisi viteka epaa elivanturu nidaaganna – Nithi kadisara kaminee – naegitimu aluyaminee// – (Never sleep until morning sun shine if you like to have free life and bright future Quickly get up early)
“Data kata maeda pirisiduvee – muwasodaa haeda vaeda vee – Theruwan naemakara inpasu – poth paadam kala maenavee – Potha patha kiyavaalaa uganimu veheseelaa//” (Clean yourself having brushed your teeth, wash your face and make yourself very neat, then read books after paying respects to Triple Gem. Having read various books let us learn with effort) – “Inpasu thepaen beelaa -mavupiyanata vaenda pudalaa – Pothpath ganimin surathata -yamu paesael maedura balaa – Dakunu pasata vela – yamu pela saedeelaa//” (After that take breakfast, pay respects to parents and let us go to school having books on the hands. Let us walk on the right side in queue) – “Vaedihitiyan garu kireema – kuladeviyan hata pideema – Yahapath gathi bava salakaa – sudusuyi ehi nirathaveema – Haemavita guru deguru – salakamu lesa sugaru” – (Consider to respect elders and to pay homage to clergy as good manners and do it, and let us honour greatly to teachers and parents, care of them) – “Lakmavage anaagathe aetha obasaema denaa vethe – Enisaa me ovadantika thabaa ganna obe hithe – Gathiyen suvineetha – hobavamu lakmaathaa” – [The future of Sri Lanka depends on you, therefore keep these instructions in your mind, then you are well disciplined in behaviour, let us hail our motherland”]I had a few friends in the school. One of them didn’t talk to me some days, the reason was that he used to bring money to buy some snacks on the particular day and he didn’t want to share them with me. Another friend went to the back of the building and started to shake his head violently one day. Then I asked him ‘My friend, why are you shaking your head so violently?” Then he answered me ‘Oh, I want to create a headache on me because if I can have a headache’ I can tell my teacher that I am sick and I want to go home. Then teacher will allow me to go home’ he said.
My brother was very afraid of punishment when he was late to come to school Therefore, he applied some red colour on his palm and mine; then we returned home. He told my elder brother that we were punished by the principal as we were late. Then brother took the cane and asked us to tell the truth. My brother told him we were caned but I did not want to tell lies; I told him that we had rubbed our hands on the painted iron bar of the rail way. My fourth sister Amaralata used to run like a horse. She used to jump from the staircase of the entrance to compound and runs to school but she always gets big toe injured. One day she left home for the school early but she ran away. I and my second elder sister walked to the school. Then we heard my fourth sister had an accident and she had been taken to hospital. I was sad to see her left leg wrapped with bandages. I and elder sister Prema Sriyani came back home crying on that day.
The kindness of Mother – My second brother Titus pushed me down from the table while playing with me and I hit my chin to the bar of the bed. Then my tongue was broken instantly and hanging. My mother was so sad and that she called a rickshaw immediately and took me to the hospital that was situated a mile away from home. Mother too ran after the rickshaw to the hospital. My tongue was sewed and I had to depend on liquids for several days in spite of taking solid food. This serious injury could be one of my past Karma and the Mara wanted me to become dump to avoid talking. My father used to go to school once in a blue moon and enquire about us from the teachers. He was happy to hear that our teachers used good words about me and the younger brother but he was not happy to hear that my elder brother Nandasena had not been to his school for some days although he left for school. Then father caned him so severely that the red marks were appeared on his back. Father used to recite beautiful Sinhala guiding poems, meaningful Pali and Sanskrit verses and stories that inspired me and others. “ Allata sigaavath rasa naethi kaevili kakaa – Valakola bima athuta nidi nolaeba duk takaa-Kalagiya redi vaeraeli aenda daeli kunin vakaa- Aelmen akuru uganiv idiri vaeda takaa” (Even by begging food from others eating tasteless cakes, sleeping on wild leaves but not being comfortable, wearing worn out cloths but after washing them one must learn earnestly for the future.) – “Narasyaa Bharanam rupam – rupasyaa Bharanam gunah Gunasya bharanam nyaanam – nyaanasya bharanam ksamaa” – (The body is the ornament of man, virtue is the ornament of wisdom, patience is the ornament of the wisdom)
Family affairs – Once in every month there was meditation programme in Mahinda College conducted by Ven. Dodampahala Kavidhaja Nayaka Thero. I used to attend the themprogramme early in the morning. It was started from 5.00am and ended at 5.00pm once a month. I was very happy to attend as Venerable taught not only meditation but he taught some dhamma lessons writing on the black board. Devotees had to memorize those Dhamma and verses. After the lunch Bhante asked them to reply whenever questioned. Therefore, I could also learn a lot of Dhammapada verses and doctrine of the Buddha. He taught Abhidhamma and also. He taught Sinhala poems for Dhammapada verses to make it easier to remember. I was always successful in replying his questions. I was so impressed with meditation guide and Bhante took me to the stage when I was in deep meditation. Since my childhood I started practice quiet meditation on lovingkindness at my every gesture. As I reserved myself in talking some misunderstood my attitude to commend that I was a dangerous person. But I ignored whatever they said and continued to practice my own cultivation. That was why I was happy to be a monk. Although my elder brother was stubborn, he was a jolly and playful person and he was very interested in making a huge lantern on every Vesak day. It was as big as a house with twenty-four lanterns joining to corners of the big lantern. He hangs it on a big coconut tree at the compound with a pulley to put it down when there was rain. He complained to police about making of the illicit drink by the people lived in our land. The police always came to arrest the people who were involved in making illicit drinks that time. An uncle named Babun Maamaa used to visit our home very often and sometime I and brother also used to visit his house situated at Wakwella Road near the town. There was a monkey in the corridor of the uncle’s house tied to a post raring as pet. One day when I went to his house the monkey jumped over to me and bit my left calf. The aunt put leaves of drums stick to the wound and it was recovered after some time leaving a big scar on the calf that is similar to the size of the mouth of the monkey.
Good practices of my parents – Father used to go to Colombo and Kandy for his business and we used to wait for his coming back so eagerly that we would receive dates, sweets, bread and cakes by his every return. He called me and brother every day morning and took us to a big well on the slope of the temple. It was at the side of second staircase of the temple leading to the octagon Dharma Hall built by the late King Chula Lankara of Thailand. My father set up a large canvas tent to have free vegetarian meals to all visitors on every Vesak day. I remember we had very big copper pants to prepare food and there was very strong woman for cooking. My mother namely Edi Nona used to be at home most of the time helping father for polishing all turtle shell products and also helping us for our all needs. She took me to her village Vatugedara in Ambalangoda where our grandmother and some of the uncles live. Grandmother was hundred over years old and she used to observe eight precepts on every full moon and new moon day. She was known as Kade Amma because she used to earn a living by selling things at home. My mother used to cook good food for the grandmother and takes it to her from Galle occasionally. She accompanied me too. The elder uncle was also old and he used to pound areca-nuts and betel leaves for munching. He was very charismatic with his loud voice. He was also clever to spell mantras for simple sicknesses of people.
Contingencies of life – Our house was moved from Baduwatta to Weliwatta in 1960. Father had some problems of his left hand and therefore he could not work like before. He was so afraid that he could not be able to get elderly sisters get married. Then he sold his one house and he mortgaged his residence too. The people took advantage of the opportunity and kept the house without returning and paved the way for my father to move away. My second brother and me were very busy in moving things to our new home at Weliwatta. But one day we rolled down from the hilly road when we were carrying the things in a two wheal Cart.
The new environment – In the year 1960 we have come to the new house. But it was only walls, the house of the neighbour was attached to a wall of one side. My father has paid only Rs. 25 for the ruined house. Then he repaired it fully spending about Rs. 3000/ My elder brother was good in filing all bills of the expenditure. Father restarted manufacturing turtle shell goods and supplied them to Lakasala in Colombo. Everyday he used to get up 3am and called me up also to learn my lessons. He makes a big fire with logs of wood to heat up his long pincers that were used for fastening the pieces of turtle shells together. He put a kettle of water to boil it for tea for us. Some time he makes kanji for us to drink.
The New school and the activities – I was admitted to Weliwatta school nearby with the change of our residence. I was admitted to grade 5 and my class teacher was Mr. Dayananda Liyanage. Then Principal of the school was Mr. K.L.J. Wijayarathana. I met new friends in the school. It was a mixed school of girls and boys. The school was very pleasant to me. It starts with the recitation of verses of loving kindness and ends with the greeting verses of Triple Gem after the lessons. There were some Muslim male classmates learning together in my class namely Jifry, Kishar, Mansoor, Nisam, Kapur, Jiraf, Kaadar and a female namely Paatumaa. I studied from grade 5 to grade 10 in the school. We all were in big sizes when were in grade ten. Principal used to call us to extra hard work after the school. Muslim class mates were very helpful to principal to prepare the new playground. Some of other classmates that I remember were Herath, Ranasingha, Wilkin, Manimel, Gamini, Kandauda, Lional, Sarath, Wimalasena, Wilmat, Albat, and females Rupaa and Mallika. Manimel, Wilkin, Wilmat and Mallika and me were in Dancing group.
Kindness of the teachers – Mr. Dayananda Liyanage was our class teacher in every class because he has asked the principal to conduct the lessons to same students. I learnt Kandy dances and music in the school. Teacher always used to take my drawings to show to other classmates as I was good in drawing. I used to come to school after lessons also to help the principal on his request. We planted vegetables in the school compound. I also helped famous Artist director of Galle Mr. Ranasinghe to draw pictures on the walls in the kindergarten. School was developed under our principal. The playground was prepared by him with the help of our classmates. He also made a small shrine of the Buddha in front of the land that all students assemble every morning before starting lessons. One day the image of the Buddha was brought to school in procession. Dancing group of our class danced in the procession and I had to play the drum for them. Dancing teacher trained me and others to dance Panteru, Uragaa Vananma, Nayiyadi Vananama, Mayuraa Vananma, Udarata Dance and kastirams. Dance teacher Jayasekara left our school and a new teacher named Kankarathna took his place to teach us dancing professionally even after the school free of charge. The school made a beautiful float with two lions at the two sides of the float to the independent Day ceremony on the Galle esplanade in 1960 with the help of Art Director. I joined the school scout group also and I could win second class badge from Scout movement. I have earned a big amount of funds to scout movement during the job week walking house to house asking for work to do.
One of the school teachers namely Jayadeva made a drama for world children day and I was also chosen as an actor. The name of the drama was” Adarayaka Mahima” the power of love”. A poor boy was given to a one family to bring him up by his parents and he was abused by the family. He had to work from morning to evening but his needs were neglected. The boy sometime stole things that he likes from others as the family did not give them. Sometimes he was very angry and purposely broke things in the house. Always his mood was very bad. Then one day a school teacher came to their house seeing the poor boy he asked for him to bring up. Then the couple agreed to give the boy to him. Teacher was very kind and provided him all his needs. He also encouraged him to learn well. The boy learnt well up to the highest level and he brought the best result of the final exam to show to the teacher. The drama ended with the statement “Aadarayaka Mahima-the power of the love. The school came first among the presentations of other schools in the world children day held in Kitulampitiya Children Home in Galle. In every class from grade 5th to 10 I came either 1st or 2nd in the class examination but I was not so good in sports. But I was happy to join some sports. So, once I joined to wallyball team. One day when I participated the game, I was not good enough to throw the ball. Then the sport teacher known as Mr. Somapala slapped me severely. It was very painful to me. My father noticed that I was in some difficulty when I went home. Then he enquired what was happened. Father was not happy with the teacher for beating me and he straightway went to school and told the principal that it was not suitable to beat me as I was a beginner to learn sports.
I not only learn dancing I learnt singing from our Music teacher Mr. Amaradasa. As my voice was good, I was also selected to recite Pali verses of blessings with others in the independent Day ceremony in 1960, on the Galle playground. My teacher filled up the forms to apply General Certificate Examination. I offered eight subjects but without English because my knowledge was poor in English although I obtained higher marks in the class test. Our English teacher was a lady named Jayawardana who taught us English reading and poems at most of the time rather teaching grammar. I attended a night tuition school in China Garden in Galle where I learnt all the subjects in English together with grammar lessons but I could not continue up to the last grade as I was caught by mumps. The principal Ven. Mampe Wimalakirti Thero was very strict and he refused me to continue as I could not inform earlier that I was absent due to the sickness. But any way I did not stop my studies of English. I joined to College of Higher Studies in Kaluwella which was under the director of Mr. P.P. Artigala. The principal was Mr. Disanayaka. I set for the government General Certificate Examination in December 1995 and I passed the examination with good results.
Daily routine – My father and mother used to go to new land every day that they had bought at Dididswatta, in Dangedara, Galle which is half kilo mitre from my house. Sometime I also go to the land. My father made a hut on it and started to do his works. Mother plucked some leaves from the field and used to make mats and bags with them. Sometimes she plucked some vegetable leaves from the garden and took them home for cooking. Father used to plant banana, coconuts, jack fruits and maniocs on the land. He used to distribute jack fruit plants to people to plant also. The land was a massy land and there were several drains with water connected to the canal and most of the places were muddy and soft except one stripe of land. Father filled up a part of land in front with garbage sent by Municipal Council and covered it with soil. Then he planted king coconuts and green coconut plants. They grew well and bore the fruits. By that time, we could get all our needs from the land for our food. Father, mother and I used to walk our home in the evening. Most of the days I too went to the land and I read my books quietly. Sometimes children of neighbouring houses came to ask my help for their lessons. I have taught some English lessons to nearby Boy named Ralahami. One day some Muslim boys caught fish in our canal and they beat me and ran away. Father came to know this attack and he made a complain to Police.
Challenges in the new College – In 1965 I left my school at Waliwatta and admitted to Mahinda College for Advanced Level. It was a different environment where I met school boys wearing longs and speaking English. There were several A Level classes. Then some of the boys from other A Level classes confronted me said why should you pay respect to another when I offered a pack of betel leaves and knelt down to the teacher. They came to our class with some files. Our new class mates got up from their seats not knowing what were them greeted them when they pretended to be teachers. Those happenings were thoroughly marked in my mind and when I joined to the meeting of the school, I narrated Kalakanni Jataka where it was explained one’s conduct was more important than the Name because although the name of the person was Kalakanni in the Jataka story that was looked down by some people but he saved his friend from thieves using his wisdom when his friend had gone out of the house for some business handing over it to him to look after. I used to go to tuck shop in my interval and have some tea. Then some of the students followed me and drank tea and disappeared from there allowing me to pay for their bills. Sometime those naughty boys used to eat a lot and drinks tea for me to pay. Understanding their nature, I stopped to go to tuck shop and in spite of having tea I went to library to do reference books. I had a friend namely H.M. Herath in my class who had studied together in Weliwatta School also. He used to argue with me against vegetarian diet because I was strong vegetarian at that time. His argument was that I was wrong to drink milk as a vegetarian. Then I told him eating milk and biting of the breast of the mother was not the same. Then he stopped arguing about it.
I was interested in joining all activities of the school with others but some of the class mates looked down me when I joined those school activities. Their characters were revealed from their behaviour. However, I did not stop my activities I joined to school Hela Havula, Scouting, labour sharing, and debating team. I could learn a lot of things from those activities. I served also to my school with good heart. I applied the Dhamma competition exam of the college and came first. Then I received the first price of Dhamma of upper section in the college making those trouble makers surprised. I joined to one of the debates in English namely ‘English has done more harm than good to Lanka’. Although I could not speak well in English that time, I approached several teachers and learnt from them how to talk. Then I was successful in speaking to the debate. I used to study Buddhism in Dhamadarshi Daham Pasala of Tuvakkugalawatta Ancient Temple at Weliwatta from class 5 to the final class under Ven. Piyadassi Nayaka Thero and Kamburupitiye Somaloka Nayaka Thero. Then I used to follow eight precepts on every New Moon and full moon day. I explained Dhamma to people who joined to the observance of precepts from the literature book namely Pujawaliya. I was very interested in reciting Karaniya Metta Sutta with meaning that consisted of loving kindness together with the devotees who observed eight precepts. Then Venerable Godagama Saranankara Nayaka Thero the incumbent conducted us to follow precepts.
One day when I was walking to my college, I saw the chief monk of Wijayananda Piriven Vihara Temple also walking very mindfully along the Tunnel up road and he also saw me. Most venerable Nayaka Thero talking to me requested me to come to teach Dhamma school of the temple. I accepted the request and thereafter I went to Wijayananda Temple every Sunday to teach in the Sunday Dhamma school. The chief monk knew about me earlier because I passed all Dhamma school exams with credits organized by him as the secretary of the Protection Board of Buddhism under the Ministry of Buddhism. My principal J Gunasekara gave me a very good certificate when I left Mahinda school in 1968 recording all activities of my participation and credits of behaviour that was accepted as authentic proof for me to follow suit in studies in several other colleges. I studied English and literature under Mr. Wijetilaka a retired teacher of Mahinda College in Higher Studies and I got through them in Government Exam. I studied Cooperative College in Pettigalawatta for professional training for a year and I joined to Vidyaloka affiliated University College for bachelor examination. I used to go to Wijayananda Temple very often and talk with Venerable Beratuduwe Gnanavisuddhi Thero. The Venerable arranged the year programme for the temple where every full moon day to have a time table for the devotees from morning to evening.
The programme has to be started at 6.00 am by administering eight precepts followed by short sermon by the chief monk. Then the veneration to Triple Gem was followed by the Puja offering to Triple Gem. After the Puja Offering there was breakfast for the devotees and it was followed by reflection on the precepts and meditation, by 11.00am there was Puja offering to the Buddha followed by lunch to venerable monks and the devotees. After the lunch about an hour, it was resting time for the devotees. immediately after the lunch devotees had to recite three common Sutras namely Mangala, Ratana and Karaniya Suttas. Then there was meditation session on walking and sitting for two hours, afterwards there was Dhamma Desana the sermon followed by Dhamma discussion. After the Dhamma discussion there was recitation of Satipatthana Sutta followed by cleaning session. The chief monk conducted renewal of precepts at 6.pm followed by a short Dhamma talk. A grand puja offering to Triple Gem started at 7.30pm and it was followed by a Dhamma sermon until 9.30pm. Thereafter devotees rested until morning. This programme was arranged by Venerable Gnanawisuddhi Thero and I helped him to find out sponsors for the programmes for every month.
In the meantime, Venerable Gnanavisuddhi Thero proposed me to arrange a missionary training programme in the temple. I agreed to his proposal and he arranged ordination ceremony of 25 young children but he could not find out 25 boys but he could find out only 9 children. Then he proposed me also to obtain ordination to make it at least 10 boys to be ordained. On that day I went to parents and asked for permission to ordain myself. My father did not agree for the ordination and he told me to consider it but I told him that one day I will be able to become a monk at their absence. Then father thought for a while and told me if you don’t change, I can’t help, it may be good to see your ordination in our presence rather it won’t be able to see by me at my departure. Hearing the words of my father allowing me to become a monk my mother was not happy and complained him how could he allowed my son to be ordained. But somehow mother also had to be agreed for my decision.
The Ordination – The whole temple had been decorated with lights including the pagoda. There was seven days’ paritta chanting. A procession also had been arranged to commemorate Arahant Sanghamitta on the full moon day of December. A two-story building also had been completed for the monks’ quarters. Hon. Governor William Gopallawa had been invited for the opening ceremony. Venerable Gnanawisuddhi Thero worked day and night typing invitation letters to all dignitaries. I went to house to house asking for people to join to the foundation ceremony for the dining hall of the monks. It had been planned to lay 500 foundation stones to the building by sponsoring Rs. 25000 by each person who had been invited to lay foundation. It was on the basis of pledge that people undertook to sponsor. However, people did not keep the promise although they had recorded their names to donate for the project.
The Sanghamitta procession was started about 1.30pm on the 20th of December 1970 on the full moon day of December with the image of the Arahant Bhikkhuni. All ten applicants of the ordination dressed like princes headed by me also taken by a decorated vehicle around the city in the procession. Decorated some other floats also were accompanied in the procession. Governor William Gopallava arrived the temple in a motorcade on the following day and many monks including all senior monks, the chief monk and executive committee of Ramanya Nikaya attended the ceremony. All ten boys were ordained on the 21st of December 1970 including me.
Having ordained me by most Venerable Abhidhammika Maligaspe Ratanaransi Nayake Thero I was named as Rev.Udita. Every day, I nine novices and I used to get up five o’ clock morning and go to the shrine for the veneration of the Triple Gem. I have been accustomed to the temple environment gradually and I collected alms in the village every day. I learnt Pali Dhamma books under my teacher every day. I learnt Pali and Sanskrit grammar by heart in the morning. I followed the studies in Vidyaloka Pirivena for bachelor of Arts. Venerable Samananda Nayaka Thero taught Pali lessons in the Pirivena. In the same time, I attended to retired Mahinda College English teacher Mr. Jayatilaka’s class for further English knowledge. I conducted meditation lessons to devotees on every full moon day. I joined to Sarvodaya movement and started children group and a youth group. I have had a leadership training in Sarvodaya Head Quarters in Moratuwa in 1973, I sent my niece the eldest daughter of my elder sister for training to be a kindergarten teacher. I started a pre- school in Wijayananda Temple and appointed my niece to teach children free of charge. Sarvodaya appointed me as the Niyamaka Bhikkhu of Sarvodaya in Galle. Then I organized many labour sharing activities in Galle and surrounding areas. Most of the meetings were held in Ginimellagaha, Baddegama. I had to participate in the meetings and discussed promoting activities of people. Consequently, pre- schools and development activities in villages were carried out with the support of Sarvodaya. Under Sarvodaya I organized religious and social activities in villages. I could help organizing people for voluntary activities to make roads and pre- schools in villages according to Sarvodaya philosophy. Every full moon day devotees and I went to the children ward of the hospital at Mahamodara in Galle town and distributed biscuits, tea and sugar and soaps to the patients. After blessing service, I distributed holy water to them. I could hold an assembly in Galle town hall with Muslims, Tamils and Buddhists to be united as Sandhaana, the unity among communities. Muslim leader Gafar Hajiar and Tamil leader Manikkam in Galle were among the people who supported my peace mission.
Those days road surrounding the Wijayananda temple was in ruins and the entrance to temple was very narrow. Then I organized two days’ labour sharing programme with the participation of hundred and twenty-five people including some people from all government sectors in Galle. Galle Municipal council also helped a lot. The road was repaired until the top of the tunnel and applied Tar. The drains surrounding the village was cleaned. The entrance of the temple was widened by demolishing an isolated shop house. The house was demolished by the neighboring families and the conflict that arose from breaking house has been settled by then commissioner of the municipal counsel Mr. Gunasekara. I organized daily Pujaa in the temple with the devotees. Therefore, devotees daily attended the making offering to Triple Gem in the temple. Most of the people were women and they became the benefactory group of every activity in the temple such as Kathina robe offering, full moon day Dana etc. Every full moon day the puja offering to twenty-eight Buddhas with Dhamma talk was conducted by me as I have been influenced by the style of Venerable Panadure Ariyadhamma Thero who had been charismatic monk of the time. It was very popular and many people attended to the ceremony.I was higher ordained on June 16th of 1972 in the ceremony held in Kelaniya of which Venerable Induruwe Uttarannanda Adhikarana Nayaka Thero, the dean of Annuradhapura Bhikkhu University was my preceptor. Venerable Nakiyadeniye Nyanuttara and Venerable Telikada Sangharatana also were received higher ordination with me together on the same day.
My teacher in monk hood – Venerable Pundit Galle Nyanobhasa was my ordained teacher. He used to get up early in the morning and cleaned the temple compound in front of his room. When I was ordained he stayed upstairs of the new building where he had a rabbit. He was so interested in books that he made a large library in upstairs attached to his room. He used to buy books every day from a trader who used to bring books to temples to sell. He ordered Thripitaka books and he made them binding with hard cover for protection. He had also collected many story books, ola leave books and various dictionaries and commentaries. Not only he preserved books but he made use of it also and let the student monks to read them. He had been a writer too. He wrote several books on the history of Nikaya, the history of the temple, the virtues of Olcott etc. Everyday he used to go to the pagoda, shrine and Bodhi tree and paid respects. He used to meditate walking up and down mindfully on the compound. He extended temple up to the road. The main shrine of the Buddha was completed, a dining hall and a two storied monks’ quarters were built up during his time. The building for the monks to stay had been built up solely with his gains from teaching. He had been a school teacher and later the director of the monastery school. He had been the secretary of Sasanarakshaka Mandalaya in Galle under the ministry of Buddhism so many years. He was an eloquent speaker and he was invited any function in Galle.
He was so humble to attend any religious service of the devotees on foot unless they provide a vehicle. He revived temple school and the Sunday school. He conducted exam for the children and also monks in Ramanya Nikaya annually. He had been appointed as the Anunayake in Ramanya Nikaya. He used to work with Mahanayaka Pottewela Pannasara Maha Thero and Batuvita Nandarama the Sanyalekhaka (General secretary of the higher ordination) The triple used to go together to executive meetings of the Nikaya. Annually he repaired the temple and upkeep it on beautiful condition. Many young disciples were with him during his life time except me. I was impressed with his noble character. He was so humble that he used to come out to see me when I was confined to my room occasionally due to some sicknesses. He also stopped me when I spent many hours sweeping the temple compounds. He appreciated my all Buddhist works and encouraged me to follow Buddhist path. He was sick at his last period but once he could not help to send me off to Singapore being happy of my future. It is very rare such a great exemplary master I was with him when he wanted to go away in Maharagama hospital. He passed away peacefully while I was chanting Bojjhanga Sutta. People of all races and many dignitaries and government officials attended his funeral.
Joining to the new monastery school of tertiary education – I was admitted to Sri Lanka Vidyalaya for further studies where I studied for the degree of Buddhism and Pali honors for University of Jayawardanapura. I used to conduct programmes for the children in slum areas in Maradana near the Ode Pansala known as Sri Lanka Vidyalaya temple in which Venerable Baddegama Wimalawansa Anunayaka Maha Thero was the incumbent. I was the secretary of the weekly English-speaking Society of the Sri Lanka Vidyalaya while Venerable Maedagama Nandawamsa Thero was the chairman. At that time non- alien Conference was held in Sri Lanka under the Government of Sri Lanka. Ven. Anunayaka advised our English Society to publish a magazine for the conference. Then I with assistant secretary worked hard to get advertisement from business people and we were successful in publishing the magazine on time.
During my stay in Sri Lanka Vidyalaya Venerable Balangoda Panyavamsa and Venerable Mapalagama Somissara were my teachers. In the meantime, I went to Pakistan Embassy to learn Urdu language on the advice of Anunayaka Thero. But my intention was to learn Western languages and go for the missionary works. Although Anunayaka Thero intended to send me to India for missionary work it was not successful. I joined to a government training course to become the adviser of Dhamma school in 1975 I followed the course in Dharmaraja College in Kandy organized by the ministries of education and culture. Venerable Madihe Panyaasiha Nayaka Thero was one of the teachers who delivered lectures to us. After my training, Ministry of Cultural Affairs appointed me as the adviser to Dhamma schools in Colombo. Then I conducted a course for the teachers of Dhamma schools on every weekends for one year. Although I studied in Sri Lanka Vidyalaya for few years my ambition was not achieved, then there was an information on the News Paper that Parama Dhamma Cethiya Pirivena was going to start a missionary Institute and calling for monks to apply. I was happy to hear the news and straight way I applied for the missionary training course. My application was accepted and I was successful both interview and the exam. The Institute was located at Lumbini Mawatha, Ratmalana sponsored by Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Thero of Malaysia with his devotees. Ven. Dr. Walpola Rahula, Ven. Galboda Gnanissara, Ven. Yasasi, Ven. Pimbure Sorata and Ven. Mapalagama Vipulasara were on the board of management of the Institute. President J.R. Jaywardana, Venerable Akuretiye Amarawansa Nayaka Thero, Ven. Kalukodayawe Pannasekara Nayaka Thero, Ven. Galle Nyanobhasa Nayaka Thero, Venerable Baddegama Wimalawamsa Nayaka Thero, Ven. Mirisse Panyasiha Nayaka Thero, and Ven. Kakapalliye Anuruddha Nayaka Thero were among who attended the inauguration ceremony. At the outset of the Institute there were fifteen monks and they were sent to meditation centres for two weeks training. I was sent to Talagala Vipassana Meditation Centre where I meditated successfully with the help of meditation teacher most venerable Vidiyagoda Pemaratana Nayaka Thero.
Some foreign monks also came to study in our institute for a short period. Venerable Katapunyo from Malaysia, Ven. Atthanyana from Singapore, were some of them. Ven. Ariyavamsa, Ven. Hinipelle Candarama, Ven. Piyadassi, Ven. Karayalkanatte Sirinivasa, Ven. Chandawimala, Ven. Karadana Dhammissara, Ven. Dharmasoka, and Ven. Kekanadure Hemaloka were also studied with me. I studied in the institute for two years and went back to Galle for getting ready to the exam of the degree. I did my learning by myself for the degree and passed the honors degree of Buddhism in 1980. In the meantime, Parama Dhamma Institute has been moved to Vidyalankara Pirivena in Paliyagoda Kelaniya which was under Venerable Kakapalliye Anuruddha Nayaka Thero. I was informed by Ven. Mapalagama Wipulasara Thero to return. I agreed to return and studied there for two years. Venerable Nakulugamuwe Sumana Thero also joined with us to follow the course and there were only Venerable Atthanyana of Singapore, Ven. Vandi from Thailand, Ven. Ariyawamsa, Ven. Sirinivasa, Ven. Chandawimala and me to the end of the course. R. Ven. Dr. Anuruddha Nayaka Thero taught Pali lessons while Mr. Silva taught English lessons daily. Occasionally, Dr. Chandima Wejebandara, Dr. Medagama Wajiranyana and Dr. Chandara Wickrama Gamage came to lecture on some lessons on Buddhism and all were conducted in English. Ven. Anuruddha Nayaka Thero appointed me to teach for new student monks who had come from overseas to the institute after I completed the course. After my graduation in University of Jayawardanapura I travelled Thailand in 1983 for teaching Buddhism, English and Pali to Thai student monks. When I became a teacher in Parama Dhamma Institute in1982 There was a student monk from Penang namely Buddhayana and he sponsored all my expenditure to go to Thailand to teach. I taught in Wat Suwan Vihara in Pasang in northern Thailand where Ven. Veluwan Pitak Atthasanto was the incumbent. Venerable Atthasanto was very kind and he brought many Thai student monks from northern Chiangrai province near Myanmar that were lack of studies. Venerable was clever in handicrafts that he made drums Bom Bom for annual competitions among temples. He helped temples to design any religious building. He made a reservoir behind the temple land for famers to use.
Venerable arranged all facilities for me to stay. Vegetarian meals were prepared by novices for me every day with his order. He was invited most of the ceremonies in Thailand and I was also accompanied with him. I too was invited to deliver talks in English which were interpreted into Thai by one of my students namely Pra. Udom. Pra Rachchasak, Pra Daeng and Pra. Prom were some of the students. I have had travelled many parts of Thailand with him such as Sukhothai, Chiangmai, Lamphoon, Samutprakan, Bangkok, Chaingrai etc. where I had the opportunity to experience Thai culture. I taught one year in the temple and later I joined to Chula Longkong Rachcha Vidyalaya the New University of monks at Wat Suwandok in Chiangmai. I also send for my brother monk Venerable Udagangoda Gnanodaya to teach English at the temple of Ven. Pipat Gunayuto in Thunsaliyam, Sukhothai. I was invited by Venerable Malacca Mahinda to come to Kuala Lampur as he had started annual temporary novice training progrmme in Malaysia. In 1984 I visited Malaysia with his help. Then I was invited to train young Chinese lay students for Diploma in Buddhism of Young Men Buddhist Association in Colombo. While teaching in Thailand I visited Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brick fields, Kuala Lumpur and taught them all subjects of Diploma. After a year Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayake Thero advised me to go to Singapore to undertake Buddhist Mission. I was appointed as resident monk of the temple Society in 1985. I stayed a year in the Mission and taught Buddhist lessons two hours a day including Pali and meditation. Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda visited several times to deliver public Dhamma talks on my invitation which were well attended by the people. Vesak day exhibition, weekend hicking, robe offering, Dhamma discussion and eight precept retreats were some of the activities done during the stay in Buddhist Mission. I was also invited to deliver weekly talks in Metta Lodge in Johor Bharu, Malaysia during my stay. I left Buddhist Mission in 1986 for Sri Lanka and started Buddhist Training Institute at Dangedara, Galle on the land offered to me by my father.
Later in 1989 I was invited to Sri Lankaramaya Temple in Singapore by Mdm. Silva. I undertook to carry on all Buddhist activities in the temple. Many Buddhist monks from various countries used to visit Temple where I had to welcome them and facilitate their needs. Ven. Depanama Sugatabandhu Maha Thero also arrived from Dharmakirtyaramaya in Kollupitiya, Colombo to help temple activities. Being the principal of Dhamma school and the religious adviser of Sri Lankaramaya I proposed to have transport and offer some snacks to children who would be attending to Dhamma classes on Sundays to improve the number of attendants. I conducted eight precepts retreats and meditation for the devotees. I taught Abhidhamma lessons too for the devotees. I have been invited to teach meditation in Buddhist Society in National University once a week. I visited Changi Prison once a week and conducted counselling to drug addicts also. I was also invited to an opening ceremony of Vietnamese temple in Canberra in Australia during my stay in Sri Lankaramaya. Venerable Panyavaro, the chief monk of Indonesia, Ven. Baddegama Wimalawamsa Nayaka Thero, Ven. Piyadassi Nayaka Thero of Vajiraramaya, Ven. Talalle Dhammananda Nayaka Thero, Ven. Hadigalle Panyasiha Nayaka Thero, Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda Thero, Ven. Brahmanawatte Sivali Nayaka Thero, Ven. Saddhatissa Nayaka Thero, Ven. Pannasekara Nayaka Thero of Colombo, Ven. Pundit Galle Gnanobhasa Nayaka Thero, Ven. Lelwala Amarakirti Thero were among the great monks visited Sri Lakaramaya in 1989. Late prime minister of Sri Lanka D. B. Wijetunga also visited Sri Lankaramaya in 1989.
Buddha Vihara Society was formed in 1995 in Singapore with the help of a group of Chinese devotees headed by Mangala Ng Lai Choo. Since then, many activities have been done for Buddhism in Singapore and overseas. The first International Buddhist Organization in Sri Lanka was established in Colombo under my patronage. Some Buddhist conferences were held in Sri Lanka since it started with the assistance of Buddha Vihara Society. The first conference held in Bandaranayaka Memorial International Conference Hall was attended by 2000 over monks. The second conference which was held in Hilton Hotel on the 14th of January 2007 was also attended more than thousand monks. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa was the guest of honour. The theme of the conference was Buddhism in 21st century. In the year 2019 conference was held regarding drug prevention programme in Tamarind Tree Hotel in Katunayaka. 15 houses were made in Galle for Tsunami victims with the help of Malaysian Buddhist Missionary Society in 2006. After the Tsunami devotees of Buddha Vihara Society helped the victims for many times with material needs. 2018 -2019 Many natural disasters occurred in Sri Lanka Buddha Vihara Society has given flood relief for the victims in the south and north central areas Dhamma class for children was formed since the Society was established. Miss Sudhamma Wong and Keran were teachers for some time. Children were taught for five years and offered certificates after completing. During the eight precepts retreat they were taught Buddhist disciplinary rules of behaviour. They were also trained for Buddhist Hym singing. Nandaa, Jayaa, Mitraa, Sopaka, Nando Loh, Wijita Loh, and Sriya, were some of the students who attended the class.
Mdm. Lauman received temporary ordination in the temple and ten mothers including Mdm, Lauman practiced tenday retreat in the temple in 1996 with the help of Mangala. The young son of the landlord was ordained temporary in 1996. Mr. Sidney Siri was another temporary monk received ordination. Mr Gareth Thomson of England also received ordination in 2001 and he went to London Buddhist Vihara in England to stay. A Chinese citizen Venerable Sumedha was also ordained in Sri Lanka with the assistance of Buddha Vihara and he is staying in America. Mahayana monk namely Ming Chan also was ordained as Rev Sudhamma in Sri Lanka according to Theravada tradition but he is involved in both tradition as he wishes. I have attended a few conferences in Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Sri Lanka organized by World Buddhist Sangha Council in which I have been the life member since 1989. I have brought the attention of the world Sangha about blasphemes of Buddhism in various countries. My main interest is to teach Buddhism while teaching others like Pali Language. I am proud about my skills not only in drawing, making props, writing Buddhist dramas and stories but delivering talks on any Buddhist subjects. I consider guiding young monks, protection of young people from drug abuse and helping the needy as my duty. So far, few hundreds of young monks in Galle, Gampaha and Haguranketa districts have been trained with the assistance of Ministry of monks’ education in Sri Lanka. Newly ordained novices in Malaysia are taught meditation and trained them in Buddhist discipline annually with the assistance of Buddhist Missionary Society in which Mr. Qua Chi Boon plays an important role.
Two drug prevention programmes have been organized also in Galle and Katunayake with the participation of 500 Children and 100 people respectively in Sri Lanka. Earthquake was occurred in Nepal a few years ago and I could help those victims of the earthquake with the support of Singapore devotees. Dry food and cash were offered to them. I am happy to see that my devotees practice charity whenever there arises the necessity. At least two times during the pilgrimage in India they distributed food -packets to 500 poor people at each visit. At this Corona catastrophe too Singapore devotees have generously helped temples and people of many parts in Sri Lanka by distributing dry food stuffs. Galle, Ambalantota, Ambalangoda, Peraliya, Matale, Kelaniya, Anurdhapura and Kurunagala are some of them. Recently one month supply of dry food was offered to 100 temples in Galle.
Countries visited – India, Malaysia, Nepal, Japan, Australia, England, Sweden, America, Myanmar, Thailand, Hongkong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippine, Italy, Southern China,
Activities – 1995 – Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka (Kandy, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura)-
1997 – Prize giving ceremony of Dhamma class
13.06.97- 21.06.97 -Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka (Kandy, Matale, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Aukana),
17.08.97 – 50th Birth day ceremony
08.07.98- Offering to ancestors,
27.11.98 – 06.12.98 Pilgrimage to India – (Varanasi, Buddhagaya, Rajgir, Varanasi, Kusinagar, Kapilavastu, Sravasti, Sankassa, Taj Mahal),
07.12.98 – 17.12.98-Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka (Kandy,Dambulla, Sri Pada, Mihintale, Seegiriya, Ruwanvaeli.)
1998 – Issuing an electronic MRT card,
02.05.1998- Public Dhamma talk by Ven Dr.K.Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Thero at PUB auditorium (What Buddhism can contribute towards the householders),
16.08.98 – 51st Birth day ceremony
23.05.1999- Exposition of relics,
1999 – Musical dance charity dinner – at Plaza Singapura,
1999 – Alms giving to 1000 monks at Dangedara, in Galle, Sri Lanka.
27.11.98 – 06.12. 98- Pilgrimage to India and Nepal,
13.06.97-21.06.97- Pilgrimage to Kandy, Matale, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Sigiriya
07. 12. 98 – 17.12.98 – visiting Kandy, Dambulla, Sri Pada, Mihintale, Sigiriya,Ruwanveli
01.07.2000 -Meditation programme,
11.05.2001- 14.05.2001- Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka (Kandy and Matara)
12.05.2001- Distribution of food packets to people in Galle and pilgrimage to Sri Pada
12.08. 2001- Drama Alavaka –at overseas Union House, Vegetarian Charity Lunch
11.04.2002- Sinhalese New Year celebration
11.04.2002 – 15.04.2002 – Pilgrimage in Lanka
05.10.2003 -Vegetarian charity lunch and Drama Angulimala at Orchid Country Club,
14.01.2007-IB.O. conference in Colombo
2007 – Grand Vesak celebration- Torana
2008 – Grand Vesak celebration – Torana
2002 – Drama Maitriya Bodhisatta
15.02.17 – 17.02.17 -Novice monks’ training -in Katunayaka,
19.08.2017 -Dhamma discussion –at Hui Ann Association, Welcome of the Chief monk of Sri Lanka Ven. Napana Pemasiri Maha Nayaka Maha Thero
Disciples – Rev. Malalgoda Damita Thero of Wijayananda Buuddhist Training Institute, Dangedara, Galle
Rev. Sudhamma Ming Chan, Bee Low See temple, Singapore
Rev. Sumedha of China, missionary in America.
Rev. Buddhadasa of England (ex-monk) Gerath Thomson
Annual temporary ordained monks in Malaysia headed by Mahindananda (Qua Chi Boon of Malaysia) 15 to 20 monks
Brother monks – Ven. Beratuduwe Nyanavisuddhi Nayaka Maha Thero, Incumbent of Wijayananda Piriven Maha Vihara and the great preceptor of Sri Lanka Ramanya Maha Nikaya
Ven. Nakiyadeniye Nyanuttara Maha Thero, Principal of Dhamma school, Ex vice principal of Rathanajoti Vidyalaya, Bataduva, Galle
Ven. Balangoda Buddhaghosa Maha Thero, Director of Sayo kindergarten
Ven. Murutewela Nyanasena Thero, ex-principal of Wijayananda Pirivena
Ven. Rathmale Mettaji Maha Thero, Missionary in Australia
Ven. Pundit Tawalama Siddhattha Maha Thero, asst. director of monastery education, Galle
Ven. Tawalama Punnaji Thero, Incumbent of Fort Worth Buddhist Temple, Texas
Written articles, books and Buddhist dramas written by me and published by Buddha Vihara Society – Buddhist teachings on economics, Buddhist teachings on marriage, Triple sublime events of the Buddha, Efficacy of Kamma, The Way to abolish suffering, Meditation on sense faculties, Achievement of spiritual wellbeing through loving-kindness, Message of the Buddha.
Dramas: – Drama Dharmasoka, Drama Angulimala, Drama Sariputta and Moggallana, Drama of laughing Buddha, Conversion of demon Alavaka, Drama God Sakra, Drama Ananda, Drama Maitreya Bodhisatta, Drama Brahmadattha, Drama Visakha, Drama defeating Mara, Drama Devadatta and Drama Kvan Im Pusa.
Books:- Vandana, The role of the disciples of the Buddha in preserving genuine Buddhism since its origin, Brief history of Buddhism in South East Asia with especial reference to Singapore, Buddhist daily recitation and three popular Pali Suttas, How to solve problems, Satipatthana Sutta (Pali and English) Satipatthana Sutta (Sinhala), The way to everlasting happiness, The purpose of life and the contribution to the society, The way to happiness, 2007 Grand Vesak celebration, 2008 Grand Vesak celebration, How Buddha solved problems. Mavupiya Dudaru Sambandhataa (Sinhala)
Pandals: Nine stories of the Dhammapada – 2008, Ten occasions of the life of the Buddha – 2007Triple sublime events of the Buddha-
Honorary titles received: – 1974: Adviser of Dhamma school teachers: Ministry of cultural affairs
1991: Lokatthacari by Sri Lanka Sarvodaya Movement
1992: July 18th International Buddhist Counsellor: Sri Lanka Ramanya Maha Nikaya
1995: Religious Adviser: Buddha Vihara Society
2003: November 9th Dharshana Visaarada Pravacanaalankaara saasanajoti:
Amarapura Mulavamsika Nikaya, Vaelitota, Ambha rukkharaamaya
2003: August 15th Dr.of philosophy: Dharmapala Olcott Memorial International Research Foundation
2003: June 27th – Saddhammajoti Sihapura Sanghapati: Sri Lanka Ramannya Nikaya
2006: Sri Lanka Sasanawatansa: Udarata Amarapura Nikaya
2013: Saddhamma Visaarada Sasanatthacari: Association of Principals, Ministry of Monastery Education, Galle
2015: December 13th – Malaysia Sihapura Jinaraja Dharmaduta Dharmasenadhipati,
Sri Nyanobhasa Vansalankara Vijaya Kirthi Sri: Wijayananda Piriven Maha Viharaya signed by the Great preceptor Beratuduwe Nyanavisuddhi Nayaka Thero and the Governor of Galle Province
2019: Adhyapana Vidyadarshana Siromani: Government approved National degree awarding Chief University Institute
1964: G.C.E (O.L.)
1967: G.C.E. (A.L.)
1972: G.A.Q: Vidyodya University
1974: Dhamma School Final 1st place Gold Medal winner -Ministry of Cultural Affairs
1974: Thripitaka Entrance Honors: Pariyattipalaka Mandalaya, Ramanya Nikaya
1975: Dharmacarya: Pariyattipalaka Mandalaya
1978: Vinayacarya; Pariyattipalaka Mandalaya
1978: Abhidharmacarya, 1st class prize winner; Pariyattipalaka Mandalaya
1979: Dharmacarya: Honors, prize winner all Ceylon; Ministry of Cultural affairs
1980: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Honors, University of Jayawaradanapura, Nugegoda
1981: Diploma in Buddhism: Y.M.B.A
1990: Thripitakcariya Honors: Pariyattipalaka Mandalaya
1993: Master of Arts (M.A.) Buddhist and Pali University
Especial training in meditation
- Dodanpahala Kavidhaja Maha Thero, Moratuva Vipassana Centre: 1957-1965
- Vidiyagoda Pemaratana Maha Thero, Talagala Vipassana Meditation Centre: 1976
1969: Co- operative training, Co-operative College, Galle
1972-1973: Leadership training: Sarvodaya, Colombo
1975: Counselling to teachers: Ministry of Cultural Affairs: Colombo
1976- 1981: Missionary training, Parama Dhamma Buddhist Institute, Colombo
1989: Counselling to drug addicts
1997: Info Tech Computer training
2020- Computer Web creation
I have been lucky to associate late great monks namely: –
Ven. Batuwita Nandarama NayakaThero
Ven. Kaeppitiyagoda Kalyanasiri Nayaka Thero
Ven. Matale Sasanatilaka Nayaka Thero
Ven. Mapalagama Somissara Nayaka Thero
Ven. Baddegama Wimalawamsa Nayaka Thero
Ven. Dorape Indobhasa Nayaka Thero
Ven. Kirinde Dhammananda Nayaka Thero
Ven. Kakapalliye Anuruddha Nayaka Thero
Ven. Mapalagama Vipulasara Nayaka Thero
Ven. Pandure Ariyadhamma Nayaka Thero
Ven. Madihe Pannatissa Nayaka Thero
Ven. Lelwala Saranankara Nayaka Thero
Ven. Pitiduwe Vajiralankara Nayaka Thero
Ven. Maligaspe Ratanaransi Nayaka Thero
Ven. Akuretiya Amaravamsa Nayaka Thero
Ven. Miniwangoda Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero
Ven. Pategama Nyanarama Nayaka Thero
Ven. Depanama Sugatabandhu Nayaka Thero etc.
My purpose is to carry on my Buddhist works to promote Buddhism, guiding people for peace and harmony, helping the needy and eliminate suffering of the world until the end of my life.