The journey continues with …..
Ordination of a Novice
Brother Hing, ordained by the Chief Monk, Venerable B. Amithananada of Dhaham Madura Meditation Centre, Udupila , Delgoda, was the oldest among the 30 odd sămanera, novice monks, with the youngest at the age of 8 years and 7 months. He was given a name and addressed as Venerable S. Paduma.
The ritual began with blessing by the Chief Monk followed by the cutting of a lockof hair of Brother Hing at the shrine hall. Bhante Seelananda clean shaved the head followed by cleansing. Attired in white robe the soon-would-be novice assembled at the meditation hall for the ordination ceremony.
Two devotees of each gender, the oldest in age were appointed as guardians representing father and mother offered a set of robe and an alms bowl respectively.
Co-incidentally, the ordination process and rituals were recorded by the local broadcasting station, MPV Sri Lanka. The main benefactor of the temple was also present to bear witness to this sacred event.
“Monks, there are these two pleasures. What two? That of home, and that of home-leaving. These are the two pleasures. Of these two pleasures that of the home-leaving has the pre-eminence.” (Aṅguttara-Nikăya, II, VII, §1).
Many local devotees and well-wishers from the village offered alms food of a diverse variety of more than 30 different dishes for this grand and auspicious occasion to share the merits. We had a sumptuous meal and conveyed our heartfelt gratitude to them for their generous hospitality.
Rest and Recreation
Waterfall, Beach and Herbal Pharmacological Factory
Along the trail we visited a waterfall and a beach to break the monotony and also to have a break for refreshment and to rest our weary limbs, especially for the drivers who were behind the steering wheel for long hours to recuperate from fatigue.
A refreshing visit was scheduled to the herbal pharmacological factory where concoctions and tonics were brewed strictly from plants and herbs for prevention and curing of ailments.
Dana for 900 school children
We always reminded ourselves to be mindful of good deeds, and the opportunity arose when we performed dana to a group of about 900 school children from Kalyama Dharma Asamaya Sunday School. They came in eight bus loads with their parents and guardians, who visited the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic.
They congregated at the compound of the Temple and we were happy to welcome and offered them candies and stationery items. We were gladdened by their smiles as acknowledgement and gratitude.
We attended a performance of traditional Kandyan and Low Country Dances of Sri Lanka at the Kandyan Cultural Centre Hall. The various dances with religious themes depicted paying homage to the Deities and the Guru; the killing of a snake by Garuda and traditional dance showed graceful movement of a peacock.
A fire dance as the finale with fire walking rounded up the show.
Sri Lanka is well known as shoppers’ paradise for Buddhist books, with a great range of topics and at competitive prices. The Buddhist Publication Society (BPS) founded in 1958, is an approved charity with publications that include accurate annotated translation of the Buddha’s discourses, standard reference books, as well as original contemporary expositions of Buddhist thought and practice.
The Nikayas ranked highest in our shopping lists followed by commentaries by known authors. Most of the publications, if not all, by The Pali Text Society, London, were available.
The other book shop is the Buddhist Cultural Centre stocked books, like those published by Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd of India and others, which are not available at BPS .
While we were in Colombo we made a detour to The Colombo Young Men’s Buddhist Association where student members of the English Dhamma classes purchased guidebooks as supplementary studies materials. See other link “A Visit to Colombo Young Men’s Buddhist Association” (http://edhamma.net/?p=1454 ) .
We ended the tour fully satisfied with visits to historical sites, pilgrimage to holy places, witnessing the ordination of a novice monk, performing dana, a visit to recreational places and, last but not least, the purchase of Buddhist books. Oops, almost forgot to mention – purchased a carton of pineapple at the request of our devotees.
We departed for Colombo Airport on 1 May to board the 10:30 pm flight for Changi Airport to arrive on 2 May at 5:00 am after a three-and-a-half hours.
It was a tiring, but fulfilling trip.
Contributor: Chin Kee Thou