Annual Hammalawa Saddhatissa Memorial Pinkama
To commemorate the 24th anniversary of the passing away of Dr Hammalawa Saddhãtissa Maha Nayak Thero, and to bestow merits to this erudite Dhammadhutha monk, head of the Sri Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain, Venerable Aggamahapandita Galayãye Piyadassi Nayaka Thera organised an all night Pirith chanting Ceremony and a following day Sangika Daana at the Sri Saddhãtissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury, North London.
Many devotees and supporters of the Vihara assisted in various ways to make this annual event a great success.
The programme commenced with the Buddha Puja at 7:00pm. The Paritta Chanting began at 8:00pm and the ceremony culminated with the Heeldãna at 7:00am on the following day.
After the welcoming speech by Ven. Galayãye Piyadassi Nayaka Thera, Ven. Dr. Hãndupelpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero and Ven. Uluwitike Bodhiseeha Thero, head of the Kachchuwaththa Purana Vihara in Gall,Sri Lanka conducted the Buddha Pujã.
Ven. Bodhiseeha Thera came to London specially to take part in the memorial Pinkama.
Ven Galayaye Piyadassi Nayaka Thero introduced the Maha Sangha who attended the ceremony.
Head of the London Buddhist Vihara and the Chief Sanghanayaka of Great Britain, Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera administered the Five Precepts.
Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of France and the Head of the Jethawana Buddhist Vihara in Paris Most Ven. Dr. Murungasyaye Gnanissara Nayaka Thera delivered the Anusãsanã.
Among the distinguished Maha Sangha who took part in the Pariththa Chanting were, Chief Sanghanaayaka of Great Britain and the Head of the London Buddhist Vihara, Most Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera, Ven. Thawalaba Bandula Thera from the London Buddhist Vihara, Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of France and the Head of the Jethawana Buddhist Vihara in Paris Most Venerable Nurungasyaye Gnaanissara Nayaka Thera, Ven. Dr. Handupalpola Mahinda Nayaka Thera from the Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre, Head of the Upton Park Buddhist Vihara Dr. Kabalewe Sirisumana Thera, Head of the Birmingham Mahavihara Dr. Witharandeniye Kassapa Nayaka Thera, Ven. Indasiri Thera from the Birmingham Mahaavihaara, Ven. Prof. Deegalle Mahinda Thera, from Bath Spa University, Head of the East London Buddhist Cultural Centre Ven. Makure Mangala Thera, Head of the Shanthi Vihara in Nottingham Ven. Theldeniye Amitha Thera, Head of the Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Centre in Letchworth Ven. Akurala Samitha Thera, Ven. Mapalagama Soratha Thera and Ven. Tissapura Sugatharathana Thera from Birmingham Jethawana Vihara, Ven.Katiyape Amithasara Thera and Ven. Nepale Sumana Thera from the Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre.
The ceremony closed with the Heeldãna and Punyãnumodanã in the morning.
Dr. Kokila Waidyarathna, Minister/Counsellor Education and Information and Mr. Lalith Sepala Ratnayaka, Minister, Consular and Immigration at the Sri Lanka High Commission were among a large number of devotees attended this annual ceremony.
A beautiful Pirith Mandapaya, in the style of Gokkola Rata, was built specially for this year's Pinkama by London based veteran Sri Lankan artist Jayaratne Bandara and his friends.
Photographs by Tissa Madawela