Service to Buddhism appreciated

by Chaminda Perera, Lanka Daily News, March 2, 2013

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Few Buddhist monks are seen engaged in vigorous learning and literary activities at present, said Ven Ittapane Dhammalankara Anunayake Thera. Few Buddhist monks in the caliber of Ven Prof Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera are pursuing literary activities at present, the Thera said.

Delivering an anusarana (remembrance) at the launch of two books titled "Buddha Puda Puja Sanskrutiya" (Buddhist culture of rites and ceremonies) and "Bellanwila Murals" at the Sri Lanka Foundation, the Thera said Ven Prof Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera releases at least one book to promote the knowledge of Buddhism among the public at least every year.

Ven Prof Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera authored the book titled "Buddha Puda Puja Sanskrutiya" while the second book is a Sinhala translation of Bellanwila Murals. They were published by the Sarasavi Publishers.

Sarasavi Publishers Managing Director H D Premasiri presented the first copy of the books to the Thera.

The Thera presented the first copies of the book to the Prachanodaya Pirivena, Molligoda, Vidyalankara Pirivena and Sri Jayawardenapura University (Vidyodaya University) where he received his education.

Parivenadhipathi of Prachanodaya Pirivena, Molligoda Ven Homagama Dhammananda Thera, Sri Jayawardenapura University lecturer Ven Magammana Pagnananda Thera and Parivenadhipathi of Vidyalankara Pirivena and Chancellor of Kelaniya University Ven Dr Welamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thera received first copies from the author.

The book launch coincided with the 55th anniversary of the ordination of Ven Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera. The ceremony was presided over by Ven Ittapane Dhammalankara Anunayake Thera.

Prof J. B. Dissanayake delivering the guest lecture said Ven Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera tries to show various dimension of Sinhala Buddhist culture.

"Sri Lanka is rich with a number of sub cultures such as Sinhala Buddhist culture, Tamil Christian culture, Sinhala Christian culture, Muslim culture, Burgher culture and Hindu culture etc," he said.

He said Sinhala Buddhists should know what Buddhist culture is and opportunities should be made available for the members of other cultures to become aware of the various aspects of Sinhala Buddhist culture.

"Poojas and rites play an integral role in the Buddhist culture," he said.

He recollected his recent visit to Gandhara in Pakistan where sacred relics of Buddha are said to be enshrined and how he worshiped the relics.

Prof Sarath Chandrajeewa of the University of Aesthetic Studies in his lecture gave extensive overview of the murals of Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya. He also made the audience aware of the enormous contribution made by Samabandu Vidyapathi who did the paintings at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya.

Artistes Nanda Malini, Victor Ratnayake and Deepika Priyadarshani Peiris sang Buddhist songs.

Ven Galayaye Piyadassi Thera, Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, Anagarika Dharmasekera and Minister Gamini Lokuge were also present.