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Reality UK New Year's Eve Celebration 31-12-2011

Venerable Akurala Samitha attended to the opening ceremony of Reality UK New Year's Eve Celebration on 31st December 2011. This event was organised by the charity Reality UK to raise the funds for purchasing a plot of land and build a dormitory to the female resident orphans at Bingiriya Care Home for Learning Disability, Handicaps & Severe Mental Retardation (Female) Children and Adults.

Venerable Akurala Samitha is the patron of the Reality UK Charity. If you wish to support this course, please visit their website

Pictures by Upendra Alwis



Venerable Akurala Samitha attended to the 5th Death Anniversary of Most Venerable Dr Medagama Vijiragnana Nayaka Thero, former Head of London Buddhist Vihara

London Buddhist Vihara commemorates the 5th Death Anniversary of its former Head,

the Late Most Venerable Dr. Medagama Vajiragnana Nayaka Thera

Pictures by Tissa Madawala & Report by Pandula Ranatunga

Maha Sanga representing many UK Temples came together at a dignified Dana ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the death of the late Most Ven. Dr. Medagama Vajiragnana, the former Head of the London Buddhist Vihara. The Dana was organised by the relatives of the previous Head Monk with the help of coordinators and friends of the Vihara. Joining with the present Head Monk of London Buddhist Vihara Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala and the resident monk Ven. Tawalama Bandula were Ven. Handu Palpola Mahinda from Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre, Ven.Dr Kabalawe Sirisumana from Plaistow Vihara, and Ven. Akurala Samitha from Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya. They all reflected  on Ven. Dr Vajiragnana’s great legacy and the selfless work done by him for the benefit of Sri Lankan and UK Buddhists, including his work towards establishing the UK Interfaith Network and being the integral force behind bringing London Buddhist Vihara to its present status as the preeminent Buddhist temple in the Western hemisphere. Some spoke of his knowledge and the enormous contribution towards Buddhist Learning through the many journals and books he wrote.  He was a monk well respected and admired in all quarters of the Buddhist world. 

In the New Year’s Honours List for 2006 Most Ven. Dr. Vajiragnana Thera was given the O.B.E. for his services to inter-faith relations. This was in recognition of the many years of service this erudite monk had devoted to improving the understanding between followers of all faiths, and spreading greater tolerance and harmony between all communities. Born in Sri Lanka in 1928 the Most Ven. Dr. Vajiragnana Thera was ordained as a novice monk in the village temple of Hippola on March 23, 1943 at the age of 14 years. After continuing his education in India, completing a two-year diploma course at the Sanskrit University of Benares, and an M.A. in Sanskrit at the Jadavpur University of Calcutta in 1966 Dr. Vajiragnana Thera travelled to Europe for the first time, where he was appointed as Assistant Head of the London Buddhist Vihara, by the Anagarika Dharmapala Trust. In 1974 Ven. Dr.Vajiragnana Thera became the religious director of the British Buddhist Association. In 1980 he was invited to return to Sri Lanka as the principal of the Pirivena Teachers' Training College in Ratmalana. Then in 1984 he came back to the United Kingdom as Head of the London Buddhist Vihara and worked tirelessly towards the propagation of Buddhism and betterment of London Buddhist Vihara till his demise in 2006. He was a formidable figure in the Interfaith movement and represented the Buddhist faith at the annual Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey and in other official State functions. It was during his tenure he received HRH The Princess Royal and HRH The Prince of Wales as visitors to the Vihara.

Ven. Seelawimala fondly remembered Dr. Vajiragnana Thera’s outlook on life and his ebullient sense of humour even in times of adversity. Ven. Dr Kabalawe Sirisumana spoke of the sacrifices Sri Lankan Buddhist monks make by establishing lives in foreign pastures. He also commended Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala for carrying on the work of Dr.Vajiragnan’s as his immediate successor.  Ven. Akurala Samitha looked back on the work by Ven. Dr. Vajiragnana through the Maha Bodhi Organisation and Anagarika Dharmapala Trust and said his leadership has been an inspiration to the other monks.

A niece of Most Ven. Dr. Vajiragnana Thera, Charmali Dassanayake with her husband Jayampathi offered Atta Pirikara and other Pirikaras to the Maha Sangha in joining with rest of the Coordinators and the friends of the London Buddhist Vihara in memory of the Temples late Head Monk.  Ven. Tawalama Bandula, carried out the Punyanumodana and passing of the merits which followed by a short Parittha chanting by the Maha Sangha

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