Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kathina

Prof. Saman Amarasinghe and his wife Praneeta Amarasinghe was very kind enough to take me to the New England Buddhisht Vihara and Meditation Center in Framingham, MA for the annual Kathina (Robe Offering) ceremony today. And it was a really good experience for me!

Kathina is a traditional buddhist ceremony which marks the ending of the three-month rainy season (Vassana) retreat that usually begins on the Esala full moon (Poya) day. This is supposed to be an important event in Theravada Buddhist tradition and is considered as a period of reflection, meditation and concentration on Buddhist teachings.

The ceremony started with "dana" (serving food to the monks). This was exactly like how we do in Sri Lanka! Here is a picture I took of the monks just before they were offered the ''dana".


Since coming to the US this was the first time I met so many Sri Lankans! There were almost 100 people participating in this, and I was so happy to meet so many Sri Lankans and speak in my mother tongue - Sinhala!



The best part is I got to meet one of my old teachers at University of Moratuwa - Dr. Thrishantha Nanayakkara, who is here on a sabbatical leave and is currently working as a research scientist at Harvard.

I also met Varuni, who is a new grad student at Boston University. Although I did not know her beforehand, she and I share many things: our alma mater, the fact that we both *just* finished our undergrad before coming here, and even our birthdays! We also have quite a large number of mutual friends. So whaddoyaknow... we almost instantly become very good friends - gee... I wish I knew she was here earlier.

Overall, it was a really good day for me! I am very much looking forward to participating in such other Sri Lankan events in the future.

2 comments:

Dilan Anuruddha said...

Great to know that you have found lot of Sri Lankans there! Hey what abt Sri Lankan boys there? ;)

Oshani said...

Boys as in children or Boys as in men? Either way I met couple of them too!