Celebration of Life 2013 – Buddhists

Celebration of Life 2013 – Buddhist Service

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On a warm and lovely Saturday morning of May 18th 2013 which was tempered with a gentle breeze, several Thomians and friends along with their wives and some children gathered at the Toronto Maha Vihara in Scarborough after 10:00 am to conduct a prayer service led by Ven. Ratnasiri, Head Priest of the Meditation Centre.  Gathas and Stanzas were repeated in the traditional  Buddhist custom.

Before 12:00 pm, over 35 persons present gathered downstairs to offer alms to the three priests’ resident in the Vihara.  All those present brought in an array of dishes that were pre cooked in their homes.

Soon after the mid day meal was complete everyone went upstairs to the shrine room and meeting hall to once again listen to the chants of the monks which was followed by a talk and sermon by the Head Priest.  He emphasized the need for ‘Karuna and Compassion’ for those we meet in our lifetimes and extend assistance to anyone needing a helping hand.  He also made special reference to S. Thomas’ College as a leading educational institution that has many of its past students across the world as leading contributors to the societies they are resident in.  He also extolled the virtues of STC inculcating tolerance in all faiths and creeds.  Special mention was made of the existence of the STC OBA in Canada for the past 20 years keeping the bonds of our youth strong and associating together in harmony.

The highlights of the proceedings was the tying of the blessed ’pirith noola’ on the hands of all those gathered.

Special guests who participated along with Thomians were two Royalists and the President of the Nalanda OBA, Chandana Ranasinghe and family.

Thereafter all gathered partook of the food prepared.  A big thank you to the ladies present who brought dishes and cleaned up the premises prior to leaving.

A special thank you to Prasad Jinasena and Chico Guneratna, who made all arrangements to host those present and Gihan de Silva who unfortunately was not present, but made the reservations and arrangements with the Toronto Maha Vihara.