Venerable Wattegama Dhammawasa Thero, Chief Incumbant of the Sri Subodharama Maha Viharaya, Peradeniya , and Chief Sangha Nayaka of the Central Province led Sri Lanka’s Vesak observances in Jakarta this year on 30 April at the Embassy of Sri Lanka. Indonesian Buddhist clergy from temples in Jakarta participated and graced the observances.
The Vesak observances and the visit of Venerable Dhammawasa Thero were organised by the Embassy with the partnership of the Sri Lankan Community in Indonesia belonging to all religious denominations.
The evening commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Jakarta, Dharshana Perera and members of the Sri Lankan community belonging to all religions as well as children, followed by the welcome remarks by the Ambassador.
Venerable Wattegama Dhammawasa Thero who is also the Chief Incumbent of the Sri Lankarama Buddhist Monastery in Brisbane, Australia delivered the ‘Dhamma Desana’ focusing, inter-alia, on the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. The Sri Subodharama Maha Viharaya- the temple led by Venerable Dhammawasa Thero, having established several institutes such as Sri Gnanalankara International Bhikku Training Institute, Retreat Centre for Buddhist Nuns, Buddhist Publication and Research Centre, Elders’ Home, etc. continues to provide Dhamma education to both Sri Lankans and foreign lay persons and clergy.
Colourful Vesak decorations, including Sri Lankan Vesak Koodu, Pandol depicting the ‘Paththirippuwa’ and describing ‘Jataka’ stories were displayed at the Chancery premises. This was a collective effort of the Embassy staff and the families. Vesak bakthi gee such as ‘Paramitha bala pooritha poojitha’, ‘Buddhanu bhawena’, ‘Mal sugande-Dam Sugande’ and others were sung by the Embassy staff – a first time feature at the Sri Lankan Vesak observances in Jakarta.
The community also joined in lighting Vesak oil lamps and ‘Koodu’. The program concluded with a Vesak ‘Dansala’.
A unique feature of the events in Jakarta is the partnership and support extended by Sri Lankans of all religious/ethnic denominations for the observance of Vesak.