The Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul was a hive of wholesome activity this morning with more than 150 devotees offering Sanghika Dāna in honour of its abbot, Venerable Bootawatte Sri Saranankara Nāyaka Thero, who turned 63 today. Despite it being a working day, many people have taken time off to participate in Dāna, which is testimony to the great esteem the community has for Ven. Saranankara.
True to his humble and unassuming personality, Ven. Saranankara had much preferred to let the day pass unnoticed. But grateful devotees refused to miss the opportunity to let him know their sentiment and appreciation for all he has done for Malaysian Buddhism.
Nalanda founder Bro. Tan gave a speech to felicitate Ven. Saranankara, describing him as “an epitome of generosity and loving-kindness, and an inspiring role-model to everyone who is practising Dhamma”.
“As a teacher, I do encourage students to learn the deeper aspects of Dhamma; but we must also not forget to practise its simplest form – that is to be a kind and decent human being,” added Bro Tan. He further urged everyone to emulate Ven. Saranankara’s generous and compassionate attitude, saying that the best way to honour the teacher is by carrying out his teachings.
Ven. Saranankara graciously expressed his gratitude to all devotees who have kindly offered him good wishes and gifts; he further wished everyone the highest blessings in life. The joyful congregation then offered food to the Māha Sangha to the reverberating chant of ‘Jaya Mangala Gathā’.
Nalandians would like to record our deep gratitude for Ven. Saranankara’s guidance and support towards Nalanda Buddhist Society since our inception in 2003. We wish him long life, best of health, peace, success, and much happiness. Thank you, Bhante!