Joyful felicitation dāna in Sentul

Ven. Sri Saranankara expressing his thankfulness to devotees.

Ven. Sri Saranankara expressing his thankfulness for the warm greetings by devotees on his birthday.

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.

Bro. Tan giving a speech.

Bro. Tan was invited to give a felicitation speech on the occasion, whereby he urged everyone to honour Ven. Saranankara by emulating his noble qualities of generosity, integrity and decency.

Bro. Tan wishing Ven. Saranankara long life.

Bro. Tan giving voice to devotees’ wish of good health, long life, and happiness for Ven. Saranankara.

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.

Nalandians greeting Ven. Saranankara.

Among Nalandians present at the temple this morning were Sis. Nandini, Bro. and Mrs. Ananda Fong, Sis. Emily, Bro. Gan, and Bro. Ravi’s family.

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!

Bro. Tan presenting flowers to Ven. Saranankara on behalf of Nalandians.

Bro. Tan presenting flowers to Ven. Saranankara on behalf of Nalandians; also present was Ven. Bhikkhuni Sumangalā.

Nalandians joining devotees for Pūja.

Nalandians joining devotees for Pūja and chanting at the temple this morning.

NOTE :

The monastic community at Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple is organising a ‘Bodhi-pūja’ tonight (28 October) at 7.30pm, in honour of its abbot Ven. Saranankara’s 63rd birthday.  All are welcome.