Nalandians joined hundreds of well-wishers in paying tribute to Venerable Sri Saranankara Nayaka Thero, Abbot of Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Kuala Lumpur, on his 62nd birthday today. Despite it being a working and schooling day, hundreds of devotees and students came to the temple since early morning to offer their humble wishes for Ven. Saranankara’s good health and long life.
The highlight of the day’s event was lunch offering before noon – the Maha Sanghika Dāna – which was participated by 18 bhikkhus (monks). Devotees brought many dishes to be offered and shared with everyone, including the ubiquitous birthday cakes.
Nalanda Founder Bro. Tan was invited to give a speech for the occasion. He said that the presence of so many devotees to celebrate Ven. Saranankara’s birthday was testament to Bhante’s inspiring qualities that have touched the lives of many people.
“When you talk about one’s ‘value’, the worldly person may think about his property, equity, or money… but Ven. Saranankara has none of those. So, does it mean that his life has little value? Of course not! I think the value of his life is worth more than the combined ‘wealth’ of many people,” said Bro Tan.
“For a Dhamma practitioner, the value of one’s life is measured by the depth of one’s wholesome character and spiritual attainments,” he further added. Bro. Tan then invited the congregation to honour Ven. Saranankara by recognizing and emulating Bhante’s salient qualities, as that is indeed a proper and higher form of honouring a teacher.
Ven. Sri Saranankara arrived in Malaysia from Sri Lanka in 1983, then aged only 30. Over the course of three decades, he developed the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul from a small, run-down temple to a thriving congregational centre it is today. Not only that, Ven. Saranankara was also instrumental in building many Buddhist centres and communities throughout Malaysia and overseas.
On the occasion of his 62nd birthday, Nalandians pay homage to Ven. Saranankara’s kind support, encouragement and guidance to Nalanda Buddhist Society over the past 12 years. We are most grateful to have Bhante attend all important events at Nalanda since our inception. We wish Bhante the best of health, long life, strength, and peace!