Quarterly Newsletter of the


Buddhist Vihara
Spring 2005




This issue of The Washington Buddhist is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the January 2005 Tsunami


“Ajjeva kiccam atappam

ko janna maranam suve

na hi no sangaran tena

mahasenena maccuna”


What you have to accomplish, you must accomplish today -

Death may come and take you away tomorrow

Because there is no covenant with the evil one

(Bhaddekaratta Sutta-Majjhima nikaya)

Text Box: N  E   W  S



BuddhistText Box: L  E  T  T  E  R


Text Box: The




Vol. 37. Issue 1.

Spring, 2005

Text Box: The Washington Buddhist
The Washington Buddhist is published quarterly at the Washington Buddhist Vihara, 5017 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20011, U.S.A. by the Buddhist Vihara Society, Inc. Telephone: (202) 723-0773. Fax.(202)722-1257 www.buddhistvihara.com. Subscriptions are $6.00 per year (4 issues) in  the USA and Canada; $12.00 in all other locations. This publication is sent free to members of the Buddhist Vihara Society
Editorial Board:
Hon. Editor: Bhante M. Dhammasiri
Editors: Bhante T.Sutadhara
             Prof.Carlota Okampo
News Editor: Mr. Sanath De Silva
Text Box: Table of Contents
Vihara Schedule 
Notes and News
The Best Way to Treat Our Mothers by Ven. Sutadhara
Kathina 2004: poem
The Significance of Vesak
Vandana or Special Vesak Gift
Loving Kindness Meditation
Message of the President of  Washington BuddhistVihara
Janavijaya Foundation Tsunami Relief Work
Annual Report






Vihara Schedule




















9.30 a.m.

Sunday Dhamma School for Kids (Every other  Sun.)                                            


3.00 p.m.

Regular Vandana Service and Meditation


7.00 p.m.

Meditation  (Washington Mindfulness Community)


7.00 p.m.

Meditation Class (Washington Buddhist Vihara)*


7.00 p.m.

Meditation Class (ZEN)


7.00 p.m.

Sutta Study Class (Every other Friday)


7.00 p.m.

Meditation Class (Washington Buddhist Vihara)*

By Arrangement

By arrangement

Sinhala Class for adults


* Those who wish to join can call vihara and make arrangements to come for a training session.

Text Box: 2548   - Vesak Ceremony  -   2005
The annual Vesak Celebration at the Washington Buddhist Vihara will be held on Sunday, May 29, 2005.
Vesak commemorates the three great events of the Buddha’s life:  His birth, the day of His enlightenment, and the day He passed into Paranirvana.  It is the most sacred celebration for Buddhists.


Text Box:                                                  Sunday Dhamma School
A Sunday Dhamma School for Children is conducted in English on every other Sunday. Topics of study and discussion include the life of the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Arahats, and Jataka tales.  Please call Bhante Vidura or Bhante Dhammasiri at  (202) 723-0773 or Email Udaya at uranawaka@hotmail.com  or  Romesh at  romesh70@hotmail.com  for schedules.
















Notes and News







Vesak will be held on Sunday, May 29 at the Washington

Buddhist Vihara,

5017 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20011, U.S.A 



The Asian Food Bazaar held on Sunday March 13 raised over $2,000 for the Kindergarten Project of  theJanavijjaya Foundation in Sri Lanka to aid victims of the 2005 Tsunami





The best way to treat our mothers…


Ven. Tapovanaye Sutadhara

Senior Lecturer

Department of Linguistics

University of Kelaniya

Sri Lanka



          Mahamaya’s dream

"All human beings came from a single African Mother".   This is not a subjective statement made by an African or anyone who had a fascination towards African Culture.  This was stated in different words in a Ph. D. Dissertation in Genetics by a graduate student who later became a prominent scientist.  We all know that every human being comes to this world biologically from a mother.  The duty of the mother is not over after giving birth to a child - it is the beginning of a life long commitment.   From there onwards the mother has a long plan relating to the health, food, security, upbringing, education, employment, and marriage of her child. The list of expectations goes even further and extends as far as to the grandchildren of the mother and the duties of her own children after her death.


The mother of a child is also one of his or her first teachers.  Though children sometimes think of their mother as a nuisance because of her sense of possessiveness of her children, the mother never thinks of her children as a nuisance.   How can we accuse her of over possession?   To a mother, her child is an important part of her own body. We know what a lot of pain is undergone by a mother to present a child to the world.  But if you would ask a mother, she would say that all her pain was gone as soon as she saw her baby.  A mother's love for her child is incomparable.  Even though the umbilical cord is severed physically at birth, there is another similar cord which invisibly ties the child with his/her mother.


The Buddha mentioned that 'one should spread loving-kindness (Metta) to all beings as a mother protects her only child - she considers her own life as secondary when she thinks of the security of her child.'  The Buddha who banned giving out the things that belongs to the order of Sangha made an exception to the rule by saying that the monks and nuns have permission to give what they have to their parents who are sick and convalescent in their old age.  Upanishadic teachers advised their pupils to consider their parents and teachers as the creator god.    According to this mothers are entitled to be respected twice since they come under both categories as mothers and teachers. Yes, mothers teach their children how to behave well in society.  So, for any misbehaviour of a child the mother is always blamed.  But there is a guarantee that your mother will defend you when you are defenceless. We are dead scared to go close to an animal, which breast-feeds her young ones.  Even the most timid among animals is ready for a fight to protect her young puppies.




baby-elephant.jpg (136243 bytes)



Even animal mothers care for their young


When we are unhappy or in pain the soothing words that automatically come out of our mouths are "O, mother" (ammee). We call our mother to complain to her that we are not well for whatever reason. In any type of despair or mishap we turn to our mother for protection and love.  Each of us has a unique experience regarding our own mother.  Our mother treats us the best way she knows. One cannot put the blame on one's mother saying that she mistreated her children. She did the best she could because there are no schools to train people to be good mothers.  Though there is only one day reserved to show our love, respect, and gratitude to our mothers, there should be three hundred and sixty five days to show our respect and love to our mothers for everything that they have done for us.  But this is a good opportunity to think about all the mothers who contribute to make this world a better place by bringing up all of us.  We must think of the mothers who lost their beloved ones in war.  You may know a mother who is expecting her son to come back to her though her son lost his life more than thirty years before.  Whether we call Sri Lanka’s lost sons soldiers, freedom fighters, or terrorists, all of them are children of mothers.  We can see that there are increasing numbers of mothers in the world who wait for their beloved ones to come back from war and other disasters. Mothers who lost their children and mothers who lost the fathers of their children are suffering the most. 





a Chinese mother and child

We can go beyond our shores and think of the mothers who suffer because they lost everything they had. It does not matter where they are, who they are, how old they are, they are suffering because the world destroyed their most sacred contribution to the world- their children - which they gave from their flesh and blood.    We can think of widowed mothers who have nothing to feed their children and finally made up their minds to sell themselves because they could not keep their children in hunger.  There are mothers who have been cornered to live in homes for the elderly, hospices, or to live on the side of roads because they have nobody to help them for various reasons.  There are children who do not remember the love of their mothers because their mothers had to leave them in orphanages.  They are deprived of the most wonderful love of mothers, which is the main source of life support for a human being.  There are mothers who, though they have not given birth to children, they bring up their adopted children with same love and care.  The mother of each of us represents all the mothers in the world, including Mother Nature.



Three weeks back some of us went to our mothers and paid them our respects for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year.   We can do something more to please our mothers if we could give them back the loving kindness (Metta), compassion (karuna), joyousness of the happiness of others (mudita), and the equanimity (upekkha) that we received from our mothers. That will be the most wonderful gift that we present to our mothers.  And also we can respect our mothers by practising these virtues towards ourselves and the rest of the world. How can we practise these sublime virtues  in return? When we spread friendliness/loving kindness we should do that in the same way as a mother who protects her only child.  That means we befriend others with no reservation at all.  In an unfriendly environment nobody feels secure.


Metta is there to ensure security to all and to create an environment which promotes coexistence.  There, no one is going to be controlled by the other based on the presumption that the controller's position is far above the controlled. Your mother created a friendly environment at home and outside for you to grow up.  Even when you were out in school or somewhere else you knew that your best friend - your mother - was there to protect you from any trouble.


Karuna (compassion) means to help the other person when the need arises. Without welfare, no society can exist. Regardless of our ethnic or religious background we fall ill. Even the materially richest person among us may lose whatever he/she has. Emotional support is necessary when we are unhappy in a situation such as the death of a beloved one.  When we face these mishaps in life we need the help of others. Our mothers took care of us to their maximum capacity. When we needed them they were there to save us from trouble.


Mudita which is to be pleased by seeing others' happiness- it is the easiest and cheapest precept to practice because we need nothing materially to practise this virtue, though it may be difficult for some people to be joyous of others' happiness. By being a practitioner of mudita one appreciates the achievements of the other which is another key concept that provides us with an opportunity to have a positive opinion about the other person who lives with us.  Your mother was the happiest to see the smile on your face which came as a result of something that you achieved in life.


While we practise these three virtues how can we develop equanimity, or upekkha, which is to maintain a neutral position without extremes? How can we do that?  Why can't I control the person that I give my friendship or compassion to and not be jealous of the happiness of him/her?  Each of us is a different individual and our identities are different. We should learn to enjoy these differences. I may be a Buddhist/Sinhala and the other person may be a follower of another religion or a member of another ethnic group- one's racial/religious identity can be viewed as a coincidence of birth.  Still, we are noble human beings who respect the differences of each other.  Once children leave the family, mothers treat them as separate individuals because they develop equanimity.  It does not mean that we lose the love and compassion of our mother. They realize that we have a life of our own.  By bringing us up in this way mothers taught us- to give loving kindness, compassion, joyousness of the happiness of  others  and equanimity  to society- is the best way to make our mothers happy.




Mata yatha niyam puttam ayusa ekaputtam’anurakkhe

Evampi sabba bhutesu manasambhavaye aparimanam


Spread loving-kindness to all beings

as a mother loves her one and only child.

(Metta Sutta, Sutta Nipata)




Kathina 2004 - Washington Buddhist Vihara:  Poem


Great Lord Buddha,

You died 2500 years ago

Yet you are still our beloved Teacher.

You still teach peace, compassion,

Insight through meditation,

How to live from within ourselves

Without constructing a God to believe in.


Your Way, your Dhamma, still works

As prophets, gurus, spiritual leaders

And even sons of God

Come and go.  Your ceremonies

Glow with the beauty of their Asian heritage,

Yet the deepest beauty is simple Truth:

Life is suffering.  We transform suffering into joy

By meditating and right living.


You don’t seek immortality,

Rather a way out of life’s miserable wheel.

Yet you are more immortal than anyone

While your teachings live in your Sangha,

Your community of monks, nuns and lay people.

Your people are beautiful,

All hues of gold, brown and pink.

We gave robes today to monks

From Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and America.


We set a forest of flowers before your statue,

That huge reminder of our greatest Teacher,

Meditator, Lover of all castes and races.

We heard your great preachers speak

In Sinhala and English, Dhamma talking

Through their very breath, not just their words.

We shared food and talk and small children’s beauty,

In your temple, home of beloved monks.


Thank you for showing us your Way,

Thank you for organizing the Sangha,

Thank you for your courage to leave old ways,

Power, wealth, even family,

So you could learn and teach and share

Peace, beauty and love with the world.

None is more beautiful than you.


Nancy A. Fitzgerald             

The Significance of Vesak


Venerable Mahinda

Source and Copyright: http://www.buddhanet.net/vesak.htm 


The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind.

As we recall the Buddha and his Enlightenment, we are immediately reminded of the unique and most profound knowledge and insight which arose in him on the night of his Enlightenment. This coincided with three important events which took place, corresponding to the three watches or periods of the night.

During the first watch of the night, when his mind was calm, clear and purified, light arose in him, knowledge and insight arose. He saw his previous lives, at first one, then two, three up to five, then multiples of them .. . ten, twenty, thirty to fifty. Then 100, 1000 and so on.... As he went on with his practice, during the second watch of the night, he saw how beings die and are reborn, depending on their Karma, how they disappear and reappear from one form to another, from one plane of existence to another. Then during the final watch of the night, he saw the arising and cessation of all phenomena, mental and physical. He saw how things arose dependent on causes and conditions. This led him to perceive the arising and cessation of suffering and all forms of unsatisfactoriness paving the way for the eradication of all taints of cravings. With the complete cessation of craving, his mind was completely liberated. He attained to Full Enlightenment. The realization dawned in him together with all psychic powers.

This wisdom and light that flashed and radiated under the historic Bodhi Tree at Buddha Gaya in the district of Bihar in Northern India, more than 2500 years ago, is of great significance to human destiny. It illuminated the way by which mankind could cross, from a world of superstition, or hatred and fear, to a new world of light, of true love and happiness.

The heart of the Teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, namely,


The Noble Truth of Dukkha or suffering
The Origin or Cause of suffering
The End or Cessation of suffering
the Path which leads to the cessation of all sufferings

The First Noble Truth is the Truth of Dukkha which has been generally translated as 'suffering'. But the term Dukkha, which represents the Buddha's view of life and the world, has a deeper philosophical meaning. Birth, old age, sickness and death are universal. All beings are subject to this unsatisfactoriness. Separation from beloved ones and pleasant conditions, association with unpleasant persons and conditions, and not getting what one desires - these are also sources of suffering and unsatisfactoriness. The Buddha summarizes Dukkha in what is known as the Five Grasping Aggregates.

Herein, lies the deeper philosophical meaning of Dukkha for it encompasses the whole state of being or existence.

Our life or the whole process of living is seen as a flux of energy comprising of the Five aggregates, namely the Aggregate of Form or the Physical process, Feeling, Perception, Mental Formation, and Consciousness. These are usually classified as mental and physical processes, which are constantly in a state of flux or change.

When we train our minds to observe the functioning of mental and physical processes we will realize the true nature of our lives. We will see how it is subject to change and unsatisfactoriness. And as such, there is no real substance or entity or Self which we can cling to as 'I', 'my' or 'mine'.

When we become aware of the unsatisfactory nature of life, we would naturally want to get out from such a state. It is at this point that we begin to seriously question ourselves about the meaning and purpose of life. This will lead us to seek the Truth with regards to the true nature of existence and the knowledge to overcome unsatisfactoriness.

From the Buddhist point of view, therefore, the purpose of life is to put an end to suffering and all other forms of unsatisfactoriness - to realize peace and real happiness. Such is the significance of the understanding and the realization of the First Noble Truth.

The Second Noble Truth explains the Origin or Cause of suffering. Tanha or craving is the universal cause of suffering. It includes not only desire for sensual pleasures, wealth and power, but also attachment to ideas', views, opinions, concepts, and beliefs. It is the lust for flesh, the lust for continued existence (or eternalism) in the sensual realms of existence, as well as the realms of form and the formless realms. And there is also the lust and craving for non-existence (or nihilism). These are all different Forms of selfishness, desiring things for oneself, even at the expense of others.

Not realizing the true nature of one's Self, one clings to things which are impermanent, changeable and perishable. The failure to satisfy one's desires through these things; causes disappointment and suffering.

Craving is a powerful mental force present in all of us. It is the root cause of our sufferings. It is this craving which binds us in Samsara - the repeated cycle of birth and` death.

The Third Noble Truth points to the cessation of suffering. Where there is no craving, there is no becoming, no rebirth. Where there is no rebirth, there is no decay. no, old age, no death, hence no suffering. That is how suffering is ended, once and for all.

The Fourth Noble Truth explains the Path or the Way which leads to the cessation of suffering. It is called the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Noble Eightfold path avoids the extremes of self-indulgence on one hand and self-torture on the other. It consists of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

These path factors may be summarized into 3 stages of training, involving morality, mental culture and wisdom.

Morality or good conduct is the avoidance of evil or unwholesome actions -- actions which are tainted by greed, hatred and delusion; and the performance of the good or wholesome actions, - actions which are free from greed, hatred and delusion, but motivated by liberality, loving-kindness and wisdom.

The function of good conduct or moral restraint is to free one's mind from remorse (or guilty conscience). The mind that is free from remorse (or guilt) is naturally calm and tranquil, and ready for concentration with awareness.

The concentrated and cultured mind is a contemplative and analytical mind. It is capable of seeing cause and effect, and the true nature of existence, thus paving the way for wisdom and insight.

Wisdom in the Buddhist context, is the realization of the fundamental truths of life, basically the Four Noble Truths. The understanding of the Four Noble Truths provide us with a proper sense of purpose and direction in life. They form the basis of problem-solving.

The message of the Buddha stands today as unaffected by time and the expansion of knowledge as when they were first enunciated.

No matter to what lengths increased scientific knowledge can extend man's mental horizon, there is room for the acceptance and assimilation for further discovery within -the framework of the teachings of the Buddha.

The teaching of the Buddha is open to all to see and judge for themselves. The universality of the teachings of the Buddha has led one of the world's greatest scientists, Albert Einstein to declare that 'if there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism'

The teaching of the Buddha became a great civilizing force wherever it went. It appeals to reason and freedom of thought, recognizing the dignity and potentiality of the human mind. It calls for equality, fraternity and understanding, exhorting its followers to avoid evil, to do good and to purify their minds.

Realizing the transient nature of life and all worldly phenomena, the Buddha has advised us to work out our deliverance with heedfulness, as 'heedfulness is the path to the deathless'.

His clear and profound teachings on the cultivation of heedfulness otherwise known as Satipatthana or the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, is the path for the purification of beings - for the overcoming of sorrows and lamentation, for the destruction of all mental and physical sufferings, for the attainment of insight and knowledge and for the realization of Nibbana. This has been verified by his disciples. It is therefore a path, a technique which may be verified by all irrespective of caste, color or creed.



Vandana or Special Vesak Gift




Namo tassa bhagavatō arahatō sammā sambuddhassa

Namo tassa bhagavatō arahatō sammā sambuddhassa

Namo tassa bhagavatō arahatō sammā sambuddhassa





Homage to him, the exalted One, the worthy One, the perfectly enlightened One. (3x)



Buddham saranam gacchami

Dhammam saranam gacchami

Sangham saranam gacchami



Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami

Dutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami

Dutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami



Tatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami

Tatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami

Tatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami




Pancha Sila (Five precepts)


  • Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

  • Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

  • Kamesu micchacat´ra veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

  • Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

  • Sura-meraya-majja-pamasatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.



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Salutation to the Buddha in Pali/English

Text Box: Itipi sō bhagavā, araham, sammāsambuddhō,
vijjācaranasampannō, sugatō, lokavidū, anuttarō 
purisadamma sārathi, satthā devamanussānam, buddhō,






Thus indeed the Exalted One is the worthy one, perfectly enlightened, endowed with

knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of men to be tamed, teacher of gods and men, enlightened, exalted.


Salutation to the Dhamma in Pali/English

Text Box: Svakkhāto bhagavatā, dhammō, sanditthikō, akālikō, 
ehipassikō, ōpanayiko, paccattam veditabbō viňňuhi’ti






The Dhamma has been well expounded by the Exalted One, visible here and know, immediate, inviting to come and see, leading onwards, to be known by the wise for themselves.


Text Box: Supatipannō bhagavatō sāvakasanghō, ujupatipannō bhagavatō
savakasanghō, nāyapatipannō bhagavatō savakasanghō, 
sāmichipatipannō bhagavatō sāvakasanghō, yadidam cattāri 
purisayugāni atthapurisapuggalā, esa bhagavatō sāvakasanghō,
āhuneyyō, pāhuneyyō, dakkhineyyō, anjalikaraniyō anuthtaram 
puňňakkhettam lokassā’ti.
Salutation to the Sangha in Pali/English












The Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples is practicing the good path, practicing the straight

path, practicing the true path, practicing the proper path. This is the four pairs of persons, the

eight kinds of individuals; this is the Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples, worthy of gifts,

worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed

field of merit for the world.


Text Box: Gandhatēlappadittēna –dīpena tamadhamsinā
thilōkadipam sambuddham – pūjāyami tamōnudam
Padipa Puja or Offering of Candle Lights in Pali/English







With lights of candle burning brightly, destroying darkness, I revere the Buddha, light of the triple world who dispels all darkness here.


Text Box: Gandhasambhāra-yuttena – dhūpēnāham sugandhinā 
pūjayē pūjanīyamtam – pūjābhājana muttamam.
Sugandha Puja or Offering of Incense in Pali/English






With this sweetly scented incense, prepared from blended fragrances,

I revere him who is rightly revered, worthy of the highest reverence.





Puppha Puja or Offering of Flowers in Pali/English




etam kusuma santatim

pūjayāmi munindassa –

sirīpāda sarōruhē.


With this bunch of flowers, colorful, fragrant and excellent, I revere the lotus feet of the Lord of sages.



Text Box: Pujēmi buddham kusumēna’nēna-Puññenamētēna ca hōtu mokkham 
puppham milāyāti yathā idammē- kayō tathā yāti vinasabhāvam.





With these flowers I revere the Buddha. By this merit may I gain liberation. Just as this

flower (flowers) fades away, so will this body be destroyed.


Paniya Puja or Offering of Water in Pali/English


Adhivāsētu nō bhantē – pānìyam upanāmitam

anukampam upādāya –patiganhātu muttamam.



Please accept from us, Venerable Lord, this water that is humbly offered. Out of compassion for us, please receive this, Oh supreme One.



Panaka Puja or Offering of Beverages in Pali/English

Text Box: Adhivāsētu nō bhantē – pānakam upanāmitam
anukampam upādāya –patiganhātu muttamam.






Please accept from us, Venerable Lord this beverage that is humbly offered. Out of compassion for us, please receive this Oh supreme One.


Text Box: Vandāmi  cētiyam sabbam –sabbathānnēsu patitthitam 
sāririkadhātu mahābodhim – buddharūpam sakalam sadā.
Chetiya Vandana or General Salutation in Pali/English









I venerate all Stupas wherever they are found, the bodily relics, the great Bodhi tree an all images of the Buddha.



Patthana or Wish in Pali/English

Text Box: Iminā puňňakammēna – māmē balasāmagamō
satam samāgamō hōtu – yāva nibbānapattiyā.







By the merit of this good deed, may I never meet with the foolish, may

I always meet with the wise until Nibbana is attained.




Text Box: Kāyena vāchā cittēna – pamādēna mayā katam
accayam khama mē bhantē – bhūripañña tathāgata.
Khamāpanam or to ask for forgiveness of faults in Pali/English









If by deed, speech or thought, heedlessly I have done any wrong, forgive me, Oh Master! Oh Victor greatly wise. 








May I be well and happy


May my Parents be well and happy


May my brothers and sisters be well and happy


May my neighbors be well and happy


May my teachers be well and happy


May my friends be well and happy


May my enemies be well and happy


May all people be well and happy


May all living beings be well and happy





Message  from the Presiedent of the Budhist Vihara


 Venerable Maharagama  Dhammasiri Maha Thero

Chief  Sangha Nayake of  North America.


April 10, 2005





Dear Venerable Members of the Clergy, Community Leaders, Devotees,  and Friends,


This is to say thank you to all who came forward to donate money and other items to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.   My heartfelt gratitude is extended to general public, leaders of the community, religious organizations, and  media institutions for the support given to us.  I was told that a constant in flow of kind people to the Buddhist Vihara leant emotional and material support at that tragic moment of history.  I would like to let you know with gratitude that the Washington Buddhist Vihara was able to raise more than forty five thousand dollars to be sent to Sri Lanka. We also sent several shipments of other items donated to us.    I was in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit   and as the president of JANAVIJAYA FOUNDATION, SRI LANKA (JVF)   I was helping to organize relief work.  JVF was one of the first organizations to go to tsunami-struck areas for relief work.  A current up- date of JVF services is provided elsewhere in this newsletter.


It is my great pleasure to commend the office bearers, members, resident monks, and well-wishers of the Buddhist Vihara for their ardent support to raise funds  to help victims of the tsunami, and to conduct all the religious ceremonies for the benefit of the  victims  of the tsunami.  I would like  to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to  Venerables E. Gnanaratana,  T. Sutadhara, and K. Vidura  who were resident monks at the vihara  in my absence  for their  hard work and dedication to handle all the  activities at the Vihara.


May the Blessings of the Triple Gem be with you ( TERUWAN SARANAI).



With Metta,











Siri Vajiranana Dharmayatanaya, Maharagama, Sri Lanka.

Tele Phone : +94 11 2746010 / 2844930 / Email : janavijaya@metta.lk

 Reg. No: N (A) 1088


Tsunami relief work


Janavijaya Foundation (JVF) is a non-profit organization that was founded by the late-venerable Gangodawila Soma Thero to encourage people to develop a life style based on famous five precepts inherited by Asian faith traditions.   After the sudden demise of the founder the JVF continues its services under the leadership of Venerable Maharagama Dhammasiri Maha Thero, President, Washington Buddhist Vihara, USA.  JVF is committed to operate as an organization which provides welfare to the needy as a way of practice of loving kindness towards the world.  Though the leadership of JVF is provided by Buddhist clergy it is an organization which serves to the needy regardless of their religious, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. This letter of appeal is to request help for the victims of the recent tsunami flood in the coastline of Sri Lanka. More than eight hundred thousand people were left homeless due to this huge disaster while many lost their lives.


At the time this disaster happened, the Janavijaya foundation (JVF) had to play the role of a leading volunteer service provider for the people who lost their homes. Janavijaya provided basic needs essential for the victims. Over 150 truck loads of food, clothing, medicine, and other supplies needed were sent off to help our fellow citizens who were helpless.  When the Government of Sri Lanka was ready to handle the responsibility of taking care of the immediate needs of tsunami victims, Janavijaya decided to divert its attention more to address the long term needs of the people affected by the tsunami.


As the next step of relief work presently we are involved in organizing medical clinics in the tsunami struck areas with the help of medical professionals to improve the health conditions of the people mentally and physically.   The Buddhist monks visit refugee camps or the villages to give pastoral care and to bless people by chanting Pirith (discourses of the Buddha).  All of those programs are organized and sponsored by Janavijaya Foundation with the help of kind generosity of the members and well-wishers of the JVF.


Currently we pay our attention to following welfare programs:


1.      HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROJECT - to repair and to build houses and help homeless people to resettle in their traditional villages. Each house cost about Rs.200, 000 –Rs 300, 000 (US $ 2000 - $3000). Since  we believe in developing the community with the contribution of the community the home owners must participate in building their  homes by giving their labor while we bear the cost of the material  resources and specialized services in need.


2.      PRESCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT PROJECT - First we open preschools in the preaching halls which are not affected by the tsunami while the construction of preschool buildings goes on.  All expenses including the allowances of Pre school teachers are provided by JVF.  It costs about Rs.700, 000 ($7000) to build a preschool building for thirty kids. 


AHRENSBURG – JANAVIJAYA KINDERGARTEN -  We have already initiated the construction of a larger preschool in Madihe  in down south Sri Lanka  which is the  birth place of late Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Mahanayake Thero who earned highest most respect from the public of Sri Lanka and elsewhere  for his lifelong  service  to humanity.  Kindergarten at Madihe, Matara, Sri Lanka which will be a special facility to admit up to 150 students will  be  funded by the city of Ahrensburg, Germany lead by Rev. Helgo M. Haak. This is going to be named as “Ahrensburg - Jana Vijaya Kindergarten” and  is expected to be developed as a training center for   preschool teachers.


3.      DONATION OF KITCHEN UTENSILS – Each family who goes back to live in their house is given a pack of kitchen items which costs Rs.2500.


4.  Scholarship program for primary and SECONDARY school students – We have already publicized this in the newspapers and students must submit their applications through the Janavijaya branch  in the district  with the recommendations of the principals of their schools. So we can select the relevant person carefully without any inconvenience.

·    Short-term scholarship scheme for the homeless students who sit for the examinations conducted by the government this year. Each student gets Rs. 2500 monthly.

·     Long term scholarships for the students who lost one or both parents. We are helping students for their education valued Rs.1500 every month.

·     If the schools or students request the stationeries or items they want we would like to contribute those on request. The cost of these items varies.


5.   REPAIRING PLACES OF WORSHIP -We are planning to repair or help few temples destroyed by the tsunami.


Now we have completed the preparation of plans and the estimates of new constructions. At this point we kindly invite those who wish to extend their kind help to our people  to get rid of this misery.   Please use this opportunity to pay your gratitude to Late Most Ven. Aggamahapandith Madihe Pannaseeha Maha Nayaka Thero and Late Rt. Rev. Gangodavila Soma Thero the Founder of Janavijaya Foundation.



The Washington Buddhist Vihara Society continues to welcome donations in support of our Tsunami relief work.  Please direct donations to:

Washington Buddhist Vihara, 5017 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20011, U.S.A. Telephone: (202) 723-0773. Fax.(202)722-1257 www.buddhistvihara.com.





OCTOBER 1, 2003 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2004


The Buddhist Vihara Society, Incorporated, is a nonprofit religious and educational organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  The Society was founded in 1965 under the patronage of the Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Mahanayaka Thera and was the first Theravada Buddhist Vihara in the United States.  The main objective of the Society is to provide and maintain a place for the study and practice of Theravada Buddhism, its philosophy, its culture and its impact on the world.  The Society maintains the Washington Buddhist Vihara which provides facilities for Buddhist services, ceremonies, meditation and other Buddhist disciplines.  The Library maintained by the Society contains one of the most extensive collections of books on Buddhism and is used for research by the various universities and colleges in the area.  The principal office of the Society is located at the Vihara at 5017 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20011.  The Society also owns property located at 2419 & 2423 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20905 that is presently being used as a residence by a caretaker family.  The Society has a web page at www.buddhistvihara.com


The Vihara is staffed by resident monks who are available to discuss the various aspects of Buddhism, teach meditation, offer informal and formal courses on Buddhism, and give invitational lectures and meditation workshops at universities, schools, churches and community groups.  This Annual Report relates the major events in which the Society engaged during the fiscal year in furtherance of its purposes and goals. 




Ven. M.  Dhammasiri Thera               President

Ven. K.Vidura                                      Secretary

Mr. Sena Basnayake                            Vice President

Mr. Jerry S. Byrd                                 Vice President

Mr. James Shaffer                                Treasurer

Dr. Lalith Rajakaruna                            Assistant Treasurer

Ms. Susan Anderson                            Executive Secretary

Mr. Raja Heendeniya                            Director

Ms. Judith Lee                                      Director

Mr. Saranath Weerakoon                     Director

Dr. Victoria Urubshurow                      Director

Mr.D.Kuruppunayake                          Director

Mr.Manoranjan Barua                          Director


PATRONS:  2003/2004


The Most Venerable Ampitiye Sri Rahula Maha Thero.

His Excellency Mr. Devinda Subasinghe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka. 

Dr. Esiri Karunaratne




The following monks were in residence during all or part of the fiscal year:

Ven U. Khema Thero, Ven.E.Gnanaratana Thero  Ven. M. Dhammasiri Thera,

Ven. K. Vidura , and Ven. P.  Sobhana .




The Vihara was pleased to welcome several Venerable monks who visited the Vihara within the last year. Some of them were, Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhita Thero, Venerable Mutuwadiye Upaseeha Thero, Venerable Aturaliye Ratana Thero, and Venerable Talalle Chandakitti.





                The property located at 2419 & 2423 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, is being cared for by a caretaker who resides on the property.  Regular donations are being made by the caretaker who helps to defray the cost of operating the property.


            Although the Buddhist Vihara Society, Inc. is registered as a nonprofit, religious organization in the State of Maryland, the Society was assessed and has paid property taxes for the present taxable year.  The application for tax exempt status for the property is still pending.  Although the property is located in a zone designated as R 200 and can be used for religious purposes, the construction of a temple & meditation center at this site will still involve several permit approvals by the Maryland authorities. At present the society is continuing the process of establishing a solid financial building fund base which would be used for constructing the new center.




                Regular Vandana services were held every Sunday at 3:00 PM.  Some monthly Uposatha Full-Moon Day observances were held on the Sunday closest to the Full Moon (Poya) Day.  Activities on designated days commenced at 9:00 AM with the observance of the 8 precepts, followed by Vandana Service and meditation.  Dhamma discussions, sermons, and Vandana services were included in the afternoon sessions, which ended at 4:00 PM with a brief meditation exercise.




 Some additions and changes have been added to the Vihara’s meditation schedule. Venerable P. Sobhana continued to teach insight meditation on Wednesday and Saturday from 7:00PM to 9:00 PM. The class has continued to expand and attract a diversity of students. Many westerners have been cultivating a sincere interest toward the benefits  of meditation and teachings of the Dharma. The Vihara has benefited from his skillful insights and compassionate nature. A Zen Meditation group also conducts classes on Thursday from 7:00PM to 8:30PM.  The participants engage in sitting and walking meditation.  In addition, on each Sunday at 7:00PM the Washington Mindfulness Community at the Vihara conducts meditation sessions.




                The Buddhist Vihara is currently offering a special sutta  Dhamma class every other Friday at 7pm . Michael Roehm, a long time scholar of Buddhist studies, provides instructions.




                  In 2003 the Washington Buddhist Vihara continued to provide Dhamma and Society news on our website www. buddhistvihara.com.


Through this global medium, seekers of Buddha’s teachings can directly pose questions regarding Dhamma  to Venerable monks. At present, Most Venerable Punnaji Maha Thera, Professor, Venerable Dhamma Vihari Thera, and Most Venerable Dhammasiri Thera are available for answering questions. The website is  maintained by Mr.Saman Wickramanayake.




       During Vas season the monks who observed Vas at the Vihara  preached Dhamma sermons on different topics on Sundays.  President, Ven.M. Dhammasiri Thero was invited to speak on Buddhism and Environment in Summer 2004 at theMethodist Church, Wisconsin Ave, Washington, DC.  On a regular basis Bhante delivered sermons at the National Cathedral, Washington, DC and Interfaith Conference of Washington DC.






Following the Sri Lankan Buddhist customs a memorial service to transfer merit to our founder, Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Mahanayake Thero by offering DANA to the Sangha  was organized on December 14th 2003.  Sri Lanka Ranga Kala Kavaya and the Buddhist Vihara Society together organized this  noble event to pay our respect and gratitude to the late-grand master of Buddhist order of Sangha who rendered a great service for the perpetuation of  the teachings of the Buddha. A brief sketch of the biography of the late Mahanayake Thero was distributed during the ceremony.





                 Our quarterly newsletter has been highly successful due to the dedicated efforts of the editorial board. The staff for 2004 was Hon.Editor: Ven. Dhammasiri Thera, Editor: Venerable P. Sobhana, and Prof. Carlota Okampo, and News Editor Mr. Sanath de Silva.




            The biweekly Sunday Dhamma School for children is conducted and organized by Mr. Udaya Ranawaka.    The classes were open to children of all ages and conducted in English. Approximately 50 students encompassing diverse American ethnic groups attended the classes. Ven. M. Dhammasiri Thera, Udaya Ranawake, Priyankara Hennayake, Manasshantha Abeysekera, Jayantha Hettipola, Udayan Barua, Nayana Ranasinghe, Sharmila Dabare, Kumar De Silva and Hemnath De Silva were the instructors.




                The Washington Mindfulness Community conducted meditation sessions each Sunday at the Vihara from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.  They practice Anapanasati as taught by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. The Washington Mindfulness Community was formed in 1989 and is composed of men and women inspired by the teachings of Buddhism and Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Master, peace activist, and writer.  The members come together to meditate, to deepen their understanding of the practice of mindfulness, to encourage and inspire each other through dhamma discussions and mindful actions, to support each other through difficult times and to celebrate the joys and wonders of life.




                The annual Kathina Ceremony of the Washington Buddhist Vihara Society was held at the Vihara on Sunday, October 26th , 2003. The Ceremony was well attended by the international Buddhist community of the greater Washington DC area:  Vietnamese, Burmese, Chinese, Thai, Bangladeshi, Indian, American and a large number of Sri Lankan Buddhists. The Kathina Ceremony was sponsored by Mr. Gayanga Opatha, Mr. Mahil Abewarna, Mr. Upul Abewarna, Mr. Prakash Williams,  and all the devotees of the Vihara. The Buddha Pooja was conducted by Bhante K. Vidura of  the Washington Buddhist Vihara.  The Dhamma talks were given by Venerable Madawela Punnaji Maha Thera  and Venerable Yogavacara Rahula Maha Thera, U.S.A.




                The Sanghamitta Day Celebration and the Society's 38th Annual General Meeting (for the fiscal year October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004) were held Sunday, March 14, 2004 at the Vihara.  The Sanghamitta celebration commenced with the Asian Food Bazaar, featuring Indian, Vietnamese, Burmese, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, and Sri Lankan food.  Vandana and Buddha Pooja were held at 3:00 PM.  The AGM and the Sanghamitta Day Commemoration started at 3:00PM with a welcoming speech by Mr.Sena Basnayake, the vice President of the Vihara.  From 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM  Ms. Liza Knight gave the keynote address. The 38th  Annual General Meeting commenced at 3:00 PM.  James Shaffer, the Hon. Treasurer read the financial report and Susan Anderson, the Hon. Executive Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society presented the annual report. The celebration ended at about 5:00 PM after a blessing service (seth pirith) by the Maha Sangha.




The Vesak Festival was held on Sunday May 09th, 2004 at the Vihara.  The ceremonies began at 9:00 AM with the hoisting of the American and Buddhist flags. Venerable. Dhammasiri Thera commenced the program by administering the Eight Precepts, Vandana and Admonishment. Venerable Sanghasobhana conducted Bhavana (Meditation). Venerable Yogavacara Rahula Thero of Bhavana Society  gave a Dhamma talk. The Buddhapuja was conducted by Venerable Pandit  K. Vidura Thero . In the afternoon, Venerable Pandit T.Chandakitti Thero  guided group chanting (Paritta) and Venerable Yogavacara Rahula led The Dhamma discussion.  At 1:45 Ms. Lisa Knight  gave a Dhamma Talk.  Then the Buddhist Vihara Sunday School children presented Devotional songs. There were three Dhamma Talks by Venerable  Pathegama Gnanappiya Thero, Venerable Eluwapola Gnanaratana Thero,  and Karaputugala Indaratana Thero  respectively . The day concluded with "Observing the Five Precepts” and Bodhi Puja conducted by Venerable Talalle Chandakitti Thero.   The Vesak Dana was organized by Mrs. Chandra Gunaratne, Mrs. Rani Karunaratne, Mrs. Nelum Basnayaka, and Mrs. Sunila Dharmasiri.




            Under the patronage of  Mr. Devinda Subasinghe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka,  the Annual Food Bazaar was organized by the staff of the Sri Lankan Embassy and held on Sunday, June 6th, 2004.  The proceedings of the Food Bazaar were donated to the New Vihara Building Fund.




            The Board of Directors met approximately once per month between October 1, 2003 and September 30, 2004, and also for special meetings.  Various Board committees held meetings throughout the fiscal year.




                We wish to note   the sudden demise  of and transfer merit to late venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera,  who  dedicated his life to awaken Sri Lankan Buddhists to follow the path of the Buddha.  The late Thera passed away on December 12th, 2003  while he was traveling in Russia.




                The President of the Washington Buddhist Vihara Society, the Ven. M. Dhammasiri Thera, and the Board of Directors, recognize the vital services rendered by all contributors to the Vihara. We express our appreciation to the patrons of the Vihara, the late Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Mahanayaka Thera and the Most Venerable Ampitiye Sri Rahula Maha Thero, to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, DC, and to his Excellency Mr. Devinda Subshinghe, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka.  We are indebted to all the members and friends of the Washington Buddhist Vihara Society who supported the Vihara by volunteering their time and labor, especially those who organized various celebrations.  Without their efforts many of the celebrations would not have been as successful as they were.  We recognized the services performed by the guest speakers at the various celebrations and meetings.


            The President and Board are grateful to all those have assisted the Society by way of dana, pledges, special donations, and gifts throughout the year.  Each gift, no matter how small or how large, whether it is the performance of services or the donation of funds, supports the mission of the Society to provide and maintain a place for the study, practice, and propagation of Theravada Buddhism. We thank the following devotees who regularly provided monthly Dana for the monks at the Vihara last year:   


Mr./Mrs. Dayaratne Pathirana

Mr./Mrs. Sena Basnayaka                   

Mr./Mrs. Chanka/Patsy De Silva

Mr./Mrs  Jagath/Suneeta Ranasinghe

Mr./Mrs. Dharmasiri/Sunila Perera

Mr./Mrs. Piyadasa/Soma Kahangama

Mr./Mrs. Udaya/ Dhammika Ranawaka

Mr./Mrs. Jeeva/ Chaturi Munasinghe

Mr./Mrs. Henry/Devika Wagage

Mr./Mrs. Hapuarachchi,Laxman/Seetha

Mr.  Udith Manukulasuriya

Miss. Madhusha Navaratne/Miss Samanthi Perera


Mr./Mrs. Rajakaruna,Lalith/Chinta

Mr./Mrs. Goldwebber,Jim/Anula

Mr./Mrs. Fonseka,Lalin/ Ranmali

Mr./Mrs. Seneviratne, Ranjith/ Prasadi

Mr./Mrs. Moragahakumbura, Charles/Laxmi

Mr./Mrs. Karunaratne,Anura/Rani

Mr./Mrs. Weerakoon,Saranath/Melanie

Drs. Wijetilleka,Lucky/Padma

Mr./Mrs. Rasika Kasunti Kalahe

Dr./Mrs. Karunaratne,Esiri/Chandrika

Mr. Heendeniya, Raja  

Mr./Mrs. Sudath Vasanti Gunasekera

Mr./Mrs. Weeramunda, Rohitha/Ramani

Mrs. Wijeratne, Soma

Ms. Susan Anderson

Mrs. RoshaniLowe/Mrs.Ruth Shaw

Dr./Mrs. Gunasinghe, U.B./Padmini

Mrs. Rosemary Adikaram& Mrs. Leela

Dr. Bandula Jayasekera

Drs. Chandra & Lee Weerasinghe

Dr. Parakrama and Mrs. Vivienne Suriyaarachchi

Mr. Vijaya and Mrs. Malin Fonseka


Respectfully Submitted.

                Susan E, Anderson

                Executive Secretary




Support the Vihara by Becoming a Member!



Buddhist Vihara Society, Inc.

5017 16th Street N.W

Washington, D.C  20011

(202) 723-0773



Membership Application


Dear Sir,


I, Mr./Mrs/Miss/Dr/Rev (Cricle One)





City                                                                              State                                                                  


Zip                                                                               Home Phone                                                      



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I wish to enroll myself as a member of the Washington Buddhist Vihara Society, Inc., and enclose herewith a check for my membership: Life membership $250.00, Annual Standard membership $25.00, Annual Student membership $15.00 (Circle One)


I am a Buddhist/friend of Buddhsim (cricle one)


Date:______________________ Signature_________________________





Washington Buddhist Vihara

5017 16 th Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20011

Tel(202) 723-0773


The Washington Buddhist Vihara, founded in 1965, and incorporated as a Society in 1966, under the patronage of Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Mahanayaka Thera, with Venerable Bope Vinitha Thera as its first President is a religious and educational center dedicated to presenting Buddhist thought, practice, and culture. It is staffed by resident monks who are available to discuss the various aspects of Buddhism, teach meditation, offer informal courses and by invitation, give lectures and meditation workshops at universities, schools, churches, and community groups.


The Vihara also operates a Buddhist Book Service with a mail order service; a free list of current stock is available on request. The Vihara Library, contains works covering all facets of Buddhism. Every Sunday at 3.00 p.m. there is a devotional service which is followed by Dhamma discussion and meditation. Visitors, regardless of religious affiliation, are invited to participate in Vihara activities as well as come in and browse in the library and Book Service. The meditation room and shrine room are always open for individual meditation and devotion.

    (The Logo & Seal of the Washington Buddhist Vihara were created by Mr. S.A.D Subasinghe in 1965)








                                         NEWS LETTER ARCHIVES