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Region 2 - Harrow West Sai Centre: Buddha Purnima Celebrations

Buddha Purnima was celebrated at the Harrow West Centre on 18th May 2014. It was decided to introduce the chanting of the ‘Pancha Sila’ at the Centre as a celebration of the Buddha Purnima day and then make it a regular practise on every Sunday.

We invited a Buddhist monk, Venerable Sumana M.A, from the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury, London NW9 as Guest Speaker on the day. In addition to his monastic duties, Ven. Sumana teaches Religious Studies at a local school and is knowledgeable in all the leading Religions.

He led the assembled devotees through the 'Tisaranena Pancha Sila' or 'Pancha Sila' (for short), which consists of paying homage to the Buddha, seeking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and acceptance of the five Precepts (Sila), a code of conduct for the laity, as taught by the Buddha.

He then explained the meaning of the Precepts and spoke of their importance in leading a caring life and also as a way of achieving discipline of the body and the senses as a prelude to achieving discipline of the mind through meditation.

The Precepts are as follows:

  1. Not to harm any living being or creature.
  2. Not to take (by force, deceit or stealth) what belongs to another.
  3. Not to indulge wrongfully/excessively in gratification of the senses/desires.
  4. Not to indulge in wrongful speech. (harsh words, lies, gossip, back-biting etc.).
  5. Not to consume intoxicants (alcohol, drugs etc.).

Buddhists traditionally chant the Pancha Sila daily and it is considered a must at the commencement of all Buddhist religious activities.

The loving Buddhist monk preached that according to the Buddha, discipline of the body and mind, Sila and Samadhi leads to Panna (wisdom) and thence to Liberation.

Jai Sai Ram.
Padmasiri Jayasekera – Harrow West Sai Centre.