Vesak Full Moon Poya Day celebrated in Manila

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila together with the Universal Wisdom Foundation Inc. (UWFI) celebrated the ‘Vesak Full Moon Poya Day’ at the Wisdom Park with the participation of the Ambassadors and other diplomatic officers from Embassies of Buddhist countries in the region namely, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. More than 150 Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist devotees including the Sri Lanka community in the Philippines participated at this solemn ceremony.

The Wisdom Park premises were decorated with Buddhist flags and Vesak lanterns. The programme commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp followed by the main spiritual ceremony which began with a Bodhi Pooja followed by the observance of Mahayana Buddhist traditions officiated by venerable monks from the Seng Guan Temple, Philippine Tibetan Palyul Center, Thousand Buddha Temple, and the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple. Thereafter, UWFI President Dr. Dhanapala Jayakody officiated the Dhamma talk and dedication of offerings and blessings according to the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

UWFI Founder Dr. Mariano Yupitun, in his remarks, welcomed the dignitaries and devotees present at the event. He briefly narrated the collaborations made by the foundation and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in promoting the commemoration of Vesak Day in the Philippines. More significantly, he expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan government for the donation of a sapling from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi from Anuradhapura which has now grown and venerated in the temple.

In her Vesak Day message, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Philippines Shobini Gunasekera highlighted the significant role and influence of Buddhism to the Sri Lankan nation’s rich history, heritage, philosophy, and way of life. Referring to the country as the Land of the Buddha, she explained the importance of practices of Dhamma to overcome the current challenges faced all over the world with the Lord Buddha’s universal message of peace, compassion, harmony, and wellbeing for all. She remarked that Dhamma was an instrument for believers and the society as a whole to work hand-in-hand towards the mutual goals of recovery and prosperity. She also enjoined the attendees particularly the Sri Lankan community to pray for Sri Lanka and the world to heal as one.

A soulful rendition of Bhakti Gee, devotional songs dedicated to the Lord Buddha, was performed by the officers and staff of the Embassy of Sri Lanka.

The programme concluded with the vote of thanks by Mr. Harish Dilshan Athuada, Vice of President of UWFI, inviting the attendees to enjoy Sri Lankan and Filipino vegetarian delicacies.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
16th May 2022