Theravada Buddhist Temple and Vipassana Meditation Center

Theravada Buddhist Temple and Vipassana Meditation Center

The Georgia Buddhist Vihara is dedicated to the promotion of the Theravada Buddhist teachings through the practice of meditation, study of Buddhist scriptures, Dhamma School for children and regular religious ceremonies. The Vihara was established in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Nikini Full Moon Poya Day Program and  Dhamma class will be held on on Sunday, August 05, 2012, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.



MORNING PROGRAM

7:30am – 8:30am Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 11:00am Vipassana Meditation.

11:00am Buddha Puja

11:20am – 12:00 Noon Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts. For more information please feel free to contact the Vihara at 770-987-8442.)

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 2:30pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm Break.

3.00-5.00pm  Sutra Discussion; Maha Hattipadopama  Sutta: The Noble search (English)

5:30 pm  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Friday, July 13, 2012


Nirosha Perera’s 2 Day Retreat Journal





Most teenagers wouldn't willingly commit to a retreat devoid of all technology—no laptops, television, and cell phones meant there would be no contact with the outside world and many of us teenagers just cannot face that type of reality. I have to admit, I was not ready to face that type of environment either. These conditions (that were to be imposed at the retreat), almost seemed like a punishment for something—waking up at 5 am, sitting motionless for hours at a time, and having to live without our normal daily comforts seemed like the life of a prisoner. And so, I experienced this life for two short days. I soon realized that although it seemed like a “prison” to most people, it was actually a quite liberating experience. By being taken out of conventional life and away from general society, we were able to truly explore our own minds and discover our own potential.

I was only able to attend the retreat for two days due to my school graduation ceremonies taking place during the early days of the retreat, but in those two days, I was exposed to an array of Buddhist teachings that truly impacted me during that short time. For 17 years, I had been chanting various suttras without fully understanding what I was reciting. But in those two days at the retreat, I was able to end the mindless recitations and transform them into meaningful comprehension, as I learned the meanings of many pali chantings that I hadn’t truly appreciated earlier and thus recited them with a newfound confidence.

I also embraced new approaches to Buddhism as we explored Abidhamma with the guidance of Uncle Deeptha. In the Abidhamma classes, I was able to challenge, develop, and embrace, old and new beliefs about Buddhism. We even discussed topics such as abortion and thus I appreciated the depth and gravity of topics that we discussed in the class. So, I would like to thank Uncle Deeptha for providing us with these classes.

Our visit to the Cambodian temple was also an eye opening experience. It was interesting to compare the structures of their temple to ours, and I was surprised to see that many parts of their temple were exceedingly ornate— I had always thought that as Buddhists, we sought to refrain from lavishness so I was a bit confused. But I was interested by what I saw and I’ve been stimulated to further investigate my question.

In retrospect, I have to admit that the retreat was physically and mentally challenging at times. However, it was a challenge that proved advantageous as it enabled me to explore my views of Buddhism and reawakened my pride in the Buddhist lifestyle.

I would like to deeply thank Venerable Wajirabuddhi and Venerable Wajirabodhi for giving us the opportunity to experience this enlightening retreat. I would also like to thank our parents and friends, and Mr.Steven, as they supported the retreat, brought Dane, and helped in any way they could. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank my Dhamma brothers and sisters for participating in the retreat—I learned many things from all of you and I am proud of all that we have accomplished together.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The Esala Full Moon Poya Day Program and  Dhamma class will be held on on Sunday, July 08, 2012, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.



MORNING PROGRAM

7:30am – 8:30am Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 11:00am Vipassana Meditation.

11:00am Buddha Puja

11:20am – 12:00 Noon Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts. For more information please feel free to contact the Vihara at 770-987-8442.)

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 2:30pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm Break.

3.00-5.00pm  Sutra Discussion; Chula Hattipadopama  Sutta: The Noble search (English)

5:30 pm  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Monday, July 2, 2012


Rain retreat, unrivalled Buddhist event

The Nikini Poya is connected with “Vas” - Rains Retreat or Monsoon season Retreat. It is the period of three months, in the monsoon season, during which monks (Bhikkus) and Nuns (Bhikkunis) are expected to reside one place in Indoors and devote themselves with their practice.
The Mahayana Buddhist believe it as the end Rains Retreat coincides with Ullambana/Obon Festival (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts). Vas is observed by the Theravada Buddhist and the monks and nuns concentrate on religious activities.
Vassa in Pali, or Vas in Sinhala is an auspicious day for monks and nuns. It was on this day those who attended the Vas or Rains Retreat, become one year older in the order (Salerdotal Age), the Monsoon season retreat period. A Bhikkhus or Bhikkunis seniority is determined by the number by rains he/she has spent in the order.
During the rainy seasons, Buddhist monks/nuns are not expected to live or reside outdoors, under the trees or in open air. This is a cardinal principle, the Buddhist monks/nuns should follow, during the Rainy season or Vassana Samaya.
This year’s Nikini Poya falls on Tuesday 20 August 2013. According to the principles laid down by the Buddhists, there are two days for observing Vas. They are known as “Peravas” and “Pasuvas”, namely Pre-Retreat and Post-Retreat.
Buddha observed first Vas at Migadaya Deer Park - Isipatanaramaya.
After delivering the great discourse or the wheel of Dhamma - “Dhammachakapavattana Sutta,” to the five disciples - Vappa, Bhaddhiya, Mahanama, Assaji and Kondanna, the blessed one, observed the first recorded Vas-Rain-Retreat and stayed at Migadaya, Deer Park, Isipatanaramaya.
It was at Isipatana, Migadaya, Buddha delivered the first sermon Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta, on Full Moon Day of Esala (July) two months after his awakening. Saranath mean sanctuary for Deer (In Pali Migadaya). Even today one can see some deer in this premises. This wonderful site is located 12km from the city of Varanasi or Baranasa.
Isipatana was a place for holy men. The holy men, practising in the snow clod beautiful Himalayan Range, ascended and descended to Migadaya regularly during rainy seasons. The decaying ruins of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara mark the place where Buddha spent his first rainy season, in seclusion.
The practise was there in Pre-Buddhist Era
The practise of staying indoors during the rainy season was followed even during the Pre-Buddhist Era. There were number of religious sectors - ascetics, who lived a peaceful lives in meditating and various other religious acts.
Buddha appreciated constructive criticism.
The Thiratakas - and those who followed Jainism, Nigantanathaputras followers - the naked ascetics, who were extremists protested against Buddhists monks, stating that the Rainy seasons, they roam about and they damage and kill the lives of insects by tampering them. The Buddha appreciated the constructive criticism, level against the order, and advised them to be indoors and follow Pera Vas and Pasu Vas. This clearly shows Buddhism is a Democratic Religion and that its a thinking religion.
It was revealed that on a Nikini Pura Pasalosvaka Poya Day, King Bimbisara, King of Magadha at the time of Buddha, built the city of Rajagraha (Bihar) India. He presented the Bamboo grove to Buddha for the use of the sangha. He was murdered by his son - Ajatasatra - Ajasath.
End of Vas Katinacheevara offering
Till the end of November, the Vas Period, Buddhist monks and nuns live in their Aramayas or Temples. During the end of Vas - the laymen offer Vassika Satakaya called Katina Cheevaraya. The offering of a Katina Cheevara is supposed to be one of the greatest meritorious acts.
During Vassana Retreat, certain rules were laid down to the Buddhist monks and nuns. If they are invited, only seven monks, as a group is allowed to leave their abode. They must return within a week to the place of the residence, where they observed “Vas”. This is known as “Sattakaraniya”. They are free and allowed to visit a Bhikkhu, a Buddhist nun, student monk (Sikshamanya) novice monk, novice bhikku8uni, father and mother.
When a monk falls sick, he needs help and guidance, and if the parents and relations fall sick, the Bhikkhus and Bhikkuni who have observed “Vas” are allowed to visit them. But, they have to report back to their place of indoor residence with in seven days.
Mihintalawa or Missaka Pabbata was the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The great Arahat Mahinda and Arahat Aritta observed “Vas” on Nikini Poya Day and they resided in the rock caves of Mihintale during the three months of Vas.
This practise observance of Vas, continues upto date. Sri Lankan Buddhist lay-devotees, kindly look after their residential monks during the Nikini season by providing them with alms and other necessary facilities. The Buddhist monks and nuns are involved in Indoor Religious activities such as reciting pirith and deliver sermons to their kind devotees.
First convocation
Another very notable feature that happened on the Nikini Poya Day was first ever Dhammasangayanawa - The first Buddhist council of the monks or convention under the patronage of Mahakassapa Thera where Ananda Thero too was present and participated.
Immediately within three months of the passing away of the blessed one Gautama Buddha, there was dissension among the sangha or Buddhist monks.
To arrest this situation certain disciplinary codes were laid down in this convention. It was held at Sattapanni Rock Cave in Rajagaha.

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