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 June 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Il Full Moon Poya Program will be observed on the Sunday, November 16th, 2014 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.

Please sign up for the program
Check out who is coming!!!! 

Morning Program
7:30 am – 8:30 am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
8:30 am – 8.45 am: Tea & coffee break
8.45 am – 10:00 am: Vipassana Meditation
10:00 am – 11:00 am:  Sathipattana Meditation Discussion
11.00 am – 11.30 am Buddha Pooja
11:30 am – 12:00 nn: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.
Afternoon Program
12:00 nn – 1:00pm Luncheon
1:00 – 3:00 pm Discussion (base on Abhidhamma) by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne
3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break.
3:15 pm – 5:30 pm:  Sutra Discussion: Vimansaka Sutta (English, Sinhala, Pali)
5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


ANNUAL KATHINA PUJA CEREMONY AND VAP POYA OBSERVANCE


Monks of the Vihara observed Vassana retreat since July full-moon, and end of the retreat annual robe offering (Kathina Puja) will be celebrated at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara on Saturday October 25, 2014. This year's "Kathina Robe," will be prepared by devout Dayaka family, Uditha and Ruwani Weliwita with assistance of all Vihara Supporters.


Please make use of this opportunity to develop spirituality taking part in this rare meritorious deed.  Georgia Buddhist Vihara, Weliwita family and late Tamara Jayatilake's family cordially invite all friends, Dayaka Dayika and their fiends and families to join in this rare meritorious occasion.  


Program of the Day


7.00-7:30      am   

Observance of eight precepts.
7:30- 8:30      am

Vandana, Buddha Puja and breakfast Dana
8:30-  9:30     am

Meditation
9.30-10:00     am

Kathina robe procession  
10:00-10:30    am  

Robe offerings to Maha Sangha and short blessing
11:00-12:00    Noon  

Buddha Puja, Sanghika Dana
12: Noon to 1:00 pm

Luncheon
1:30-3:00       pm  

Abhidhmma session by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne
3: 15-4:30       pm

Robe offerings & Pirit chanting
4:45-5:45        pm

Dhamma Deshana (Dhamma Talk)   

Tuesday, October 7, 2014



The significant events commemorated during this month are: the conclusion of The Buddha's preaching of the Abhidhamma for three months to his mother in the Heavenly realm (devaloka), King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka sending envoys to King Asoka requesting him to send his daughter Arahat Sanghamitta Theri to Sri Lanka to establish the Bhikkhuni Sasana (Order of Nuns)

බලන් සබඳ ඒ මුණි තෙද අසිරිය..

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


“Crash” the “I” in order to obtain true happiness
My Experience of the 2014 Retreat
--------------------------
By: Jeewaka Manamendra.
               

                    A famous person, Bruce Lee, once said” Be the water, you can either flow like a river, or crash like a waterfall.”
    I realized during the youth retreat that I would rather crash like a waterfall and end the suffering with the power of the Dhamma, rather than flow like everybody else and indulge myself in sensual pleasures. Return to the Samsara cycle and continue suffering.
 
      Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) himself used to indulge in sensual pleasures until one day he “crashed” and became enlightened. The Buddha then shared his wisdom of the Dhamma to help others “crash” the “I” in order to obtain true happiness, which is what all Buddhists study to this day. The youth retreat gave me a great opportunity to increase and practice my knowledge in Dhamma.

Day 1
    In the morning, I did Metta meditation, and I had a lot of trouble concentrating, due to the fact I was very uncomfortable, and I was not able to stay in one posture for very long. Consequently, I feel as though I did not do well in Metta; next time I will try to bring my mind back to the Metta rather than the cramps in my leg and the numbness in my feet.
    A famous Sutta the Buddha discoursed was the Madhupindika Sutta, which was among the most interesting topics in Dhamma I learned during the youth retreat which was elaborated perfectly by Venerable Wajirabuddhi. The Madhupindika sutta explains that if someone indulges in their six sense doors, which are the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, body, and mind, they will develop unwholesome thoughts in the mind. However, the Madhupindika sutta also explains that if we guard our sense doors then we will be able to get rid of unwholesome thoughts without any remainder. Once we guard our sense doors there is no craving or delight in sensual pleasures. The reason is that we know what we see, smell, or touch are all unnecessary and impermanent, therefore, getting rid of the  in us.
    Soon after our Sutta discussion we had an Abhidhamma session with Venerable Deepaloka. He taught us about the different consciousnesses that the human brain develops in the mind. Apparently there are three different types of mind sets; there is the immoral consciousness, moral consciousness, and the rootless consciousness. We first studied the immoral consciousness, which talks about how you can either be unprompted or prompted for an unwholesome act. A good example to demonstrate this situation, was if you steal an apple from a tree without anyone telling you steal the apple then it is considered an unprompted unwholesome act. But if any other person told you to steal that apple from the tree, it becomes a prompted unwholesome act. Nonetheless, if someone tells you to steal the apple a specific way but you don't steal that way, you obtain more bad karma   as it becomes an unprompted act as a result the one who ordered the act gets less bad karma.
    Venerable Deepaloka also told us that if we ever do a good deed with the utmost intention, then we will receive the most amount of merits, but if we do a good deed with the lowest intention then we will barely receive any good merits. At the end of the day, I realized that we can use the slightest opportunity to our advantage in order to gain an immense amount of merits. For instance, most days I put out bread for the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds in our backyard.  While I put out food, I do Metta for all of the animals in the universe. From a simple act, I get much joy just knowing that I am enhancing my good merits just by doing Metta in my head with the utmost intention.
 
Day 2
    As we started the day off with Metta meditation, I was able to concentrate more this time. I still felt quite uncomfortable at times but at least I felt at peace with myself. For some odd reason, during the Metta meditation my mind always wandered off. However, constant reminders from Bhante helped me bring my mind back to the our meditation. Soon we moved on to the breathing meditation, which was easier for me to envision and concentrate on. The way I imagined the breathing  meditation is that I see a diagram of the human body containing the veins and the different organs. In my mind's eye, I visualize air going through the nose and into the lungs from the veins. Although I was able to concentrate on breathing meditation, I found it easier to concentrate on walking meditation. During the walking meditation I also noticed there was much trash from the food carnival, which I picked up during the work period. After work period, we all entered the shrine room for our next Sutta discussion with Venerable Wajirabuddhi.
    This time we have learned about the Eightfold Path, which is a common topic in Buddhism, which caught my attention. Although, we did not study the entire Eightfold Path, we studied the most important part, Sammaditthi. By studying this, I learned that the Four Noble Truths go hand in hand with the Eightfold Path. Once the intention arises to end all suffering, you follow the Eightfold Path to obtain Arahant-hood. In order to follow the Eightfold Path, you have to monitor the sense doors to become mindful which is also part of the Madhupidinka Sutta.
    For our afternoon Abhidhamma session, Venerable Deepaloka excellently elaborated on how knowing the thought process of the human mind allows us to monitor our sense doors. Apparently, there are 17 “minds” in one form of thought, and the first “mind” is the past Bhavanga meaning the default state of the mind. Next comes the vibrating Bhavanga and then comes the arrest Bhavanga, which is the end of the default state of mind. After the default state of mind is gone then you receive information in your mind through the sense doors, which then forms a thought in your mind. Each thought then has an impulsion depending on the consciousness. There are seven impulsions of the thought, but the 4th and 5th impulsions are the strongest impulsion of the mind.  For instance, if I did a good deed with the 5th impulsion of the mind then, I would receive the most amount of merits. Likewise, if I did a bad deed with the 5th state of mind also, then I would receive the worst karma possible. These include the "minds" 9 through 15, but once the impulsions happen then the minds registers the consciousness for 2 "minds". Although, all of this information seemed confusing at first I think Venerable Deeplaoka did a great job explaining something so complicated.

    Before I knew it the retreat was over, and I was quite disappointed because I felt a sense of bliss and peace during the retreat.  The only complaint that I have is I think there was not enough time to learn everything thoroughly. Although the retreat was shorter this time, there are also chances to learn more Dhamma during the poya or sil days in the future. I would also like to take this chance to urge anyone who is reading this article, to always take any opportunity to expound your knowledge of the Dhamma. This mentality came to me when I was looking at the statue of  Maha-Moggallana Thera. I knew that everything is impermanent and that I don't know what terrible deeds I could have done in the past. Therefore, I am lucky to be born in a society like this and to be exposed to the Dhamma, so I have to take this golden opportunity to learn all of the Dhamma that I can. I would like to give a special thanks to Venerable Wajirabuddhi and Venerable Deepaloka (Mr. Deeptha Jayaratne) for giving me this memorable experience. I would also like to thank Mr. Steve, and all of the parents that prepared the Dhanas and motivated their children to come to the retreat and made this retreat possible!

With Metta,
Jeewaka M.





Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Binara Full Moon Poya Program will be held on the Sunday, September 7th, 2014 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.



Please sign up for the program
Check out who is coming!!!! 

Morning Program
7:30 am – 8:30 am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
8:30 am – 8.45 am: Tea & coffee break
8.45 am – 10:00 am: Vipassana Meditation
10:00 am – 11:00 am:  Sathipattana Meditation Discussion
11.00 am – 11.30 am Buddha Pooja
11:30 am – 12:00 nn: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.
Afternoon Program
12:00 nn – 1:00pm Luncheon
1:00 – 3:00 pm Discussion (base on Abhidhamma) by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne
3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break.
3:15 pm – 5:30 pm:  Sutra Discussion: Vimansaka Sutta (English, Sinhala, Pali)
5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja.

Saturday, August 23, 2014



Georgia Buddhist Vihara’s Youth Retreat 2014
(August 29th 30th, 
31st)




Devotees and Friends of the Georgia Buddhist Vihara,

We are happy to announce the dates for the Georgia Buddhist Vihara's 4th annual youth retreat. This year's youth retreat will begin at 7pm on Friday, August 29th with a brief orientation for all participants and conclude on the afternoon of , Sunday, August 31st. This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to spend dedicated time learning about self-discipline, meditation, Buddhist teachings, and the Buddhist tradition. Young people will learn through first-hand experience the benefits of following the Buddhist path through a period of focused learning and practice.  

The retreat is open to any young person between the ages of 12 and 25 years old. If you are interested in registering for the youth retreat or learning more about the retreat, please contact the GeorgiaBuddhist Vihara at gbvihara@gmail.com or 770 987 8442.




Sunday, August 10, 2014


The Significance of Nikini Poya Day
Nikini is the eighth Full Moon Poya of the year. In ancient India, even before the time of Buddha, all Poya Days had been kept as holy. The Buddhist adopted all religious activities and observances that were there earlier and followed on Poya Days. The Nikini Full Moon Poya Day is important as far as the Buddhist Order is concerned. Buddhist Monks and lay devotees perform an act, according to certain rules and regulations laid down by Gautama Buddha the "Great Mahapurisha". The close association and the link that bind the Devotees and the Sangha, can be clearly seen on Poya Days.
After the Enlightened One preached his first sermon, DHAMMA CHAKKA PAVATTANA SUTRA the Wheel of Dhamma, to the five disciples, Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama, Assaji, in the Deer Park , Isipathana, in Banares, he advised his disciples to spread the Buddhist Doctrine and the Message of Noble Dhamma to Mankind. Nikini Poya is connected with VAS- Rainy Season - which commence from Esala Poya. During the "VAS" season, Buddhist monks are assigned themselves to be stationed in one place, under one roof during.
According to the principles and rules laid down by the Blessed One, Buddhist monks are not expected to live outdoors, under the trees, in cemetries or open - air, commencing from Esala Poya, for four months.
VAS can be divided into two segments. "PERA – VAS" and "PASU – VAS" – namely Pre – Retreat and Post - Retreat. The period beginning with VASSANA is a colourful and eventful period. The dawn of the VAS season in the month of Nikini records a religious awakening among the lay devotees and it has a tremendous impact on their moral thinking.
After delivering the "Dhamma chaka pavattana sutta", Gautama Buddha, observed the first recorded VAS – Rainy Retreat at Migadaya Deer Park Isipathanaramaya.
According to the climatic and weather conditions globally, there are four recorded seasons. The first season of the year, Autumn, when plants begin to grow, coming between Winter and Summer, is from March to May in the Northern Hemisphere. The Summer, the warmer season of the year outside topic comes between Spring and Autumn from June to August in the Northern Hemisphere. The third season of the year, coming between Summer and Winter, falls between September to November in the Northern Hemisphere. The last and the coldest season of the year, winter comes between Autumn and Spring, is from December to February in the Northern Hemisphere.
The month of Nikini comes with the South West Monsoon. If you analyze the seasonal wind in South Asia, especially in the Indian Ocean, blowing from South West from April to October and from North East from October to April, brings Rainfall.
The Thathagatha Gautama Buddha always appreciated constructive criticism. As the Buddhist Monks were earlier involved in religious activities and missionary during Rainy Season, there was a public cry against them in some quarters. The Thirthakas,followers of Jainism, protested, stating that the Buddhist Monks are not assigned to indoors during the Rainy Season and violating the age old rule. Buddha, then advised the Buddhist Monks to assign themselves to indoors. With this began the Vas season or period of Rainy Retreat.
Another important significant event that took palace on Nikini Full Moon Day was the holding of the First Sanga Council, led by Maha Kassapa, under the patronage of Ajasatta, at Rajagaha.
This important council was a landmark in history of Buddhism. Buddha in HIS eightieth year, on a Veask Full Moon Poya Day, attained Parinibbana. After the passing away of Buddha there were a large number of Bhikkus in the Sasana. There were some undesirable Monks, too, who joined the Buddhist Order, for worldly gains. With the exception of Arahats and those who achieved the state of Anagami, all others wept, cried in grief. There was one Bhikku by the name of Subaddha, a monk who joined the order in his old age. Bhikku Subaddha requested the mourners not to weep, but, be happy and rejoice, because, they are now free to do anything they want as the Master is not there. Further, this Bhikku Subhadda stated that Buddha had been an obstacle for their freedom.
It was Maha Kassapa Thera , who boldly took steps of conducting the First Sangha Council. Maha Theras such as Upali, Ananda, and Anurudda provided the fullest support to Venerable Maha Kassapa, the "Dharmabhandagarika" – (The Treasurer ofDhamma).
Ananda Maha Thero, who possessed a powerful retentive memory, played a leading part in the First Council. He attained Arahatship free from postures of sitting, standing walking or sleeping. Ananda Thero attained Arahatship at the night on the day before the First Dhamma Sangayanawa or Council. This council was held to arrest the deterioration of the Sasanaya and to discipline the Buddhist Order.
The lay devotees or Dayakas, invite the Maha Sangha to observe "Vas", which can be considered as one of the most sacred events, (it is known as "Vas Aradhana Pinkama"), which ends with Katina Puja Pinkama. The lay devotees see to the comfort of the Buddhist monks with great respect and care. The Maha Sangha in return, shower their Blessings. The sight of Dhamma, undoubtedly excels all other sights.(Sabbha Dhanam Dhamma Dhanam Jinathi). They live indoors for nearly four months.
The advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka took place during the reign of Devanampiyatissa with the establishment of, the Buddhist Order in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk with a retinue of monks, observed the first Vas- Rainy Retreat in 68 rock caves at Mihintala Missaka Pabbhata. This took place during Nikini season.
On the Nikini Full Moon Day, lets’ recall that the Buddha, who was spending the 14th Rainy season, since His Enlightenement at "Devramvehera" in Sravastipura, giving advice on Meditation to the Reverend Rahula Thero- his son in his lay life, preachedRAHULOVADA SUTTA to him and that the Reverend Thera, Rahula listening attentively attained Arahanthship at the end of the Discourse.
In the Buddhist Philosophy, transient are all conditioned things, when this, with wisdom, one discerns, then is one disgusted with ill; THIS IS THE PATH TO PURITY.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca ti-
Yada Pannaya Passati-
Atha Nibbidati Dukkhe-
Esa Masso Visuddiya- Massa Vagga (Dhammapada- 277)
When with wisdom one discerns transience of conditioned things, one wearily fromDukkha turns Treading the Path to Purity.)
In Sri Lankan Buddhist history another important event that took place on a Nikini Full Moon Poya Day was the laying of the foundation stone for Seruwila Chaitya. Nikini Perehera at Seruwila Raja Maha Viharaya was also commenced on a Nikini Poya.
The Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya annual Perahera will be held during the month of Nikini, this year 2009. This will be one of the most important cultural pageants in Sri Lanka. Courtesy of The Island News paper 8/5/2009

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