December Poya Program on Saturday, Dec, 14th

December Poya Program will be Observed on Saturday, Dec, 14th, 2019 from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. We invite you all to join the program.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
(Self Serving)
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Dhamma Desanawa
9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Break
9:45 –11:00 a.m. Bhavana 
11:00 –11:15 a.m. Buddha Pooja (Will start @ 11.00 )
11:30 –12:00 nn Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts
12:00 –1:00 p.m. Luncheon
Afternoon Program 
1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Sutra Discussion by Bhante Deepankara
(Please bring your favorite reading device)
3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Tea & coffee break
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (Cont.) 
6:00 p.m. Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja

Sign up for the program

Sign Up!

Poya Program and Two-day Retreat on November 16th & 17th

Dear friends of GBV,

We are organizing a two-day retreat for the November Poya Program (Il Poya) with Bhante Thapovanaye Sutadhara from Ventura Buddhist Society, California.  We invite all devotees to attend this two-day retreat conducted by this very knowledgable monk and reap benefits. We will also have a kids program on Sunday, November 17th in place of the dhamma school.

Please take your breakfast prior to arrival at the Vihara.  Venerable Bhanthes will have their breakfast early in order to start the program on time.  Saturday program will be conducted in Sinhalese. The Sunday program will be conducted in English. Kids Program is from 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.

Please note that there will be only Bhante Sutadhara who will be at the Vihara on Sunday as the other three monks have to leave for another event.

Schedule (Saturday, November 16th)
Time Event
8:30 am Observance of Eight Precepts and/or Five Precepts and
start of Noble Silence other than for Dhamma discussions and questions
8:45 am Dhamma sermon
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Meditation
10:45 am Buddha Pooja
11:00 am Dana offering to the Bhantes and
those who observed eight precepts and Lunch Break
12:30 pm Discussion on Benefits of Metta Meditation
1:00 pm Metta Meditation in practice
1:30 pm Sermon on mindfulness and its benefits
2:00 pm Vidharshana Meditation
3:00 pm Tea Break
3:30 pm Walking Meditation
4:00 pm Dhamma Discussion by a venerable Bhanthe
5:00 pm Observing the five precepts for those who want to and punnyanumodana


Schedule (Sunday, November, 17th)
Time Event
The schedule will be the same as Saturday until 12:30 p.m.
12:30 pm Sutra Discussion on Dependent Origination.
2:00 pm Kids Program with a discussion on kindness to oneself, family and others.
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Metta Meditation for kids
4:00 pm Discussion on Refraining from harmful actions for oneself and others and
the benefits of Seela (virtue, moral discipline) in the long run.
4:30 pm Mindfulness Meditation
5:00 pm Five precepts and Punnyanumodana (Sharing of Merits)

We are kindly asking kids to not bring any electronic devices (cell phones, video games, etc.)  to keep the distractions to a minimum.

May the Triple Gem bless you all.

Bhante Wajirabuddhi,
Ajith & Shyamalie Wijeratne (the Sponsors and Organizers of the event)

Exploring Buddhism with abbot of GA Buddhist Vihara

The Retreat - Mihini Senanayka

The Retreat
Before the retreat, I wondered, what will the retreat be like? I realized
that the retreat would be a challenge for me because I don’t wake up that
early. I was a bit nervous about writing a journal because the hardest thing
was being truthful. I’m really excited and nervous but I think this will be a
fun, good experience.
Day 1: July 29, 2019
This morning we lit the candles in the shrine room. It was really calm.
When we did the meditation and gathas, my mind couldn’t stay in one
place. I couldn’t hear what the Bhante was saying. To keep my mind in one
the place I focused on what Bhante was saying and everything settled down.
As I was listening, Bhante said, “We must work on our imperfections and
learn to fix them as soon as you see them arise.” We also observed the 10
precepts instead of the normal 5. When these 10 precepts were stated, I
realized I have broken some of them and will try not to in the future. After
the long day, we went to sleep. I thought to sleep on the ground would be a
problem. When you don’t think about it, you will fall to sleep quickly. Lights
Day 2: July 30, 2019
Today we woke up really early. We all got dressed in our clothes
and brushed our teeth. Then we drank tea. We lit the candles in the dark
and did the meditation. It was calming and helped me stay awake.
Yesterday, my mind couldn’t stay awake because I wasn’t focusing my
mind into meditation. Now I feel improved on making my mind stable
and focused. I also remembered what Loku Hamuduruwo was saying the
other days. Loku Hamuduruwo was talking about the immediate benefits of
meditation, I put my heart into it and it actually worked! Abhidhamma today
was very interesting. Deeptha Uncle said that knowing a tomato is a fruit is
a knowledge. He also said that knowing not to put a tomato in a salad is
wisdom. It was really logical to me. I also realized there is a lot to learn
about in dhamma.
Day 3: July 31, 2019
The retreat went so fast! I learned a lot and can’t wait to tell my
parents and siblings about it! We ate breakfast and did the Buddha pooja.
After that, we did a little bit of walking meditation. My feet didn’t hurt
because I do gymnastics and I do all sorts of things to my feet. After we did
the mindful working, we went to a Vietnamese temple. We met a really cute
little boy named Rylie and saw the most beautiful peacocks ever. Soon, a

The Retreat
nun greeted us in the sweetest way. We learned that the future Buddha
would be the laughing Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. What’s different is
that they recite things in Vietnamese, not Pali. All these things at the retreat
I learned was really interesting. We went to the temple and recited gathas
to our parents. I gave a special thanks to my mom and dad for encouraging
me to make my dreams come true. This year’s retreat was fun and had lots
of things for me to learn. Next year, I am totally going to the retreat.

Katina Ceremony - October 13th, 2019 (Sunday)

Dear Devotees and Friends of Georgia Buddhist Vihara,

We would like to extend a warm invitation to all of you to participate for the upcoming Katina ceremony and all the events at Georgia Buddhist Vihara as scheduled for 12th (Mahapirith followed by Dammachakkapawathwana Suthra Deshena) and 13th (Katina ceremony) of October 2019.

We encourage all of you to participate for these events with your fullest potential and gain as much as merits to all of your lives.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 - Mahapirith 
3.00 pm - 4.00 pm - Refreshments
4.00 pm - 4.30 pm - Evening Buddha Pooja
4.30 pm - 6.30 pm  - Mahapirith and Dammachakka Suthra Deshana
6.30 pm - End of the program.

Sunday, October 13, 2019 - Katina Ceremony
5.30 am - 6.00 am   - Bringing the Katina Cheewara to the temple and handing over to Mahasanga
7.00 am - 7.30 am   - Morning Buddha pooja
7.30 am - 8.15 am   - Offering Heel dana to Mahasanga
8.30 am - 9.45 am   - Dhamma Discussion
10.00 am - 10.30 am - Pindapatha pooja-Offering needy items to Mahasanga
10.45 am - 11.15 am - (Dahawal) Buddha Pooja
11.15 am - 12.00 pm -  Offering Dana to Mahasanga
12.00 pm - 1.30 pm  - Luncheon
1.45 pm onwards     - Katina Ceremony-Welcome speech
                                Offering the Katina Cheewara to Mahasanga
                                Offering Pirikara to Mahasanga
                                Vote of thanks-Pinanumodana
                                Katina Anisansa Dharma Deshana
                                Evening Buddha Pooja
                                End of the Pinkama

Please use the following link to find the information to sign up for all the Buddha Poojas and other items for both days.

We truly appreciate your generous contribution to make this meritorious event (Kusala Karma) a success.

All are welcome.

Theruwan Saranai,

With Metta,

Bhante Panamwela Wajirabuddhi
and Ranga/Ayesha Jayasinghe Family (Sponsors 2019 Katina GBV)

My Path Towards Nirvana

Day 1
Today was a very exciting day for me because I will be getting
ordained. My family and I were going to the Burmese temple for
Thaththi and I to get ordained. When we arrived at the temple, we saw
that many more people were going to be ordained as well. That made
me feel slightly more comfortable about becoming a novice monk. The
ordination ceremony was longer than what we thought it was going to
be, especially because all the novice monks had to dress up as
Burmese princes. The people shaving our heads also ended up
cutting our heads a few times. We also had to shower using a garden
hose, which felt extremely uncomfortable. After the novice ordination
ceremony was over, me (now as Bhante Paññāloka) and Thaththi
(now as Bhante Deepāloka) ate lunch as an alms round in the alms
bowls. Eating in the alms bowl was like eating in an actual bowl, and it
felt much more normal than I thought. After lunch, the higher
ordination ceremony took place, but we weren’t allowed to be there.
Before leaving, we were offered essential items and toiletries.
Afterward, we went back to the Our temple to perform evening pooja
and go to sleep.
Day 2
Bhante Deepāloka woke me up this morning at 5:50 to get up
and taught me how to put on my robes. Disappointingly, I wasn’t able
to fully understand his directions and needed someone else’s help for
me to put them on. He then told me that I needed to learn 3 sutras for
the Buddha pooja: Mangala Sutra, Ratana Sutra, and Karaniya Metta
Sutra. He told me in the meantime I could use a recitals book to read
it. Breakfast was very normal, as we served ourselves normal food in
regular plates. It turns out that we don’t need to always eat in an alms
bowl. Knowing this, I felt a bit more comfortable overall being here.
After breakfast, I expected to do some meditation, but instead the
Bhantes gave us a choice to read, study, meditate, etc. I ended up
reading multiple Dhammapada verses until lunch. After eating lunch,
I went back to reading in the shrine room until the evening pooja.

My Path Towards Nirvana

Day 3
Bhante Deepāloka woke me up again, but I didn’t actually get up
until 6:10. I was still able to get ready in time for the morning pooja.
Today’s breakfast had paratha and dal, so I ate that for all of
the breakfast. In the library, I ended up finding a book on jātaka stories
with multiple volumes. For some reason, volume 1 was missing, so I
grabbed volume 2 for me to read. The book translated all of the pāli
words into English, including all of the names. I found most of the
characters’ names very strange, like Delightful, Good speaker, etc.
Later in the day, Bhante Deepankara gave a few Dhammapada
stanzas for me to read. I wasn’t able to read them fully, but I still was
able to remember most of the stanzas he gave me. Bhante Deepāloka
came into the shrine room and saw my sleeping bag was still out, so
he taught me how to fold up my sleeping bag. I thanked him as he
went to the other side of the room and started reading on a small
chair. Today, Santhushi and her family came over to offer dana. After
offering dana, Santhushi and Damsas asked me some questions
about how it was like being a novice monk. Damsas then found a book
in the library and pointed it out to Bhante Deepāloka, saying that it
was a book he read about the life of Buddha and his teachings. After
examining it and showing it to me, Bhante Deepāloka said that it was
a good idea to use in next year’s dhamma school. After they left, I
went back to reading in the shrine room until the evening, when we did
the evening pooja, showering, and going to sleep. Strangely, I found
multiple spiders in the shower, as they built their webs there as
permanent residences.
Day 4
Again, Bhante Deepāloka woke me up and I got ready for the
morning pooja as normal. After breakfast, I started reading some
jātaka stories when I realized that I had run out of jātaka stories in
volume 2. When I went to go get the next volume, Bhante Deepankara
gave me a few more verses to memorize. He also said that I could

My Path Towards Nirvana
utilizes these verses in a dharma discussion tomorrow. Realizing that
there was a Dharma discussion tomorrow, I decided to study these
verses especially hard. I studied and read until the evening pooja, and
followed the schedule from there.

Day 5
Today is a very special day, which was very exciting for me. The
reason why is because today was the day when Thai was becoming
ordained, and the retreat kids (plus some new ones) are coming as
well. Sadly, today was also the last day that Bhante Deepāloka was
staying as a monk, During breakfast, I accidentally picked an overripe
strawberry, and Bhante Wajiribuddhi told me that just as I need to pick
the best strawberry from the worst, I need to pick the best friends from
the worst. I found it very nice that he was able to give advice with a
strawberry. Later, after lunch, Thai came over to the temple to get
ordained. The ordination technique for him was much different than at
the Burmese temple. He shaved his head without being cut and took a
shower in the bathroom. He then got dressed in the robes and started
reciting the permission to get monk-hood. When the retreat children
came, they were very intrigued to find me and Bhante Saddhāloka
(Thai) as novice monks. The uncles and aunties came upstairs and
offered us gilanpasa. After that, everyone went to the shrine room for
some of them to “retreat from sensual pleasures”. They ended up
taking the same 10 precepts that novice monks had to take instead
of the normal 8. Bhante Wajiribuddhi then pointed us to the crowd and
said, “These 2 novice monks have become ordained after attending a
retreat, so I am very excited to see how many monks will be ordained
next year.” After the pooja, Bhante Wajiribuddhi invited me to do a
dharma talk. I was anxious about giving a dharma talk, but I eventually came
to a topic on why we are here. I told all the participants that they were
here because of the fact that this was a great opportunity for them to
learn to practice dharma. I then pointed out that if they wanted to,
they could have refused the retreat, but they decided to make the
choice themselves to join the retreat. After the talk, everyone
unpacked their things and went to sleep.

My Path Towards Nirvana

Day 6-8 (Retreat)
Day 9
After the retreat ended (with Deshan staying for 4 more days),
we went along with our normal routine. After the pooja, breakfast was
slightly different. We sat at the front table (Deshan sitting on one of the
small ones) and ate in the alms bowl, like in the retreat. Though, after
breakfast, we went upstairs and started reading. A little while later,
Bhante Deepankara gave us three more verses for us to study and
remember. We studied that for the rest of the day, though we were
only able to remember 2 of them that day.
Day 10
Bhante Wajiribuddhi woke us up at around 6:30 AM, which felt
very strange to me because I was used to Bhante Deepāloka waking
me up at 6:00 AM. After we woke up and followed our normal morning
routine, Bhante Deepankara came in to check on our stanza progress.
We told him that we only got 2 stanzas complete, but that we would
have all 3 finished by today. He nodded and went out. A few hours
passed as we helped each other memorize the last stanza when I
looked out the window and saw the flowers. I noticed that some were
drooping. I decided to go outside, with Bhante Saddhāloka and
Deshan following close behind. I examined the soil and noticed it was
dry. We decided to water the plants for today because of how hot it
was. After that, we decided to start reading. While we were reading,
we noticed some cars starting to come in. We checked outside to find
that it was the construction people and some of the uncles coming to
construct the patio. Bhante Wajiribuddhi came upstairs to tell us that
we were basically on “break” for the rest of the day.
Day 11
Today, I woke up the latest, which ended up making me later
than I would’ve wanted to be. I joined the pooja slightly late but was

My Path Towards Nirvana
still able to perform most of the morning routine normally. Bhante
Deepankara came back to us to see if we memorized the stanzas. We
recited them to him (and their meanings), and he was pleased. He
then told us that we should start trying to memorize some of the
sutras. He told us the sutras to start memorizing and we started to
memorize them. We also watered the plants again today.

Day 12
Today was the day that Deshan was leaving. The other Bhantes
figured this out when he said that he was going to be having dinner
tonight. When they realized this, they told him, “Well, your last lunch
here also has to be the best one as well.” Later, in the evening, all of
the construction crew came over, along with some of the parents as
well. Bhante Saddhāloka said that he was sad to see Deshan leave,
and wanted to say goodbye. No one left until midnight, and some
didn’t leave until 1:00 the next morning.
Day 13
With Deshan being gone, Bhante Saddhāloka said that it was
quite sad seeing Deshan leave, but said that we should just focus on
the sutras given to us to study. I agreed with him as we just focused
on our studies. Today, I decided to do walking meditation as well.
While I had previously done walking meditation, I wasn’t focused fully
on it until now, when I learned some new techniques. While walking
on the sand path, it started to rain. Knowing this, I decided to bring my
meditation inside to be able to continue. When I came back to the
library, I found Bhante Wajiribuddhi carrying a box. Being curious, me
and Bhante Saddhāloka asked him what it was for. He said that he
was donating some books to another temple. He then asked us if we
could help in putting some books in the box. We happily agreed and
did that for the rest of the evening.

My Path Towards Nirvana
Day 14
After following the normal schedule, I decided to work on Metta
meditation this time. I sat and meditated for a while before getting
back up and going back to the library. This evening, I was happy to
see my older sister coming over with Shanali and Sumudhu auntie
with the intention of doing the evening pooja with us. After the evening
pooja, we were tasked with giving the pirithnulas as well with Bhante
Deepankara. I didn’t know how to tie the strings properly, so the
strings got tangled within both themselves and the opposite ends. It
was honestly quite embarrassing. I also gave a dharma talk as well.
Afterward, they offered us gilanpasa and left.
Day 15
Today, after eating breakfast, we went to the Burmese temple
with Bhante Deepankara for a dharma talk. He had to give a simple
talk because of the fact that most people there were not older than the
age of 7 years. Afterward, the senior monk of the temple had asked
Bhante Deepankara for permission to keep me and Bhante
Saddhāloka for the evening. He said yes, and that he was picking us
up around 6:00. We spent the evening there watching meditation
videos and talking to 2 laymen about the different Buddhist cultures. I
enjoyed being exposed to different kinds of Buddhist cultures that I
hadn’t had known about previously.

Day 16
Today, we were woken up early because of the fact that today
we were going to a dana for in Tennessee. After eating breakfast, we
packed up our stuff and headed out for the dana. After sleeping for a
few extra hours on the way, I started to read about a new book that

My Path Towards Nirvana
Bhante Saddhāloka got me. I was very impressed with the amount of
detail listed in it. It was about the Buddha’s entire life and how he lived
before, during, and after the quest for enlightenment. When the
Buddha pooja was over, another guest monk started giving a dharma
talk. They had also mentioned that we were here for a graduation
ceremony. Afterward, they invited me to give a dharma talk as well. I
gave a dharma talk about anger. I also had mentioned that if they ever
get frustrated with college, they need to practice and cultivate loving-
kindness and compassion as well. After the dana. , we recited some
more pirith and blessed everyone there. Afterward, we left for our
After coming back from the dana, me and Bhante Saddhāloka
had realized that we were going back to our normal lay life. I was sad
to be leaving but was excited for the next year when we would be
coming back to become monks again. The valuable lesson I learned
during monkhood was mainly discipline. I learned that with proper
discipline, your life could become much more peaceful and spiritually
successful. I want to thank Bhante Manijothi for ordaining me and the
Burmese community for supporting me through my ordination. I also
want to thank Bhante Wajiribuddhi, Bhante Deepankara, and Bhante
Piyananda for teaching and guiding me with compassion and
patience, along with my family for encouraging me to pursue the path
towards monkhood. Finally, I want to thank all the uncles, aunties, and
my friends for giving dana and encouraging me to continue my path to
the fullest extent.
With all the merits I gained, I would like to share them with my
family, friends and whoever else would like to rejoice them with the
the intention of attaining Nirvana as they wish.

Special Poya Program by Bhante Bandarawela Seelawiweka of Virginia Beach Buddhist Temple - September 14 - 15, 2019

Binara Poya Program - Saturday September 14th, 2019

The Binara Poya will be observed on Saturday the September 14th-2019 from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm at Georgia Buddhist Vihara. A special poya program is going to be held by Venerable Bhante Bandarawela Seelawiweka of Virginia Beach Buddhist Temple.

Additionally, there will be two Dhamma sermons to be held on Sunday, 15th of September at 9.00 am - 10.30 am and 1.30 pm-3.00 pm.

We are anticipating to start the program on time at 8.30 am on September 14th, so please ensure to have breakfast by your own prior to coming to the program.

Binara Poya (Full moon day) commemorates the establishment of Bhikkuni Order (Admission of Nuns to the Buddhist Order) in Gautama Buddha Shasana.On the initiative of the Maha Prajapati Gotami, after many requests by her, the Buddha allowed the woman folk to enter the order.

The enlightened one laid down eight important rules and conditions called Garudharma, or Code of Conduct, the Bhikkunis (Nuns) were instructed strictly to follow them.

Morning Program

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.    Observance of the Eight Precepts
8:45 – 10:00 a.m.  Dhamma Sermon
10:00 –10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 –10:45 a.m. Bawana (Meditation)
10:45 –11:00  a.m. Buddha Pooja
11:00 a.m. –12:30 p.m.  Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts and break

Afternoon Program

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Reciting qualities of Buddha (Buduguna sajjayana)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.   Dhamma Sermon
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.   Break
3:30 - 4.00 p.m.    Meditation (Vidarshana)
4.00 - 5.00 p.m     Dhamma Discussion
5.00- 5.30 pm       Punyanomodana

Participation Sign Up:

Dana Sign Up:

Atavisi Buddha Pooja - Vassana Season (July 16 - October 13, 2019)

Atavisi Buddha Pooja is offering obeisance to 28 past Buddhas including the present Gautama Buddha. This ancient devotional practice increases our affinity with infinite virtues of Buddhas and deepens and our commitment on the Path. Among all the venerations/worships, venerating Buddha is the greatest among all.

Aaloka Pooja - August 17th 2019, 7pm

Dear Friends in Dhamma,

We would like to extend a warm invitation to all the Devotees & friends of Georgia Buddhist Vihara to participate in the special candlelight offering (Aaloka Pooja) event on August 17th from 7 pm at Georgia Buddhist Vihara.


6.00 pm - 7 pm - Evening snack & Tea

7.30 pm - 9.00 pm - Buddha Pooja & Dhamma Deshana by Venerable Bhante Dhammaloka & Bhante Deepankara

9.00 pm - Lighting up the tea lights

9.30 pm - Dinner

Please find the following link to find more information & sign up (we truly appreciate your sign up in advance, as it facilitates arranging refreshments and organizing the event).

We hope to see you all at this great Meritorious event.

Thank you,
With Metta,

Rev. Banthe Wajirabuddhi -Georgia Buddhist Vihara
Ranga & Ayesha Jayasinghe Family (Host family- Katina 2019-Georgia Buddhist Vihara)

Nikini Poya Program- Saturday August 17th, 2019

Dear friends in Dhamma,

The Nikini Poya will be observed on Saturday the August 17th-2019 from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm at Georgia Buddhist Vihara.

Nikini Poya (Full moon day) commemorates the following significant events in Gautama Buddha Shasana.

Attainment of Arahatship by  Buddha’s chief attendant, reverend Ananda Maha Thera.
Conducting the first Dhamma Sangayana (the first Sangha Council) led by reverend Maha Kassapa Maharahathan wahanse with the sponsorship of King Ajasaththa at Saptaparni Cave in Rajagrha following three months of reverend Gauthama Buddhas passing by (Piriniwana).
Observing "Pasu Vas" or the commencement of the Vas period by those who had not started the period of rains retreat on the Esala Full Moon Day.
Giving advice on Meditation to the reverend Rahula Thero (the son of prince Siddharatha) by reverend Gauthama Buddha, preaching "Rahulovada Sutta" and attainment of Arahathship by reverend Rahula thero at the end of the discourse.

Morning Program

7:30 – 8:30 am - Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Pooja.
Heel Dana (Sponsored by Nanda/Amarasinghe family & Duleeka/Prabath Kasthuriarachchi family)

8:30 – 9:45 am - Dhamma Sermon

9:45 –10:00 am - Break

10:00 –11:00 am - Bawana (Meditation) by venerable Banthe Panamwela Wajirabuddhi

11:00 –11:15 am - Buddha Pooja (Will start at 11.00 am)

11:30 –12:00 noon - Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts (Sponsored by Ranga & Ayesha Jayasinghe family and friends)

12:00 –1:00 pm - Luncheon

Afternoon Program

1:00 – 3:45 pm - Sutra discussion by venerable Banthe Okkampitiye Deepankara

3:45 – 4:00 pm - Break

4:00 – 6:00 pm - Sutra Discussion Continued

6:00 pm - Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Pooja

We invite all the friends and Devotees of Georgia Buddhist Vihara to join the program.

Please sign up if you are planning to participate in order to facilitate the morning and dawal dana.

VBS @ GBV on Sunday, July 28th

Georgia Buddhist Vihara is conducting its debut summer learning program, Vacation Buddhist Studies (a.k.a. VBS).  VBS program is designed to have the light of Dharma for the children who stay in town during the summer vacation. Venerable Bhantes are expected to provide insights into practical aspects of kids’ life, friendship, positive relationships, guidance on putting dhamma into practice, Buddhist Ethics and precepts, techniques to use when difficulties arise, and encouragement to keep moving forward through dhamma discussions.

All Kids and parents are welcome to participate in VBS sessions conducted on following dates between 1:00pm - 5:00pm.

Program: (Afternoon)
1:00 - 1:45 - Kids Yoga.
2:00 - 2:45 - Arts for Kids by Bhanthe Piyananada.
3:00 - 3:45 - Sinhala Language.
3:45 - 4:00 - Snack Break.
4:00 - 4:15 - Vandana
4:15 - 5:00 - Dhamma Studies and discussion by Bhante Deepankara.

The VBS is completely free, open to all, please sign-up for headcount.

Vassana Special Dhamma Sermon Sessions with Asala Poya Program on July 20th, 2019

Asala Poya Program on July 20th

Asala Poya program - Saturday July 20th, 2019

The Asala Poya will be observed on Saturday the July 20th-2019 from 7.30 a.m to 6.00 p.m at Georgia Buddhist Vihara.
Asala Poya commemorates the following significant events in Gautama Buddha Shasana.
§  Conceivement of Queen Mahamaya with Gautama bodhisattva.
§  Mahabinishkramanaya-Prince Siddhartha leaving the palace to seek the enlightenment.
§  Dhamachakkakpawathwana deshanawa- Conducting the first sermon after enlightenment by the Gautama Buddha.
§  Conducting the Yama-mahapelahara at Gandamba mango tree, to control Theerthaka.
§  Birth of Prince Rahula.
§  First Dharma Sangayana at Rajagahanuwara -sapthparni cave by Rev. Mahakashyapa arahath and 500 of arahath monks, with the sponsorship of Ajasath king,.
In addition to other kusal karma, a special poya program will be held with four Dhamma sermons (Deshana) by venerable resident monks at Georgia Buddhist Vihara throughout the poya day.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Pooja.
Heel Dana (Sponsored by Kumudu and Kalinga Panditharathne family)

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Dhamma Sermon is by Venerable Panamwela Wajirabodhi Thero
Dhamma Sermon is sponsored byNuvindu Fernando (Son of Suresha and Dilhan Fernando)
9:45 –10:00 a.m.
10:00 –11:00 a.m.
Dhamma Sermon is by Venerable Moragahakande Piyanada Thero
Dhamma sermon is sponsored by- Mr. Gundasa Jayasinghe & Mrs. Indrani Perera
11:00 –11:15 a.m.
Buddha Pooja (Will start at 11.00 a.m.)
11:30 –12:00 nn
Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts (Sponsored by Lasantha and Wathsala Rathnayake family and friends)
12:00 –1:00 p.m.
Afternoon Program 
1:00 – 3:45 p.m.
Dhamma sermon is by Venerable Panamwela Wajirabuddhi Thero
Dhamma sermon is sponsored by- Drs. Ranga & Ayesha Jayasinghe
3:45 – 4:00 p.m.
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Dhamma sermon is by Venerable Okkampitiye Deepankara Thero (in English)
Dhamma sermon is sponsored by- Mr. Niroshena & Dr. Erosha Jayawardane
6:00 p.m.
Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Pooja

We invite all the friends and Devotees of Georgia Buddhist Vihara to join the program.

Rains Retreat Observance Invitation (Vas Ārādhanā), July 16th at 7pm

Rains Retreat Observance Invitation

(Vas Ārādhanā)

Watch live streaming of this event on YouTube

Dhamma Talks In English Vassana 2019

Dhamma Talks  In English Vassana 2019

  1. The intention is prior to Kamma  (7/17/19)
  2. Beautiful Mind (7/18/19)
  3. The uncontrolled mind leads to harm (7/19/19)
  4. Hatred leads to violence (7/21/2019)
  5.  "As Wind overthrows a week Tree"(Vato Rukkham'va Dubbalam) DM 7 (7/23/2019)
  6. " Spiritual Strength is undefeatable"
  7.  See real as real not Unreal (7/25/19)

Santhushi Dharmawardhana

 I cannot beat myself up for making mistakes.
By: Santhushi Dharmawardhana

So… what will the retreat be like? Will things be hard? These were my questions before the retreat. During the retreat, I realized that things will be a bit hard, but I cannot beat myself up for making mistakes. After the retreat, I was worried about how to write my journal. Now here I am, writing it. Writing the journal is not too hard. The only hard part is being truthful. Anyway, this is my 2019 Youth Summer Retreat experience.
Day 1 May 29th, 2019
Today was the first day of the retreat. I was excited and a little nervous because this was my first retreat. The day before I had a fever, so my parents were deciding whether or not I should come.  I really wanted to come, so in the end, they finally gave in. Two of my friends the same age as me also came to the retreat. We observed and learned about the 10 precepts.
The 10 precepts are:
1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.
4. I undertake the precept to refrain from wrong speech.
5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
6. I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., afternoon).
7. I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainment
8. I undertake the precept to refrain from wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.
9. I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place
10. I undertake the precept to refrain from accepting gold and silver.

When Lokku Hamuduruwo told us the 10 precepts, I was worried that I would break one of these precepts. At night I thought that I would have trouble sleeping on the ground, but it was actually not that bad. I couldn’t wait for the next day.

Day 2 May 30th, 2019

Today we woke up early in the morning and drank tea. To my surprise, I was not that sleepy and I had slept comfortably. The tea helped me stay awake for the rest of the day. After tea, we took candles in our hand that lit up in the darkness. It was a very beautiful sight to see. We went into the Shrine Room and did a group meditation. It was a very calm and peaceful morning. After the meditation, we ate breakfast and then did the Vipassana meditation in the Shrine Room. I found this meditation a bit hard, and my mind wandered off sometimes. Then, we had a break time. During this time, I rested a bit because I was not feeling very good. After the break, we had meditation instruction. We did walking meditation. In the walking meditation, we had to focus on moving our feet slowly. This meditation was not too hard for me. I was able to concentrate and balance through most of the meditation. Next, we did the Metta Meditation in the shrine room with Lokku Hamuduruwo. This was also a meditation that I found not too hard. After that, Mr. Steve taught us ways we could sit comfortably during meditations and told us stories. We also did the Metta Meditation with Mr. Steve. Lokku Hamuduruwo chose me, Thevin, and Iedishe Akka to prepare the Buddha Puja today. After the Buddha Puja, we ate lunch prepared for us by Kisa nanda. At work period we were allowed to either help in the kitchen or clean the forest area behind the temple. I chose to clean up the forest area. I pulled out the weeds near the statues. Then, I raked the leaves. I felt glad that we were doing something outside. After the work period, there was a Dhamma session. There was one for the new kids and one for the people who have done the retreat before. I was in the session with 6 other kids. We had an introduction to the Abidharma from Deeptha Uncle. We learned things like Classification of Mind, Classification of Mental Factors, Classification of Matter, The difference between knowledge and wisdom, four steps to Nibbana, Paramatta, and more. These were deep and a bit hard to understand, but after the discussion, I thought about these things and was able to understand a little better. For example, we are made from the five aggregates. Isn’t it deep? About halfway through the second break, my father came to pick me up because I was too sick to continue the day in the temple. I was told that I would be returning tomorrow.

Day 3 May 31st, 2019

I came back today. I still had to follow the 10 precepts at home. I came back at around 11:30 am. Everyone was surprised to see me because they did not know that I would be coming back today. I had missed the temple visit yesterday to a Cambodian temple. My friends told me that it was a very big, beautiful, and colorful temple. I was sorry I missed it, but I found out that we were going to have another temple visit today. We followed the same schedule as yesterday. Today in the Dhamma session, we learned more about the Classification of Mind, Classification of the Mental Factors, Classification of matter, The 12 links, the Eightfold Path, the Five Aggregates, and
Dasa Akusal.

Dasa Akusal is:

Sexual Misconduct
Rough Speaking/harsh Speaking
Frivolous talking/Gossip
Wrong and Distorted views

We visited a Vietnamese temple today. The temple was big and pretty there was a lot of nature. There were peacocks and lots of statues. A very sweet and kind Bhikkuni told us about the temple and what the statues represent. There was a very young kid named Riley. He had lots of... enthusiasm. The rest of the day went on like yesterday.

Day 4 June 1st, 2019

Today was the last day of the retreat. Surprisingly, when I was waking up, I was feeling drowsier than yesterday morning, but the drowsiness left in a few minutes. We did the morning group meditation, ate breakfast, did more meditation, had break, had a work period where I worked deeper in the forest and had a Dhamma session. In today’s Dhamma session, we reviewed everything we had learned during the retreat. In the end, Kumara Uncle took pictures of us and a group picture of everyone. After the retreat, I felt calmer.

 In my opinion, the retreat was an amazing success, and it taught me lots of new things. Taniya Nanda and Chapa Nanda helped wake us up, made food for us, and more. Kumara Uncle took our pictures and helped make the designs on our T-shirts. Devika Nanda helped organize the morning when we came to the temple. Deeptha Uncle and Mr. Steve were great teachers and a lot of help, of course, the Bhantes, and others. I thank all these people who helped organize the 2019 Youth Summer Retreat. I also thank my parent who encouraged me to participate in this event. I hope that I will have this opportunity next year. May you all be well and happy.

Poson Poya Program on June 15th

Poson Poya Program will be Observed on Saturday, Jun, 15th, 2019 from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. We invite you all to join the program.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
(Self Serving)
8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Dhamma Desanawa by Bhante Piyananda
9:45 –10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 –11:00 a.m. Bhavana by Bhante Wajirabuddhi
11:00 –11:15 a.m. Buddha Pooja (Must start @ 11.00)
11:30 –12:00 nn Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts
12:00 –1:00 p.m. Luncheon
Afternoon Program 
1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Sutra Discussion by Bhante Deepankara
(PDF Link in Pali-Sinhala, Please bring your favorite reading device)
3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Tea & coffee break
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (Cont.) 

6:00 p.m. Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja

Sign up for the program

Sign Up!

Nelitha Kulasiri

My Experience of the 2019 Youth Retreat
                                       Nelitha Kulasiri
This year was my third retreat at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. The retreat is an event where we take the 10 precepts for 3 days.  Throughout those three days we practice mindfulness, loving-kindness, learn about the Dhamma and practice various meditations. It is a very calming and spiritual experience. This retreat is different than previous retreats for a few different reasons. This year Uncle Deeptha, Venura, and Thai were all becoming Novice Monks. Thai and Venura had been ordained a couple of days ago, under the names of Bhante Saddhaloka and Bhante Pannaloka, and would remain as novice monks for two weeks. Bhante Deepaloka (Uncle Deeptha) disrobed at the beginning of the retreat. Another good thing that will happen this year is temple visits. Temple visits are where we go visit other temples in the area, for example, Cambodian or Vietnamese temples. Unfortunately, because of the increased number of people, we could not go last year. This year however we will be able to.

Day 1
Last night was the orientation of the 2019 Youth Retreat, where Looku Hamudurwo delivered the 10 precepts to us and told us how to conduct ourselves under these precepts. Today Looku Hamduruwo woke us up at around 4:30, and I had difficulty waking up that early. During the morning candlelight meditation, I found it difficult to concentrate, likely because of this tiredness. Afterwards, we did a breathing meditation, where I was still unable to focus because my mind kept wandering. After having breakfast, Looku Hamduro had us do a walking meditation, and I found this very calming and was able to concentrate. In walking meditation slowly walk around and focus on how we walk – our movements, how our heel meets the ground, etc. This meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation as we must be mindful of how we are moving. After lunch, we had an hour or so for “Mindful Work”. Similar to last year Looku Hamduruwo asked some of us to rake the leaves outside the shrine room in order to place the area look nicer. I enjoyed working together with everyone and making the temple a better place.
Since we cannot eat 3 meals, we are given a smoothie or yogurt in the afternoon. While having our smoothies, Thevin asked Uncle Deeptha an interesting question. He asked, “Let’s say you see four people tied down to a railroad track, and a train is speeding towards them. You can pull the lever and switch the train to an alternate track, however you see that one person is tied down to that track as well. Will you save the four people and kill only one person, or do nothing and let the four die?” The rest of us said to kill that one person and let four people live, however Uncle Deeptha said that we should do nothing. He said that by killing that one person, you further involve yourself in the Samsara Cycle. Those four people would die, not because of you, but because of their past karma. Although what he says may be true, I don’t think I’d be able to stand by and watch that happen.

Day 2
Today I awoke much more refreshed than yesterday, and I was able to concentrate much better during the candlelight and breathing Meditation. This morning Steve talked to us about the Loving-Kindness Suttra, and how we can apply it to our daily lives. I liked this, as it showed us that rather than being an abstract idea, loving-kindness can now be more meaningful to our lives. Later, with Venerable Deepankara, we had a very meaningful Dhamma discussion. We first talked about whether or not we should believe everything our elders tell us. We read a Suttra that the Buddha gave called the “Kalama Suttra”. In this Suttra, the Kalama people ask advice from the Buddha. They said, “There are some monks and brahmans, venerable sir, who visit Kesaputta. They expound and explain only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile and pull to pieces. Venerable sir, there is doubt, there is uncertainty in us concerning them. Which of these reverend monks and brahmans spoke the truth and which falsehood?”. To this, the Buddha explained that if what they say is evil or unwholesome, or will lead to evil and unwholesome things, then you should not follow it.
In this discussion, we also talked about abortion. Some of us said that it shouldn’t be allowed, as killing is killing. However, I believe that it should still be an option just not encouraged. Although it is true that it is wrong, just like the Buddha didn’t force his teachings onto people, we cannot make people do something that they don’t want to.
At the temple visit today we went to a Vietnamese Temple. It was very large and had peacocks walking around peacefully. This temple followed the Mahayana branch of Buddhism, contrary to our Theravada branch. The Bhikkhuni there explained to us the stories behind the statues and paintings of Bodhisattvas in their shrine room.

Day 3
Today is the final day of our stay at the temple. The beginning of the day went as all the previous days had gone. We did various meditation, which I was able to focus through, and began our work period after lunch. During the past two days we had been cleaning outside the temple and around the Mihinthalava statues, but today we began cleaning the path that we take during the Parahera. When we began, however, I found that we were not cleaning the short pathway that we take during Katina, but the long winding one that goes all the way around. This path had been blocked by a tree trunk, which we cut down. It was a lot of work, but everyone pitched in and helped. Parts of the path were almost completely covered with leaves and sticks. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish the entire path, but looking back I’m proud that we were able to make it look so much nicer. After the work session, we began our final Dhamma discussion with Bhante Deepankara. Today we discussed the Sigalovada Suttra, in which the Buddha discusses what defines good friends and bad friends and harmful things that can lead to you losing your wealth. This is a very important Suttra, although it didn’t quite resonate with me like the other Suttras did.
At the end of the retreat, we all do an Attavisi Buddha Puja (a puja to the 28 Buddhas). So after taking pictures, we prepared the Puja. It was during the Puja that we said the five precepts, and terminated our Dasasil. After finishing the Puja, Bhante Wajirabuddhi Thera asked some of us to come up and speak about our experiences, and how the Retreat could be improved. Overall I feel that this retreat has been very calming and educational, and I would recommend it to any young Buddhist. May you be well and happy.

Omandee Karunanayake life really that complicated?

In reality, not really. It just seems that way because of the involvement you have with other people. If you just ate, drank, and slept without worrying about anything but yourself, it would be so much easier. But in most cases that isn’t the situation. You have to go to school, learn, get a job, get married, have kids, earn money. If you think about it, it's actually very true. By going to the 2019 summer retreat, I found out that there isn’t that much to it. By spending time away from the hustle and bustle of my daily life I could spend time looking into myself and my imperfections. I think the retreat helped me learn not only independence but loving kindness towards each other. It was a life changing event for me and I hope you join next retreat as well!

Day 1
Today, this morning, we lit candles in the shrine room. It gave the room a very still but calm and serene feeling like an elephant in the room but less tense. While doing the meditation and Gathas, my mind couldn’t stay in one place much less hear what the Bhante was saying. Then after a while, my mind calmed down a bit so that I wasn’t thinking about everything in the world at a time. I started thinking, Is this what dreaming feels like?  And I realized that I got off track and I was like I did it again!  and I started beating myself up. Then I said okay that happens it's fine. After I got myself together, I listened. Bhante said that we must work on our imperfections and learn to fix them as soon as you see them arise. I learned that little things like waving and smiling can bring out the kindness in you. Later, after the Buddha Puja and the Abhidhamma class,  we visited the Cambodian temple. I thought it was nice and pretty. A kind monk greeted us to learn about their cultures. What surprised me the most was that the story of the Buddha was the same. I mean being in a secluded population of Buddhists, it shocked me that someone besides the people at the GBV knew this story. Anyways, I think this day at the retreat went well!

Day 2
Today I just could not stay awake this morning. As much as I tried my eyes just couldn't keep open. The other day, Loku Hamuduruwo was talking about the immediate benefits of meditation.  Honestly, I didn’t believe it then, but I tried it and it actually worked!! It was like magic! As soon as I put my heart into what I was meditating I was more aware of my surroundings which made me feel less drowsy.
During Abhidhamma, I was so lost in the knowledge that I was gaining that it was hard to processes. It was kind of like forgetting everything that you know about life and starting all over. That is how vast it was. But at the same time very logical. Somehow we got into the discussion “ What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?” And Deeptha Uncle said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing that you shouldn’t put a tomato into a fruit salad.” Very deep, but so logical. I think I learned a lot about Dammah today. And I hope I’ll get better sleep so that I don’t fall asleep when I could be learning something!

Day 3
I can’t believe that it is the last day of the retreat! I woke up with little difficulty, although my back ached a little from sleeping on cement for the last couple days. After breakfast and the Buddha puja, we did the walking meditation for a little bit. First, the soles of my feet were hurting because of the small pebbles on the ground. But after a while, my feet got used to it and the pain withered away when I took my mind off of it and concentrated on walking. Then it reminded me of the time on the first day where Steve was talking about positions to sit in when meditating. He said if the positions are still uncomfortable to meditate on the pain. It just goes to show you that mindfulness can come in handy for a lot of things and situations. Not just at the temple. Later after the mindful working, we visited a Vietnamese temple. There were beautiful peacocks and a 4-year-old named Rylie. He had the strangest haircut but it looked really cool. Soon after, the sweetest nun came to greet us. We learned about the laughing Buddha who is the future Buddha. We also learned about bodhisattvas. I noticed it was much more feminine than our culture. They also pray in Vietnamese not Pali, which I thought was very interesting. When we got back we did the veneration to our parents. I have to thank my mother and father for pushing me to try harder and harder to achieve my goals. I couldn’t have done the retreat without them. I also want to thank Chapa Auntie, Tanya Auntie, Deeptha Uncle Bhante Wajira Buddhi, Bhante Deepankara, Devika Auntie, Suresha Auntie, Ms. Nyugen and Steve for making this retreat possible. Taking Dasa Sil, waking up at 5:00 AM, and sitting in one place for what felt like hours may have been a struggle but it definitely taught me discipline and loving kindness. I hope I can participate in the retreat next year as well!

With love,
Omandee Karunanayake

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