Jivitam aniyatam maranam niyatam!
(Life is uncertain death is certain)

Mrs. HM Seetha Damayanthi, younger sister of Venerable Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero, the abbot of Lankarama Buddhist Institute, La Puente, California and of Mr. H.M. Nimal (who is here in US for a brief visit) passed away today in Sri Lanka after a prolonged illness. The funeral service will be held in Sri Lanka at her hometown Balangoda, Sri Lanka on January 28, 2018

In parallel to that Lankarama Buddhist Institute is also conducting a special funeral service to transfer merits to late Mrs. Seetha Damayanthi on January 28 2018 at 5:00 PM at Lankarama Buddhist Institute. All are welcome to join this funeral service. 

A special Sangha Dana will also be held at Lankarama in connection to this on February 3, 2018 (Saturday). 

On behalf of the Lankarama Buddhist Institute, all the resident monks, devotees and friends of the temple, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to Venerable Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero and the bereaved family members. 

May she attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana! 

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu (((🙏🙏🙏)))

Lankarama Buddhist Institute
398 Giano Ave
La Puente
CA 91744
Tel: 6269140775 (Temple)

Here are some photos from the Funeral Service event at Lankarama on January 27, 2018:

Friday Cleaning Day 

Many Buddhst temples here in Los Angeles area maintain Friday as their Cleaning Day. All the abbots, resident monks and some volunteer devotees make it happen together. All the devotees when they come to the temple, are benefitted by this amazing cohesive effort and it’s a wonderful feeling to engage in temple Cleaning activity as it is said temple Cleaning helps us purifying our minds and cleansing our past negative kamma (Buddhist teaching of kamma is a very important teaching) as well. It definitely helps us pose a beautiful positive energy on Friday. 

When I visited some temples in Los Angeles area on some Fridays, I was so impressed with the monks and devotees working hand in hand to clean the Shrine Room (room where the main Buddha Statue is placed), Bodhi  Tree area, Dana Hall (dining hall where monks are offered food by the lay devotees) and all the restrooms. Everyone greets each other and has a smile in their face while doing it. 

Dear Dhamma friends, if you are close to any of these temples and have some time to dedicate for this great meritorious activity, you are encouraged to join this beautiful activity to earn merit. I also invite you all to keep one particular day or the week to clean your house together with all the family members. That will surely bring peace and happiness and good luck to the family and more and more positive energy will sustain at your home sweet home. 

I am sure the other temples, churches, mosques etc also maintain similar events to clean their holy places.

May all beings be well and happy and healthy!
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu 
Mother's Day (Second Anniversary)
Late Mrs. Chandra Ambalangoda

Mother is the sweetest word in the world.

It is exactly two years ago that she passed away after living a memorable life of 80 years. She had 7 children and worked for 38 years as a dedicated school teacher in many parts of rural Sri Lanka. She opened the eyes of many thousands of children and was known to many thousands of Buddhist monks all over the country as a staunch Buddhist upasika (lay female devotee)

I am so grateful and thankful to her for she was an amazing mother and she is the one who is responsible for most of who I am today. As anyone else for their mother, I too am in short of words to express my gratitude to the mother who gave me birth and took well care of me without any complain or without any burden. May I take this opportunity to transfer all the merits to her that I have accrued so far in my life and throughout my Samsara (circle of transmigration or circle of rebirth according to Buddhism)

May all these meritorious deeds become one united power and bless her, help her, protect her and guide towards her final Samsaric goal - the Supreme bliss of Nibbana! (final goal of all Buddhists - the liberation from samsara.) 

Salutation to the Mother (Sri Lankan Tradition)

Dasa māse ure katvā 
Posesi vuddhi kāraṇaṃ 
Āyu dīghaṃ vassa sataṃ 
Mātu pādaṃ namāmahaṃ. 

(Having cherished me in your womb of divine cradle nearly for ten months of time, you raised me up wishing me all the success. My dear mom, please let me bow down at your feet wishing you long life!)

Transferring Merits to the Departed Relatives

Idaṃ me ñātinaṃ hotu – Sukhitā hontu ñātayo.
Idaṃ me ñātinaṃ hotu – Sukhitā hontu ñātayo.
Idaṃ me ñātinaṃ hotu – Sukhitā hontu ñātayo.

(Let this merit be with our relatives, and may they be well and happy! Let this merit be with our relatives, and may they be well and happy! Let this merit be with our relatives, and may they be well and happy!) 

May all my attempts and dedications towards the Dhamma be a lamp unto you Mother!
(Late Chandra Ambalangoda : 1936-2016)
May you be well, happy, healthy and safe wherever you are!
May you attain the Supreme bliss of Nibbana!
Sadhu! Sadhu!! Sadhu!!!

I wish to share this poem that I wrote sometime back as a mark of respect to my mother. Hope this would be a little token of appreciation and salutation to all the mothers on earth. 

Your caressing ways
Your cherishing thoughts
Always kept me
High from within
Your blissful rays
From the innermost heart
Went through me
In all my veins.
You as my teacher
Uplifted spirits
As veritable promoter
Made me sprite.
You showed me the world
You showed me the path
Your love is true
Pristinely pure.
You sweetened my ears
You fulfilled my eyes
Oh! My dearest and sweetest mom
Please be mine
In many births to come!
- Ven. Nivitigala Sumitta

2018 Weekend Program at Lankarama Buddhist Institute

Uposatha Day Program
January 14, 2018
Lankarama Buddhist Institute
398 Giano Ave
La Puente - CA 91744

Commemorating the 111th Death Anniversary 

of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott

As we commemorate the 111th year remembrance of passing away of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, we could reflect on his life and contributions to revive Buddhism and cultural values in Sri Lanka.
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was born in Orange, New Jersey, United States on August 21, 1832, to a family descended from the Puritans. He was a student at Columbia University and later served as a Union officer in the U.S.Civil War. During the early period of life, he dedicated his service for the well being of his native country in promoting agriculture. He also played many leading roles in his professional life as a journalist and as a lawyer. His distinctiveness was such that Colonel Olcott was appointed to the three-person commission to investigate the assassination of the Honorable President AbrahamLincoln.
Since the 16th century Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon at that time) had been occupied by Portuguese where they introduce Catholicism to the country, this influence was continued by subsequent Dutch rulers and British rulers. By 1880 the Sinhalese had been under British colonial rule for many years, and the British had been aggressively pushing a "Christian" education system for Sinhalese children in Christian schools, while undermining Buddhist philosophy.
During the colonial era, Sri Lankans were deprived of most of their civil rights, they were instructed to have church weddings, they were baptizing and requested to swear on the Bible. Also, Buddhists were not given the privilege to holding processions (perahara), or any other religious activity.
A time when Buddhist parents were compelled to send their children to Missionary schools since there were no indigenous schools of their own. It is in this context, that the foreigners like Sir Henry Steel Olcott, Madame Blavatsky and Miss. Marie Musaeus Higgins arrived in this country, to help the few Buddhist leaders in their quest for moral and philosophical freedom. They saw the sad plight of majority Buddhists due to suppression in the hands of Christian Missionaries and ruling Colonial Masters.
After Colonel Olcott’s arrival to Sri Lanka in 1880, he took five precepts at Wijayananda Vihara located at Waliwatta in Galle in May 19th, 1880. On that day Colonel Olcott and Helena Blavatsky were formally acknowledged as Buddhists.
Henry Olcott was dismayed at the state of Buddhism and he threw himself into re-organizing Buddhism in Sri Lanka. He was able to get proclaimed all Poya days and including Wesak day a holiday. Colonel Olcott was the pioneer in designing the Buddhist flag. As a Buddhist, he also promoted the great truths of Dhamma preached by the Lord Buddha.
He was the co- founder and the first president of theTheosophical Society, which believed in universal brotherhood of humanity. The Theosophical Society initiated to build several Buddhist schools at that time, which are prestigious colleges today. Olcott wrote a” Buddhist Catechism”, which is still in use. He traveled around the country distributing pro-Buddhist, anti-Christian tracts. He agitated for Buddhist civil rights. Together with Ven. Mohottiwatte Gunananda, Anagarika Dharmapala and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, which allowed him to revive Buddhism at that time.
Major Buddhist schools he initiated notably at that time:

Government at that time used Colonel Olcott’s model to establish around 200 Madyamaha Vidyalaya’s / educational institutions in the country.
After many years of his profound service, Colonel Olcott passed away in Chennai, India on February 17, 1907.
Colonel Olcott will always be remembered for his great service to uphold Buddhism. He established Buddhist schools, provided text books to students to promote Buddhist teachings and cultural values.
Our education in such great schools with Buddhist principals, which have helped us to become productive individuals in the society at large in the world. We should always join to commemorate his work and show our respect to a great Buddhist.
Buddhists across Sri Lanka light candles in his memory every year on the anniversary of his death. Monks offer flowers to his golden statue in Colombo. Students of Sri Lanka's Buddhist Colleges compete in the annual Henry Steel Olcott Memorial Cricket Tournament and organize Sill programs too.
To show our sincere appreciation to a great American individual, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, we propose to join with BTS schools OBA’s in California to organize the following events on March 17, 2018 at the University of West. San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles. The even is also co-hosted by the UWest Pali Society and endorsed by the Sri Lanka Consulate Office in Los Angeles.
  • ·         Essay competition for ages under 10 and under 18. Topic is “Buddhist Revival through the influence of Colonel Olcott’s
  • ·         Opening a statue/ bust of the Colonel Henry Steel Olcott at USA embassy in Srilanka
  • ·         Lecture by guest speakers on his influence on Buddhist society
  • ·         Exhibition on “Buddhism in Ceylon during this Era”
Details about the Speech Contest: 

  • Topic : Colonel Olcott's Influence to the Buddhist Society in Sri Lanka
  • Time Duration: 3:00 - 5:00 minutes
  • Age Groups: 10-12, 13-14, 14+
Details about the Essay Competition:
  • Topic: Buddhist Revival through the Influence of Colonel Olcott
  • Age Groups: below 10 (half page), 10-12 (300-400 words), 13-14 (500-600 words), 14+ (750 words)
  • Structure: Good introduction, powerful presentation of content, sound conclusion
  • Neat and clear handwriting
Mode of Selection:
  • Preliminary Rounds will be conducted by the Dhamma School teachers
  • Finalists will be summoned to the University of the West for a Final Round and the winners will be rewarded with prizes and certificates.

 More articles on Colonel Olcott: