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Indiana Buddhist temple is located in Fort Wayne, northern Indiana. It is the place where all Sri Lankan Buddhist people in Indiana gather for special events like Sinhala New Year, Wesak…etc.  Though it takes a 3 and half hr drive from Bloomington, IN to the temple, Buddhist people here in Bloomington pay regular visits to the temple for special events and alms givings.  Actually it is the only Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in Indiana state.

There are two monks, Ven Thalangama Devananda and Ven Neluwe Seelawimala devoted to the temple, serving their best to Indiana Buddhist people. There was a Kathina ceremony, which is an annual event,  in last October (2010)  following the traditions of  Buddhism. So it was the second time me and my husband visited the Indiana temple. Last time we visited there for a personal alms giving. Anyway it was so eventful this time because of the Kathina ceremony.

The very first event was a “Pindapatha ceremony” (alms round), which is one of the fading Buddhist traditions in Sri Lanka these days. In ancient days, monks used to walk in a line carrying alms bowls to get meals from laypeople. That’s how the monks got their breakfast. This method has been followed by the Sri Lankan Buddhist monks till the 1950s. So this event was a good opportunity to experience it, though we served dry food and goods instead of meals.

Next event was an unveiling of a “Bosath” statue in the temple premises. It was a really nice event with all the Pirith chantings and some other chantings by Vietnam bhikkunis.

Then there was the alms giving. After the lunch all got dressed for the Kathina perahara(Procession). The tradition is to have this event before the sun rise but here it has been adjusted in a way that comfortable with everyone. Normally people carry the Kathina cloth in the procession for the religious devotions of laypeople, and arrive at the temple before the sun rise. Then they set the cloth up in a frame called Kathina and make the kathina civara(robe)  by sewing and coloring. This robe is offered to Maha Sangha (normally to the eldest monk who spent the rainy season according to the traditions) by the laypeople. However we can’t do all those thing here in USA. So they take a ready made robe and carry it in the procession as Kathina civara. It is considered that this ceremony is the religious event from which we can get the most merits for the life, or afterlife.

We should be really thankful to the two monks who continue these valuable religious events , for trying their best to serve the Buddhist people in Indiana and Buddhism itself. Indiana Buddhist Temple is open for anyone regardless of their religion or nationality. They can participate for the meditation classes too. It was nice to see that many Americans participating the Kathina ceremony.

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