Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara & Buddhist Vihara Victora

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Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara & Buddhist Vihara Victora

Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara & Buddhist Vihara Victora

Information
Tradition/Linage Sri Lanka
Main School Theravada
People
Teacher(s) Ven. Digamadulle Wimalananda Thera
Contact Infotmation
Address 125 Homestead Road
Berwick
Victoria 3806
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (03) 9702 6275
Fax (03) 9702 6274
Website http://www.vihara.org.au/
Email committee@vihara.org.au



Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara & Buddhist Vihara Victora

Shakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara was first established in 2002. Venerable Soma Thero's notion aspiration was, that one day the Vihara should become a center for Buddhist Education, Research, Information & Culture. It was his vision that this would not just be a temple for Sri Lankan Buddhists but, be a central point for all who wished to learn more about teachings of the Lord Buddha. Today, the Vihara is equipped with an international library containing a wide range of books about Buddhist philosophy, culture and other religions. Shakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara is also affiliated with to the Buddhist University of Sri Lanka.

The Temple

In 2002, when the temple was first established, there was one building that was the monks' residence which was used for all activities such as daily worship, special festivals & the Sunday School. The Chief Sanganayake of the Amarapura Shri Dharma Rakshitha Chapter in Australia the most Venerable Royal Pandith Digamadulle Wimalananda Thero is the chief incumbent of the Shakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara. It was the chief incumbent most Venerable Wimalananda Thero's humble determination to one day bring Venerable Soma Thero's vision to reality. Today, under many financial constraints, our Most Venerable Wimalananda Thero has succeeded in achieving his dream pious aspiration with the construction of a Dharmashalawa, Stupa and many other facilities in Shakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara.

Soma Thero

Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera was born in Gangodawila, a semi-urban locality in the outskirts of the capital city of Colombo. Soma Thera was ordained as novice in 1974 when he was 26 years of age under the tutelage of two of the most revered monks in Sri Lanka – Most Reverend Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Maha Nayake Thera and Venerable Ampitiye Rahula Maha Thera. He received training at the Bhikkhu Training Centre, Maharagama – an institution established by the monks mentioned above. Having obtained his higher ordination in 1976, Soma Thera continued to study the Buddhist texts in Pali, their original language, according to Theravada tradition. He was particularly interested in doing research into the teachings of the Buddha and has written several books on the subject. He saw his mission to mould the younger generation to live according to the Dhamma. He rallied round him a youth organisation called Tharunu Saviya ("Strength of the Youth").

A keen student of meditation, he took time off to be in solitude in distant, lonely locations. His interest in meditating on the qualities of the Buddha made him work on an exhaustive study on the subject. His published work Buddhastupa is a useful guide to those interested in such meditation. Soma Thera's links with Victoria (Australia) dates back to 1986, when he was invited by some Sri Lankans to spend time preaching the Dhamma. After six months he returned to Sri Lanka. When he came back in 1989, the groundwork had been done to set up the Buddhist Vihara Victoria (Shakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara). Prior to being ordained, Venerable Soma had been engaged in business, but had worked closely with the Siri Vajiragnana Dharmayathanaya as a student leader and lay preacher. Educated at Isipathana College, Colombo, formerly Greenlands College, Venerable Soma, in lay life known as Somaratna played Rugby for the school.

Venerable Soma first visited Australia in 1986, when he came on an invitation from the Buddhist temple at Richmond, where he stayed for a period of three months. Venerable Soma realised that Mahayana practices had a strong foothold in Australia and felt that there was a need for a Vihara where Theravada practices could be followed correctly. When he returned to Australia in 1989, Venerable Soma established the first Sinhala Vihara in Melbourne. This was known as the Melbourne Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara and was situated at Regent Street in Springvale. In 1993, he moved away from the Melbourne Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara and established Buddhist Vihara Victoria at 21 Rich Street, Noble Park. Later, this Vihara was moved to Berwick and is called the Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara. It was established with the intention of becoming a Buddhist Education, Research and Information Centre for scholars of the Dhamma and to cater to all those who were interested in the study and practice of the Dhamma.

In 1996 he returned to Sri Lanka after seven years in Australia. This was intended to be a short stay to revitalise his spiritual development and to be at the side of his father who had suffered a stroke. The stay was extended as his father became more gravely ill and his presence was required to comfort his mother who was also ailing. When Venerable Soma returned to Australia for a short visit, he launched a campaign to raise funds to reconstruct several tanks in these areas so that the villagers could engage in their traditional occupation of agriculture and be assured that they would not want for food. To support and sustain the villagers, he organised the local Buddhist monks at the village Viharas to move more closely with the people and help them in various ways. On his return to Sri Lanka he was also appalled to note that alcoholism was rife in the country. He immediately began a campaign to open the eyes of the nation, especially the younger generation to the depravities of drink. He also helped in the establishment of the Sinhala School at Brunswick, which today boasts nearly 200 students.

Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera of the Vajiraramaya Maharagama died in St. Petersburg, Russia on 12 December 2003 in his 56th year. He was in Russia to accept an honorary doctorate conferred by the Russian Government. He was rushed to a hospital in St Petersburg after a heart attack. He underwent two emergency operations.

Our Daham Pasala

Today, there are over 300 children attending Shakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara language & cultural school which originated in Noble Park Victoria. The school accommodate children from Prep to level 8. Currently, the children who are in levels 9 & 10 are also included in level 8. As our cultural heritage is rooted in Buddhism, most importantly, the children are taught Sinhala language and valuable Buddhist concepts as part of our culture. To accommodate the ever increasing number of children in the school, the building has been recently extended with a large hall.

Daham Pasala is an accredited community language school with the Community Languages Schools (CLS) Program of the Victorian Government. Below is a glimpse of the various activities our students took part last year. You can also view the online version of the Katapath Pawura wall magazine which showcases the students creative talents.

We expect to use this web space in future to introduce online services related to student registration, parent/teacher logins and other academic libraries etc.

Source

Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara & Buddhist Vihara Victora