The 2017 Katina ceremony at Sambodhi Temple in Berlin
By Lalith Ganhewa in Berlin
Oct 19, 2017

The “Katina” ceremony of the Sambodhi Temple in Berlin was held in the presence of a large gathering at the SOS Kinderdorf hall in Berlin on the 14th of October, under the guidance of the Venerable Rambukwelle Devanada Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Sambodhi Temple in Berlin, who is concurrently the Chief Incumbent at Doranegoda Sumanthindarama Rajamaha Temple in Gampaha, Sri Lanka.

The meritorious task of preparation and presentation of the “Katina” robe and organising the associated functions, was undertaken and led by Mr. Wherner Frischbier and Mrs Karuna Frischbier.

Addressing in Sinhala and German, the Venerable Devananda Thera welcomed the gathering which comprised of Buddhist clergy, the Sri Lanka High commissioner and his staff, and representatives from the Sinhala, German, Thai, Viet-Nam, Italian, Croatian and Arab communities in Berlin. The ceremony commenced with the Chief Incumbent of the Berlin Temple, Venerable Dikwelle Silasumana Thera conducting religious services.

Mr. Karunasena Hettiarachhi, the Sri Lanka Ambassador to Germany, Dr. Rainer Novak, the President of the Berlin German Buddhist Society, Dr. Mrs. Mariana Wachs, the President of the Co-ordinating organization BUBB (Berlin Brandenberg Buddhist organizations), led other German and Sri Lankan devotees in lighting the traditional oil lamp according to tradition.

The “Katina” oration was delivered by Reverend Dr. Walpola Shri Kalyanatissa Thera. In conducting the sermon in English, he said that today we live in a materialistic society and very little time is devoted for spiritual wellbeing. He said rather than chasing material wealth, or trying to find out who is right or wrong, we should strive to lead by example of a righteous life. He said those who embraced patience and detachment would find the liberation they seek and by leading a contented life, would achieve peace of mind.

The New Sri Lankan Ambassador to Germany Karunasena Hettiarachchi speaking on the occasion said that this was his first “Katina” ceremony he had attended as the Ambassador, and while in such ceremonies, all proceedings are traditionally conducted by the clergy, he considered it an honour and privilege to be called upon to address the gathering today, which he did as the representative of the Sri Lanka Government. He noted with appreciation the valuable service rendered by Reverend Dammananda Thera in spreading the message of Buddha in Germany, and wished him more strength in his efforts.

Among the clergy who graced this occasion were, the Chief Sanganayaka for Germany and Honourable Advisor to the Geneva International Buddhist Foundation Dr. Walpola Shri Kalyanatissa Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Berlin Buddhist Temple Venerable Dikwelle Silasumana Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Geneva international Buddhist Foundation Reverend Haalyale Wimalaratne Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Matale Maragasapitiya Sudattharama temple Reverend Athipallawela Nandsara Thera, incumbent priest from Bulathsinhala Mahagama temple, the Reverend Panditha Mahagama Suwinitha Thera, the Chief incumbent of Dalewitz Dhammakaya Thai Buddhist Temple the Reverend Prha Nareen Thera and Reverensd Prha Maha Bounjon Thera.

The Minister of Health in Sri Lanka, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Mrs. Senaratne, who were on a official visit to Germany, made an unannounced and a surprise visit to the “Katina” ceremony held in Berlin, joining many other Sri Lankans, Germans, Thais and devotees from other nationalities who were also attending the ceremony.

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