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When I was working in the Media Unit of Sarvodaya, which is Sri Lanka's largest grassroot movement, I was asked to cover the 80th birthday celebr… Read More
When I was working in the Media Unit of Sarvodaya, which is Sri Lanka's largest grassroot movement, I was asked to cover the 80th birthday celebrations of Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne. Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne is a famous figure in Sri Lanka, founder of the largest non-governmental organization of the country, he was nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received dozens of international awards including the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Niwano Peace Prize. Read Less
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Birthday celebrations under buddhist traditions
November 2010 (Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
Glimmering lights scintillated all around Sarvodaya Headquarters' rotunda for the celebrations of Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne's 80th birthday.
Dr. A.T Ariyaratne is the leader one of the biggest grass-root peacemaking movement in the world, he has received multiple International awards and was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Monks in the pavillion held a prayer vigil for one whole night.
Sarvodaya honored its founder with a spiritual "pirit" ceremony within the buddhist tradition.
Drummers signalled the commencement of the prayers. A special pavillion was built for the purpose.
The thread passes through the hands of the reciting monks and is next held by the person on whose behalf the chanting is being done.
The ceremony was concluded the following morning with the recital, once again, of important buddhist discourses.
Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne is seen here offering food to the bhikkhus.
Offering food is usually regarded as the most important act of generosity in the almsgiving ritual.
The prayers were followed by a ceremonial of almsgiving. As chanting continued, Dr. A.T Ariyaratne, his wife and closest friends served tea to the Monks.