What's Happening Now at the Centre?
Please click here to view pictures from Buddhist Festival of Vesak held on May 31st at the Mississauga Celebration Square. Thanks to Venerable Dr. Bhante Saranapala, the Chair of the organizing committee, all members of the organizing committee, Temple's Dayaka Sabha, volunteers, members of the Buddhist Youth Council and devotees for giving support and for working hard to make it a great success.
We are naming the event as 'Vesak: Buddha's Birthday Celebration' in order to attract non-Buddhists from the wider community and encourage them to join us in a unique ceremony which will give them an insight into a different culture and spiritual path which is peacefully co-existing within the Canadian mosaic.
The month of Vesak which falls in May is the time of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing away which has great religious significance to those who follow his teachings as members of the Buddhist community of practitioners. The Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 35 and taught for 45 years the Path referred as the Middle Way, and passed away at the age of 80 over 2558 years ago in the 6th century BC.
In order to introduce a large and vibrant Buddhist community to the general public, the three largest temples in Mississauga have undertaken to organize this event. Those temples are the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto (at Mill Creek Rd.), the Phap Van Buddhist Temple at Trader’s Blvd. and the West-End Buddhist Temple at Cawthra Rd. An additional 27 temples and societies from around the GTA, representing 13 countries and three traditions (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana), are participating (please see the attached spreadsheet for a list). If you keep an ear open, you will hear Sinhala from Sri Lanka, Mandarin from China, Vietnamese from Vietnam, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Burmese, Thai, Khmer from Cambodia and Tibetan languages as well as chants in Pali and Sanskrit. Translations of the chants will be available on the big screens above the stage.
The program includes Buddhist blessings and chants delivered by the ordained monks or Sangha, to be followed by speeches from special invitees amongst whom are several MPs, MPPs, a Senator, City Councillor and the Peel Police Chief who have confirmed their attendance. We hope for a surprise visit from our Mayor Hazel McCallion.
The closing session will incorporate Buddhist rituals, cultural songs, traditional dances and a display of martial arts by the devotees of the temples in the GTA. We expect to provide a colorful, active and fun filled afternoon along with the extensive displays and a variety of Vesak decorations to please everyone that would be there.
The organizing committee of this first Mississauga Vesak Festival is being coordinated by Michael Weldon with the cooperation and under the guidance of Venerable Dr. Bhante Saranapala who is the Chairperson of the event.
We trust you would accept our invitation and look forward to your participation early by contacting any member of the organizing committee named below. Your early confirmation of your ability to cover the event will be greatly appreciated.
Please visit Event Website
The West End Buddhist Centre Dhamma Program is the largest Dhamma Program in North America running for 18 years with the weekly attendance over 350 children and youths.
Under the ambitious and inspiring leadership of Ven. Dr. Saranapala as principal, with the support of several senior teachers and others who joined later, and with great enthusiasm and dedication, the West End Buddhist Dhamma Program continues to grow.
With the help of about 36 volunteer teachers, some of whom are West End Buddhist Dhamma Program Alumni, the school has remained dynamic and fruitful.
Now there is a Pre-Schooler Program too - please inquire.
The Dhamma School is conducted at :
Rick Hansen Secondary School
1150 Dream Crest Rd, Mississauga, ON L5V 1N7
Please contact the Temple for more information.
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What is religion?
Religion, as understood in the West,is defined in the English Oxford dictionary, as the belief in and worship of many gods (polytheism) or one God (monotheism). Buddhism is not such a belief or worship. Therefore some writers point out that Buddhism is not a religion but an atheistic philosophy. They even equate Buddhism with Marxism as a philosophy.
By Bhikkhu Dr. Saranapala
Buddhist Chaplain, University of Toronto
Nowadays people around the globe have become fascinated with meditation. They speak about the "coolness" and instant benefits of the practice of meditation. Since everybody is talking about it based upon some initial experiences, there are many expectations of its benefits. Even medical doctors are prescribing meditation as the best medication, as a remedy to all physical and psychological illnesses. Psychologists and psychotherapists recommend meditation practice to their clients as a remedy for their problems.