Under the patronage of Rev. Dr. Soorakkulame Premarathana, Chief Abbot of the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center, Sri Lankan Buddhist Community in Ohio ceremonially dedicated the Cleveland Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center in Akron, Ohio to Venerable Maha Sangha on Saturday, 25th June 2022, commemorating a year of successful spiritual and community service at Cleveland Buddhist Vihara.
The water ritual of bestowing the temple to Maha Sangha was performed following the ritual presentation of the deed as a Sannasa and Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe, representing the Sri Lankan community, offered the ceremonial white cloth to the Maha Sangha. Special remarks were given by Most Venerable Brahmanagama Muditha Maha Thero, Chief Prelate of North America. Hon. Daniel Horrigan, Mayor of Akron also delivered his thoughts during this remarkable occasion in the city of Akron.
Ambassador Samarasinghe, during his remarks, thanked the Maha Sangha and the Buddhist community in the State of Ohio for establishing a temple in Akron. He also underscored the importance of the peaceful coexistence of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies that is found in Ohio similar to Sri Lanka. Ambassador recalled that Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, a great American who nurtured and protected Buddhism in Sri Lanka, had lived part of his life in Ohio and that it was fitting that this new temple had been bestowed by the Sri Lankan community to the Maha Sangha.
The Cleveland Buddhist Vihara aims to serve the needs of Buddhists in northeast Ohio while promoting peaceful, moral and mindful living. In addition to Buddhist priests from several states, devotees from Ohio and adjoining states in the US and foreign nationals also attended the religious ceremony.
The Maha Sangha and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US unveiled the plaque that inscribed the respectful offering of the temple.
Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe graced the occasion as the Chief Guest of the ceremony along with Daniel Horrigan, Mayor of Akron, Rohana Ambagolla, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chathuri Perera, First Secretary of the Embassy.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
27th June 2022