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Students Serve Alms to Monks on 'Pindapatha'

Students readying for the forthcoming Year 5 Scholarship Examination at the Defence Services School (DSS) at Kompannavidiya, Colombo 2 had a special religious ceremony (pinkama) Wednesday (3) morning with the participation of 50 Buddhist monks on Pindapatha (alms-begging).

Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence gracing the ceremony as Chief Guest joined children serving alms to members of the Maha Sangha on Pindapatha, a tradition that has been in practice since the times of the Buddha among a section of meditating monks in monasteries.

Monks from Yatiyana International Buddhist Centre after arrival at the Kompannavidiya Police Station were respectfully conducted in a procession (perahera) to the school premises in accordance with Buddhist practices, to be received with offer of deheth (betel) trays, symbolic of welcome to the pinkama. Student drummers, dancers and flag-bearers of the school added colour and grandeur to the procession.

White-clad DSS students in the company of teachers and their parents eagerly lined up at the school premises to witness this rare, if not the first-ever spectacle of this nature, and went on making offerings to the monks on pindapatha.

Secretary Defence Mr Rajapaksa, mingling with children and parents, attending the ceremony shared a couple of views with them before he commenced serving alms to the visiting monks.

Director DSS Major General (retd) R.K.P Ranaweera, Principal Mr W.A.P.J Wickremasinghe, Deputy Principal, members of the DSS Buddhist Association, School Development Association, teachers, parents and a large gathering of parents and guardians cooperated with the day’s arrangement.