Activities

Dhamma Abhidhamma Examination (English medium)

Dhamma Examinations The  introduced in 1920 with 374 candidates from 27 schools by Sir DB Jayatilake was a project very close to his heart. He hoped that the children who studied and prepared to sit for the examinations would naturally follow the path of the Enlghtened One. It also helped to introduce uniformity and systematize the teaching of Buddhism in Dhamma Schools, which were registered in to the YMBA for the purpose students of the Dhamma Schools sitting the Dhamma Examinations.Introduction of holding Dhamma Examinations in English medium in November 1948 is another remarkable milestone in the conduct of Dhamma examinations by the association.For the first time 356 candidates entered for the examination which conducted in eleven centres including one in Singapore.In 1971 the Colombo  YMBA was compelled to discontinue conduct of the Dhamma Examinations due to a decision by the Government' The Government grant of Rs' 50,000/- per year authorized by Mr. SWRD Bandaran...

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Dhamma Abhidhamma Examination (Sinhala medium)

Dhamma Examinations The  introduced in 1920 with 374 candidates from 27 schools by Sir DB Jayatilake was a project very close to his heart. He hoped that the children who studied and prepared to sit for the examinations would naturally follow the path of the Enlghtened One. It also helped to introduce uniformity and systematize the teaching of Buddhism in Dhamma Schools, which were registered in to the YMBA for the purpose students of the Dhamma Schools sitting the Dhamma Examinations.Introduction of holding Dhamma Examinations in English medium in November 1948 is another remarkable milestone in the conduct of Dhamma examinations by the association.For the first time 356 candidates entered for the examination which conducted in eleven centres including one in Singapore.In 1971 the Colombo  YMBA was compelled to discontinue conduct of the Dhamma Examinations due to a decision by the Government' The Government grant of Rs' 50,000/- per year authorized by Mr. SWRD Bandaran...

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"Light of Asia" Annual Competition

“LIGHT OF ASIA” CONTESTCultural and Literary activities have been part and parcel of the programmes of the Colombo YMBA from its inception. In 1925, under the leadership of His Excellency Herbert Stanley, the Governor of Ceylon, the Late Mr. DNW de Silva, inaugurated “the Light of Asia” contest in order to develop oratory skills in English and inculcate Buddhist ethics and values among the younger generation of the country. This contest which requires the recital of verses from Sir Edwin Arnold’s Classic “Light of Asia” and explanation in English in their own words, had been continuously held with a brief interruption during the war. The contest has attracted many talented students, and after it was thrown open again to the non-Buddhists a decade ago, it was a matter of great satisfaction that students of the other religions too have participated. It was even more encouraging to note that many students from outstations also compete including pupils from Sinhala and Englis...

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Annual Gadya Padya Competition (Sinhala medium)

 In order to study and inculcate Buddhist-ethics and values contained in Ancient Sinhala Classical Literature, the Colombo YMBA inaugurated the Annual Gadya and Padya competition in 1998. The contest confined to Colombo District was further expanded to the whole island in the year 2000.In the same year the contest was decentralized and held District wise and  in  District capitals. The Prize Giving of this island wide competition was held in Colombo.In 2006 the Competition which was limited to recitation of extracts from Sinhala Classical Literature was improved adding compositions of poems and essays. An Essay Competition for Dhamma School Teachers also was added in the same year.        1.  Sinhala Classical Literature for RecitationProse -          Poojaawaliya, Buthsarana, Amavatura, Saddharmaratnawaliya, Daladasiritha, Kuveni Asna, Sakaskata and Jathakapotha Poetry -  ...

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Inter School Annual Drama Competition based on Jataka Stories

DRAMA ACTIVITIES OF THE COLOMBO YMBATo promote the cultural activities, the Association has produced several Dramas and staged them for the public in the first half of the last century. “Valagambahu’ in 1918, “Return of the Red Dragon“ in 1949 “The Lord of the Three Worlds”  in 1953 were a few outstanding productions staged by  the YMBA. Apart from producing and staging dramas the drama activities of the Association were further expanded to organize and conduct annual drama competition to a wider circle, giving an opportunity to the younger generation to develop their talents.    ANNUAL INTER SCHOOL DRAMA CONTESTThe Annual Interschool Drama Contest was    inaugurated in 1981, by   the Branch Secretary Mr. Sidath Sri Nandalochana, assisted by other members M/s. MW Gunaratne, RN Chandratileke, Donald Jayaratne and Herath Dias.  The first contest was also meant to commemorate the Vesak Festival of 1981.The themes of Dramas were...

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Awarding of Scholarships to Children of Economically backward Families

AWARD OF SCHOLARSHIPS  Promotion of Dhamma Education is one of the major activities of the YMBA, from its very inception' There is no doubt that it promotes propagation of Buddha Dhamma and further encourages those who are interested to go deeper into the doctrine of the Buddha, ultimately gets accustomed to follow the noble path leading to Nirvana'“To advance the moral, cultural, physical and social welfare of Buddhists” is the fourth objective of the YMBA enshrined in  its constitution'Whilst engaged  in promoting Dhamma Education the Association took  the initiative' to help the students of economically backward Buddhist families for their higher education in the early twentieth century.Given below is an extract from   the records of The Buddhist, how Abeyratne Scholarship was awarded to a needy student from North Central Province in 1921 and further extended the scholarships to others in 1932 and 1938'        ...

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Sil Programme on Every Full moon Poya day

SIL PROGRAMME ON FULL MOON POYA DAY Among the religious activities Poya day Sil programme with Dhamma sermons by reputed monks was a regular feature. Religious discussions, Meditation and Mal- Pahan-Pooja were held regularly. On Full moon Poya days hundreds of devotees observed Ata Sil which exceeded 1000 on Vesak Full Moon Poya days. On other Poya days over 300 devotees observed Sil. ...

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Publication of ‘The Buddhist’ Quarterly Journal of YMBA

‘The Buddhist’ the present quarterly publication of the Colombo YMBA, originated by the Colombo Theosophical society in 1888, as the English supplement of this weekly publication ‘Sarasavisanderasa’ could be called one of the oldest Buddhist journals in the world which has become richer in content and variety and wider in circulation  during the past 125 years' From a supplement first published it become more independent when the Colombo YMBA took over its publication in 1898' In its chequered history some years in the early 20th century it was not published and revived by Mr. WA de Silva and Sir DB Jayathilaka since ‘The Buddhist’ was the voice of the Buddhist against powerful Christian propaganda, that threatened the national awaking against Colonial dominations' To project its long history given below are two extracts published in its Golden Jubilee and centenary publications in 1898 and 1998 respectively' “The Buddhist”      &...

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Dharma Deshana and Meditation Programme on Every Sunday Morning

SUNDAY DHAMMA SERMONS & MEDITATION PROGRAMME At the beginning of the YMBA there were no specific days for Bana preaching and sermons were held in the evening of weekdays. During the period 1920 -1921 when late Mr. S C Weerasinghe was the Secretary of Religious Activities, Bana preaching was shifted from weekdays to Sunday mornings whichshoweda phenomenal increase of attendance of devotees, members and non-members. A series of sermons was arranged for the whole month well in advance so that devotees could plan to attend the sermons....

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English Panel Discussion on Buddhism on every third Sunday

ENGLISH DHAMMA DISCUSSION Mr. Ranapala Bodinagoda Vice President was responsible for initiating a program of Dhamma discussions in English on the third Sunday of every month at the Head Office of the YMBA. Mr. Rajah Kuruppu Vice President as the moderator conducted these discussions with three panelists well versed in Dhamma....

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Publication of text books for Dhamma Abhidhamma Examinations in English and Sinhala mediums

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Classes for Pali, Dhamma and Abhidhamma Studies in English

PALI, DHAMMA AND ABHIDHAMMA CLASSESTeaching of Dhamma, Abhidhamma and Pali, and conducting meditation classes are regular religious activities of the Association. Abhidhamma classes organized were well attended in early decades of the Association, even though the study of the higher metaphysics of Buddhism is no easy task.In the recent past Mr. P Mahanama a member of the Dhamma Examination Committee, deeply versed in Abhidhamma and a competent teacher conducted Abhidhamma classes in English very successfully. Mr. M C de Silva took over this responsibility due to ill health of Mr. Mahanama and continued these weekly classes. Due to the absence of sufficient numbers attending classes, the Dhamma Examination Branch (DEB) was again reluctantly compelled to stop holding the weekly classes  In 2011 the Board of Management on the advice of the DEB resumed to conduct Dhamma and Abhidhamma classes in English again under the guidance of Mr. Mahanama. Classes are now held every Saturday from...

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Workshop for Dhamma School Teachers

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Sir Baron Jayatilaka Memorial Library

No records are available as to the beginning of the YMBA Library. As soon as the YMBA was formed, a small library served the English reading public of Colombo, when the YMBA Head Quarters were at Maradana Walauwa (later Pavilion Hotel). In 1916 it was enriched by addition of the Simon Hewavitharana Library which was reputed to be the largest and the best collection of books in English on Buddhist literature in the Island. Unfortunately, in December 1922, all the YMBA records and a portion of the Library were destroyed by fire. Some years later the Library and the Reading Room was organized by Mr. W.F. Abeykoon, had once again lapsed into disorder. In the hands of Mr. S.R. Wijetilaka in 1940 the Reading Room was transformed by addition of several new magazines and periodicals, while the Lending Library was re-organized and received a steady flow of new additions. The appreciation of the improvement made was marked by an increase in the Library membership. Further, gifts of books we...

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Annual Conference of Affiliated YMBAs

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Release of cattle meant for slaughter(Commemorating Poson Poya day)

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Gamini Matha Home for Elders

GAMINI MATHA HOME FOR ELDERSGamini Matha Home for Elders at No 117, Sir James Peiris Mawatha , Colombo 2 was established by the late Mrs. H.M.Gunasekera and  the organization in charge of it requested the assistance of the  Colombo YMBA to run it. In 1970 the YMBA took over the administration of the Home, which now gives shelter to 50 elderly males. HOW TO GET ADMISSION TO THE HOMEApplications obtained from the Home must be duly filled and sent to the manageress along with certificates from the Grama Niladari for proof of residence, and from a medical officer confirming that the elder is free of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. After a brief interview by the Management Committee of the Home, elders are admitted if found suitable. A guardian/relation must accompany the elder for admission.     BASIC FACILITIES PROVIDED  All basic facilities such as food, clothes, accommodation and medicine are provided free of charge to all inmates. &nbs...

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Lakshmi Children’s Development Centre (Lakshmi Home) Walana, Katunayake

LAKSHMI CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENT CENTRE WALANA KATUNAYAKE[FORMER-LAKSHMI CHILDREN’S HOME- WALANA, KATUNAYAKE]Late Sir Ernest de Silva, the President of the Colombo YMBA from 1944 to 1955, was a well known philanthropist who used his enormous wealth in the service of his fellow men. He built temples, schools for Buddhist children.Lakshmi Home for Boys at Walana, Katunayake, started and funded by Lady Evadne de Silva, the wife of Sir Ernest de Silva, through the Lakshmi Niwasa Buddhist Society, was handed over to Colombo YMBA after the death of Sir Ernest. Lakshmi Home standing solidly in a two acre block of land at Walana, Katunayake, has all the facilities for accommodation of 40 children. The Temple and the School located in the adjoining lands donated by Sir Ernest, makes the Lakshmi Niwasa an ideal environment for destitute children to grow up under the care of the YMBA with spiritual and academic development.The children brought up in Buddhist atmosphere are provided with board and...

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Vocational Training Centre Divulapitiya

“An idle Mind is the Devil’s Workshop”The above adage was one of the main reasons for social unrest in Sri Lanka around 1971.As the YMBA ‘s contribution towards proper employment of the youth in Sri Lanka, The Vocational Training Institute was set- up at Rajagiriya in 1974.The trainees were taught electrical engineering (AC/DC), Motor Mechanism, Carpentry, Metal fitting, Lathe Operation and Plumbing. Forty trainees in deserving circumstances were given free board and lodging by the Association. After their formal training, they were also given on- the job training and awarded certificates. Qualified trainees could also sit for the examinations conducted by the National Apprenticeship Board. The property at Rajagiriya was state owned. Hence, the property and project were handed over to the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka in 2006 The VTA has located their Colombo District Head Office in the premises and is conducting variety of training courses In the Institute..&...

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Pilgrims Rest Kataragama providing Accommodation

Kataragama Pilgrims’ Rest is a brain child of the Late Sir Cyril de Zoysa the Fourth President of the Colombo YMBA. In the absence of accommodation for pilgrims visiting Kataragama to pay homage to God Kataragama and worship the shrine at Kirivehera, Sir Cyril thought of providing a clean and comfortable place in close proximity to the Devale, at affordable reasonable charges especially for the ordinary pilgrims. In response to his request to the Government, Devale authorities, allocated and leased one acre of land for 30 years at a very nominal lease rent. In 1971 on his invitation Hon. Duddley Senanayake , laid the foundation stone and a two storied building was completed in 1973 at a cost of Rs. 400,000/- from the Association Funds. Construction of Buildings for the YMBA being one of his favourite and dedicated services, Sir Cyril De Zoysa himself personally supervised the construction of the Pilgrims Rest until its completion.The Pilgrims Rest is centrally located close to the De...

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Assistance to dhamma schools in UK, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Middle East

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Commemoration Day of Sir Baron Jayatilaka (Founder President of the YMBA)

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Conduct of Buddhist leadership Courses for Dhamma School Children

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