Navy assists Nagadeepa Vihara Katina Pinkama

The Katina Pinkama of the Nagadeepa Purana Raja Maha Viharaya was held on a grand scale with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy. The annual religious event, where customary robes are offered to the resident Buddhist monks on completion of their rainy retreat, was conducted under the patronage of the Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake on 09th and 10th October 2014. The Katina Cheevaraya was taken into the temple in a perehara made colourful by the cultural dance performances of the naval personnel. It was followed by morning and mid-day Dhana offered to the Mahasangha.

A large number of residents and pilgrims also attended the religious ceremony conducted on the guidance of the Chief Incumbent of the Nagadeepa Purana Raja Maha Viharaya Venerable Nawadagala Padumakitti Tissa Nayake Thera. Heads of Departments in the Northern Naval Command and Commanding Officers of the naval bases in the Northern Naval Area were also present at the meritorious event conducted annually by the Navy as continuation of its assistance to the Nagadeepa temple.

The Nagadeepa Purana Raja Maha Viharaya (Nagadeepa Ancient Royal Buddhist Temple) located on Nagadeepa Island draws large crowds from all corners of the country due to its historical and cultural importance. The temple is today fully functional under the patronage of the Sri Lanka Navy for the benefit of devotees.

History has it that Lord Buddha in his fifth year of Supreme Enlightenmente visited Nagadeepa to settle a dispute over a gem-studded throne between two Naga kings named Chulodara and Mahodara. Having filled with “sharda” (devotion) after hearing the Buddhist sermon espousing “Metta” (loving kindness) and “Karuna” (compassion), they had offered the throne to Lord Buddha. A “chaitya” (pagoda) named “Nagadeepa Seya” had subsequently been erected there enshrining the throne. Hence, Nagadeepa is regarded as one of the most revered sixteen places of Buddhist worship in the island.