Written by Staff Writer
12 Apr, 2015 | 8:31 pm
The late Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter of the Siam Sect Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero, who rendered a tremendous service to the Sasana for over seven decades and etched his mark in the history of Sri Lanka, was laid to rest on Sunday.
The funeral of the late Chief Prelate took place at the Police grounds in Kandy on Sunday evening, under full state honors.
The public were given an opportunity to pay their last respects to the late mortal remains of the late Chief Prelate until 12 noon on Sunday.
The procession carrying the mortal remains of the late Chief Prelate left the Asgiri Maha Viharaya to the Police Grounds at 1 on Sunday afternoon.
The Diyawadane Nilame of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic Pradeep Nilanga Dela and the Basnayake Nilames of the four Main Devalayas travelling in front of the procession.
While crowds in their numbers accompanied the procession carrying the mortal remains of the late chief prelate, floral tributes flowed down on the procession from the air.
The procession reached the Asgiri Police Grounds at 02.30 on Sunday afternoon and the final rites on to the mortal remains of the late chief prelate began.
The late Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter of the Siam Sect Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero is one who had received honour locally and internationally.
The late chief prelate was 85 years old when he breathed his last at a hospital in Singapore on Wednesday morning.
Born on March 17, 1930 in Udugama, Dambadeniya in Kurunegala he ordained as Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero 15 years later and commenced a monumental service to the Sasana.
Udugama Sri Baddharakkitha Thero who was elevated to the Working Committee of the Asgiri Maha Vihara in 1966 , first took up duties to perform the Theva activities of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in 1968.
In 1998, he was elevated to the position of Maha Nayake of the Asgiri Chapter of the Siam Sect.
After the passing of the then Chief Prelate Most Venerable Palipala Sri Chandananda Thero, Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero was made the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter of the Siam Sect on the 31st of December 1999.
Anunayake of Malwathu Chapter of the Siam Sect Venerable Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera expressed the following views:
“… The life that the most venerable led as a Buddhist monk can be commended in many ways. Since the very moment he obtain the Upasampadawa at the Asgiri Maha Viharaya , he was fortunate to do all the work with greater commitment….”
President Maithripala Sirisena said:
“… As the Government of Sri Lanka and the people of this country we are extremely saddened at this moment. The service the most venerable rendered towards the Sasana and the society is immeasurable. He not only blessed the country but also blessed the whole world. The character of the late Chief Prelate sets a fine example to the new generation of Buddhist monks…”
Thereafter, the late Chief Prelate was laid to rest amidst the tears of hundreds of thousands of people present at the funeral.
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