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Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara

Registered as Buddhist Vihara Victoria Incorporated (BVV Inc.)

BUDDHIST VIHARA VICTORIA INCORPORATED (SAKYAMUNI SAMBUDDHA VIHARA) is a Buddhist temple (Vihara) located in the South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The Vihara was initially established under the name of “Buddhist Vihara Victoria” in Noble Park by the late Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thero and relocated to its current premises in Berwick in 2002.

Venerable Soma Thero’s vision for the Vihara was to establish a fully facilitated religious centre that proliferated the teachings of the Lord Buddha, not only to the Buddhist devotees but to the society at large. The Vihara acts as a base to spread this universal message of love and compassion to all.

The Vihara in Berwick was re-named as “Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara” by the Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Maha Nayaka Thero, the teacher and the preceptor of Venerable Soma Thero, when the Vihara was officially dedicated to the Maha Sangha in 2002. It was subtitled as the “Buddhist Education, Research, Information and Cultural Centre” (BERIC) by the late Soma Thero, to echo the name of the Centre’s local suburb ‘BERWICK’ and represents the broader objectives and activities of the vihara as Venerable Soma Thero intended. However, since the untimely demise of Venerable Soma Thero, the current Chief Incumbent of the vihara, Venerable Digamadulle Wimalananda Thero, has continued with the mission to perfection. Venerable Wimalananda Thero is well-versed in the dhamma and the discipline and is a typical example of a virtuous Buddhist monk.

Since its inception, the Vihara has extended its services, especially to the Buddhist community, to all members of the public, irrespective of their cultural, religious, and social backgrounds. Many visitors attend the Vihara to learn, understand, and practice the correct pathway in life that the Lord Buddha preached. As per his teachings, following a life according to the Dhamma is the only way to a stress-free life filled with inner peace and true happiness.

The Vihara offers many services to the community through programs conducted on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis and are dedicated to practicing the Dhamma. All such programs are open to all and are offered free of charge.

The Chief Incumbent Thero and the resident monks of the Vihara consider it their utmost responsibility to teach, mentor, and advocate the practical pathway to meditation as the ultimate pathway to end suffering for all human beings, according to the Dhamma or teachings of Lord Buddha. They demonstrate through their own disciplined lives, the method of “training one’s mind”, on the correct perceptions of the “meaning of life” and educate the lay community to manage the daily issues and stressful circumstances according to Buddhist perspectives.

The residing monks often offer their services to the community by chanting blessings and prayers at moments of significant milestones in life and providing counseling according to individual needs. The monks are known to visit people to advise and provide religious comfort on the invitation and when required.

The Vihara guides volunteers and associated professionals to organise Dhamma programs, social activities, and various other community projects. Annual Sri Lankan cultural events are organised by the Vihara to share the Sri Lankan cultural values associated with Buddhism with the wider community.

Important annual events celebrated at the Vihara:

Vesak Celebrations

The Vihara celebrates “Vesak” on the full-moon day of the month of May each year in remembrance of the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of the Lord Buddha. This is the most celebrated and significant event in the Buddhist calendar. The event is celebrated at the Vihara through decorations with lanterns, reciting of sermons and hymns, and inspiring songs on the life of the Buddha and his teachings. The Vihara also encourages devotees to engage in meritorious acts reflecting Buddhist teachings, offering free food and donations to the needy and other similar events. The Vihara plays a prominent role in promoting and organising such events to inculcate the values amongst the society and as a means of bringing the community together.

Katina Ceremony

The term “Katina” refers to the offering of a special robe (Katina civara) prepared and offered to the Maha Sangha by devotees at the end of a ‘three-month period of retreat’ (named ‘Vas’ in Sinhalese and ‘Vassana’ in Pali), meaning the rainy season. Devotees offer food (danaya), medication, and all other necessities for the three-month rainy season, on completion of which, this ceremony is held. The tradition of the Katina Ceremony is over 2500 years of age and has been continuously and religiously observed by Buddhists all over the world to the present day.

Practicing virtuous conduct (Sil programs)

The venerable monks guide the lay devotees to practice virtuous meditation, once a month, on a Saturday closest to the full moon day of the month.

Other regular services offered by the Vihara:

  • Services of worship and daily offerings
  • Dhamma sermons
  • Sunday Dhamma School for school-aged children
  • Sunday Sinhalese Language school from Prep to Year 9
  • Meditation retreats
  • Library and meditation learning facilities for the youth and adults
  • Assistance to the public during instances of state emergency

Please contact info@vihara.org.au for more information about Vihara.

History of the temple

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Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara
125 Homestead Road
Berwick, VIC 3806
Australia

Tel: +61 3 9702 6275
Email: info@vihara.org.au

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
6:30am - 9:00pm

Sunday
6:30am - 1:00pm
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Buddhist Vihara Victoria Inc. © 2022. All Rights Reserved.