Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, presently based in Hollins, Oldham is the premium Buddhist Vihara in Greater Manchester for the Sri Lankan expatriate community of the North West of UK. It is run by the Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Trust, a registered charity founded in 1999. Venarable Pidiville Piyatissa, with whose guidance the Vihara project was inaugurated, under the guidelines of its governing document, functions as the Chief Incumbent Priest.
The main objects of the Trust are the setting up of centres for the Teaching of Buddha Dharma (Theravada) and teaching of Buddhist Meditation.
The Vihara holds Monthly Dhamma Sermons of the Buddhas Teachings conducted by experienced teachers, Meditation retreats and classes in Buddha Damma and Sinhala for the children of the expatriate community -Ketumati Dhamma School.
In the tradition of Sri Lankan Buddhist temples back in Sri Lanka, the Ketumati Vihara also acts as the central hub for dissemination of Sri Lankan Cultural and aesthetic aspects through celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in April every year. Katina Ceremony towards end of October at the end of Vassana each year, galvanises the age old tradition of interdependence and barter between the Sanga -the monk preachers and the lay community-the recipients of the knowledge of Buddha’s teaching and meditative techniques. Offering and participation in the preparation of the Katina Chivara (robe presented to the elected recipient monk) is deemed as an act of great and non-super-passable merit. In addition to providing outreach Pastoral services to its catchment Sri Lankan population in the North West and beyond; e.g. at times of bereavement ( Pansukula), and family celebration (Birth and Marriage) the incumbent priests provide counselling for members of the local community belonging to non Buddhist denominations at times of great personal loss, upheaval, and disharmony.
Heedfulness is the path to the deathless (Nibbana), heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful do not die; the heedless are like unto the death.The Dhammapada
Meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that develop mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and insight. Core meditation techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through the millennia of teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and Nirvana.
One of the most important functions of the Vihara is to educate the young children of the Buddhist community in the region. Ketumati Vihara takes pride in conducting Sunday school for youngsters who are in the age groups between three years to twelve years. Mainly they learn basics of Buddhism and how it relates to Buddha's life in general. Also at the same time younger kids learn to read and write their mother language.