Cattle Saving Program
To cultivate Buddhist virtues of non-violence and compassion towards all beings, a cattle saving programme was started and it has been continued well with the support of many local and international philanthropists. Bodhiraja Buddhist Society is the main donor for this programme. More than 8500 cattle have been rescued so far giving their lives back to these innocent animals
The cattle destined to be killed at slaughterhouse are bought and then are given freely for those who love and raise animals. The foundation has made some rules preventing reselling cattle to slaughterhouse. A system is arranged to monitor the protection of the animals. The new owners are getting milk and assistance for their agricultural activities from these cattle. This project influences others to be grateful to animals and to spread compassion towards needy animals.
A cattle sanctuary started to make a home for helpless cattle that disabled, old, injured or having any other difficulty of living. This is a part of cattle saving project is the first of its kind not only in Sri Lanka but also in the world. When a suitable new owner cannot be found or cattle are too weak, these animals are given shelter in this sanctuary. It is located at Koulara nearby famous water tank Udawalawa. These cows are fed by full-time workers and attended by the local veterinary doctor. This project promotes compassion towards innocent and helpless beings.
The foundation runs four pre-schools providing well-planned primary education. The number of kids is over 600 and those centers have been popular pre-schools of the area. Bodhiraja International Pre-school, Bodhiraja Pushparama Kindergarten, Hagala Child Development Center and Bodhiraja Kindergarten are already well-established and are leading the kids for a good future.
Bodhiraja Children’s Home
Based on the belief that each and every one has social responsibility, Bodhiraja Foundation expanded its service to under-privileged children by starting a Children’s home. More than 30 children are provided care, love and protection. These children come from different backgrounds such orphans or victims of broken families and likewise. They are protected with warmth care of Bodhiraja Family including members of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society, Singapore.
Health Care Projects
It is well-known fact that human and material resources are limited to rural and suburban areas in Sri Lanka. Bodhiraja Health Care projects are designed to prevent this disparity. Health camps are held to raise awareness on general health issues. Likewise, medical care and specialists’ consultation are provided in these camps. Similarly training local volunteers in eye donating services, providing temperance programmes such as meditation and counseling to overcome one’s own issues and help in others to do so, are also conducted in parallel to above services.
Community Water Projects
The foundation launched the community water supply project in 1995 with aim of providing clean drinking water to the public in rural areas. This project was possible due to financial and material support received from different organization including Bodhiraja Buddhist Society, Singapore and physical labour given by the community. More than 800 families are benefited by this project. Difficulties villagers faced to fetch water were relieved and living condition of the villagers were improved.
International Meditation Center
In order to provide a conducive place for those want to meditate and spend a spiritual time, Bodhiraja Buddhist Society, Singapore helped to build an International Meditation Center. This centre is situated 1200 feet above sea level in the forest reserve at Rakwana which is surrounded by cool mountains and lush greenery. It is built with utmost care to preserve and blend in with the natural beauty of the area. The meditation centre caters to both beginners and serious practitioners. Guided meditation retreats for group are conducted under experienced meditation teachers. The main meditation hall can accommodate 60 people comfortably but living quarters are limited to about 30.
Bhikkhu Training Center
One important mission of Ven. Sobhita Thero is to strengthen the Buddhist Sangha by creating a strong new generation of monks with skill, knowledge, discipline and updated knowledge and vision on the present global changes and challengers.
With the help of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society, Singapore, this Bhikkhu Training Center provides monastic training and education to more than 70 residential monks up to GCE A/L. The curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka is taught and some of the major subject areas are languages, Culture, Science, Mathematics, History and Geography etc. The priority is given to Buddhist doctrine and Buddhist source languages like Pali, Sinhala, and Sanskrit.
The training of monks is geared towards to do social works as well. A ‘Dhamma carica’ is organized once a month and student monks with their teachers travel to villages and engage in religious services and counseling activities.
Bodhiraja International College
Bodhiraja Buddhist Society, Singapore supported to establish an international collage for village kids in Embilipitiya in 2002. This school, known as Sri Bodhiraja International College, has become the pioneer in providing quality education through English medium in the area. This college is in fact one of Ven. Sobhita’s prime dreams that came to reality. When he started this college, he had a dream “that students can be on equal footing with their urban cousins and one day they can stand up proudly and be recognized as citizens of the world.” (as recorded in his own words in the Tenth Anniversary Book of the Bodhiraja International College, p. 6 ). This college started with 50 students and now it has grown to accommodate 800 students with quality education. Students in this college have shown their colours in fields of academic, sport and extra-curricular activities.
In the philosophy of education of this college, the importance of English as an international tongue is recognized, but equal emphasis is placed on instilling moral values and the preservation of the Sinhalese Buddhist Tradition. This college uses English only as a tool to be used but not as an ornament to be mesmerized or enslaved by it.
Seema Malakaya (Chapter House)
Seema Malakaya is the most central building in Bodhiraja monastery in Sri Lanka where all ecclesiastical affairs are performed. The project of constructing this specially consecrated building started in 1992. With the relentless support from the members of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society in Singapore, building of Seema Malakaya was completed in 1994. This house, which has two stories, is now used mainly for special meetings of higher ordained monks and ordination ceremonies. The upper floor of this building is used as the shrine for the relic casket. Many statues of the Buddha and other valuable souvenirs collected from various countries are also exhibited in this house.
Stupa (pagoda )
The lotus shaped Stupa is the main attraction of Bodhiraja Monastery in Embilipitiya due its unique structure. This Stupa consists of an underground meditation hall and a veranda for circumambulation and communal worship. This is an architectural marvel, which made it the only stupa of its kind in Sri Lanka. This project was started in 1994 and was completed within two years thanks to sponsorship of the members of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society in Singapore. This Stupa is now used for daily worship services and meditation.
Restoration of the Ancient Buddha Statue
This statue was first found in 16 broken pieces buried in an abandoned a pit in a village which is 6 miles away from Embilipitiya. Bhante Sobhita with the help of villagers unearthed these pieces and decided to restore them to the original shape. This project which was started in 2002 with the guidance of archaeologists was completed within a year due to the support of members of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society in Singapore. Today, this statue which dates back to 5th century AD, stands with its original majesty bearing the gesture of fearlessness/ peace (Abhaya Mudra) in the premises of Bodhiraja monastery in Embilipitiya.
A new circular wall was build enshrining the ancient and holy Bodhi tree in Embilipitiya in 2010. This holy Bodhi tree is older than Bodhiraja monastery. It was in the vicinity of this great Bodhi tree, initial Buddhist temple was built in 1959. The name, “Bodhiraja” (‘King of Bodhi tree’) is derived from this holy Bodhi tree. Hence Bhante Sobhita started his social, educational and religious service, With the name “Bodhiraja” in respect to this Bodhi tree.
This new “Prakaraya” (circular wall) not only protects the holy Bodhi tree but also serves as a place where devotees can pay homage, make offerings and circumambulate the Bodhi tree. Many people in the area have a great faith in the miraculous power of this Bodhi tree and they come to seek blessings and to make their wish under this holy tree. Members of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society in Singapore sponsored the building of this new “prakaraya.”