The Story of Dhammakami Buddhist Society
Sharing by Venerable K. Rathanasara
When the Dhammakami Buddhist Society (DKBS) Centre first opened its doors on 3rd February 2018, it must have been the new kid on the block. It was the latest Dhamma centre to be set up in Geylang, a district already crowded with other Dhamma centres. But, for those in the know, DKBS was not just another Dhamma centre. It was the fruition of seeds planted more than a decade ago.
With his parents’ blessings, our Founder, Venerable K. Rathanasara was ordained a novice monk in 1984. Fourteen years later, in 1998, he received his higher ordination (upasampada) at the Malwatu Maha Viharaya in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Even as a monk, he kept up with his education, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Special) degree in Mass Communication and Master degree in Buddhism (MA) at the University of Kelaniya.
Bearing the lifelong aspiration to propagate the Dhamma internationally, Venerable K. Rathanasara took up the appointment of Resident Monk at the renowned Singapore Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple in 2001. An eloquent speaker, his public lectures, Sutta classes, religious functions and retreats consistently witnessed a growing interest among the attendees. The organized activities that he actively led thus brought hordes of Dhamma practitioners as well as those beginning their search for knowledge of Buddhism to the temple ground.
The visionary seed for a new Dhamma society sprouted when a gaping need to proactively reach out to people beyond the temple walls arise. In November 2007, the Dhammakami Buddhist Society (DKBS) was inaugurated to herald a brand-new beginning.
With the kind support of the temple management committee and the leadership of Venerable K. Rathanasara, members of DKBS continued the Dhamma work and practice with the temple while, at the same time, began their outreach with community service, educational and social programs and editorial projects and publications, and even participated in the Tapestry of Sacred Music held at the Esplanade in 2015.
After a decade of fruitful years at the temple, it was time for DKBS to fly solo. The vision now was to take the Dhamma propagation to the next level with the setting up of an independent centre.
Although we left the sanctuary of Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple, DKBS continues to build on the momentum and experience acquired in its years there. Operating as a non-profit organization out of our new premises in Geylang Lorong 29, we are now poised to further expand our Dhamma outreach activities and to be truly a vehicle that keeps the wheels of Dhamma propagation turning.
To facilitate this journey, DKBS offers ample opportunities for the study and practice of Dhamma. We not only run regular year long adult classes which include devotional practice, meditation, discourse learning, and Dhamma sharing (please check out our website dhammakammi.org /Facebook for the various classes’ details), there is also a weekend one which specially tailored for the teenagers.
Annually, we organize a local meditation retreat on the August 9th holiday, pilgrimage trip to overseas Buddhist sites, Robe Offering Ceremony as well as a Sanghika Dana luncheon for our devotees to share the immeasurable merits with their beloved departed relatives and friends during the lunar 7th month. We also run occasional social programs, book publishing projects as well as other Dhamma resources which we gladly make available for free.
Driven with the vision to be an effective vehicle to propagate the noble teachings of the Buddha, the work of DKBS is for the purpose of supporting the path – the path of transformation that the Buddha teaches.