Today is Poson Pasalosvaka Poya
Mihintale and the Mission of Arhant Mahinda
Arhant Mahinda holds an exalted place in the history of Buddhism in
Sri Lanka. His arrival in this country during the reign of King
Devanampiyatissa is very significant as this event changed the entire
social, national, religious and cultural attitudes of the people of this
country and paved way to all their future achievements.
Prior to the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka, the people of
this country worshipped nature spirits, popularly called Yakkas, who
dwelled in rivers, lakes, mountains or trees. During those early times
the worshipping of Sacred Trees or groves was very common and even
heavenly bodies received the adoration of the people and they influenced
their every day life.
Apart from the traditional accounts regarding the introduction of
Buddhism to Sri Lanka there are two instances of inscriptional evidence
to confirm the historicity of this most significant event in the annals
of this island's history.
A first century inscription at Mihintale refers to the images of
Mahinda Thera and three of his companions.
The second is a Brahmi Rock inscription at an ancient site in the
Batticoloa district which indicates the location of the Stupa of Itthiya
and Mahinda Theras who came to Sri Lanka.
It was at the end of the Third Buddhist Council held at Pataliputta
during the reign of King Asoka under the chairmanship of
Moggaliputtatissa that it was decided to send out Buddhist missionaries
to various places to propagate Buddhism and as special importance was
attached to the mission sent to Sri Lanka, Mahinda, the adored son of
King Asoka, was detailed to lead this mission.
Mahinda Thera arrived in Lanka during the reign of King
Devanampiyatissa in the third century B.C. accompanied by six others,
Itthiya, Uttiya, Bhaddasala, Sambala, Sumana and Bhanduka. He met
Devanampiyatissa at hallowed Mihintale when the King had gone on a
Tradition has that on his journey to Sri Lanka, Mahinda Thera stayed
for a short while at Sanchi and together with his companions, rose in
the air and were miraculously transported and alighted on the pleasant
Mahinda Thera had introduced himself to the King saying: "Samanas are
we, O great King, disciples of the King of Truth. From compassion
towards thee are we come hither from Jambudeepa." Then the Thera is said
to have addressed a series of puzzling questions to the King in order to
ascertain his intelligence.
At the end of the questioning being satisfied that the King possessed
enough intelligence to grasp the finer points of the Buddha Dhamma,
Arhant Mahinda had finally preached and forty thousand lay people
including the King took refuge in the Tisarana.
Later the Mahameghavana, a beautiful park with shady groves, lotus
strewn ponds and flowering trees were gifted to Mahinda Thera and his
disciples thus symbolising the establishment of Buddhism under Royal
Two major events other than the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka
that took place due to the efforts of Mahinda Thera are the
establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasana and the planting of the Sacred
Bo-Tree in Sri Lanka.
The tenets of Buddhism had impregnated the lives of the people of
this country to such a great extent that King Devanampiyatissa wanted
Queen Anula to be taken into the Order. When King Devanampiyatissa made
this request Mahinda Thera had said:
"It is not allowed to us, O great King, to bestow ordination on
women. But in Pataliputta there lives a nun, my younger sister, known by
the name of Sanghamitta. She who is ripe in experience shall come hither
bringing with her the southern branch of the Great Bodhi Tree of the
King of Samanas. To this end send a message to the King, my father."
Finally Arittha was sent to the Court of King Asoka requesting him to
send Sanghamitta Theri to Sri Lanka along with the southern branch of
the Bodhi Tree.
Subsequently King Asoka sent Sanghamitta Theri as requested and she
took Queen Anula into the Bhikkuni order and brought the Sacred Bo-Tree
which still stands as the oldest historical tree in the world.
Having come to Sri Lanka both Mahinda Thera and Sanghamitta Theri
dedicated the rest of their lives to the cause of Buddhism and the
welfare of the nation. The people of this country must ever be grateful
to these two religious leaders for their ready and affectionate
benevolence and service.
As the Poson Moon rises over Mihintale echoes of the Glorious past
resound again and again and the cries of Sadhu of white-clad devotees
wending up Mihintale's Rock hewn steps mingle with the jungle breeze
blowing from all sides amidst the dreaming ruins of ancient Dagobas,
tanks and lakes limpid with silent beauty.
By his visit Mahinda Thera made Mihintale one of the most hallowed
spots in Sri Lanka, and on Poson Poya Day it is quite appropriate for us
to think about Mihintale too.
Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka has a long history
with poignant memories.
It was from this hallowed spot that Buddhism spread its cool canopy
of branches throughout the country and it was as a result of this
universal message from Mihintale that a new impetus was given to art and
architecture as a result of which gigantic artistic creations like
magnificent white-domed Dagobas and other religious edifices came into
As a result of Mahinda Thera's mission Buddhism was firmly
established in Sri Lanka and Mihintale became one of the most venerated
places in the country. Soon Sacred Anuradhapura became a celebrated
centre of Buddhism and in its expansive area arose mighty Dagobas,
monasteries and other seats of learning whose stupendous ruins tell
Anuradhapura's tale of greatness to this very day.
One of the rock Viharas made by King Devanampiyatissa was the 32-cell
rock hewn cave at Mihintale which has triumphantly lived throughout the
vicissitudes of many centuries of degeneration.
For 48 years Arhant Mahinda lived in this picturesque Mihintale Hill
with fierce reptiles and other wilds creatures as his companions and
right along his sojourn here he spread the unique message of the Buddha
to all corners of this country. Very soon the monasteries of Mihintale
overflowed with pious and learned monks and royalty bestowed princely
gifts to these monks who lived in great hardship.
However, primarily due to foreign invasions and internal conflicts by
about the 10th century Mihintale saw its degeneration.
When King Parakramabahu visited Mihintale in the 12th century, the
Sacred Hill was covered with thick forest while the Dagobas themselves
were in unrecognisable ruins.
Today and on every Poson Poya Day previous to this weary pilgrims
wend their way to hallowed Mihintale, where exactly the fate of the
nation was carved. The sight of white-clad pilgrims winding their way to
the hill is most unforgettable. In fact, Mihintale with its silvern
setting is the most suited place for serious meditation or to stand and
stare at the ancient ruins which inspire the thoughts of any individual.
Anyone who visits Mihintale will be fascinated by the glorious ruins,
specially the rock caves - the former abodes of Arhants. Many have
marvelled at these monumental ruins of Mihintale. Many have gazed at
them in utter wonder and many writers have written about Mihintale's
glory and pious pilgrims down the ages have paid their obeisance.
King Asoka's Dhamma Conquest
In 270 BC, the grandson of Chandragupta, Asoka, ascended the Mauryan
throne. Initially a ruthless imperialist he seems - like Marcus Aurelius
- to have spent his later life in soul-searching and pondering the
after-life. The 3rd century BC Empire of Asoka included a vast area of
the Greeks' eastern empire established a century earlier.
In an action that anticipated Constantine's religious revolution five
hundred years later, Asoka adopted Buddhism as a unifying and pacifying
ideology for his vast empire and propagated its doctrines with all the
usual zeal of a new convert.
Judging by his still extant edicts, inscribed on rocks and stone
pillars to be found everywhere from Afghanistan to south India, Asoka
sought further 'conquest' beyond his frontiers by dispatching Buddhist
emissaries in all directions - "Conquest by Dhamma". Carved in stone is
Asoka's urging of Forgiveness:
"The killing, death or deportation of a hundredth, or even a
thousandth part of those who died during the conquest of Kalinga now
pains Beloved-of-the-Gods. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods thinks that even
those who do wrong should be forgiven where forgiveness is possible."
In order to propagate the Buddhist faith, Asoka sent emissaries to
the Hellenistic kings as far as the Mediterranean, and to the peoples
throughout India, claiming they were all converted to the Dharma as a
result. He names the Greek rulers of the time, inheritors of the
conquest of Alexander the Great, from Bactria to as far as Greece and
North Africa, displaying an amazingly clear grasp of the political
situation at the time.
"Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to
be the best conquest. And it (conquest by Dhamma) has been won here, on
the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king
Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy,
Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the
Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni." Rock Edict -13.
The distance of 600 yojanas (a yojanas being about 7 miles),
corresponds to the distance between the center of India and Greece
(roughly 4,000 miles).
The map shows a few of the countries King Asoka's emissaries have
visited with the Dhamma message.
Tarim Basin : North of the Plateau of Tibet and at the much lower
level of about 3,000 feet lies the Tarim Basin. It is hemmed in by great
mountain ranges: the Tien Shan ("Celestial Mountains")on the north, the
Pamirs on the west, and the Kunlun Mountains on the south. Kashgar, the
largest city of the Tarim Basin, is an ancient centre for the
manufacture of handicrafts such as textiles, rugs, and tanned leather.
Bactria : This is an ancient country in Central Asia; one of the
Hellenistic States founded by the successors of Alexander the Great. It
was situated between the Hindu Kush Mountains and the Oxus River (now
Amu Darya) in what is now part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and
Tajikistan. Its capital was Bactra, present-day Wazirabad (formerly
Balkh), in north Afghanistan.
Before the Greek conquest, Bactria was an eastern province of the
Persian Empire. Antioch : The city of Antioch-on-the-Orontes (modern
Antakya) is located in what is now Turkey. It was founded near the end
of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, who made it the capital of
his empire in Syria. The ancient city of Antioch was much larger than
its modern counterpart.
Strategically located at the crossroads of important caravan routes,
it soon became a center of commerce and a city of magnificent
architecture rivaled only by Rome and Alexandria.
Alexandria : Alexander the Great founded the city in 332 BC after the
start of his Persian campaign; it was to be the capital of his new
Egyptian dominion and a naval base that would control the Mediterranean.
Indeed, Alexandria became, within a century of its founding, the
greatest city in the world and a centre of Greek scholarship and
Such scholars as Euclid, Archimedes, Plotinus the philosopher, and
Ptolemy and Eratosthenes the geographers studied at the Mouseion, the
great research institute founded by the Ptolemies.
Athens : The history of Athens is the longest of any city in Europe:
Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 3,000 years. In the
first millennium BC it became the leading city of Ancient Greece, and
for a time ruled its own Athenian Empire. Conflict with other Greek
cities results in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) and the defeat of
Athens at the end of the fifth century. Subsequent decades see the rise
of Macedonian power, beginning with Philip II, and culminating with the
conquests (and death in 323) of Alexander the Great.
Asoka's Dhamma propagation also expanded to the south of the Indian
subcontinent: * The Cholas and Pandyas were south Indian peoples living
outside Asoka's empire. * Tamraparni is the ancient name for Sri Lanka *
Swarnabhumi or Burma.
It is not clear in western records whether these emissaries were
actually received, or had any influence on the western world. Some
scholars however point to the presence of Buddhist communities in the
Hellenistic world from that time.
There are records from Alexandria that indicate the arrival of a
steady stream of Buddhist monks and philosophers. They would surely have
contributed to the philosophical speculations and syncretism for which
the city was noted. Buddhist gravestones from the Ptolemaic period have
also been found in Alexandria, decorated with depictions of the Wheel of
In particular, it seems the original Therapeutae were sent by Asoka
on an embassy to Pharaoh Ptolemy II in 250 BC. The word 'Therapeutae' is
itself of Buddhist origin, being a Hellenization of the Pali 'Thera-putta'
(literally 'son of the elder.')
Philo Judaeus, a 1st century AD contemporary of Josephus, described
the Therapeutae in his tract 'De Vita Contemplativa'. It appears they
were a religious brotherhood without precedent in the Jewish world.
Reclusive ascetics, devoted to poverty, celibacy, good deeds and
compassion, they were just like Buddhist monks in fact.
From the Therapeutae it is quite possible a Buddhist influence spread
to both the Essenes (a similar monkish order in Palestine) and to the
Gnostics - adepts of philosophical speculations.
There is mention of a teacher called Ammonius Sakka teaching in
Alexandria in the 1st century AD. This philosopher-teacher who believed
in reincarnation, has been called a Neo-Platonist. He was the teacher of
Plotinus - and Church Father Origen.
The interaction between Hellenistic Greece and Buddhism started when
Alexander the Great conquered Asia Minor and Central Asia, going as far
as the Indus, thus establishing direct contact with India, the
birthplace of Buddhism.
Alexander founded several cities in his new territories in the areas
of the Oxus and Bactria, and Greek settlements further extended to the
Khyber Pass, Gandhara and the Punjab. These regions correspond to a
unique geographical passageway between the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush
mountains, through which most of the interaction between India and
Central Asia took place, generating intense cultural exchange and trade.
Following Alexander's death on June 10, 323 BC, his Diadochi
(generals) founded their own kingdoms in Asia Minor and Central Asia.
General Seleucus set up the Seleucid Kingdom, which extended as far as
Later, the Eastern part of the Seleucid Kingdom broke away to form
the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (3rd-2nd century BC), followed by the
Indo-Greek Kingdom (2nd-1st century BC), and later still by the Kushan
Empire (1st-3rd century CE). The interaction of Greek and Buddhist
cultures operated over several centuries until it ended in the 5th
century CE with the invasions of the White Huns, and later the expansion
Vesak celebrations at Berlin Vihara
The Vesak celebrations, annually held in the historic Berlin Vihara
to honour the three important events in the life of the Enlightened one,
the Buddha, was organized in a respectful manner.
On May 21, 2005 a series of religious programmes comprising Dana,
Sila and Bhavana were organized at the Berlin Vihara for the benefit of
Sri Lankans, now resident in Germany. Large groups of people not only
from Berlin, but living in distant places such as Humburg, Munich, and
Wupertal took part in these activities.
The religious programmes were conducted by the Chief resident monk of
the Berlin Vihara, Ven. Rathmale Punnaratana Thera with the assistance
of Ven. Palbandiyave Jinaratana Thera, Deputy Pirivenadipathy of the
Jayamaga Pirivena (Hingurakgoda), Ven. Unagalave Uparatana Thera of the
Yakkala Bogamuwa Samadhi Dharmayathanaya and Ven. Mahadamane Assaji
Thera all of whom had arrived in Germany to participate especially in
the Vesak Programme of the Berlin Vihara.
On the following day, 100 devotees had joined in the Sila (observance
of vows), and Bhavana (meditation) programme arranged for the benefit of
Ven. Rathmale Punnaratana and the English monk Ven. Medhayo of the
Berlin Vihara, Ven. Obadagalle Rahula from Hanover, Ven. Sanghasena
currently the President of the Indian Mahabodhi Society and President of
the International Meditation Centre at Ladakh City in India, the German
Samaneri Agganyani and Harold Wolf, offered their assistance in
conducting the activities, which were specially arranged for the German
On the same day, the main event of the celebrations, the public
meeting planned for the occasion, was held in the library hall of the
Berlin Vihara. Ven. Punnaratana chaired the meeting and Jayantha
Palipana, the Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Germany, was the Chief Guest.
Tissa Weeraratna, the Vice-President of the German Dharmaduta Society
and Trustee managing of the Vihara delivered the welcome address.
Jayantha Palipana, Ambassador, speaking next described the role and
manifold activities the Berlin Vihara has undertaken in spreading the
message of the Buddha in Europe.
Ven. Thich Tin Song, a highly respected Zen teacher, delivered the
keynote speech. His stimulating lecture, based on the theme, 'Buddhism
for Daily Living' earned high commendation from the gathering.
Ven. Sanghasena Thera, the President of the Indian Maha Bodhi Society
and President of the International Buddhist Centre in Ladakh, India
spoke on "The spread of Buddhism in the present-day Indian society and
the Social Services connected with Buddhism".
The German Samaneri, Agganyani, Secretary - General of the German
Buddhist Union (DBU) and Dr. Rainer Noack, the President of
Buddhistische Gasellschaft Berlin, speaking briefly, extended their
greetings and best wishes to the assembled gathering.
A special feature of the celebrations this year, was a colourful
procession incorporating Buddhist symbols and cultural motifs. It was
conducted within and in the vicinity of the Berlin Vihara. Headed by
fifteen Buddhist monks and nuns, and followed by Sri Lankan children
living in Germany dancing with winnowing fans, clay pots and display of
stick dances, with bearers of banners and 'sesath' the procession wended
its way along Edelhofdamm and Zerendorfer Weg and returned to the Vihara
A Bhakthi song recital and a free food stall (Dansala) were also in
progress in the Vihara garden. The Vihara premises were decorated and
lit up with Vesak lanterns and other colourful paper items (Vesak
Sarasili) promoting feelings of religious piety.
It was observed that about 500 people comprising German, Sri Lankan
and other nationalities interested in the Buddhist doctrine and
practice, participated in the Vesak programme conducted at the Berlin
Unite and restore past glory
This month of June is the Sinhala month of Poson. In every month, the
people particularly the Sinhala Buddhists pay special attention to the
Full Moon - Pasalosvaka Poya Day.
This day witnessed a gigantic water festival in the capital of
Anuradhagrama (now Anuradhapura) in the Kingdom of Anuradhapura where
the King and his Ministers, Viceroys, Princes, Nobles and other
distinguished people participated.
Everyone of them armed with bows and arrows shooting birds and beats
for pleasure and for the plate.
The key word was enjoyment. Everyone enjoyed to their hearts content.
Peoples faith and devotion towards the sublime teaching of Sakyamuni
Buddha has a long history in this land. Even before the Sakyamuni Buddha
visited this fair land, the Buddha Dhamma is quite well-known to the
The Buddha during His three visits consecrated sixteen places He
spent on meditation. To date they continue as Sacred Centres of benign
Mahiyanganam - Mahiyanganaya
Nagadipam - Nagadeepa
Kalyanam - Kelaniya
Padalancanam - Sri Pada
Divaguham - Divaguhava
Dighavapi - Dighavapi
Cetiyanca Mutiyanganam - Mutiyangana Cetiya
Tissa Mahaviharanca - Tissamaharama Dagaba
Bodhinn - Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Maricavattiyam - Mirisavetiya
Suvarnamali Maha Ceti - Suvarnamali Maha Cetiya
Tuparama - Thuparamaya
Bhayagirim - Abhayagiri Dagaba
Jetavanam - Jetavanarama Dagaba
Sela Caitiyam - Sela Cetiya
Thathakacaragamakam - Kataragama Kirivehera
All these Sacred Centres of worship of the people particularly the
Buddhist across the world are becoming popular worldwide every year. Sri
Lanka's postal services, posts and philatelic Bureau of other countries,
Travel Trade Industry have given Sri Lankas centres of Buddhist worship
magnificent coverage throughout the world.
People came to the planes of Anuradhapura where the King was enjoying
the Water Festival. The whole area was pleasant and salubrious. With a
cool climate, and sound of music that refreshes the minds and thoughts
of the listener was the same place Arhat Mahinda Maha Thera chose to
alight from his historic visit to our fair country.
Arhant Mahinda Maha Thera's visit to Lanka is no isolated one.
Historical records of both countries - India and Sri Lanka provide
ample testimony to the fact that both countries, the Emperors and
Monarchs, the Royalty and Rulers, the Bhikkhu Sangha and Bhikkuni Sangha,
scholars and students enjoyed close and cordial relations between the
two lands and peoples - in all fields national, cultural, religious and
Emperor Asoka and King Devanampiyatissa were two closet friendly
rulers in the region. Both of them shared views on many matters. They
consulted each other before embarking on national and international
issues and that signalled for many centuries long tension-free region in
this part of the world.
As a part of such regular discussion, Emperor Asoka sent a message to
King Devanampiyatissa to invite his son Arhant Mahinda Maha Thera to
Lanka. King Devanampiyatissa despatched his relative prince Arittha
Emperor Asoka's palace. Prince Arittha went on one promise that he
should be allowed to enter the order of Bhikkhu Sangha on his return and
the monarch agreed.
This with the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Maha Thera one would witness
miracles taking place individually and miraculous events happening among
groups exclusively by the disciplined way of life they lead along the
path of the Teaching of the Buddha Sakyamuni. Arhat Mahinda Maha Thera's
alighting on the Eastern planes of Anuradhapura is one fine example.
The exact place where Arhant Mahinda Maha Thera met King
Devanampiyatissa was a colossal landsman.
Along with national events of Poson Water Festivals what is needed is
to restore once again the spirit of Buddha Dhamma be restored once
again. This historic task must be performed soon. Sooner, the better.
Let us all dedicate ourselves on this Poson Pasalosvaka Poya Day - June
21 to begin the Sasana Sevaya, on the following thought upper most in
"The Temple, for centuries, was not only the centre from which from
which radiated the spirit of religious devotion, but was also the force
which invigorated the people and held them together."
Commenting on the Buddhist spirit that should be restored the Most
Venerable Pahamune Sri Sumangala Maha Nayaka Thera of the Malwatta
Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya, Malwatta Viharaya, Mahanuwara in his
foreword to the "Revolt in the Temple", states:
"Out of the darkness of unreasoning life, along ago came a strange
being, differing from all who had gone before; in whose eyes had dawned
the question: "Why?"
"That word was the birth of consciousness, of creativeness, and
spiritual responsiveness; the symbol of understanding and progress. The
being that could ask that question was not to be the butt of blind
physical forces. He was to take in shaping his own destiny.
"Yet we, his descendants, thousand of centuries later, waste our
lives in accumulating mere wealth and throwaway our wealthy accumulated
fortunes and even our lives in vain struggle and empty welfare.
Is it not time that we echo the cry of our ancestor of those far off
days, and ask: "Why?"
Is it not time for us to embark on a new quest, not for perishable
wealth or for material domination, but rather for added knowledge and
for broadening of the foundation on which civilisation rests?
"Buddhism is historically the Most Important Religion, and has
influenced the life and thought of more than half the human race. It was
the most tremendous religious movement that the world ever saw, the most
gigantic spiritual wave ever to burst upon human society. There is no
civilisation on which its effect has not been felt in some way or
another. it has profoundly influenced the thinking portion of the human
race for two thousand five hundred years."
The Revolt in he Temple" was printed and published and released in
the 2500th Sambuddha Jayanti Year in May 1956. (That is 2555 years ago).
This country witnessed many miracles with the visit of Arhant Mahinda
Maha Thera. The Arhant Mahinda Maha Thera came fully prepared to
establish the Order of the Bhikkhu Sangha. He alighted on the selected
salubrious place in the sprawling landmass of vast plains lying ten
miles towards the North-East of Anuradhapura. So much so a new township
emerged in the land of planes. The Sacred Township is called
Mihindu-Talava = Mihintalva located in the Missaka Mountain range.
In the similar manner of her brother Arhat Mahinda Maha Thera came in
complete readiness to transform this land towards the precept and
practice of the teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha. Arhat Sanghamitta Maha
Theri too came fully prepared for her historic performance. From
Jambudeepa she accompanied eleven Bhikkunis to establish the Order of
the Bhikkuni Sangha.
Arhant Sanghamitta Maha Theri's specially built ship reached the
Jambukola Pattinam (part in the north), the Dambakola Patuna.
The sea-shore was crowded to capacity from people who had reached the
place from early hours of the day from many parts of the land.
King Devanampiyatissa waded knee-deep and brought the gold vessel
bringing the Sacred Bodhi Sapling on his head and placed on the special
From Dambakola to Anurahdapura, Poojas were held processions were
organised by the people in every town and village.
The Brahmin village of Tivakka organised a special offering. Almost
all Brahmins attending to pay homage to the Bodhi Sapling.
A review of Lanka's history makes not only the people, particulary
the Buddhists not only being sons and daughter of the soil but even
those who had the privilege of associating those sons and daughters as
fortunate elements. One more matter which all countrymen can be proud of
is that the world's first museum was opened in Anuradhapura after the
arrival of Arhat Sanghamitta Maha Theri. The contents of the world's
first museum are:
1. The mast of the ship that brought the Sacred Sapling of the
Southern Branch of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi;
2. The Rudder of the ship that brought the Sacred Sapling;
3. The helm of the ship that brought the Sacred Objects.
In this small country of twenty five thousand square mile (25,000)
territory,though geographically small, we enjoy pardonable pride in
being the first country in the world to commit the sublime teaching of
the Sakyamuni Buddha into writing in Pali language in Sinhala
The World Buddhists and others as well have to visit Lanka to pay
homage to the Dalada Vahanse, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Sri Pada, Maha Stupa
and many Sacred Relics of the Sakyamuni Buddha enshrined in the
Solosmaha-Sthana, sixteen great centres in the country.
If our readers would take a little time to think of their historic
task to restore Lanka's peace and prosperity to the days when Lanka
flourished in harmony let us resolve on this Poson Poya Day - Tuesday,
June 21 in the Buddhist era of 2555.
Reflections of a Buddhist monk on the Poson day
Behold me at your feet reflecting deeply
Why I chose to follow you closely
At my own volition
Realizing the impermanence of life
Which is subject to sickness, old age and death
Now after many years attired in safron robes
I feel I am far from your ideals
Following you from a distance
Though I adhere strictly to the vinaya rules
Eightfold and fourfold paths
Yet, I believe I am selfishly
and relentlessly. striving
To attain perfection for myself
Enjoying all the spiritual consolations
And leaving the rest
To work out their own salvation
My teachings of your doctrine to others
Have lacked the conviction and dedication
Though I am in pursuit of knowledge
In the silence of the temple
I have failed to attract others
Submerged in the daily chores of worldly life
To your way Since, they do not see
Anything extraordinary in my humble life
But, a routine livelihood of a
Committed disciple sans ostentations
Oh! the Enlightened noble one
Help me to correct my selfish ways
And to reach out to others
To spread your sublime doctrine
With rays of understanding and compassion
Let me boldly and incessantly preach
Against crime, violence robbery,
murder and rape
That has engulfed this emerald isle
And convert it to a dhammadeepaya
to its pristine glory
Converting them to a life of righteousness
So that, they hold in reverence and sacredness
The life of every human being
This is what I request of thee
As I venerate you on this Poson day