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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Today marks the Duruthu full moon Poya day

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Duruthu Poya which falls on the full moon day of January the first month of the year is very significant in Buddhist history. This poya day is a great religious and historical day specially for Sri Lankans because it marks the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka on the ninth month after attaining the Buddhahood (Enlightenment).

he Buddha first visited Mahiyanganaya in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka. This was remarkable and unique as it is the first place intimately associated with the Buddha. During the visit, the Buddha delivered sermons of Dhamma to ‘Yakkas’ (Hela tribe who lived in Sri Lanka during that time). After listening to the Buddha’s sermons, Yakkas gave up fighting with each other and started to respect each other with dignity. Not only the Yakkas, but also God Sumana Saman (The God who looks after the territory of Samanala Mountain Range/ Samanala Adaviya) listened to the sermons and embraced Buddhism with so much of respect.

Later the God Sumana Saman invited the Buddha to engrave his sacred footprint on the surface of a huge gemstone and it is safely preserved on the peak of the Samanala Mountain. Each year the devotees climb the Samanala Mountain with respect in order to worship the most sacred footprint of the Buddha.

Upon the request of God Sumana Saman, the Buddha gave his hair relics (Kesha Dhathu) to the god and those relics are enshrined in the Mahiyangana Stupa. (Miyuguna Seya) As per legends this stupa was firstly built by God Sumana Saman by enshrining the hair relics (Kesha Dhathu). This Stupa is so precious and sacred because the hair relics enshrined in the Mahiyangana Stupa was gifted by the Buddha himself out of his body. The sacred relics of the Buddha are regarded by Buddhists as supreme objects of reverence and veneration.

However, the focus of Duruthu Poya Festival is presently centred round Kelaniya, because of the Annual Duruthu Perahera conducted by the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya. The arrival of Buddha to SL on Duruthu Poya was a beginning of Buddhist Perahera Culture.

The teachings of Buddha are deeply imbued with the spirit of peace (Santi) that two cannot be separated. The terms of peace, He expounded at Mahiyangana on Duruthu Poya included calmness (Sama). Tranquility (Samatha), contentment (Santutthi) Harmlessness (Ahimsa) non-violence (Avihimsa) and peacefulness (Vipasama).

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