The pictures show the procedure adhered to when the Hearth is lit and the milk is boiled
The rites which are part of the the Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrations are over. One such rite was the oil anointing ceremonies at the Devales (Places dedicated for the worship of Gods) in Kandy which were held on April 18 (Wednesday). These ceremonies take place in other Devales situated all over the country.
But have you ever witnessed the lighting of the hearth at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth)? Since all are concerned about the lighting of the hearth at their own homes they are not aware that the hearth is also lit at this ancient shrine. Perhaps you are not aware that a ceremony of this nature takes place at this ancient shrine dedicated to the Sacred Tooth Relic. The chief person in charge of this ceremony is the ‘Kariya Korale’. In fact he could be called the second-in-command of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The Kariya Korale is a position that is hereditary. The person who possesses this position is in charge of all the ceremonies that take place within the Maligawa.
It is his duty to prepare the hearth that is lit on the day of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. He does this at the Drummers’ Hall or Hewisi Mandapaya ( the area where the drummers are active within the Maligawa when rites are performed).
Lighting the hearth at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, where the Diyawadana Nilame and the service monks participate during cere monies, is done in the Hewisi Mandapaya. The Drummers’ Hall is situated somewhat away from the main door. This Hearth is lit about two hours prior to the time given to the rest of the country for this purpose. This year ( 2018 ) the Hearth was lit inside the Sri Dalada Maligawa at 8.14 am.
Lighting the hearth at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, where the Diyawadana Nilame and the service monks participate during ceremonies, is done in the Hewisi Mandapaya
The Hearth was lit by Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela with the blessings of the service monks, who offer their services at the Sri Dalada Maligawa. There are five of them who reside within the Malgiawa. These monks don’t reside in their own temples during this service period and stay at the Maligawa.
The Hearth is prepared by the Kariya Korale. The present incumbent is Karunatilleke.
Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela lit the Hearth and placed a pot of milk above to boil.
The offerings for the Sacred Tooth Relic are prepared within the premises of the Maligawa. These preparation are part of a daily ritual for which the kitchen or ‘Multhen-ge’ of the Maligawa is used. These foods are never brought from outside. The food is warm when served.