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Vesak Full Moon Poya Day religious day for Buddhists

18 May 2019 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

it is the most important day for Buddhists world over due to several religious incidents that had taken place on this day.



At the instigation of the late foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Vesak Full Moon Poya day has been declared as an international religious day. This was done because it is the most important day for Buddhists world over due to several religious incidents that had taken place on this day. In spite of international terrorist disturbances in the country we are determined to celebrate the most important Buddhist event this year   



In Sinhalese “Te” means three. “Mangula” denotes auspicious occasions of good fame. Due to three incidents i.e., the last birth of the Bodhisattva as prince Siddhartha, the Enlightenment and Parinibbana, Vesak Full Moon Poya day is of special significance not only for Buddhists in Sri Lanka but also for those living in other Asian countries including Nepal, India, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand {Siam), Japan, China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Tibet, Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan and many other countries in the Western world.   



Vesak Full Poya day is regarded as the day of the origin of the Sinhala Community

In spite of international terrorist disturbances in the country we are determined to celebrate the most important Buddhist event this year   



last birth of Bodhisattva  
The last birth of the Bodhisattva as prince Siddhartha took place on the Vesak Full Moon Poya day 2,600 years ago. He was born as the son of King Suddhodana of the kingdom of Kapilawasthu and queen Maha Maya. The queen was on her way to her parental palace in Devdaha and while she was resting at Lumbini park under a Sal tree with a mass of followers prince Siddhartha was born. Immediately after his birth the infant prince had walked on seven Lotus flowers which emerged before him. The queen had proceeded back to Kapilawasthu together with the new born child. King Suddhodhana’s teacher, Saint Asitha Kaladewala who visited the palace on the same day asserted that the blessed prince was to be the saviour of the universe. 



First salutation
The saint who had developed meditation skills envisaged that he was due to die before the Enlightenment of the Bodhisattva, worshipped the new born prince. The king who watched the behaviour of his teacher realized that his son was superior to the saint worshipped the Bodhisattva himself.   

The prince was brought up in the royal palace. The king was anxious to see his son becoming the Universal king envisaged by the learned Brahmins. The king’s endeavour was to prevent the Bodhisattva from leaving the worldly life to attain Buddha hood in keeping with the words of saint Kondanna.   



In spite of precautionary measures taken by the king the prince came into direct contact with the stark realities of life, “Satara Pera nimiti” – a sick man, a decrepit old man, a corpse and a monk and he determined to become an ascetic. He left the palace leaving the luxuries including the crown, princess Yasodhara and the new born son, prince Rahula. Enlightenment  
As a seeker of total emancipation he struggled for seven years and ultimately with all his own efforts he realized the truth. One happy Vesak night, as he was seated under the shade of the famous Pappola tree (Sri Maha Bodhi) at Buddha Gaya, with mind tranquilized and purified, in the first watch he developed that supernatural knowledge which enabled him to remember his past lives Pubbe-nivasanussati Gnana - Remembrance of the past births.   In the middle watch he developed the clairvoyant supernatural vision dealing with the death and rebirth of beings, Catupapata Gnana - perception of the Disappearance and re-appearance of beings.   In the last watch of the night he developed the supernatural knowledge with regard to the destruction of passions – Asavakkhaya Gnana and comprehending things as they truly are, attained Perfect Enlightenment. - Samma Sambodhi.   

The exalted one led the universe to the eternal bliss with the highest knowledge realized by him on his own without any guidance from any one. He gained this insight as a human being and He never posed Himself as a super natural power. He did not want His followers to believe in the existence of an almighty Creator God. He showed that man can serve himself 



As a human being He served the universe and on a Vesak full moon poya day. He attained Parinibbana at Upavattana Sal Park in Kusinara showing the world that nothing was permanent in the universe.   



Niyata Vivaranaya
Niyata Vivaranaya –Positive explanation of assurance of becoming Buddha was given to Gautama Bodhisattva for the first time by Deepankara Buddha on a Vesak Full Moon Poya day. In that birth Bodhisattva was born as ascetic Sumedha. The road was being cleared for the Buddha to pass that place. Ascetic Sumedha was among those who were decorating the road. He was expected to clean the road in a muddy area. Buddha arrived at that place before ascetic Sumedha could repair the road in good condition. He did not want the Buddha to walk on the muddy road and he lay down on the muddy part of the road desiring the Buddha to walk on him. His decision was so wdeep and sincere that Deepankara Buddha gave him Niyata Vivaranaya –Positive explanation of assurance of attaining Buddha hood.   



Yama Maha Perahera
It was on the Vesak Full Moon Poya day exactly one year after the Enlightenment that Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha performed the Yama Maha Perahera - Twin miracle in order to dispel the arrogance of his relatives.   



Gautama Buddha’s third visit to Sri Lanka  
Vesak Full Moon Poya day is of special significance to Sri Lankans because of the Enlightened One’s third visit to the country. In the eighth year after the Enlightenment Gautama Buddha visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of Naga King Maniakkhika of Kelaniya. Naga King Maniakkhika made this invitation when the Enlightened One visited Sri Lanka for the second occasion to quell a dispute between two groups of Nagas led by Chulodara and Mahodara. Naga King Maniakkhika who had gone to Nagadeepa to support his nephew, Mahodara embraced Buddhism after listening to Dharma preached by the Blessed One and invited the Buddha to visit his Kingdom – Kelaniya. 



Invitation by god Sumana Saman
God Sumana Saman who brought the Kiripalu tree from Seveth Nuwara Dewram Vehera to provide shelter to the Buddha during His second visit to Sri Lanka accompanied Him to Sri Lanka during His third visit to the country. On his invitation the Buddha proceeded to Samantakuta where He placed His foot print which remains in full sanctity and is being worshipped by us with extreme devotion.   



Origin of the Sinhala Community
Furthermore Vesak Full Poya day is regarded as the day of the origin of the Sinhala Community. According to chronicles, prince Vijaya with his followers, seven hundred in number, had disembarked at Tammanna. A coincidence is that Vijaya had set foot on Sri Lanka on the very day on which the Enlightened One had attained Parinibbana. The female leader of the Yakkha clan who was presumably the leader of that part of the country had fallen in love with Vijaya and offered the throne to him with the hope of occupying the position of the queen. It is believed that Vijaya was thus enthroned as the first king of Lanka. His parents Sinhabahu and Sinha Seevalee are believed to be the children of a lion. It is also believed that Sinhabahu and Sinha Seevalee had thirty two children, all twins and that Vijaya was the eldest of them. Vijaya had been deported as he was disobedient to his parents. Thus Vijaya is regarded as the eldest grandson of a lion- Sinha. Sinhalese are believed to be the descendents of Vijaya and his followers.



King Devanampiyatissa was anointed for the second occasion on a Vesak Full Moon Poya day. He had been anointed earlier as the king of Lanka, after embracing Buddhism emperor Dharmasoka had anointed him again. 



Initiation of work at Ruwanweliseya   
King Dutugemunu had initiated the construction work of Ruwanweliseya on a Vesak Full Moon Poya day. King Dutugemunu had made a statue of pure gold and had enshrined it in the Mahaseya with four Kurunis or gallon measures of relics.   



Amisa puja and Pratipatti puja   
Vesak day observations take two forms - Amisa puja and Pratipatti puja. Amisa puja includes offerings including alms of food to Buddha and His followers – Maha Sangha and lay disciples – Upasaka Upasika. This is done by way of Dansal. Food donations are made to paupers, travellers or passers-by and animals. Devotees engage in meditation and observe sil