A unique way to celebrate Poson Poya | Daily News


 

A unique way to celebrate Poson Poya

Today is Poson Poya day. This year we in Sri Lanka celebrate the Poson Poya in a way, very unique to us as Sri Lanka Buddhists.

We mark the 2328th year of the arrival of the Arahath Mahinda Thera, the Royal Missionary Monk, the son of Emperor Asoka of India, to the Rock at Mihinthale. It becomes the Cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The Mahinda Thera comes to us with an immeasurable and invaluable treasure in his possession. It is the Way of Life drawn on the precepts or tenants articulated based on the Noble Teachings of the Gautama Buddha.

His preaching persuaded the Kings of Sri Lanka to embrace Buddhist Way of life beginning from King Devanampiyatissa whom the Arahat Mahinda addressed directly, and converted the King. The King embracing Buddhism as a Way of Life had a great influence on the local community to do the same and adapt themselves to live the noble tenets, adherence to Panchaseela and the teaching of the Gautama Buddha.

Right now almost the whole world and all humanity, irrespective of caste, creed, ethnicity, and social status, suffer immensely in one way or another, due to the CORONA VIRUS / COVID – 19 pandemic which keeps spreading, escalating to all corners of the globe.

The adherence to the spirit of the Noble Teachings of the Buddha is the only solace, the Buddhist could find and the present environment has created the necessary atmosphere for every Buddhist to ponder in silence upon the way one has lived the Teachings of the Noble One, in one’s lifetime until the time of the breaking of the CORONA VIRUS, early this year.

We in Sri Lanka mark the arrival of the Mahinda Thera in 236 BC to introduce the Noble Teaching the Lord Buddha, in the Third Century BC. This hallowed day of Poson is second only to the Vesak, the most important date of the Buddhist Calendar. Vesak and Poson are the two most important days in the lives of the Buddhists.

Mihinthale and Anuradhapura are the most important historical venues the Buddhists throng on Poson Poya day, but this year, the Buddhists are advised to stay at home; observe the Religious rites and rituals in environ of their homes as Sri Lankans are to be conscious of the danger at hand and strictly adhere to the advice of the health authorities to avoid further spread of COVID- 19. They have been instructed to observe Social Distancing for the good of all. Poson Full Moon Poya day is of great historical and religious significance. It is a festival of great piety. The inner essence of the Poson Poya (Full Moon) which falls today succinctly denotes the spirituality beneath the observances of the day, very much fitting with the conditions the humanity faces through the pandemic experience.

In the establishment of the Buddha Sasana, a much-civilized society arose depicting all characteristics that are part and parcel of an enlightened society. This in turn resulted in introducing religious rituals and devotional songs, the art of writing, art and architecture, the composition of stanzas, religious art and culture with royal patronage.

This year we are advised to be at home with our families and loved ones, without creating unnecessary crowds to avoid escalation of the COVID -19 Pandemic and to do all our Religious Rites and Ritual within our households. As true Buddhist and lovers of the country of our Birth, Our Motherland, it is best that we oblige in good spirit.

Let this Poson Poya Day lead us to meditate deeply and lead us to search our own inner selves and learn where we have gone wrong, accept our mistakes and correct ourselves and move on to the Correct Path Buddha has shown. That should be our resolution on this historic day of Poson, a gift from the Gautama Buddha to all His children of Sri Lanka.

The Ven. Thera is Adviser to Singapore Quingliang Vihara, Executive Director HELP International and Centre -Voice of Dhamma.

 

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