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Religious ceremonies mark Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day

Dec 20, 2010 4:19:07 AM - itnnews.lk

Religious ceremonies are being organized in temples throughout the day to mark Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day.

It is on such a day 2 thousand 552 years ago that the sapling of the Southern bough of India’s Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri Lanka by Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta, daughter of the 3rd century BC Indian Emperor Ashoka. It is recorded as having brought to a place known as the Dambakola Patuna in the Jaffna Peninsula and King Devanampiyatissa arrived in Dambakola Patuna to receive Arahat Sanghamitta and the Bo Sapling. From there it was brought to Anuradhapura in a procession. Sri Maha Bodhi  in Anuradhapura is the oldest documented tree in the world. Sanghamitta Theri established the Order of Nuns known as the Bhikkhuni Sasana. Queen Anula along with 500 attendant ladies entered the Order.

This is also a day of great significance to Sri Lankan Buddhists as it is with dawn of Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day that the Sri Pada pilgrimage season begins. Religious ceremonies are being held in temples throughout the country. The Poya Day Dhamma sermon was delivered at the Temple Trees by the Ven. Prof. Kongastenne Ananda Thera of the Ruhuna University.  President Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa were among the large number of people present.

ITN’s Poya Day programme ‘Savanak Ras’ was telecast from Jayashekhararama temple in Kuppiyawatta.