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Vesak The most revered day for buddhists

22 May 2024 07:30 am

Vesak Poya is a day of much significance to Buddhists due to many reasons. Among many historical events that have taken place on such a day , the most important event which took place was that, on a Vesak Poya day, Prince Siddhartha was born, attained enlightenment as Lord Buddha, and passed away (Parinirvana) at the age of 80 years. Many years ago, on another such Poya day in the month of May, Lord Buddha had visited Kelaniya with 550 Arahats - his third visit to the island - on the invitation of King Maniakkika. Following a special sermon delivered by the Buddha to all who were present there, the king erected a shrine with the Buddha’s hair and the jeweled seat on which he sat upon, buried inside. Thus, the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara was built and the site thereafter became an important sacred site to the Buddhists 

Words - Lakmini Wijemanne

The day also has historical significance as, according to the “Mahavamsa” the Aryans from India (Prince Vijeya and his group) had arrived in Sri Lanka on the same Poya day in May that the Buddha passed away in Kusinara, in India. Thus the day acquired historical importance since it relates to the origins of the Sinhalese race.

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