The Importance of Poson Poya
[pic]Festival celebrated in Sri Lanka on the full moon of June. The Poson Poya, which is specially noteworthy to the Sri Lankan Buddhists as the day on which Emperor Asoka’s son, the arahant Mahinda, officially introduced Buddhism to the island in the 3rd century B.C. In addition to the normal ritualistic observances undertaken on a poya day, on Poson day devotees flock to Anuradhapura, the ancient capital city of the country, for it was there that arahant Mahinda converted the then ruler, King Devanampiya Tissa, and his court to Buddhism, thereby setting in motion a series of events that finally made Sri Lanka the home of Theravada Buddhism. Even today, on Poson Poya, Anuradhapura becomes the center of Buddhist activity. Mihintale, the spot where the momentous encounter between the Elder and the King took place, accordingly receives the reverential attention of the devotees. The two rituals of pilgrimage and the observance of the Eight Precepts are combined here. Processions commemorative of the event, referred to as Mihindu Peraheras, are held in various parts of the country
In the 3rd century BC, area of Mihinthalawa was a thick jungle area inhibited by wild animals and was a hunting ground reserved for the royals. All this changed in 250 BC when the son of the Indian Emperor Asoka, Mahinda Maha Thero arrived at the Missaka Pauwa to meet king Devamnampiyatissa for the first time and asked the famous questions to decide whether he is intelligent enough to understand the philosophy of the Buddha. Initially Mahinda Maha Thero’s residence, but later Mihinthale became a main centre for Theravada Buddhism.
History of Sri Lanka from 483 BC to 246 BC
Arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka
Official Arrival of Buddhism -Mihindu Thero, son of Emperor Asoka meets Lankan king On 16th May, 246 BC, Lankan king Devanampiyatissa went on his regular Royal hunting in the 450-acre Royal National Park of four mountains, each of them, over 1000 feet tall. He got separated from his friends as he chased a deer. On one of the four mountains, he met Mihindu thero (Son of Emperor Asoka), and the Buddhist party despatched by the Emperor Asoka himself. The famous questions to check if the king had the wisdom to understand Buddhism were asked by Mihindu thero. Then, Lankan king listened, and asked questions, and by daybreak, became a Buddhist. People flock to A'pura to listen to Bana People from all over the country who came to listen to the Buddhist teaching by Mihindu Thero flooded Anuradapura. Over 8500 people embraced Buddhism during the first week alone. 55 members of the prime ministers family became Buddhist monks. Buddhism then took root as the formal belief system of the island. This was how Lankans were able to concentrate as a nation, voluntarily, to advance to become one of the developed nations in the world. Why did Lankans embrace Buddhism as a National Philosophy? Lankans were, even before the arrival of Buddhism, uncorrupt, no-nonsense people who wanted the balance between the material wealth and the spiritual well being. Lankans had resisted the attempts by many foreigners, who arrived as merchants, to introduce the selfishness, corruption and mal-practices that had developed in other parts of the world. Instead, Lankans took what was good from the other parts of the world, and created this almost fairy tale-like civilisation of wealth and inner peace. Not only they found that Buddhism was one of the good things they could learn from the outside world, Buddhism fitted very well into the vacuum they had so far in the National philosophy, in spiritual happiness and inner peace. Never in their history they turned down what was best, spiritually and materially. It was their nature to search for the truth, to search for the ultimate peace and happiness and reject the injustice, selfishness, fraud and propaganda. Significance of Poson full moon Poya day
Poson Full Moon Poya Day is of very...
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