Poson Poya | Sunday Observer

Poson Poya

28 May, 2023
M. Senashi Dinethya, Grade 6, St. Thomas' Girls' High School, Matara
M. Senashi Dinethya, Grade 6, St. Thomas' Girls' High School, Matara

In June, Buddhists all over the world celebrate the Poson full moon day or Poya day. It is one of the most important days of the year for Buddhists and they hold many celebrations to mark Poson. Poson full moon Poya day is second to Vesak full moon Poya day in religious significance.

This day is a very important Poya day for all Sri Lankan Buddhists, as it was on this Poya day that the Arahath Mahinda came to Sri Lanka with the message of Buddhism.

Arrival of Arahath Mahinda

The Indian Emperor Dharmashoka’s son, Arahath Mahinda came to the top of the Mihintale rock on this day.

He was accompanied by four Theras and two of his relatives.

They were Itthiya, Uthtiya, Sambala, Bhaddasala, Sumana Samanera and Bhanduka Upasaka. During that time, King Devanampiyatissa was the King of Sri Lanka. The King went hunting on that day.

While the King was hunting Arahath Mahinda called Thissa, Thissa and the King asked ‘who are you?’

Mahinda Thera introduced himself and the others and preached this gatha or stanza.

Samanamayam Maha Raja

‘We are Samanas (monastics) great King, the disciples of the King of Dhamma. The Buddha, out of compassion for you. We’ve come from Jambudipa (India).

Then, Arahath Mahinda asked questions to test the King’s knowledge and then, preached the Chullahaththi Padoppama Sutta.

After that, King and his retinue sought the refuge of the Triple Gem and Buddhism spread all over the island. This day was a turning point in Sri Lankan history because Sri Lankans got the gift of Buddhism.

Arahath Mahinda brought not only Buddhism to the island. He gave us religion, philosophy, culture, civilisation and much more.

He is known as Anubudhu (Second Buddha) by Sri Lankans.

On this special Poson full moon Poya day Buddhists follow rituals such as the observance of Sil, visit Mihintale and Anuradhapura to participate in the Aloka poojawa, Pichcha Mal poojawa and engage in Aamisa pooja and Prathipaththi pooja. Children make models of the Mihintale Rock to commemorate this special Poya day.

– Mihi Deegodage