Lakhs of devotees flock to Poson Zones | Sunday Observer

Lakhs of devotees flock to Poson Zones

5 June, 2023

This year Poson Zones across the country were full of devotees on Poson Full Moon day (3), the day Arhat Mahinda Thera’s journey to Ceylon took place. Hundreds of thousands of people came to worship Buddhist shrines across the country including Anuradhapura and ‘Dharma Rashmi’ Homagama-Pitipana Poson region on the day of Poson full moon day. On the occasion of Poson Week which started on the 31, Buddhist shrines across the country have organized rituals including offerings, alms, meditation, dharma sermons, charitable work, devotional song programs, light offerings. Janaka Jayasundara, President of the National Poson Committee and Anuradhapura District Secretary, said that a group of two million devotees had come to worship the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruwanveli Maha Seya, Atamasthana and Mihintalea and Thantirimale Raja Maha Viharas in the last few days. More than 100,000 people gathered in the sacred places of Anuradhapura. All the regional secretariats of Anuradhapura district gave meals to all these devotees. The government had given Rs.28.8 million for the Anuradhapura Poson programme.

The Anuradhapura District Secretary said that in order to provide transportation facilities for the Poson festival, the Sri Lanka Railway Department also deployed ten additional trains and the Sri Lanka Transport Board and the Road Passenger Transport Authority jointly operated a special bus service.

The District Secretary also said that since it is expected that people would come to worship the shrines in the coming days, all the facilities have been provided for those devotees.

The Ministry of Health states that 17,000 registered Dansalas were held across the country and 215 Dansalas were held in the Anuradhapura region alone. The Anuradhapura Assistant Superintendent of Police mentioned that no accidents have been reported since May 31st due to the implementation of special programs to educate the public. In addition, our correspondents mentioned that Buddhist devotees came in thousands on Poson full moon day to visit the Temple of Tooth, Kelaniya, Kataragama, Mahiyanganaya, Kalutara, Kande Viharaya, Muthianganaya, Polonnaruwa, Bellanwila, Seruvavila, Dimbulagala Buddhist shrines.

On the occasion of the Poson festival, the government had also taken steps to prepare the infrastructure needed for the devotees including security, transportation, and health. The Sri Lanka Police has implemented a special program for the protection of the devotees.

Along with the Homagama Pitipana Dharma Rashmi Poson area, an exhibition of Sarvagna Dhathu relics found in the Neelagiri Maha Seya was also held at the Sugatabimbarama temple. People offered floral tribute to the relics when they were ceremoniously brought fom the Department of Archeology to the Dharma Rashmi Poson area. Floral tributes were also paid from the air too. Also, the statue of Aukana Buddha built at Homagama Pitipana intersection in honour of the martyred war heroes was unveiled by the Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena at the Dharma Rashmi Poson zone.

That evening, the electric lighting offers were opened at Panagoda Army Sri Bodhirajarama temple. Lakehouse is contributing to the spectacular lantern competition held in the Homagama Pitipana Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone. Dansalas are held in the Poson region and Buddhist songs, Thoranas and Buddhist films are shown there. A commemorative stamp for North America’s Chief Sanghanayake Henepola Gunarathana Nayaka Thera was also released yesterday (4) at a ceremony held at Pitipana Green University Auditorium. This Poson Zone organized jointly by the government and the private sector is to end today (5).

A large number of people also came to pay homage to Kalutara Bodhi on Poson full moon day. More than 100,000 people from different parts of the country visited the historic Kandevihara temple on Friday and Saturday, said Ven. Vipulasara Thera, head of the temple, Chief Sanghanayaka of Bentara Barallavita Korale and President of the Florida Buddhist Center of America. The prelate also mentioned that in the morning of Pozon full moon day, a 15-ton gold-plated Samadhi Buddha statue was placed in the newly built Buddha temple in Udamaluwa by the Kanda Vihara Development Fund. This was done with the help of M.G. Pushpika Viduranga and lawyer Shashi Gunawardena, a resident of the Colombo area. Also, on the full moon day, about a thousand people observed Atasil at Kandevihara temple.

Dishan Gunasekara, Basnayaka Nilame of Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Temple, said that more than 100,000 devotees came to the Kataragama shrine to perform religious rites in celebration of Poson Poya day. Accordingly, Kataragama Kiri Vehera, Dewalaya, Sellakataragama, Weda Siti Kanda, Situlpavwa and Kirinda Temples were full of devotees. Temples in Monaragala district are also crowded with devotees. Buddharuvagala, Okkampitiya Dematamal Viharaya, Maligavila, Yudaganawa, Bibila Bukhara Piangala Rajamaha Vihara, Moneragala Bukkiriyagolla, Buddama Rajamaha Viharaya remained full of devotees. Various Dansalas including rice meal offerings were organised near the main roads.

(Upali Karunaratne, Sandhya Karunaratne, Amila Prabhat Wanasinghe, Chitraratne Kaluarachchi, Thusitha Kumarada Silva, D.S. Gunathilaka, Sunil S.Thantriarachchi and K.D. Devapriya)