Thousands venerate sacred Neelagiri Relics at Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone | Sunday Observer

Thousands venerate sacred Neelagiri Relics at Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone

4 June, 2023
Neelagiri Sacred Relics are being displayed for public veneration at Homagama Sirisugathabimbaramaya temple at Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone from June 3 to 5. A Buddha pooja was offered at the Department of Archaeology, Colombo 07 on Friday (June 2) for the Neelagiri Sacred Relics before taking them to the Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone at Pitipana, Homagama. Here Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardena venerates the Sacred Relics.

The ‘Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone’ at Homagama and Pitipana began yesterday, Poson Poya Day and will continue till tomorrow (5) in conjunction with the Poson Festival to be held at Mihintale.

Devotees got an opportunity to pay homage to the Sacred Neelagiri Relics for the first time in three years at this event. The Buddha’s Relics, which belong to the Department of Archaeology, were taken by motorcade from Colombo to the Sri Sugathabimbarama Vihara in Homagama yesterday.

The Relics Exposition will take place at this temple today and tomorrow too from 9 a.m. to 12 midnight each day. The Relics were made available for this event with the special permission of the Commissioner General of Archaeology.

Special private bus services are running every 15 minutes within the Poson Zone while special buses are deployed from the Makumbura Multi Modal Transport hub to other provinces for the convenience of pilgrims attending the Relics Exposition.

On the instructions of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, the ‘Dharma Rashmi’ Pozon Zone is being held under the guidance of the Ministry of Mass Communication, the Ministry of Highways, the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs, Urban Development Authority, Armed Forces, Police, Government agencies, the Western Provincial Council, Homagama Divisional Secretariat, Homagama Regional Education Office, Homagama PS and Homagama/Pitipana residents.

The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House), SLRC, ITN and SLBC are the print and electronic media sponsors. The Bhakthi Gee (devotional songs) show will be broadcast live on SLRC on June 4 and on SLBC on June 5.

This Poson Zone is spread over 10 kilometres and covers the five main areas of Homagama, Pitipana, Haritha Sarasavi Pedesa, Deegoda Road and Godagama. The ‘Dharma Rashmi’ Poson Zone No. 1 will be held based on the town of Homagama and the Sri Sugathabimbarama Temple. A medical clinic, dansal, Poson pandals and a devotional song concert will be held. Zone 2 extends up to the Homagama Depot Premises, with a lantern display, Dansal and Seela Samadana programs.

Zone No. 3 covers the Mahinda Rajapaksa College and the NSBM Green University with a lantern competition and exhibitions featuring a Sripada replica and Ambalangoda puppet shows (NSBM campus). The Poson Lantern Competition organised by Lake House with the support of ITN and Lakhanda is also being held on all three days at the Dharma Rashmi Poson Zone. All lanterns will be eco-friendly without polythene.

In this competition, the first prize is Rs.500,000, the second prize is Rs.250,000, the third prize is Rs.125,000 and the fourth to tenth prize is Rs.25,000 each. Nearly 50 Vesak lanterns are displayed in the open section of the competition and nearly 40 in the schools section. Other Poson pinkamas are held at the Sri Bodhirajarama Vihara in Panagoda (a sil campaign for 1,200 devotees), Green University in Mahena and the Meegoda Economic Centre. Most of these events will be telecast live over ITN and Lakhanda and also on SLRC. This is the biggest Poson event held in the Colombo District.

Pix by Nissanka Wijerathne, Dushmantha Mayadunne, Ranjith Asanka and Gayan Pushpika