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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The significance of Adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

The significance of Adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

From time immemorial, Sinhala Culture is woven round Buddhism. It is inseparable. Therefore, the Sinhala Buddhist calendar is also closely linked to important events that took place, coinciding Buddhist events.

The 12 months in the Sinhala calendar is known as Duruthu (January), Navam (February), Medin (March), Bak (April), Vesak (May), Poson (June), Esala (July), Nikini (August), Binara (September), Vap (October), Il (November), Uduvap (December).

According to the 2010 Sinhala calendar, astrologically, there is an additional (Adhi) month. Therefore, this year records 13 Pasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Days.

Although the recognised Vesak Full Moon Poya Day falls on Thursday 27, May 2010, there is an additional Vesak Poya called "Adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya Day" on Wednesday 28, April 2010. This Adhi Poya occurs once in 3 years, due to the change of planentary movements.

There are 365 days in an year. According to astrology and Nekath, they calculate a year usually as 360 days. The planets namely Iru, Chandra, Angaharu, Buda, Brahaspathi, Sikuru, Senasuru, Rahu and Khetu, Rotates round the Sun. Sometimes the course of the planetary movements change. According to astrological calculations, this leads to an additional month. That’s the rewon, according to this years, Sinhala calendar, adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya dawns, in April 2010.

Normally, Duruthu Poya dawns in the month of January. But, in the year 2009 Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day fell on 31st December 2009. Navam Poya, thus fell on 29 January 2010.

In 2004, there were two Nikini Full Moon Poya Days. In addition, in 2007 there were two Poson Full Moon Poya Days. In the same way, this year, there are two Vesak Full Moon Poya Days, namely, Adhi Vesak on 28th April 2010 and Vesak Full Moon Poya Day will be celebrated world over on Thursday, 27th May 2010.

Sukho Buddhanam Uppado

Sukha Saddhammadesana

Sukha Sanghassa Samaggi

Samagganam Tapo Sukho - (Dhammapada:- 194)

Happy is the Birth of Buddhas.

Happy is the Teachings of the Sublime Dhamma.

Happy is the unity of Sangha.

Happy is the discipline of the United ones.

Three Great Events

The three great events in the life of the Buddha are - the birth of Prince Sidhartha, the Bodhisatva at the Royal Park of Lumbini, His attainment of the Perfect Enlightement in his 35th year under the shade of Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya.

His demise after a noble ministry that lasted 45 years at Kusinara in the Sala Grove, Upavartana that belonged to Royalty of Malla-occured on the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day. It is renowned as the most sacred Poya Day in the Buddhist world over.

On this adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya Day, it will be relevant to draw your kind attention to the 20 point plan of action, to be jointly implemented by the Maha Sangha, the Government of Sri Lanka and general public to commemorate the 2600 Sambuddhatva Jayanthi. It will be relevant to human development process or the moral regeneration of our Society that will commence in view of the Sambuddatva Jayanthi should continue far beyond 2011 so that the world at large could gain long lasting benefits.

The Buddhist Flag

The Buddhist history of Sri Lanka records, a very important event that took place 125 years ago on a Adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya Day. The attractive, beautiful Buddhist Flag which consists of six colours - Neela (Blue), Peeta (Yellow), Lohita (Maroon), Odatha (White), Manjesta (Orange), Prabhasvara (Mixture of above five colors) was officially hoisted at the Deepadhuttaramaya Temple, Kotahena on 28 April 1885. Among the Dignitaries present on this occasion was Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Maha Thera, Migettuwatte Gunananda Maha Thera and Henry Steele Olcott, the Father of Buddhist education in Sri Lanka.

Out of all world religious leaders in the world the Blessed One, the Great Master, has made an enormous impact on human civilization by discovering the sublime Eight fold path composed of eight categories or divisions namely.

Appropriate Perspective, Aspirations, Speech, action, Lifestyle, Effort, Mindfulness, Concentration. Whether it is Wesak or Adhi Wesak, the need of the hour is to follow the Message of the Buddha Dhamma. The knowledge of Buddhism is the key to the higher Path to attain calmness and peace in life. Buddhism can be considered as a way of living.

Today, on this Adhi Vesak Poya Day temples will be filled to capacity. Going through the chronicle Mahavamsa, King Dutugemunu, Bhatiya, Vasakha held 26 and 46 Vesak Festivals respectively.

Further, Voharatissa, Gotabhaya, Jettahssa, Dalamugalan, Sena II, Parakramabahu the great. Celebrated Vesak in a grand scale in the ancient Sri Lanka. This tradition is continued upto date.

One of the cardinal principles of the blessed one is peaceful and harmonious living.

On this day of Adhi Vesak, let us recite a stanza, which condense what Buddhism is all about. This is what all Buddhist should follow and practice.

Sabbapapassa Akaranam

Kusalassa Upasampada

Sacchittapariyo Dapanam

Etam Buddhana Sasanam (Dhammapada 183)

To refrain from doing evil, to indulge in doing good, it cleanse one’s mind - this is the teaching of the Buddha.

May all beings be happy!

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