The all-merciful Buddha has passed away, but the sublime Dhamma which he unreservedly bequeathed to humanity, still exists in its pristine purity. His noble example was a source of inspiration to all. He reached the highest possible state of perfection any person could aspire to, and without the close-fist of a teacher he revealed the only straight path that leads thereto. Buddha declared that the gates of success and prosperity were open to all in every condition of life, high or low, saint or criminal, who would care to turn a new leaf and aspire to perfection.
The significant feature of this sublime doctrine was that it changed the minds of kings as well as criminals of Buddha’s time. It was this word of Buddha which appealed to King Asoka has become a Buddhist. The religious mission of Venerable Mahinda, son of King Asoka of India was indeed a great success because he found in Lanka a fertile soil to disseminate the sublime teachings of the Buddha.
With royal patronage Buddhism was firmly established in Sri Lanka. Princess Anula who attained the first stage of sainthood on hearing the first discourse delivered in the capital of Anuradhapura, expressed her desire to join the Order. This resulted in dispatching a messenger to India inviting his sister Sanghamitta Theri to visit Lanka in order to establish the Bhikkhuni Sasana.
As invited, she arrived in Sri Lanka with a branch of the Maha Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya, and accompanied by a large retinue of distinguished men, who contributed largely to the material, intellectual and spiritual development of Sri Lanka. The sacred Bo sapling was brought to Sri Lanka in a golden bowl, and thereafter planted in the Mahameuna Garden in Anuradhapura.
Accordingly, the royal contingent landed in Dambakolapatuna Port in Jaffna on an Unduvap Poya day like today, during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. With the establishment of Bhikkhuni Sasana in Sri Lanka under the leadership of Sanghamitta Theri, It was the beginning of new chapter of Buddhist renaissance in Sri Lanka.
Therefore, the importance of Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day which falls today is enormous for Buddhist community not only in Sri Lanka but also for the entire world. Unduvap Poya is the last Full Moon Poya Day of the year. We bless you with the limitless compassion of Buddha’s sublime teaching saturating all minds a long life in good health to foster ahead as a Buddhist nation on this most virtuous day of Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day.
By Vipul Pathiranage in conversation with Dr. Damenda Porage, Chairman, The Buddhist Brotherhood