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මුල් පිටුව | බොදු පුවත් | කතුවැකිය | බෞද්ධ දර්ශනය | විශේෂාංග | වෙහෙර විහාර | ඉංග්‍රිසි ලිපි | පෙර කලාප | දායකත්ව මුදල් |

 

Arrival of Sanghamitta Theri

by Sumana Saparamadu

Unduvap Full Moon Day is in popular parlance, Sanghamitta Day as recorded in the old chronicles, was on the Full Moon Day in the month of Unduvap that Sanghamitta Theri who was bringing a branch of the Sri Maha Bodhi landed in Lanka at the Port of Dambakola in the northern peninsula. Some reckon it is the present day Kytes or a port closeby.

The main purpose of Sanghamitta Theri coming to Lanka, as our country was known then, was to ordain Sinhala women, who wished to become Bhikkhunis. Bringing the Branch of the Bodhi Tree was incidental. But this incident that has captured the minds of the people and got etched in folk memory.

So, inseparable were the Bhikkhuni and the Bodhi branch linked, that almost every drawing and painting and sculpture depicts her holding a begging-bowl with the young branch in it from Nanda Lal Bose, the artist of Shantinikethan Fame to temple exists of the 20th century, to media artists in Sri Lanka. They all depict her in this pose.

When King Devanampiyatissas sister-in-law, Princess Anula, expressed a desire to enter the order, the King conveyed her wish to Mahinda Thera. The Thera explained to the King that according to the Vinaya Pitaka a Bhikku cannot ordain a woman, and suggested that the King invite his sister Sanghamitta, a nun who had received the Upasampada - the higher ordination to ordain women. Mahinda Thera also told the King to request King Asoka to send a Branch of the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained the Enlightenment. King Asoka acceded to the Lankan kings request and sent a young branch.

The Theri arrived with eleven other Bhikkunis. Also accompanying her were representatives of eighteen guilds of craftsman and a special team to look after the Bodhi Tree.

Princess Sanghamitta was born in Ujjain. She had been given in marriage when she was barely in her teens to one Aggibrahma and had a son by him, Sumana.

The Princess was only 18 years when she was ordained on the same day as her brother Mahinda.

Sanghamitta Theri made the perilous journey across the Bay of Bengal arriving safely at the Jamukola or Dambakola Port on Full Moon Day in the month of Unduvap.

Meanwhile, Princess Anula and a number of ladies of the court had done on yellow robes and observing the Ten Precepts were awaiting the arrival of the Theri. The King had a special house built for them.

On arrival in Anuradhapura, Sanghamitta Theri and her companion Nuns too took up residence in this home which was called Upasika Vihara. After the ceremonial planting of the Sacred Branch brought from North India on the site where it stands to this day, Princess Anula and the court ladies and all others who renounced the lay life with her, were ordained as Bhikkunis by Sanghamitta Theri.

The Theri had other halls added to the Upasika Vihara which was now a Mehenavara - a Nunnery. Sanghamitta Theri had the mast, the rudder and the oar of the ship which brought her to Lanka displayed in three of these halls.

The Upasika Vihara became the headquarters of the orthodox Sinhala Bhikkunis, just as the Mahavihara was the headquarters of the orthodox Sinhala Sangha.

Soon, the Upasika Vihara became noisy and crowded with the curious crowd coming to see the newcomers from overseas and some perhaps to see the display of the ships parts.

The Theri could not bear the noise and the crowds. She longed to get away to a quiet place where she could meditate. One day as she wondered away from the city she found cool grotto with a meandering brook close by.

She was taken up by the quiet and solitude of the place and stayed there until dusk set in. Soon it became her daily routine to go there.

One day when King Devanampiyatissa came to the Upasika Vihara to pay his respects to the Theri, he inquired about her and was told that she had gone as she habitually did to a grotto in such and such a place. Forth with the King went there.

On being told the Theris desire for quiet and solitude the King immediately ordered rooms to be built there for Sanghamitta Theri and any others who wished to retire to a quiet place to meditate.

Since this home was built on the land where the State elephant was tethered, it came to be known as the Hatthalaka (elephant post) Vihara.

This became Sanghamitta Theris permanent residence and it was here that she passed away at the ripe old age of 79 in the nineth year of King Uttiya, who succeeded Devanampiyatissa.

Her body was cremated at a place indicated by herself before her death to the east of Thuparama and within sight of the Bodhi Tree. King Uttiya had a celebration lasting one whole week in her honour and he erected a small Stupa over her ashes.

උඳුවප් පසළොස්වක


උඳුවප් පසළොස්වක පෝය දෙසැම්බර් 23 වන දා ඉරිදා පූර්ව භාග 10.04 ට ලබයි. 24 වන දා සඳුදා පූර්ව භාග 06.47 දක්වා පෝය පවතී.
සිල් සමාදන්වීම දෙසැම්බර් 23 වන දා ඉරිදා ය.

මීළඟ පෝය දෙසැම්බර්
31 වන දා සඳුදා ය.


පොහෝ දින දර්ශනය

Full Moonපසෙලාස්වක

දෙසැම්බර් 23

Second Quarterඅව අටවක

දෙසැම්බර් 31

New Moonඅමාවක

ජනවාරි 07

First Quarterපුර අටවක

ජනවාරි 15

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