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Sacred Bo Sapling Venerated in Jaffna
[Updated :: 2011-02-09 18:40:10 Hours]

Inculcating sense of devotion in Buddhists and non Buddhists in Jaffna and repeating the history occurred 2364 years ago, a sapling of the Anuradhapura Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to historical Dambakola Patuna (Jambukola Pattana) amidst the devotional cry of “Sadhu ! Sadhu !!” on 9th February 2011.

Brigadier General Staff Security Forces Headquarters-Jaffna Brig. B.C.J.A.F. Rodrigo along with a host of Security Forces and Police personnel were present at the Palaly airport to receive the sacred sapling. After offerings at Palaly, it was taken to famous Sri Naga Vihara in Jaffna town via Vasavilan, Urumpirai and Thirunelvely.

When the sacred Bo sapling placed in a golden bowl (Pathra) was first brought to Jaffna in a magnificent motorcade with ceremonial escort by Security Forces and Police before it is taken to India next week, large crowds of people irrespective of their religious divisions had gathered on either side of the road to pay homage to it. Special offerings had been organized by School teachers, students and community representatives at Vasavilan, Urumpirai and Thirunelvely. They lined up on the Palaly-Jaffna main road to offer flowers to the sacred sapling. Small children threw flowers at the gaily decorated vehicle where the sacred sapling had been safely placed.

51 Division in Jaffna town had arranged alms giving for the delegation of Buddhist monks and nuns.

Later, it was brought to historical Dambakola Patuna on the Mathagal beach where a brief religious ceremony was held. Arrival of this sacred Bo sapling in Dambakola Patuna visualized the significant day in Buddhist Year 236 that Arhath Sangamiththa Therani, the daughter of Indian Emperor Ashoka brought the southern sapling of the original Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Bodhgaya, which sheltered the Lord Buddha to attain enlightenment, here. To further strengthen the long-term friendship prevailed between India and Sri Lanka, Emperor Ashoka sent this invaluable prize to his friend, King Devanampiayathissa who walked into the waist-deep Mathagal sea to receive it with enormous piety before placing it at Mahamevuna Uyana in Anuradhapura.

The route from Palaly airport to Jaffna town and back to Dambakola Patuna had been decorated with Buddhist flags as a symbol of veneration. A vehicle which aired Seth Pirith chanting all the way followed the motorcade.

Marking the 2600th incidence of Attaining Enlightenment of the Lord Buddha at Bodhgaya in India, this sacred sapling is to be flown to India and planted in Bodhgaya on 17th February on initiative of Sangha Nayaka of Maha Bharatha (India) and General Secretary of Maha Bodhi Samagama in India Ven. Dr. Dodamgoda Revatha Thero.

The delegation comprised of about thirty Bhikkus including the Chancellor of University of Kelanniya and Parivenadhipathi of Vidyalankara Pirivena Ven. Dr. Velamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thero, Sangha Nayaka of Maha Bharatha (India) and General Secretary of Maha Bodhi Samagama in India Ven. Dr. Dodamgoda Revatha Thero and Anuradhapura Atmasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Sirinivasa Thero. A team of Buddhist nuns is also traveling around the island with the sacred sapling throughout. Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs Mr. Chandraprema Gamage, Commander Northern Naval Command Rear Admiral S.M.B. Weerasekara, General Officer Commanding 51 Division Major General Janaka Walgama and senior officers of the Army, Navy and Police were also present.

The sacred sapling will be taken to the “Temple Trees” on the 14th evening where His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa will make offerings.

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