Six Americans observed the five precepts under the shade of the Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and became Buddhist devotees in the evening of 02nd August 2014. Michael Fronczak (Michigan), Maggie Beams (Hawaii), Stacey Cossette (Illinois), Larry Dack (Illinois), Marti Gorman (Illinois) and Tyler Lewke (Illinois) visited the Mahaviharaya and traditionally paid homage to the Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero and asked to be place on the five noble precepts under the shade of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
The devotees of the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya offered a magnificent flower alter with great festivity to the Ruwanweli Maha Dagaba in the morning of 27th July 2014. This flower alter was donated by the devotees of the Siriwijayasundararamaya, Erewwala, Pannipitiya.
On the 26th morning, the devotees delivered the flower alter to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi where it was presented to the Ven. Atamasthanadhipathi Nayaka Thero for his kind approval and blessings. Ven. Nayaka Thero who wished "May this beautiful flower alter exist till the Maha Dagaba exists" and preached that the merits will be received by the devotees who donated it, on every occasion the offerings are made on this flower alter. Afterwards, the devotees offered a Pirikara Pooja and a Kapruk Pooja to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
The members of the "Sri Lankeya Kalakaruwo" (Sri Lankan Artists) organization came to pay homage to the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya on the 24th of July. This organization has been established for the benefit and development of the Sri Lankan art and the artists. The aim of this visit was to invoke the blessings of the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya towards this.
About 100 veteran artists representing various fields of art in Sri Lanka including veteran musician Neela Wickramasinghe, actress Wasanthi Chathurani and litterateur Dr. K.M.I. Swarnasinghe were present on this occasion.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees arrived at Anuradhapura to participate in the religious programmes of the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya on the Esala Fullmoon Poya Day. Thousands out of them observed 'Ata Sil', the eight precepts under the shade of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and partook in the Daana, Seela, Bhawana programme.
Ven. Kudaelagamuwe Gnanasiri (B.A.) Thero of the Bomaluwa Temple placed the devotees on the eight precepts at 6.00am. Thereafter at 8.00am, the Vice Chancellor of the Kelaniya University Ven. Dr. Welamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thero delivered the first Dhamma Talk of the day based upon the 'Dhamma Chakka Pavaththana Sutra'. At 9.15am, Senior Lecturer of the faculty of Pali and Buddhist Studies Mr. Aruna Keerthi gamage (M.A.) delivered the lay devotees lecture on the subject of 'Guidance of Buddha Dhamma to be a Happy Person'. After the Buddha Pooja at 10.30am, the devotees were given the lunch break.
The historical Dalada Procession of the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya was held with great pageantry on the day before the Esala Fullmoon Day and on Poya day, according to the traditions.
In addition to the traditional music, singing and dancing, this Dalada procession was complete with a large number of tuskers.
Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero handed over the casket containing the sacred Buddha relics to the Chief Minister of the North Central Province Hon. S.M. Ranjith in the presence of the venerable Bhikkhus of the Mahaviharaya and the Executive Committee of the Atamasthana. Afterwards, the casket containing the sacred relics was placed in the palanquin on the noble tusker with the participation of the Nayaka Theros of the Atamasthana temples headed by the Atamasthanadhipathi Nayaka Thero.
As the month of Esala reaches the rainy season begins. Lord Buddha has instructed the Bhikkhus of higher ordination to observe Vas precepts and remain in one monastery attending to the Dhamma during the rainy 3 months. This is called the "Vas" (Vassa) or the Rainy Retreat. The devotees who invited the Maha Sangha to observe Vas undertake provide the Bhikkhus with all requisites.
The annual Dalada Perahera, the great procession of Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya to pay homage to the sacred Tooth Relic will be held on the day before and on the Esala Fullmoon Poya Day (11-12.07.2014) with great festivity.
According to the chronicles, the left Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha has been brought from India to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Prince Dantha in 310 AD.
2,250 years was completed to the Poson Fullmoon Poya Day occurred on the 12th of June 2014, since the pure Buddha Dhamma was officially introduced to Sri Lanka by Arahant Mahendra Maha Thero. The theme of this Poson Fullmoon Poya Day religious programme was historical arrival of Arahant Mahendra Maha Thero. The Poson religious programme was inaugurated in the afternoon of 09th June with the traditional 'Pan Perahera', the ceremonial bringing the water of Anuradhapura Tissa Wewa tank in a procession from the Isurumuniya Temple.
The Wesak Fullmoon Day religious programme of the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya was held on the 14th May at the 'Sannipatha Shala' of the Mahaviharaya under the guidance of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero with the participation of tens of thousands of devotees.
The religious programme began at 6.00am with the devotees observing 'Ata Sil', the eight virtues. Then at 6.30am Ven. Pahalathalawe Sumanasiri Thero of the Bomaluwa Temple conducted the Buddha Pooja.
The third festival of the year held for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi of Anuradhapura, the 'Nanumura Mangalyaya' or the 'Aluth Awurudu Mangalyaya' (New Year Festival) was held on 9th and 10th of May with great pageantry.
According to the tradition, the festival was started with erecting a 'Thorana' (pandol) at the North Gate of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. This pandol is made using natural materials such as, areca nut trees, coconuts and young coconut leaves, whole banana trees, etc.
The second festival of the year for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi of Anuradhapura, 'Parana Awurudu Mangalyaya', the 'Old Year Festival' was held with great festivity on 08th and 09th of April.
An overnight chanting of Pirith was held during the 08th night for the Parana Awrudu Mangalyaya with the participation of the venerable Bhikkhus of the Mahaviharaya. Traditional 'Kiri Ithiraweema' (Boiling over of pots of milk) was done early next morning at the Main Shrine room. It was performed by the 'Villidura' people living in the 'Rajakari Gam' (Duty Villages) under the guidance of the Atamasthanadhipathi Nayaka Thero.