The Wesak Fullmoon Poya Day religious programme of Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya will be held on whole day of 14th May 2014 under the advice and guidance of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero. There, religious programmes such as, Observance of the eight precepts, Meditation, Dhamma Talks, Dhamma Discussions, etc. will be conducted by the venerable Bhikkhus learned in Dhamma as well as famous scholars in the island. The Wesak Fullmoon Poya Day programme is given below:
The third festival of the year for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi of Anuradhapura, theNanumura Mangalyaya' or the 'Aluth Awrudu Mangalyaya', the 'New Year Festival' will be held with great festivity on 09th and 10th of May, 2014.
According to the ancient tradition a special Gilanpasa Pooja will be held for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in the evening of , under the advice and guidance ofAtamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero. Afterwards, a Gilanpasa Pooja will be held at the Ruwanweli Maha Dagaba, as well. Early in the 10th morning, the Nanumura Ceremony will be performed at the Buddha statue of the main shrine room. Pots of milk will be boiled over at the four gates of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and 'Kiripidu Pooja' (Milk rice) will be offered for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. A similar Kiripidu Pooja will be held at the Ruwanweli Maha Dagaba, afterwards.
The 'Villidura' people attending to the services of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi will provide all requisites for this great Pooja, while the venerable Mahavihara Bhikkhus of theBomaluwa Tradition will perform this ceremony.
The second festival of the year for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi of Anuradhapura, 'Parana Awrudu Mangalyaya', the 'Old Year Festival' will be held on 08th and 09th of this April.
The tradition is to hold the Parana Awrudu Mangalyaya before the arrival of the Sinhala New Year. A special Gilanpasa Pooja is offered for the sacred Bodhi on this occasion. All the venerable Bhikkhus of the Bomaluwa Tradition dwelling in the Sri Maha Bodhi Temple or the 'Bomluwa Temple' will participate in this ceremony. A special Bodhi Pooja will be held for the guardian of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, God Kalu Devatha Bandara. There, the tasks to be performed during the coming year will be informed to the God Kalu Devatha Bandara and prayed for the assistance of the Deity.
It is a very special tradition for the Nayaka Thero, the care taker of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, not to travel out to spend a night away from the Bomaluwa Temple for whatever reason during the period after the Parana Awrudu Mangalyaya till the 'Aluth Awrudu Mangalyaya', the New Year Festival.
It is traditionally compulsory for the 'Villidura' people living in the 'Rajakari Gam', the Duty Villages of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, to provide all Pooja Items and services required for the Parana Awrudu Mangalyaya and participate in the ceremony.
'Aluth Sahal Mangalyaya', the New Harvest Festival for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi of Anuradhapura was held with great festivity on the 3rd of April under the guidance and advice of Atamasthanadhipathi Most Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero. HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksha participated in this ceremony as the head of the state. The farmers representing all districts of the country came in a beautiful pageant carrying the Prime Harvest of their paddy fields to offer at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
On the 2nd of April, an overnight chanting of Pirith was held under the shade of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi according to the tradition. Hundreds of Bhikkhus from the Mahavihara tradition participated in this. The farmers from all over the island arrived at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi compound bringing the new rice in a great pageant with music, singing and dancing. A specialty here was that, only the traditional varieties of rice cultivated using organic fertilizer avoiding all agro-chemicals was offered to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
The foundation stone was laid recently for the Chiththavivekarama Meditation Centre of the Mahaviharaya at Andarawewa, Anuradhapura.Under the guidance and advice of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva and Minister of Special Projects Hon. S.M. Chandrasena laid the foundation stones.
The great meritorious task of annual whitewashing of the Anuradhapura Ruwanweli Maha Dagaba began at an auspicious time recently. This process of annual whitewashing takes about 4 months and costs over Rs. 7 Million. The tradition is to start the whitewashing in the Month of February and end before the Wesak Fullmoon Poya Day. The specialty here is that, no artificial paints are used while the processed lime is applied using utensils made of natural materials only.
Under the guidance of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero, the incumbent of Ruwanweli Maha Chaithyaramaya Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Nayaka Thero handles this massive task.
The 'Vishrama Shala', the pilgrim's rest for the convenience of the devotees arriving at Mahaviharaya is being renovated suitable for the modern ages. Built over half century ago, this pilgrim's rest was at a very poor state. Therefore, the renovation of this building was undertaken on the advice of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero.
The building is fully tiled, the bathrooms and the kitchen are modernized while a new set of toilets are being constructed.
Construction of the new Monastery of the Lankaramaya Temple belonging to the Mahaviharaya is in progress during this period. As the over 100 years old monastery building was at a dilapidated state, construction of the new building was begun. Accordingly, the Lankarama Monastery will be rebuilt following the 'Panchavasa' architecture special to the ancient Anuradhapura era.
Done under the advice and guidance of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero, the construction work of this monastery is supervised by Ven. Relapanawe Dhammajothi Nayaka Thero, incumbent of the Lankarama Temple. The roof of the new monastery is being done these days.
A very rarely occurred sacred sapling of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi of Anuradhapura was planted with much festivity at the Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India, on 2nd March 2014. The sacred Bodhi sapling was ceremonially carried to India by a ten member official delegation of the Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya headed by Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero consisting of four venerable Bhikkhus of Mahaviharaand six lay devotees.
The Global Vipassana Pagoda consisting of a great pagoda with room for about 10,000 people to sit at a timeis a world renowned Buddhist Meditation Centre where devotees from all over the world arrive for meditation.On the kind request of its founder honorable Sri Satya Narayan Goenka, Atamasthanadhipathi Nayaka Thero donated this sacred Bodhi sapling to the GVP for the benefit of the world beings.
At the Mahaviharaya recreated after 800 years, the Poya day Programmes will commence from this MedinFullmoonPoya Day. These programmes following the traditions of the ancient Mahaviharaya, will be held under the guidance and advise of Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero.
The Poyaday Programme of the Mahavihara will consist of two Dhamma Talks, a layman's speech, a reading from the Jathaka Story Book, a 'DamsabhaMandapaya' (a discussion of Dhamma), a Meditation Programme and a Bodhi Pooja. The Dhamma Talks will be delivered by a well-known Thero learned in Dhamma and a Thero from the Atamasthana. At the end of these Dhamma Talks, the devotees will have the occasion to raise their questions on the Dhamma and get the proper answers to them. The Layman's talk will be delivered by a famous scholar, to enlighten the devotees on the Buddhist Culture. The DamsabhaMandapaya will be participated by the excellent scholars of the island. The meditation programme will be conducted by a Venerable Thero well experienced in meditation.
The first phase of the meritorious task of recreating the Mahaviharaya, the construction of its main building complex is nearing completion.
In 236 BC or 2249 years ago, the Mahaviharaya was originated by Arahanth Mahendra Maha Thero. King Devanampiyathissa who ruled in Anuradhapura provided his full patronage towards this. All kings who succeeded him too, did their best to develop and maintain the Mahaviharaya. According to the travelogue of Chinese Bhikkhu Fa Hien who visited Sri Lanka in the 5th century AD, 3,000 Bhikkhus have dwelt in the Mahaviharaya.