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It is the last Poya in the rainy season. The announcement of the future Buddhahood of Maitriya Bodhisatva, the first Buddhist Missionery activity by Sixty Arahaths, Jatila Brothers-Uruwela, Nadi, Gaya the Buddhist Order, Festival of “Devahaona” or Ascendency to heaven by Gautama Buddhist, acceptance of a Robe from the Future Buddha to be Maitriya, who was a disciple of Gautama Buddha, passing away of “Dharmasenapathi” one of the Chief Disiples Sariputta took place on Il Full Moon Poya Day.
Sariputra was one of the ten major disciples of the Buddha. Born in a village to the North of Rajagraha in Magadha, India he became a follower of the famous ascetic Samjaya, along with Moggallana. Each had one hundred disciplines, and all of them became followers of the Enlightened One, after the conversion of their masters. Sariputra was regarded as the most brilliant of the Buddha’s disciples. He passed away while Buddha was alive. Arahat Sariputra, on divining that his death was drawing near, made up his mind to end his Sansara Journey at the house in which he was born, after converting his mother Rupasari, from Brahmin Faith to Buddhism, informed the Enlightened One, accordingly and obtained permission to go with a Retinue of Bhikkhus to his native village named Nalaka seven days prior to attainment of Nibbana which occurred on an Il Full Moon Poya Day.
Gautama Buddha observed Vas-Rainy Retreat season, at Isipatanaramaya in Benares. At the end of the Vas Period, Buddha addressed the Sixty Arahats thus:
Charata Bhikkae, Charikan, Bahujana Hitaya, Bahujana Sukhaya, Lokanukampaya Attaya Hitana Sukhaya Devamanussanam, Ma Ekena Deva Agamitta Desetha Bhikkave Dhamman Adikarayanam Puriyosana, Kalyanam Pariyosana Kayanan Satthan Sakyanjawan Kevala Paripunnan Parisudaan Brahamachariyam Pakasetha.
Oh! Bhikkus, for the Welfare of the many for the happiness of the Many, through compassion to the world, go ye forth, and spread Buddha Doctrine for the benefit of Devas, and Human Beings.
Another important landmark event that took place on Il Full Moon Poya Day was the receipt of pemission (Niyatha Vivarana) by Bodhisatra Maitriya to be the next Enlightened One or the Future Buddha Maitriya. Siriwaddana had entered the Buddhist Order as Bhikku Maitriya. The Buddhas with his divine vision and insight, predicted that in Benares there will be a kingdom known as “Kethumathi” and a king called Sanka whose advisor Subrahamme and his wife Brahamawathi will be parents of Future Buddha Maitriya and that he will attain enlightenment under Banyan Tree. The prediction of emergence of the future Buddha was announced on Il Full Poya Poya Day.
It may be, all of us, including the writer will attain the Bliss of Nibbana seeing and meeting Maitriya Buddha in the Kingdom of Khethumathi.
There were many religious leaders and philosophers in India during the time of Buddha. Then there were number of Hermits. There were three brothern Uruwela. Nadi and Gaya Kassapa. They lived in a Hermitage by the side of River Neranja. The Blessed one proceeded to hermitage of Uruwela Kasyapa and performed “Pelahara” – Spiritual powers or Dual psychic power, and all three brothers and their followers numbering thousand joined the Buddhist Order and Gautama Buddha delivered Adithya Pariyaya Sutta and they attained Arahatship, where they will no longer subject to death and re-birth. These events also took place on Il Full Moon Poya Day.
The Il Full Moon Poya day marks the end of the Rainy Retreat Period or “Vassana-Samaya. The Bhikkus assign themselves to indoors in the temples and observe “Bhavana” meditation and other religious activities in their “Vihara aramayas” Il Poya can be considered as the end and climax of the Rainy Season. The grand ceremonies of offering “Katina Cheeva” can be considered as a highlight of this poya. It is supposed to be one of the higher meritorious acts that individuals can perform. Early morning there are processions carrying the Katina Robe to the temples. Those Buddhist Monks who performed “Pasuvas” (the period after the observance of “Peravas”) terminate the Rainy Retreat period of “Vassana Samaye” on this Il Full Moon Poya Day.
The majority of Sri Lankans follow the most Treasured Religion Theravada Buddhism pronounced by the Greatest son bon in the Indian Soil, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.
Turning the pages of Sri Lanka’s proud history, from time immemorial, upto date, Indian and Sri Lanka maintain very cordial relationship in social economic, and cultural matters. Therefore you can consider Buddhism as the golden thred that bound these two countries.
With the advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka during the reign of Devananpiyatissa, a new culture and civilization sprang. The first stupa in Sri Lanka was called Thupharama in Anuradhaura. The laying of the foundation to construct the Dagaba took place on Il Full Poya Day. The “Aku Dhatu” of Buddha in treasured in this Dagaba.