The Significance of Unduvap Poya Day

The arrival of the great Arahat Bhikkuni Sangamitta to Sri Lanka and the found chon of establishment of the order of the nuns (Bhikkuni Sasanaya) took place on Unduvap Poya Day. Further on this Unduvap Poya Day, she brought with her a sapling of the Sacred Jayasrimaha Bodhi tree from Buddhagaya. Where Prince Siddhartha attained Enlightenment. The Bo-sapling was brought to Sri Lanka from India through the Expressway or Highway constructed from Dambakola Patuna, a sea port in the North of Sri Lanka, to Anuradhapura, with all pomp and glamour with respect of honour befitting to this event. The Bo-sapling was presented to the ruler of Sri Lanka, Devanampiyatissa.

The advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka took place on Poson Poya Day with the arrival of Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka and the foundation for the establishment of the order of nuns began with the coming of Arahat Mahinda’s sister Arahat Sangamitta Thera to Sri Lanka.

Pretty, pleasant and charming Princess Sanghamitta at the age of 16, married a Prince namely Aggribrahama. They were blessed with a son. They named him Sumana. Emperor Asoka’s brother Prince Tissa entered the Buddhist order. He was followed by Prince Aggribrahama. After he entered the Buddhist order, the little Prince Sumana too entered the Buddhist order at the age of seven (7) years.

The turning point of Sanghamitta’s life was, that she too decided to enter the sasana as a Bhikkuni. She entered the order of nuns, under the guidance of two elderly nuns, namely Ayupali and Dhammapali. At the age of 61 years, during the reign of King Uttiya, Arahat Therani Sanghamitta passed away. Sri Lankans are ever grateful to these two Arahat Mahinda and Theri Sanghamitta, who were responsible in making Sri Lanka the “Dhammadeepa”.

These two events changed the entire course of Sri Lanka’s history. With these two significant events, there sprang up a new society, economy, culture, arts, crafts and a proud Buddhist civilization and Buddhist Literature. Mahamegha Park at Anuradhapura-Mahavihara became the citadel Buddhism, which was to be official religion of Sri Lanka. The present day the city of Anuradhapura and its ruins, the massive stupas, edifies, the tanks are a silent tribute to Arahat Mahinda and Sanghmitta Theri. No visit by an foreign delegation, envoys, diplomats has created such an impact on the lives of Sri Lankans as the visits of Arahat Mahinda and Arahat Sanghamitta. It was the dawn of a new social, cultural and spiritual revolution in the island. After Sanghamitt’s arrival, Buddhism was deeply rooted. This took place on Unduvap Poya Day, and the Buddhists pay homage to Sanghamitta specialisation this day. Anuradhapura is the centre of attraction on this Unduvap Poya Day. Many devotees observe sil at the Jayasri Maha Bodhi and Ruwanveliseya premises. (for full story)
By Premasara Epasinghe

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