Thursday, June 7, 2018

Buddhism arrives in Sri Lanka: Poson (L.A.)

Bhante (Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara); Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
Gold Buddha decorated with colorful flowers, Sarathchandra Buddhist Center, NoHo
India and Sri Lanka connected by land bridge
Poson full moon is an annual festival held by Sri Lankan Buddhists celebrating the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd Century BCE.

The festival is the most important full moon (poya) holiday of the year and the second most important Buddhist holiday of the year behind Vesak.

Poson is celebrated throughout the island off the tip of India, with most important ceremonies being held in ancient Anuradhapura and Mihintale. The festival is held in early June, coinciding with the June full moon.

The festival
Buddhism teaches compassion for all. - Nice!
Poson is celebrated to commemorate the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by the enlightened children of Emperor Asoka, the Buddhist nun Sanghamitta and her elder brother the arhat Mahinda in 236 BC.

The focal point of the religious festival is the Buddhist monastic complex on the mountain of the village of Mihintale, where Mahinda taught Buddhism to one of the kings of Sri Lanka.

Buddhism saved Sri Lanka. US and India destroyed it.
Celebrations are also centered around Buddhist sites in Anuradhapura, which was one of the first cities in Sri Lanka to convert to Buddhism.

During Poson, these two locations attract thousands of pilgrims from across Sri Lanka. These pilgrims dress in white and venerate the spiritual locales.

Many of the most devoted pilgrims spend hours in quiet contemplation to honor the traditions of Buddhism.
Celebrate: LA Buddhist Vihara, Pasadena, June 9, 2018
Outside of Anuradhapura and Mihintale, the festival is celebrated with the telling of stories, music, dancing, the offering of free food and teas (provided by special vendors known as Dansals), and the hanging of paper lanterns.

Some parts of Sri Lanka prohibit the selling of meat and alcohol during the festival -- in honor of a customary proclamation by the ancient Indian Buddhist Emperor Asoka.

He prohibited killing and harming in his empire on special occasions in honor of the Buddha's compassion for all living beings. Muslims and Christians on the island do not much care for such prohibitions, so they continue their Abrahamic ways. More

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