President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will participate as the Chief Guests of the State Poson Festival to be held on June 23 and 24.
The President will switch on the Mihintale “Lake House” Aloka Pooja on 24th evening (Poson Full Moon Day). The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Aloka Pooja on June 23 while Anuradhapura Government Agent R.W. Wanninayake will inaugurate the Aloka Pooja on June 25. The Lake House Aloka Pooja, sponsored by Dialog, is being held in collaboration with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
Referring to the Poson religious activities, Ven. Walawahengunawewe Dhammarathana Nayake Thera, the Custodian and the Chief incumbent of Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara told the Daily News that in view of Poson, a week-long Rathana Sutta chanting started at the Meda Maluwa on June 20 and would continue till June 27 with the objective of invoking the blessings of the Triple Gem and the deities for the eradication of COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the world.
The Nayake Thera requested Buddhist devotees to Practice Arahath Mahinda Commemoration religious observations confining themselves to their homes and adhering to the health regulations.
“Devotees could observe and participate in Poson religious observances at home. The SLRC will bring you live religious programmes from the Mihintale Sacred City where the State Poson Festival takes place,” the Nayake Thera said.
“We are in need of dry food including four requisites for the use of Bhikkhu inmates staying at Mihintale temple. Donors could contact 071-4601781 for more information, with regard to offering such aid,” the Nayake Thera further said.
Chief Incumbent of the Anuradhapura Ruwanweli Maha Seya Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Nayake Thera told the Daily News that the Buddha has preached that it was a noble thing for someone to protect himself from evil while protecting others from such disasters.
This theory is applicable today to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“Buddhists shall realise that the prevailing situation in the country created by the COVID-19 pandemic is a golden opportunity to evaluate and adhere to precious teachings of The Buddha, including such as virtuous practice, discipline gratitude, the impermanence of life and rectifying the mistakes in one’s life,” Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Nayake Thera said.
The Nayake Thera also urged devotees to follow a disciplined lifestyle by participating in religious observances.
The Nayake Thera appealed to Buddhist devotees to chant or replay the Ratana Sutta at home.
Anuradhapura Government Agent R.M. Wanninayake said that the attendance of devotees at the Mihintale State Poson religious celebrations has been restricted in view of the COVID-19 health regulations. He appealed to the public to refrain from visiting the Anuradhapura Atamasthana in view of the prevailing pandemic.