India and Sri Lanka celebrate their spiritual connectivity

The Sri Lanka High Commission in India has made arrangements to display a Vesak Pandol, known in Sinhala language as "Thorana", from 15-21 May here coinciding with PM Narendra Modi's visit to Colombo to celebrate Lord Buddha's life.

The inauguration of this Vesak Pandol will take place on May 15 by Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Minister of Education, Sri Lanka and Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs.

India and Sri Lanka

"Vesak" is the holy tri-festival that symbolizes the Birth (of Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini, Nepal), the Enlightenment (in Bodhgaya, in India) and the Passing Away (in Kusinara, in India) of the Buddha, one of the most venerated philosophers in the world, celebrated by the Buddhists the world over with great reverence. It is known "Vesak" or "Buddha Purnima" in India.

The Vesak is celebrated on the day of full-moon in the month of May commemorating these three holy events that took place 2561 years ago. This year, the "Vesak" full moon day falls on the 10th of May.

"Vesak" full-moon day has been recognized by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 54/115 of 1999 as an international day of observance. Arrangements are underway for the annual UN Vesak celebrations to be held in a grand scale in Sri Lanka this year.

India and Sri Lanka spiritual connectivity

The "Vesak" season begins on the full-moon day of May with brightly lit Pandols, called "thorana", erected mainly in the cities and scattered in the public places island-wide Sri Lanka. Usually each Pandol carries a Jataka story of the Buddha's 550 previous births or any important event/s in the life of the Buddha. They are colourfully illustrated and illuminated with thousands of electric bulbs. The "thorana" in New Delhi depicts the story of "Angulimala". The message given by this story to the humanity is that 'Any untamable could be tamed by compassion'.

This is a 40 feet high artwork lit up with 15,000 bulbs, considered the first ever "thorana" (Pandol) erected in New Delhi, India. The story of Angulimala will be played in hindi language for the public to understand the story. Arrangements are also underway to have a Bakthi Gee Session (Buddhist religious songs) sung by the members of the Sri Lanka High Commission staff and their family members, Sri Lankan Students and Sri Lankans living in New Delhi deriving the true spirit of the qualities and life of Buddha which will add colour to this auspicious event.

As it is done in Sri Lanka, the Shanthipath area will also be lit up with 200 white colour lanterns and buckets making the area a Vesak Kalapaya or the Vesak Compound that celebrates Buddha Purnima in New Delhi.

India and Sri Lanka spiritual connectivity

This will be the first time in India a Pandol will be displayed and will be a historic event. It is coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Sri Lanka as the Chief Guest at the United Nations Vesak Day Celebrations in Colombo from 11-12 May 2017.

The significance of this event lies with its unique nature and the historic relevance that it entails which marks as an important milestone for India Sri Lanka bilateral relations based on Buddhism. It will further rejuvenate the legacy of spiritual connectivity that has existed between Sri Lanka and India over many millennia.

(According to economictimes.indiatimes.com)

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