The Buddha Rashmi Vesak Festival to mark The Buddha’s 2562 Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing Away, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office under the direction of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Temple was declared open last evening.
The Vesak festival is held along Nawam Mawatha, the surrounding areas of the Temple and the Temple Trees premises. The display of the Sacred Buddha Relics together with Vesak lanterns and pandals would be held from April 29 to May 2.
The Sacred Relics of The Buddha brought from India and Pakistan would be displayed along with historic artifacts, including the Deepankara Buddha statue, Shakyamuni Buddha statue and the Maithree Bosath’s statue brought to Sri Lanka from Nepal and Bhutan will be on display for devotees to worship at Temple Trees during this period.
The Sacred Buddha Relics brought to Sri Lanka for the first time from Mulagandhakuti Vihara Varanasi (Baranesa) in Sarnath, India and the Sacred Buddha Relics brought to Sri Lanka from the Thakshala Museum in Pakistan were brought to Sri Lanka on Saturday.
The Sacred Relics and historic artifacts were accepted at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake by the Chief Incumbent of the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Temple Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, Venerable Buddhist monks, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Buddhasasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Land and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilake and Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
The Sacred Relics and artifacts that were kept at the Gangaramaya Temple from Saturday were brought to Temple Trees in procession. The procession that left the Temple at 4 pm yesterday and reached Temple Trees at 4.30 pm was received by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Exposition of the Sacred Relics and historic artifacts will be open to the public from 7 pm on April 29 until 4 pm on May 2. During this period stalls, cultural shows, Bakthi Gee programmes and Dansel would be organised by various public and private institutions and the Security Forces within the Buddha Rashmi Vesak Festival premises.