Many important events take place on Esala full moon poya day, not only for humans but also for the devas as well. This was the day of which the supreme Lord Buddha proclaimed the Dhammachakkapavaththana sutra and the wheel of Dhamma was set in motion. There was many other great events took place on that day!
>The conception of Prince Siddhartha (Bodhisattva) in Queen Mahamaya Devi’s womb
>The great Renunciation of Sadhuth Bosath
>Birth of Prince Rahula
>Gautama Buddha arrived at the Deer park of Isipathana to preach Dhamma for the first five ascetics, Kondanchya , Vappa, Bhadhdhiya , Mahanama and Assaji.
>The ascetic Kondanchya attained the state of Sothapatti.
>Preaching Abhidharma to the divine son of the land owners work for heaven
>The event of holding the first Dharma Sanghayana after three months of Parinirvana of Lord Buddha
These incidents were happened on a great Esala poya to day to today. Esala poya is very important because these incidents are related with the character of Lord Buddha. Therefore the Esala Poya is very important For the Sri Lankan Buddhist Community. Establishing the foundation for the Maha Chetiya or Stupa, Ruwanvelisaya and also its enshrinement of relics by King Dutugemunu was happend in that day too.
Esala Poya also marks the start of the Vas Kalaya (rainy season retreat) for Upasampada Buddhist Monks . The e Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Prince Dhantha from the city of tooth (Dhanthapura) in the state of Kalinga, on the Eastern coastal belt of India (present Orissa) was the home of the Sacred Tooth Relic originally.
The King, who was also known as Kirthi Sri Meghavarna was very happy to receive the Sacred Tooth Relic. The Sacred Tooth Relic was taken annually to Abhayagiri Viharaya in a grand procession and kept there for three months for the Buddhist people to worship. It is believed that the procession could be the origin of today’s annual Esala Dalada Perahera held in Kandy and it was associated with the temple of the tooth relic (Dalada Maligawa.) The Perahera is held in August.
Esala Poya is also known as pora Marilla or Milk Poya in the southern provinces of Sri Lanka. This Kiripoya, which is celebrated festively in the places beyond the Bentara River and in the houses on the seashore, cooks a new pot of kiribata and kiriya near the end of the night. This custom, which is unique to the southern province, has been going on for a long time. Likewise, Esala poya is very important to the Buddihist devotees of Sri Lanka.
As the zeroplastic national movement we would like to invite you to join with us to celebrate this poya day without using plastics. Reduce the use of plastic as much as you can. We kindly request you to reduce the use of plastic containers to put flowers and other things that we use at the temple make sure to worship lord buddha without using plastic or polythene. So we will be able to convert temples into plastic-free places.
By : Tharuka Karunarathne
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka