We recently got the rare chance of donating lime and also to whitewash the Thuparama Dageba (Stupa) on an invitation received by Dr. Samadhi. To take part in this event along with him two of us from CCA left to Anuradhapura on the 30th of April. Needless to say month of May is the most important month for us Buddhists all over the world. It is in this background we got to begin our work on the 1st in a very special way. We bring you the story in short, sharing our good work with our viewers. We have planted a seed which will ripen and grow and result in great benefit. We want our viewers to make the most of this story and create blessings for themselves, for their family, their friends, everybody known to them and realize this good deed that will set in motion benefits never to be exhausted.
It was around Six a’ clock in the evening we left Colombo towards Anuradhapura finishing our work at the Cancer Hospital. Passed midnight we lodged at Miridiya Hotel in Anuradhapura to spend the night till breakfast. Arriving at Thuparama Vihara that morning we met with chief incumbent of the temple to inform our presence and to take permission to perform this noble task of whitewashing the Thuparama Dageba.
On receiving blessings from Venerable Maha Sanga we hurried to the Dageba premises to proceed with offerings and religious rituals. We offered 200 Sal* flowers and incense to the Stupa; with utmost devotion chanting Pali gatha’s of worship we marched the Stupa thrice. Then we sat down to chant Suttas and to confer our offerings to lord Buddha formally. This was initiated with a short but detailed discourse by Dr. Samadhi of the value and significance of the Thuparama Stupa as well as our task ahead.
Known to many, Thuparama Dageba is the first Stupa built in Sri Lanka by King Devanam Piyatissa that enshrines the sacred relic of Lord Buddha’s Clavicle. This Stupa can also be considered as the doyen of Stupas in our country with an immense history behind it. It is said that our Lord Gautama Buddha Set foot on this land when he visited Sri Lanka; and also it is said that the previous three Lord Buddha’s born before following each ice age has also set foot on this ground where Thuparama is standing now. And the common belief is that the next Lord Buddha “Maitriya” will also eventually set his foot on this ground according to a custom to all Lord Buddhas that has born and that will be born until this earth ceased to exist. It is in this background we Buddhists proclaim high regard to Thuparama Stupa.
It was also in his oration that he quoted “Great merit is accumulated by those who donate money, materials and effort towards building, renovating and protecting a Stupa. Depending on one’s motivation, any and every help given to such event like whitewashing this Stupa will create blessings for this and future lifetimes. Not everyone can partake in such events like this and it is an inexplicable opportunity to have received this chance in our present life to pay homage to a Stupa like Thuparama with great worth and significance in the history of our religion”
With the chanting of Pirith Suttas workers started painting the Stupa from the spire. When we finished chanting we were invited to climb the Stupa to share the work. Under the broiling sun with intense heat we toiled brushing the lower parts of the dome and base circling for hours with utter devotion. Mixing of lime and painting other structures adjoining the Stupa was also performed by our female parties attending this event. When we departed from the Thuparama Temple after a job well done it was passed lunch time.
Our lunch was arranged at the Mahavihara pilgrimage hall at Sri Maha Bhodi Temple premises by the organizing committee. We took this time to rest a while before getting invited for our next event. It was to clean the golden railings surrounding the most sacred Sri Maha Bhodi Tree under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. Our joy, our feelings overflowed wordless. Only a true Buddhist can understand what it means to spend hours adjacent to this most sacred tree where Lord Buddha stood in front of and paid tribute in gratitude for helping him to attain enlightenment. Taking this yet again another very rare opportunity we spent hours wiping, brushing and cleaning the railings and taking time to worship the Bhodi tree as we liked the way we liked. With a heart full of happiness and bliss we said good bye to our most sacred Sri Maha Bhodi Hamuduruwo and stepped towards the Ruwanweli Maha Seya.
Finally when the sun was setting, we sat down for our concluding pooja of the day. With enormous amount of merits done and collected that no words can explain we offered Lotus flowers and incense to Ruwanweli Maha Stupa and meditated for a while. We gave all the merits to gods and departed relatives, patients known to us. We also blessed every patient at the cancer Institute, everyone known to us and helped us in this day to accomplish such devout work.
Special word of gratitude goes to Mr. Ranga Abeysinghe for giving Dr. Smadhi the opportunity to donate lime and to whitewash the Thuparama Dageba and to clean the golden railings at Sri Maha Bhodi Tree. Also for the generous lunch served to us after strenuous work. We bestow all these merits upon you and wish you attain nibbana within this lifetime. No amount of words can thank Dr. Samadhi for taking us two members of the Cancer Care Association to partake in this very rare event. Thus shortening our Samsara in every possible way on every possible occasion. We wish to thank Mr. Dhamindu Chamala for his generous support in making this journey a success. Thank you for being with us and a valued member of our Association.
May everyone be acknowledged of this Maha Punya Karma and thereby Share the merits we have collected.
*(Flower of Ingyn- Pentacme suavis)