It is with great devotion that we, Buddhists of Sri Lanka, celebrate this Poson Poya Day that marks the arrival of Arahath Mahinda with the message of Buddhism through which we saw the rise of a great religious, cultural and social tradition.
The arrival of Arahath Mahinda to our land 230 years after the Mahaparinibbana of the Buddha also gave our people a new freedom that has moulded our thinking on respect for and sustenance of the lives of humans and all other living species, and protection of vegetation, land and water resources. He also taught us the value of simple way of life with his example of a frugal life style. The cave in which Arahath Mahinda resided, ‘Mihindu Guhava’ is an example of his simplicity.
The Buddhist foundation centred at Mihintale gradually expanded to the great ancient kingdoms of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa with the proud cultural heritage of ancient Buddhist Viharas and Chaithyas leading to a proud legacy of a rich Buddhist culture.
It is the teachings of Buddha that showed us the correct path and that led us to be a righteous member among the comity of nations. Since ancient times, our rulers governed the country with the principle of justice to everyone in the society as taught in Buddhism. Today, we are determined to take corrective steps to restore those values that were gradually eroded.
The state policy today is to reject immoralities in society and build a nation in which everyone could live as honourable citizens in accordance with the Buddha Dhamma.
As stated in the Dhammapada:
Yo ce vassasatam ji᷅ve - kusi᷅to hinavi᷅riyo
Ekãham ji᷅vitam seyyo - viriyamãrabhato dalham
“One day in life of a person who strives towards perfection is better than hundred years in the life of an indolent, idle person”
We should therefore, determine on this Poson day to strive to improve our spiritual and social lives following the teachings of the Buddha.
May you all be blessed by the Noble Triple Gem.