President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the chief guest at Ashirwada Pooja organized by the World Buddhist Congress at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa performance theatre yesterday.
The Ashirwada Pooja was conducted for universal peace and co-existence in connection with the completion of the 2600th Sri Sambudaththwa Jayanthi.
Nearly 500 monks from 29 countries including the head of the World Bhikku Conference Venerable Layavu Chunik Thera and monks from China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, India as well as England and the US and about 800 local monks participated in the event.
Welcoming the assembly, the chairman of the organizing committee Venerable Professor Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera said it is a significant event for the monks of all Nikayas (Chapters) throughout the world to assemble and send a special message to the entire world Buddhist population during the Vesak season.
The monks chanted Pirith in Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Korean traditions and blessed for the world peace.
The President also presented awards to several leading monks dedicated to propagating Buddhism in the world at this function.
A cultural show depicting special events in Buddhism was also staged at the occasion.
The foreign monks who attended the ceremony are scheduled to conduct an Ashirvada Pirith ceremony at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy today and also at the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura.