Kapilavastu relics: It was a life-long dream come true, say devotees
The sacred Kapilavastu relics that were brought to Sri Lanka on August 19, after more than three decades, made its way back to India on Wednesday (September 12) after an estimated three million people stood in winding queues for long hours to show their veneration and fulfil what some said was a life-long dream.
A tired but overjoyed 75-year-old M. A. Kamalawathi said she had stood in the line at the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya since 3 a.m. on Monday (Sept 10) and finally got to see the relics around four in the evening the following day. “I can barely walk now. I hadn’t eaten for the whole day but I came to see my Lord Buddha and it was like seeing him in real life,” she said with great veneration.
“This is indeed a rare opportunity. After seeing the relics I feel I can actually die in peace. I am grateful to the people who made this dream come true,” said 64 year-old Edwin Rajapaksa from Kalubowila who came to the Gangaramaya Temple last Saturday for the exposition of the relics there.
R. P. Wasanthi a mother of two from Matara said she brought her children to be blessed by the relics. “I believe that my children will be protected by the blessings we gained today,” she said, adding that the long wait to see and worship the relics was worth it all.
Although initially the relics were to be taken to seven venues it was later extended to 10. They included the Manel watte Viharaya, Kelaniya (August 19-21); Rajamaha Viharaya, Pelmadulla (August 22 and 23);Jayanthi Viharaya, Anuradhapura (August 24-26); Agrabodhi Viharaya, Kantale (August 27 and 28); Naranvita Temple, Gampola(August 29 and 30); Sri Sumangala Pirivena, Wariyapola (August 31 and September 1); Matara Bodhiya, Matara (September 2-4);Tissamaharama Viharaya, Tissamaharama (Septemeber 5-7); Gangaramaya Viharaya (September 8-10); and the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya (September 11).
At most venues the exposition took place smoothly with Police ensuring maximum security in and around the exposition sites and food and beverages being provided by the Sri Lanka Army and other private organisations. First Aid facilities and toilet facilities too were provided to devotees who flocked from different parts of the country.
However, devotees complained that when the exposition took place at the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya on Tuesday, an area minister had provided special passes for some residents from Kelaniya with each pass giving access to five people to enter the temple.
N. K. Ariyawathi a 59 year-old mother who had come with her family from Galle said they had stood in the queue since Monday night. “We came from Galle around 6 p.m. last evening (Monday) and stood in the queue since11 p.m. But we got a chance of seeing the relics only around 3 p.m. today (Tuesday, September 11). However some people who came only this morning were able to get into the temple before us,” she complained.
Ariyawathi was not the only one who was disgruntled. P. Wijetissa who had come to the Kelaniya Temple last Tuesday from Avissawela said that they had to turn back because some people with passes had jumped the queue. “This was very unfair because no matter what all of us were here to see the relics. The ministers should stay away from religious events,” he said.
The relics were brought to Sri Lanka from India for the second time, after 34 years, to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha.
comments powered by Disqus