The Esala Fullmoon Poya Day programme of the Poya day religious programme series of Anuradhapura Mahaviharaya was held on 19th July with the participation of tens of thousands of devotees.
Devotees were placed on the eight precepts at 6.00 am as usual. Ven. Kudaelagamuwe Gnanasiri (BA) Thero of the Bomaluwa Temple placed the devotee on precepts and about twelve thousand devotees participated in it. The morning Buddha Pooja was also conducted by the venerable thero. Devotees had the break for morning Dana at 7.00 am.
The first Dhamma Talk of the day at 8.00 am was delivered by Ven. Bogahamulle Sumana (MA) Thero. The topic of the Dhamma talk was "Dhammachakkapavaththana Sutraya". Based upon the first Dhamma discourse of Lord Buddha, this Sutra contained the essence of Buddha Dhamma. Therefore, it was very valuable for over twenty thousand devotees gathered.
The Layman's Discourse at 9.15 am was delivered by Dr. Dharmasena Hettiarachchi. "Who is 'Me' according to Buddhism?" was the topic of it. It was elaborated through Dhamma that, the beings keep suffering lost in the Samsara, because of not being able to shed the concept of 'me'. The mid day Buddha Pooja was held at 10.30 am, conducted by Ven. Pahalathalawe Sumanasiri (BA) Thero of the Bomaluwa Temple. At 11.00 am, the devotees had the interval for mid day Dana.
Bhanaka Rajakeeya Panditha Ven. Ankumbure Rewatha Thero delivered the Jathaka Story Dhamma Talk at 12.00 noon. The second Dhamma Talk of the day was delivered by Ven. Wilgamuwe Seelarathana (MPhil) Thero. The Dhamma Talk was based upon the "Thasinaya Purakkhatha Paja" gatha of the Thanha Wagga of Dhammapada. Devotees had the opportunity to raise their questions in Dhamma at 2.00 pm. The break for Gilanpasa was given to the devotees at 2.15 pm.
Damsaba Mandapaya started at 2.45 pm based upon the topic "Buddhist thinking". Scholars Dr. K.M.I.Swarnasinghe, Mr. Waduge Karunarathna (MA) and Mr. Rathna Sri Bandara (MA) participated in this Dhamma discussion. The Meditation Programme at 4.00 pm was conducted as usual by Ven. Ipalawa Pemananda Thero. It was a specialty to see that, not only the devotees seated in the Sannipatha Shala where the religious programme was held, but outside at the Welimaluwa of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and other places too, practically participated in meditation with enthusiasm.
The final programme of the day, Bodhi Pooja at 5.00 pm was conducted by Ven. Kehelwala Rewatha (BA) Thero. At the end of this Bodhi Pooja in which the devotees participated with much piousness and after the discontinuation of precepts at 5.55 pm, the Esala Poya day religious programme was concluded at 6.00 pm.
Conducted under the advice and guidance of Most Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Atamasthanadhipathi Nayaka Thero, the Esala Fullmoon day religious programme was coordinated by Ven. Kanubichchiye Rathanajothi Thero of the Bomaluwa Temple.