Amazing customs of Siripa season that we don't know

The year 2022 is going to start the Siripa Vandana season with Unduwap Poha. It is said that due to the reduced risk of Covid, devotees are more likely to come to worship Siripa than in previous years. Syria is an occasion where many rituals are performed to start as well as end the pilgrimage season.

This article tries to give you an insight into the wonderful customs of the Siripa season that we don't know about.

Siripa pilgrimage season.

Sripada pilgrimage season is considered to be the longest pilgrimage season in the world.

The Siripa Vandana season starts with Unduwap Poha and ends with the next Vesak Poha. Sri Pada Vandana period is 6 months. Therefore, the period from May to December is called the 'off-season'.

Due to the Covid epidemic, the pilgrimage to Siripa was restricted in 2020, and last year 2021 too, many people came together to worship Siripa under strict health rules. The 2022-2023 Siripa pilgrimage season is coming.

Religious rituals are held in several places starting on the day of Unduwap Poho, which marks the beginning of the Siripa season.

· Rituals performed at Galpotthawela Rajamaha Vihara in Pelmadulla.

· Sacrifices performed at Ratnapura Maha Saman Temple

· They can be described as religious rituals performed in Samanola mountain.

Galpotthawela Sri Pada Rajamaha Vehera

The basic religious rites and rituals to start the Sripada Vandana season are performed at the Sripada Raja Maha Viharaya in Pelmadulla Galpotthawela. It is believed that this temple was built by King Kirti Sri Rajasingha and offered to Sripadasthan. The current Sripada Nayaka Thero, Dhammdinna Thero of Bengamu is serving as the head of this temple.

The sacred casket placed on the Sripadasthan hill, the historical Sumana Saman Deva statue which is considered to belong to the Dambadeni era, is kept in the Galpotwela temple for six months during the off-season.

Dhammadinna of Vehella (during the reign of Udarata), Medhankara of Galle (for 25 years from 1836), and Atthadassi Thero of Galagama (for 4 years from 1860) also lived here. A Tampita temple belonging to the Kandy era can also be seen here. The Sudarshan Dharma Hall, built for the Dharma Sangayana held in 1867, is also located adjacent to the temple grounds.

Initiation Rites.

Although the pilgrimage season begins on Unduwap Pun Poho day, the basic rituals associated with it take place about two days before. Along with the prefects of the Sripada station, the Theva bhara theras at the top of the Siripa mountain, Saman Devala Kapu, and the Sripada staff join to perform these rituals.

These rituals are done in two parts, Buddha Pooja and Deva Pooja. The first place is given to Buddha offerings. Sumana Saman, who is considered to be the lord of Samangira, is mentioned in the legends as a Buddhist worshiper of Sowan merit, so it is possible to see Buddha Puja and religious rituals being performed before the Deva Pujas.

Among the rituals during the pilgrimage, the first thing that takes place is the thirty-hour devotional sermon at Galpottawala Vihara.

Two days before the day of Unduwap Pun Poho, this sermon is started. After that, the deities, including the historical sandalwood statue of Lord Saman, which is kept in a special chamber in the temple's Saman temple, are brought out at the auspicious moment.

At that time, the Seth pirit and wedding drumming of the monks also takes place. Then, under the leadership of Sripada Nahimi and the chief Kapumahatma of Udamalawa, the Devapooja and rituals are performed. After that, until the dawn of the night, you can see the devotees coming in large numbers and offering sacrifices for Lord Saman.

A procession of cars.

At dawn on the day before the day of Poya, offerings containing deities are deposited in the open mandapams built on beautiful chariots. After that, the procession of vehicles will pass by Pelmadulla, Lellopitiya and arrive at Maha Saman Temple in Ratnapura. It is also customary to perform several rituals at the Saman temple.

One of the traditions that takes place there is offering heel donation to the Maha Sangharatna that is traveling in the procession. After these rituals, the car processions with deities start moving again from Ratnapura Maha Saman Temple. Initially, it left in two processions, but recently, this sacred festival is moving towards Samanala Kanda in four processions.

To Sripada in four perahara.

This year too Sripada Puda ritual will be held at Sripada Rajamaha Vihara at Galpottawala from night till dawn today (5th). The Perahara starts in the early morning of December 6. The organizers say that this season too, the vehicles will travel in four lines. It goes like this:

1 Hatton Perahara via Pelmadulla Ratnapura

2 Perehara on Ratnapura Palabaddala road

3 From Saman Temple to Kuruwita Eratna Road Perahara

4 Balangoda Bhagwanthalawa Road Perehara

The four processions led by Sri Padasthanadi, Bengamuwe Dhammadinna Prefects, Ratnapura district secretary including Kuruwitha, Ahaliyagoda, Pelmadulla, Seethawaka, Hatton, Ginigathhena, police officers including divisional secretaries and Superintendents of Police in charge of Ratnapura divisions and police officers from Siripagama, Pelmadulla, Kuruwitha, Ahaliyagoda, Seethawaka Hatton Balangoda They travel along the highway under the supervision of station officials. On the way, devotees worship sacred objects and give aid.

One procession starts its journey towards Sripada Udamaluwa along the Ratnapura Malwala Palabaddala road.

The other processions will start their journey to Sripada along the route of Avissawella, Kithulgala, Hatton, and Nallathanniya. Perahara, which departs from Saman Dewala in Ratnapura, goes to Eratne via Kuruwita and from there walks to Udamaluwa. Balangoda Perahara reaches Nallathanni through Bhagavantala Hatton.

All the processions that travel in this way move towards Sripada Udamala when Unduwap Punpohoya is dawning. In the early morning of Poho day, Sri Padasthanadipati Thera, leading Sripada Trustees, jump and smell the fragrance of Siripatula and then parade and place the pooja objects in the Udamalu.

After the Buddha Puja and Deva Puja, the devotees will have the opportunity to worship Sripada in the new year.

Completion of the pilgrimage season.

On the day after Vesak Poho, which comes six months later, Sripada prefects and chief monks come near the Sripada mark at dawn. There, a Buddha pooja is held at the hospital. A deva pooja will be held at Udamalawa's Saman temple afterward.

This event is the last religious activity that takes place in Udamala during the pilgrimage season. Hevisi players in Udamalu playing a wedding drum and a Tewa drum is also a tradition that has been going on since ancient times. Devotees are not allowed to enter Udamalu after the tiwa drums have been played. Later, while the chief monk Sripada preaches Seth Pirith, the cotton gentlemen and workers of Udamalawa perform the rituals of putting the pilgrimage season to an end.

After Seth Pirith's sermon, the relic casket which is first placed on the upper floor is taken out with a good omen. Then, Saman brings out the idols and ornaments. The two golden pillars built above Sripada Padma will also be removed from those places. After that, the Siripa logo is sprinkled with the scent of the lotus flower. The sacred objects brought outside are brought from the upper courtyard to the lower courtyard and placed in two dolas with beautiful ransivili amidst the sounds of Heavisi and Sadhu.

After these activities, the doors of the upper house are locked. The Saman temple is also closed and the doors are locked. After that, processions led by dhols with deva ornaments start moving down the hill. During the off-season, no monks stay at Sripadasthan. Only a few Sripada guards are in the lower courtyard. After the end of the pilgrimage season, electricity will be switched off on Sripada road. Only a few light bulbs are left on the top. Water supply is also temporarily stopped.


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