Sri Lanka Army

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Thousands of Soldiers for the First Time in Army History Observe 'Sil' to Commemorate Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Ceremony

A mammoth ‘Sil’ campaign plus a Bodhi Pooja, as part of Army’s contribution to mark the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Vesak commemoration got underway throughout Friday (13) at Panagoda Sri Maha Bodhirajaramaya (Army temple) with the participation of more than 5000 Army personnel and devotees. 

Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, himself a devout Buddhist took time off from his day’s busy schedule and joined thousands of his ‘Sil’ observing soldiers while actively contributing to the conduct of the entire programme, run by prominent Buddhist monks and other Dhamma lecturers.

The Sri Maha Bodhirajaramaya at Panagoda was adorned with Vesak decorations, made of traditional raw materials amidst thousands of fluttering Buddhist flags, replete with various other illuminations, most of which have been produced by soldiers themselves.   

The day’s programme consisted of meditation sessions, Dhamma discussions, release of five cattle bought from the slaughter house, offer of alms and Pirikara, Gilanpasa pooja, offer of pooja to Bodhisatva, Bodhi poojas, lectures on importance of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi, etc.

Lieutenant General Jayasuriya offered alms and Pirikara to members of the Maha Sangha in the programme after participating in the conduct of the Gilanpasa Buddha Pooja. The Commander and his spouse saw five cattle released to civilians on the same occasion for nurturing.

The whole programme, organized by the Army Buddhist Association, chaired by Major General D.R.A.B Jayatillake, was attended by Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, President, Seva Vanitha Army Branch and a large gathering of senior officers, family members, soldiers including woman soldiers. A colourful procession with dancers, flag-bearers and drummers conducted the monk who administered the Bodhi Pooja towards the end of the day’s programme.