The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
Paying homage to the 28 Buddhas - Poya feature
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Not many temples in Sri Lanka have an `ata visi budu medura' – an image house portraying the 28 Buddhas. Where such image houses are erected, devotees venerate them with much respect and reverence.
At Vajiraramaya in Anuradhapura, a newly erected 'ata visi budu medura' was opened last week in the presence of a large gathering of devotees.
Clad in white, they sat on mats spread on the sandy ground in and around the Bo tree with the evening breeze providing a comfortable setting. Offerings of flowers, incense and 'gilampasa' by the clergy and the laity marked the opening of the 'budu medura'.
It was followed by a 'bodhi puja'.
Based on a concept by the young, energetic patron monk, Venerable Talalle Chandakitthi Thera, the Dhammadeepa Foundation had undertaken the task of erecting the 'budu medura' to honour the Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Maha Nayaka Thera and Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera]] for their immense service to the Sasana and the nation.
While housing the statues of the 28 Buddhas, each statue has been placed in the backdrop of the particular tree under which each of the Buddhas attained Enlightenment.
The list starts with Thanhankara Buddha who attained Enlightenment under a 'ruk attana bodhiya' followed by Medhankara Buddha under the 'kaela bodhiya'.
The list continues:
Saranankara Buddha ('pulila'),
Deepankara Buddha ('neralu'),
Kondanna Buddha ('sal'),
Mangala Buddha ('na'),
Sumana Buddha ('na'),
Revata Buddha ('na'),
Sobhita Buddha ('na'),
Anomadassi Buddha ('kumbuk'),
Paduma Buddha ('murutha'),
Narada Buddha ('murutha'),
Padumuttara Buddha ('kiripalu'),
Sumedha Buddha ('bak mee'),
Sujatha Buddha ('una'),
Piyadassi Buddha ('kumbuk'),
Atthadassi Buddha ('sapu'),
Dhammadassi Buddha ('rankaraw'),
Siddhatta Buddha ('knihiri'),
Tissa Buddha ('kohomba'),
Phussa Buddha ('nelli'),
Vipassi Buddha ('palol'),
Sikhi Buddha ('etamba'),
Vessabhu Buddha ('sal'),
Kakusanda Buddha ('maara'),
Konagama Buddha ('dimbul'),
Kassapa Buddha ('nuga') and
Gautama Buddha ('asathu').
Explaining the significance of the 28 Buddhas, Chandakitthi Thera says they have been identified as the ones from whom Gautama the Buddha as a Bodhisatva obtained 'niyatha vivarana' (asseveration) over many centuries.
The Buddhas fall into three categories -
'saddhadhika ' - those whose forte is piety and devotion,
'pragnadhika' - wisdom being their highlight and
'veerayadhika' - those with courage and bravery.
The environment has been most conducive for them to make their appearance. Five conditions - referred to as 'pas maha belum' - had to be fulfilled before a Bodhisatva reached the final stage of reaching Buddhahood.
Chandakitthi Thera explains the significance of each of them.
The sight of the 28 Buddhas in the well lit 'budu medura' at the Vajiraramaya is so serene and peaceful. Hereafter every Sunday morning, the 'daham pasal' students will assemble in front of the statues, offer flowers and chant the stanzas before starting to learn the dhamma.