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Giribhandapuja

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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A great festival, instituted by King Mahadathika Mahanaga on the Cetiyagiri mountain. Carpets were laid from the Kadambanadi to the mountain, in order that people might approach the mountain with clean feet; the road was decorated and illuminated, shops were erected and largesse distributed. There were mimes, songs and music. Lamps were lit throughout the island and even on the sea for one yojana round (Mhv.xxxiv.75ff; AA.i.13). It is said (Vsm.376; Vsm.Trs.ii.436, n.4) that on the day of the festival Mara, wishing to spoil it, rained down a shower of coal, but an Elder created earth in the sky, thus preventing the coal from falling. The most costly offerings given during this feast to any monk - namely, a pair of garments - fell to the lot of a young novice, Lonagirivasi Tissa, in spite of the efforts of the kings ministers to get them into the hands of the older monks. It was because the novice had practised the saraniya dhamma (DA.ii.535; AA.ii.653f; MA.i.545f).

The festival was probably connected with the Giribhanda vihara, in which case that was the reason for the name.

Source

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