• Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Thai monks’ foot pilgrimage promoting world peace arrives in Sri Lanka

Dr. Avissawelle Dhammananda Thera, President of the Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Foundation, played a pivotal role in organising the pilgrimage. (Representative images: iStock)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

A delegation of 100 Thai monks, on a foot pilgrimage through Buddhist countries worldwide, recently arrived in Sri Lanka, advocating for global peace. Led by Ajahn Dhammavijayo Thera, Chief Incumbent of Wat Khoi Hampar Lompai temple in Phetchaburi, Thailand, these monks spent 20 days walking across Sri Lanka, sustaining themselves with only one meal a day.

Dr. Avissawelle Dhammananda Thera, President of the Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Foundation, played a pivotal role in organising the pilgrimage. The monks engaged in various activities promoting peace, including chanting Pirith and performing ‘Adhisthana Pooja’ at sacred sites like Kelaniya, Dambulla, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and Ruwanweli Maha Saya.

Ajahn Dhammavijayo Thera highlighted the purpose of their pilgrimage, stressing the urgent need for peace amidst global conflicts. He expressed hopes that their journey would inspire compassion and harmony, invoking the power of Buddha’s teachings.

The historical and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Thailand were also underscored. Arahant Mahinda’s arrival in Sri Lanka from India significantly influenced the spread of Buddhism, while religious exchanges between the two countries date back centuries. Sri Lanka’s hospitality towards the visiting monks was praised, with locals showing remarkable generosity and care throughout their journey.

Dr. Avissawelle Dhammananda Thera reflected on the remarkable support received from the Sri Lankan community, emphasizing the country’s commitment to Buddhist values. He also highlighted the potential of Buddhist pilgrimage tourism in Sri Lanka, calling for enhanced facilities to accommodate international visitors.

The arrival of the Thai monks’ foot pilgrimage in Sri Lanka symbolises the enduring bonds of Buddhism and the shared pursuit of peace among nations.

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