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by Tathālokā Therī

Adorned Vajrasa beneath the Maha Bodhi tree in Buddhagaya
Photo by Dev Bihari Buddhist and from Wikimedia

On this Kattika Punnami (Kartik Purnima) Full Moon today, the Story of the Great Journey of Arhatī Sanghamitta Therī and the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi begins.

On the Kattike Punnami full moon, the Emperor Ashoka held a Great Bodhi Festival in his capital Pataliputra, with the Southern Branch sapling of the Venerable Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, his daughter great bhikkhuni Sanghamittā Therī and her entourage of eleven Bhikkhuni Arahatīs and families skilled in various crafts and technologies who he had prepared for his great gift to his friend King Devanampiya Tissa of Sri Lanka, to his son the great Thera Mahinda, to the people of Sri Lanka - especially the Vice-reign stream-winner Anulā Devī who was longing to ordain - and to the world at large. As it truly was a gift to the whole world, lasting up till now, more than two millennia later...

I spent some time reading a number of the Pāli-text chronicles noting down the dates on the lunar calendar and mapping them onto our contemporary international Roman calendar. In 2022*, this was from now in November up to the December New Moon, when both Jayasri Maia Bodhi and the thousand-strong Arahti Bikkhuni Sangha of Sri Lanka are well established.

(*) This year 2023 is Dec 24th-25th and 26th-27th on the Astro-Solar and Lunar Calendars respectively.

🌕  begins Kattike Punnami Full Moon Uposatha (Nov 26th- 27th) Kartik Purnima :

Bodhi Tree Festival with Emperor Ashoka and Sanghamitta Theri with Bhikkhuni Sangha in Pataliputra.

🌖  following the full moon: (Nov 28th-Dec 4th) for one week Sanghamitta and Bodhi tree's Journey from Pataliputra to Tamralipti Port.

🌗  Waning Lunar Quarter Atthami Uposatha: for one week (Dec 5th-11th) Grand Sendoff on India shores for Sanghamitta and Bodhi Tree at Tamralipti

(noting this post was originally written on the New Moon).

🌑  New Moon Amavasi Uposatha (Dec 12th-13th) for one week Sanghamitta and Bodhi Tree's Journey by Sea from India to Sri Lanka.

🌓 Waxing Lunar Quarter Atthami Uposatha (Dec 19th-28th) for ten days Sanghamitta and Bodhi Tree's Welcome on Sri Lankan shores by King Devanampiyatissa - with Bodhi Tree Coronation on the Full Moon Punnami Uposatha Dec 26th-27th  {originally under the asterism Rohini which is Dec 24th-25th this year}).

🌖(Dec 29th-Jan 3rd) Sanghamitta and Bodhi Tree's Journey to Anuradhapura (4 days).

🌗 Waning Lunar Quarter Atthami Uposatha (Jan 3rd-9th) Bodhi Tree's Establishment in Anuradhapura (7 days).

🌑 New Moon Amavasi Uposatha (Jan 10th) Anula Devi and 1000 companions Ordination with Sanghamitta Theri & Arahantship: Fourfold Sangha is Established in Sri Lanka.


{{*Requesting and welcoming any Pāli readers familiar with the Sri Lankan Pali-text chronicles to please let me know if you see any updates or corrections to be made to my reading -- thank you in advance! }}


This is my 12-minute video of what I'd learned of Sanghamitta's Journey invited by and presented to United Theravāda Bhikkhunī Saṅgha International in December 2021.


This post is part of a series on the Sanghamitta Story Cycle:


The Journey of Sanghamittā & the Bodhi Tree Part I "The Full Moon Day"

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