New Delhi, October 17 (newsin.asia): During the opening of the Kushinagar International Airport by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 20, two historical photographs depicting the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka will be unveiled.
These photographs feature two murals painted by the eminent Sri Lankan painter Solias Mendis (1897-1975) in the Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara, visited by the Buddha during his third journey to Sri Lanka.
The photographs will be a gift to the people of India by the people of Sri Lanka with the blessings of the Sri Lankan Maha Sangha. The High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi has taken steps to install these photographs on a proposal by High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda.
India’s greatest emperor, the Buddhist ruler Dharmashoka, sent both his son and daughter to Sri Lanka as emissaries to introduce and spread the teachings of the Buddha. The first mural depicts Arahat Bhikkhu Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka, delivering the message of the Buddha to King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka upon arriving in the island. The second mural depicts the arrival in Sri Lanka of There Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta, the daughter of Emperor Ashoka, bearing a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi tree under which Gotama Siddhartha attained Enlightenment.
The Bodhi tree which was planted in the ancient city of Anuradhapura of Sri Lanka in 249 BCE, has survived for over two millennia. The tree bears the distinction of being the oldest historically recorded living tree in the world and is revered by Buddhists worldwide.
These two historical events that occurred in the 3rd century BCE marked the commencement of Buddhist civilization in Sri Lanka and epitomize the strong and unbreakable civilizational bonds that exist between Sri Lanka and India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Kushinagar International Airport on 20th October and will also lay the foundation stone of a medical college.
Namal Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan Minister of Youth & Sports, Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development in Sri Lanka will be in Kushinagar at the inauguration of its international airport.
The first flight during the inaugural ceremony will arrive carrying 125 delegates with the Maha Sanga as the first Buddhist pilgrims.