Colombo, September 21 (Daily Mirror/Xinhua): Sri Lankans celebrated Binara Poya Day on September 20, a full moon day. The Binara poya has special significance for women as it marks the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasana (nuns order) in India during the time of the Buddha.
Maha Prajapathi Gothami, who had brought up Prince Siddhartha after the passing away of his mother was desirous of renouncing lay life and becoming a Bhikkhuni (nun).
She met the Buddha and expressed her desire but he refused to admit her into the order on three occasions. Finally, she went with 500 Sakyan ladies with shaven heads and wearing yellow robes to meet the Buddha and the Buddha’s Chief Attendant, Ven. Ananda Thera, had pleaded with the Buddha to grant her wish. In the end, the Buddha said he would permit the ordination of women subject to eight Ashta Garu Dharma.
Prajapathi Gothami agreed to these conditions and she and the women accompanying her were ordained as Bhikkhunis on a Binara Poya.
At that time when women had a lower status in Indian society, the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasana enabled women to have the freedom to be ordained, follow the Dhamma and attain Margapala.
In addition, the annual religious festivals of the Girihandu Seya, Mahiyanganaya, and the Somawathi Chaithya are held during the month of Binara.