Aluth Sahal Mangallaya
The ancient Sinhala agricultural society was set up with lakes revers and water ways at hand.This simple living was connected to customs rejuvenated with agricultural pursuits.Since their living methodology was connected with Buddhism they believed every living being enjoy the harvest of the paddy fields and made necessary offerings and rituals to divine beings and expected their age for comfortable living for everyone on earth. It is because of this great thinking that the first portion of the harvest is set aside for offering to Lord Buddha and other divine beings.This tradition offerings started in the primitive days is offered to Sacred Tooth Relic as well as all mighty gods as a mark of great respect. The most primitive “Atuwa” or the Granary built by King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe belongs to Sri Dalada Maligawa is at Gurudeniya.A good omen and a Calendar are prepared in the month of January “Duruthu Poya Day” for this new Rice Celebrations at Sri Dalada Maligawa. Once this auspicious time is prepared an announce by “Mohottala” of Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Chief Administrative officer headed by Hon. Diayawadana Nilame takes action to prepare for this ceremonial Perahera.Sri Dalada Maligawa perahera accompanied by Natha,Vishnu, kataragama and Paththini Peraheras parade with Kariya Korala, Kapurala, Thaththiya Rala and other duty bound people together with drummers and dancers will proceed to Gurudeniya “Atuwa” one day before Full moon day of January every year. The King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe has offered Gurudeniya Paddy fields to make use of its harvest to Sri Dalada Maligawaand the adjacent Devales. This harvest is taken from Gurudeniya Padd fields to Sri Dalada maligawa in a traditional grand pageant by farmers and other helpers of Maligawa headed by Gurudeniya Vidanage. Once the harvest is taken to the place where “Atuwa” is the Hon. Diayawadana Nilame and his retinue including Basnayake Nilames make offering of flowers to Lord Buddha image near the Bo tree.A cultural pageant for upgrading culture too is held at the frontage of the “Atuwa”This is supported and made culturally ornamented with drum and tambourine players supported by “Ves” dancing. At the end of the cultural show Hon. Diayawada Nilame feeds the participants of the show and also the spectators with milk rice, oil cakes and eatables.
Hon. Diyawada Nilame with his retinue arrives at the “atuwa” stored with paddy. After which Hon. Diyawada Nilame along with Kapurales of four Devales light the perfumery josticks, and spread saffron water and go close to the two numbers rice containers.After drumming is done lighting of lamps start and in reciting some verses by kapuralas of four Devales the secretary “Mohottala” of Sri Dalada Maligawa reads out the names to whom new rice should be distributed. Hon. Diyawada Nilame, at this time traditionally does the measuring od rice to Sri Dalada Maligawa and take seat at a suitably arranged place. Thereafter the one takes charge of the measuring of Rice another spread out a white cloth on a mat and keep aside a certain amount of rice. The rest of the rice is measured by the officer in charge.Paddy and rice are measured and keep aside for Sri Dalada Maligwa, four Devales, Asgiriya and Malwatta chapters and other related temples and Devales.The divided rice and paddy to each temple and Devale will be taken separately and it is a custom to take it away by Pingos.The perahera carrying the new rice and paddy of Sri Dalada Maligawa and four devales will return and turn at Buwelikada and proceed to Gangarama Temple and stay the night over there.Next day at morning early hours the perahera comprised with elephants,flag bearers , drummers, tambourine players will reach Maligawa.With the storing of the new rice carried at the auspicious hour a husk coconut will be kept at the drummer’s parlour and chop it in to two with drumming and reciting of Dalada verses. Just before “Duruthu” full moon day Kariya karawana Korala with the support of vidane and “Alaththi Ammawaru” new rice will be cleaned up and on early poya day prepare a furnace, clean up with saffron water and cooked new rice of 80 measures. Oil cakes and necessary curries too will be prepared for this “Buddha Pooja”.“Handun Kuduma” to be entered from Pirith Kotuwa, upstairs will be provided with a large container which could be filled by cooked rice of 80 measures. Most Rev. Maha nayake theros, Nayake theros incharge of services and other theros of service and Hon. Diyawadana Nilame, and also his retinue will be servicing rice with great meritorious wishes until the bowl is full. After all the offerings such as rice, curries, fruits and nuts are kept at the counter all these will be offered to the Sacred Tooth Relic. This is offered as an additional offering to daily Muluthengeya offering.In all the four Devales and other temples this offering is done at the same time to lord Buddha and divine Gods. This ceremony which had been done by ancient Kings continuously has an akin to social and cultural bondage enjoyed by kings.