Annual Calendar for 2020

Image: Devanampiya Tissa, the king of Sri Lanka, meets Arahant Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka, and his followers at Mihintale for the first time in the 3rd Century B.C. The king was taking part in a deer hunting festival when one deer he was pursuing ran straight to a group of enlightened Buddhist monks, leading the king right to them. Afterwards the king abolished the deer hunting festival in Sri Lanka. The layperson in white in the image received ordination in public in Sri Lanka and set the example that any layperson can become a monk. Following this example, many young men entered the Sangha as monks. A few months later, Emperor Asoka’s daughter Sanghamitta Theri came to Sri Lanka with a sapling of the sacred Bodhi tree, which was planted by the king and is now the oldest recorded historical tree in the world (according to National Geographic). Sanghamitta Theri also established the Sri Lankan Buddhist bikkhuni (nuns) order.