Marking yet another milestone in Sri Lanka – Viet Nam relations, a sapling of the Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree of Anuradhapura was brought to Viet Nam on 22 July 2018.
The gift of the sapling of the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree was made at the request of Nguyen Van Truong, CEO of Xuan Truong Construction Company, a devoted Buddhist and a philanthropist to Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka during the latter’s visit to Viet Nam in April 2018.
A delegation comprising of senior Buddhist monks from Viet Nam, staff of Xuan Truong Construction Company and a media team visited Sri Lanka on 19 July to accompany the Sacred Sapling. After performing the rituals at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi premises in Anuradhpura, the Sacred Sapling was brought to Viet Nam by the Vietnamese delegation. Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero, Custodian and Chief Priest of Maha Bodhi and Atamasthanadhipathi of Anuradhapura, Ven. Ihala Halmillawe Rathnapala Nayaka Thero, Chief Priest of Jethawana Maha Vihara of Anuradhapura, a representative from the Speaker’s Office and botanic experts from Sri Lanka, also visited viet Nam with the Sacred Sapling.
The Sacred Sapling was ceremonially received at the Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi by the senior Venerable Priests of Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Viet Nam and Mr. Nguyen Van Truong, and was taken in procession to Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam Province.
Tam Chuc Pagoda is the venue for the 16th UN Vesak Day Celebrations in 2019, which is still under construction. It is being constructed by Nguyen Van Truong. Truong also built the famous Bai Dinh Pagoda in the adjoining Ninh Binh Province in 2003, which is considered the biggest pagoda in Viet Nam.
After an elaborate ceremony attended by over 5000 devotees, the Sacred Sapling was planted.
Prior to the arrival of the delegates accompanying the Sacred Sapling, the devotees gathered in the temple premises had the opportunity to watch the Buddhist movie depicting the life of Lord Buddha, “Sri Siddhartha Gautama”, produced by Navin Gooneratne, Chairman of the Light of Asia Foundation of Sri Lanka.