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Amelia Roosevelt

 

No More Required, Please

Posted On:17-Jun-2019/6:16 pm

We all have treasured artefacts in our countries.

In Sri Lanka, one of this is the Sacred Sri Maha Bodhi, which is said to be the southern branch of the original Bodhi, under which the Siddhartha Gauthama attained enlightenment. It is planted in 288BC, now recorded as the oldest human-planted tree. It is revered by the worldwide Buddhists as one of the most sacred relics of Buddha, since the original Bodhi also now not in existence.

At the age of 288BC this sapling was received from emperor Ashoka of India. In the years followed, it was not easy for Sri Lankans, to protect the wee sapling from the storms, droughts and animals like monkeys, elephants. No need to say they had to fight off invaders like Chola, Pandya, Chera and Pallawa etc. frequented from South India from destroying this diplomatic gift. Dwellers of the adjacent villages volunteered in this. They had to bring firewood to light campfires and stayed awake whole night in guard. You could see, it was not easy.

Finally, it was grown up. Few similar fig trees were planted around it, to mitigate harm from the animals - the villagers then could take a rest.

Then, the kings, his courtiers and counsellors came to the scene. They erected water canals, walls and golden fences around it. The site behind the fence was named Uda Maluwa (upper compound). The surrounding ground below was called weli maluwa (the sand compound). You can see this in the attached official website.

(http://www.srimahabodhi.lk/web/)

It is wonderful, isn’t it? Well protected and the due respect received.

But, the story behind it, is pitiful.

No more the villagers were allowed to come near the Bodhi. The Uda Maluwa was prohibited for the folks and could be reached only by the topmost rulers and the counsellors. The people who sacrificed their lives, their comfort, to protect the little sapling was no more required. They cannot touch the offspring of their labour. They can place their offerings and make their vows down below at the weli maluwa.

Now it is far, far away from them.

Hear the wail in their hearts. Deepika Priyadarshani Peiris intonated this injustice in a song.

(https://sarigama.lk/sinhala-song/deepika-priyadarshani/jaya-sirima-hamuduruwane/73d43af8-db87-4cdb-bc7a-613c7ef59db2)

Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane (Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane)

Dara miti edda, re nidi weruwa, gini mela gahagena reka sitiya

(ehew apata ada enda thahanchida) Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane

 

Weli maluwe inda sadu kiyana kota, ahithak nohitha inda hondayi

Issara waagema dadiya muhuvunu, ape bara piliganda hondayi.

Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane (Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane)

 

Ran weta paamula saadu kiyanadota, lengathukam nohithanda hondayi

Budu hamuduruwo dutuwaa waagei, duka iwasaa weda inna hondayi

Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane (Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane)

 

Dara miti edda, re nidi weruwa, gini mela gahagena reka sitiya

(ehew apata ada enda thahanchida)

(Jaya siri ma hamuduruwane)

 

Oh, Venerable Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, (Venerable Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi)

(We) brought bundles of fire woods here, had sleepless nights here,

Made campfires, and stayed on alert to protect you here

Is it now forbidden for us, who did all those, to come near?

Venerable Jaya siri maha Bodhi, (Venerable Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi)

 

When we pay our homages at the sand compound,

Don’t think wrong about us

Please accept our vows and offerings, just as before, mixed with the smell of our sweat,

Venerable Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi, (Venerable Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi)

 

When we pay our homages down there, beneath the golden fence

Don’t feel any affection (towards us)

It is just like (we) have seen the Lord Buddha alive, please keep that sorrow behind

Venerable Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi, (Venerable Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi)

 

(We) brought bundles of fire woods here, had sleepless nights here,

Made campfires, and stayed on alert to protect you here

Is it now forbidden for us, who did all those, to come near?

Venerable Jaya siri maha Bodhi, (Venerable Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi)

 

This all came to my mind, with some happenings of life.

I brought up my son and daughter mostly by myself, for the past thirty years. As any mother and father, we sacrificed all the worldly comforts to make their worlds happy and contented. Not a single birthday was forgotten, no single year without a vacation trip. We were there to enjoy their achievements. For them, we were the whole world, at that time. We made their world well above ours.

Now they are well recognized, adored individuals. They have grown out of our world. We miss their birthday celebrations, there are no invitations for their outings. We miss participation for most of their achievements. They have their own lives, separate from us.

We thought they will be with us forever. We thought they will have us in their lives. We still keep their portion of the sweets, their rooms awaiting their arrival. We await longingly to touch their soft cheeks, to hear their sweet voices near us. 

But, now they are so far. Far away from us.

The song brought water to my eyes. A deep pain wrapped my forehead.  It reminded me, we are no more required.

Takeaways:

1 : Change is life, be ready to accept it

2 : Everything changes, nothing is eternal

Category:  Change / Subcategory:  Change is everywhere

Tags: Change, life changes, hopes and disappointments, detachment, lost affection

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