Anuradhapura – the sacred city is one of the most venerated places in Sri Lanka. To go on a pilgrimage to sacred city to worship the eight sacred places is regarded as most valuable merit and a great blessing for a Buddhist devotee.
45 members of the families of the disappeared were fortunate to visit this sacred city recently as another step in healing their memories. When the suggestion came up for the pilgrimage for many of the members, to their surprise it was one of their unfulfilled dreams coming true. At their age it was a great opportunity to gain merits for themselves and give merits to their missing loved ones.
In the group there were few elderly mothers who were unable to walk they came in wheel chairs to take part in this meritorious act. It was a very hot day. When they reached the sacred place it was noon. In the middle of the day it was very painful to walk without shoes on the sand. But our devoted mothers walked barefooted with joy in the hot sun to the sacred Boo Tree for some distance. They were doing walking meditation around the sacred Boo Tree few rounds holding their minds and bodies in uttermost piety.
It was a long 03 hour trip from Kandy to Anuradhapura for the mothers. On their way to the sacred cities they enjoyed very much. They talked with each other leisurely. Sang spiritual songs and played musical instruments. It was their day for relaxation and enjoyment, and to do meritorious acts. It was 22 years back that mothers lost their sons and loved ones.
Since then they had never step out of their homes on long trips or on pilgrimages and neither any of their relations taken them out to visit a place of worship to ease their minds and hearts.
It was a blissful moment. With grateful hearts and tears in their eyes they thank Fr. Nandana the director of the Human Rights Office and the staff for bestowing them with this opportunity of visiting the sacred city. As many of them remarked “For a moment we felt as if we were in the heaven when we were under the sacred Boo Tree”.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
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