Celebrated by Buddhists the world over, Vesak is the holiest day in the Buddhist calendar, representing the birth, the nirvana (enlightenment) and the Parinirvana (death) of the Buddha. Throughout the two days of Vesak, Buddhists across the country follow religious observances, and the island is alight with traditional thoran, Vesak lanterns, flags and flowers. It is believed that performing good deeds during Vesak will multiply merit, and the streets across the country are lined with dansal.
During this most sacred time in Sri Lanka, Buddhists aspire to visit the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, however, for many, this is not financially or practically viable. With this in mind Sunlight has created an opportunity for everyone in Sri Lanka to be a part of the renowned Dalada Maligawa Aloka Pooja via the ‘Sunlight lights up my nation’ initiative.
Explaining the idea behind the initiative Saumya Perera, Senior Brand Manager Sunlight said “We recently launched the Sunlight Sooriya Yathra program via which we are recognising the innate goodness of our people. Vesak is a time at which many seek to do good, particularly by visiting the sacred site of the Dalada Maligawa. But we were aware that for many, such a visit can sometimes be difficult. Sunlight wanted to give them a way in which they need not miss being part of the Aloka Pooja. This Vesak, devotees from far and wide will be able to be take part via the simple gesture of a telephone call. In this way the wishes and prayers of those who could not be there in person, will be symbolised through the pahan on the thorana that will illuminate the vesak night.”
For the past four years Sunlight has conducted the traditional Pahan Pooja at the Dalada Maligawa, and this year will continue the ‘Sunlight lights up my nation’ initiative, and takes this revered holy tradition one step further. The mechanism is simple - all those who wish to participate have to do, is give a missed call to 0777 285 285. This will be free of charge. The caller will receive an SMS with a number corresponding to the pahana which will be lit on their behalf on vesak poya day.
“Sunlight has been one with the Sri Lankan people for over 125 years” said Siddharth Banerjee Marketing Director Unilever Sri Lanka “It is so much more than a household product, it is a symbol of well being, happiness and unity. When the pahan thorana lights up outside the sacred Dalada Maligawa this Vesak, it will shine as a symbol of the true virtues and goodness of the people of Sri Lanka”.
In the lead up to Vesak, Sunlight also invites all those visiting Kandy to join in the flower and tea dansel, visit the art competition and Dalada Maligawa pahan pooja; and to share in the peace, hope and generosity of spirit that are so much a part of this holy time.