Śrī Maha Bodhi
The Sacred Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura

Royal Mission to India

Historical and literary records indicate that King Devanampiyatissa sent his nephew Arittha on the important mission of bringing Theri Sangamitta to Sri Lanka to establish the Bhikkuni Sasana and along with her the Maha Bodhi Sapling. The Mahavamsa (5th century AC), the Samanthapasadika (5 century AC) and the Maha Bodhivamsa (12th century AC) describe the miracles that are said to have occurred at the time the Maha Bodhi Sapling was obtained from the parent Bodhi Tree, conveyed ceremonially and established at Anuradhapura amidst great pomp and pageantry.

The dispatching of the Maha Bodhi to Sri Lanka had been associated with great celebrations. Emperor Asoka himself had been present at the Port of Tamalitta when the ship carrying the Maha Bodhi Sapling left the shores of India. The Maha Bodhi was welcomed with great honour and respect at the Port of Jambukolapattana in Sri Lanka. King Devanampiyatissa himself was present at the port to receive the Maha Bodhi. According to the Mahavamsa Emperor Asoka at the Port said, "I have honoured the Maha Bodhi by bestowing my kingdom thrice to the Bodhi; let my friend King Devanampiyatissa too honour the Bodhi by bestowing his kingdom." The road from Anuradhapura to the Port of Jambukolapattana had been gaily decorated. Different classes of artisans who were required to perform various services for the Maha Bodhi also accompanied the Sapling.

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