FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
Itagar, Feb 9: The three-day long grand chariot festival, locally known as Poi-Leng got started at msai Poi-Leng Ground at the bank of Dihing river here on Monday with great enthusiasm and participation of large number of people from all walks of life.
The Poi-Leng celebration is held in honour of Late Venerable Nyapriyo Bhikkhu Mahathero of Port-Blair, Andaman who attained Nibba (Nirva) on January 8 last.
The festival started with hoisting of World Buddhist flag, offering of breakfast to Bhikkhu Sangha and chanting of mangala charan. People in great number thronged the ground to witness the installation of mortal remaining of Late Venerable Nyapriyo Bhikkhu Mahathero to decorated chariot from Nibba (Nirva) Temple and to drag the chariot constructed temporarily to preserve the mummified body of the venerable one.
The body of the venerable one would be kept in chariot for three days and people from all walks will have the opportunity to pull the decorated golden swan chariot, an official release informed here today.
The Poi-Leng is the celebration of reflection of possession of a noble soul of Late Venerable Nyapriyo Bhikkhu Mahathero who during his life span of 68 years has spent 43 Vassa (monkhood) since his higher ordition to Bhikkhu on May 30, 1973. With his death (nibba) the entire Buddhist community has lost a respectable Buddhist Bhikkhu who was loved and respected by all people irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
The Poi-Leng Celebration Committee under the guidance of Venerable Abbot of msai Priyatti Sasa Buddha Vihara Venerable B. Aggadhamma Mahathero has ensured all effort to make the Poi-Leng celebration a successful event. Community feast for all during the three days celebration is arranged and will be kept open at the venue.
The main attraction of the festival is the decorated golden swan designed chariot with 6 wheels constructed and built in 22 days by Venerable Sobhita Bhikkhu of Borpathar Buddhist Temple Karbi Anglong (Assam) with help from 10 other monks, novice and Kappiya (disciple) at the Bank of River Noa-Dihing.
The 6 wheels on the chariot signify the quality of greatness of Dhamma of the late venerable one. The chariot has three layers, all items doted by various people are placed in the first layer and in the second layer the lifeless body of the venerable one are placed and the third layer is shaped like a temple. The number of layers in the chariots can vary.
The lifeless mummified body of Late Venerable Nyapriyo Bhikkhu Mahathero was preserve with great respect and honour for 1 month at the of river Noa-Dihing in Nibba (Nirva) Kyong (Temple) at msai Poi-Leng Ground from January 9.
The lifeless body was preserved by mummifying with cotton cloth dip in wax and covered with tobacco leaf.
Illumition of candles was the other attraction of the event, the release added.