Tomorrow is Bak Poya Day and Good Friday, a Buddhist and a Christian holiday on the same date.
Bak Full Moon Day commemorates Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka, bringing peace to the Jaffna area, after hostilities had divided two factions of Naga tribes. He came to the northern region of Sri Lanka which later on was called “Uttara Ratta” or “Naga Deepa” by the Sinhalese. On this occasion he preached to the Naga inhabitants in order to convince them to replace hatred by love in order to prepare the island for the future adoption of Buddhism. Buddha gave those Nagas a gem studded throne which had been offered by the Nagas themselves. Buddha sat on the gem studded throne when preaching Dharma. This throne is believed to be kept underground in Kelaniya in the west of the country now.
For the same purpose of purifying and sanctifying the island, Buddha had already given a sermon to the Yakkhas in Mahiyangana during his very first visit five years earlier. Yakkhas are demons and Nagas are snakes, ancient chronicles report that the island was not inhabited by human beings before the arrival of the first Sinhalese under the command of Vijaya. However, Vijaya and his male followers married demon wifes on the island. Thus, biologically the demons must have been closely related to human beings, according to those ancient legends. Buddha converted the pre-Sinhalese locals to protectors of his religion, so the demons and snakes proved not to be eternal powers of evil, we must assume.
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