In observance of Sai’s message of Unity in Diversity, Young Adults (YAs) in Sri Lanka organized a pilgrimage to the holy city of Anuradhapura on March 3-5, 2023. The holy city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its well-preserved ruins of the ancient Sinhalese civilization and for being the cradle of Theravada Buddhism. It is also the longest-serving ancient capital of Sri Lanka, which has survived for 1,500 years.

About 140 YAs from across the country, along with senior devotees and officers of SSSIO-Sri Lanka, learned about major Buddhist pilgrimage sites and visited the ruins of many ancient Buddhist temples, including the famous Ruwanwelisaya. They also visited the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest living tree in the world believed to have sprouted from a branch of the sacred fig tree at Bodh Gaya (Bihar, India), under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.  Other important historic sites visited included the historical Mihintale Buddhist temple, where Buddhism in Sri Lanka is believed to have begun.

It was heartwarming to see the young adults participate with great enthusiasm throughout the pilgrimage. They displayed utmost reverence for these holy sites, in keeping with Sathya Sai’s teaching of respect for all religions.