The Temple of the Tooth is the heart centre of modern Buddhism in Sri Lanka and many parts of the world. We visited the temple for the evening service and were delighted to get a glimpse of the amazing Golden Casket that holds the relic of the tooth in an ante-room inside the temple. We had a young passionate guide recommended by Sangeeth of sangeethlanka.com who was fantastic. He explained in detail the history of the temple, the paintings, the rituals and most importantly the significance to the pilgrims in attendance that had waited 5+ years for the opportunity to attend the ceremony. They pay thousands of pounds to sponsor an offering and distribution of food to the needy on the day they attend. Our guide’s fee was 1000 rps/£5 and we gave him 2000 which was well deserved. I can’t understand why people would complain about paying a pittance to visit this hugely important site. You don’t get things for free in your own country so why object to paying for goods and services to people who are far needier than you’ll ever be?
Our guide also told us how to ask for our inner heart’s desire while we had the ear of Buddha at the temple ☺. He told us how to make best use of a beautiful large room of contemplation, which had many statues of Buddha that helped us make a personal vow to change an aspect of our own behaviour. The whole experience was deeply moving for us and I’m happy to say that I’m keeping my vow to Buddha and enjoying my quasi connection to religion even tho’ I’m a dyed in the wool, atheist.
The temple of the tooth was a surprisingly emotional experience for us and I think if you go with an open heart and mind, it will be emotional, thought provoking and memorable for you too.
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