Ola Leaves & Miniature Shrine

Mangala Vihara’s collection of the Ola inscribed with the Catubhanarara Paritta Sutta (Book of Protection), is exhibited only on the Anniversary celebration of Mangala Vihara on 31 March before the whole-night chanting Miniature Shrine.

The Buddha-Dhamma was written around 83 BC, during the reign of the Sinhalese king, Vattagamani Abhaya by about five hundred Bhikkhus on Ola (palm) leaves.

The Miniature Shrine, also known as the Pirit Mandapaya, is set up in the main Shrine Hall for the whole night chanting to rejoice the Dhamma, encourage the Sangha and to give protection and blessings to the devotees.

Monks from other temples are invited to inaugurate the recitation in the Miniature Shrine, and the chanting by the devotees follows, non-stop until daybreak.

Several symbolic items placed on the table in the Miniature Shrine include:

  1. A casket of the sacred Relic of the Buddha.
  2. A scroll of the Catubhanarara Paritta Sutta, the Book of Protection, inscribed on Ola leaves. The recitation of it evokes protection to all beings.
  3. Water and threads are used for blessing.

These items represent the Triple Gem – Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha to bring merits and blessings to all beings.


by Chaturi Chong Mak Choo