© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Deities Hierarchy Ceremonies Sakra Guardians Twelve Deities

Pujah- Offerings at the Shrines

Temple elephant presenting pujah at Pattini’s Shrine

The elephant kneels in front of each Shrine, presents a bunch of bananas as pujah to the Shrine Guardian, then leaves.

He then takes up position outside the gate. N.B. his forehead where he has been marked as a blessing, by the Shrine Guardian.

Elephant pujah

At the annual Esala Perahera, the sacred relic is carried reverently on the back of the main temple elephant at the climax of the procession. The Chief Shrine Guardian rides with the relic on the elephant and the assistants surround it. The elephant is spledidly attired, and carries a beautiful garland on his tusks. As he passes along the processional route in front of the Temple entrance, the devotees toss sweet smelling flowers and spray expensive perfumes. He is a senior and very well behaved elephant who is well used to his public appearances and trusted with this important, sacred task.

When the elephant is arrayed in the finery by his attendants, he stands between these two flights of steps which are used by his dressers and for the Chief Guardian to mount on his back with the casket containing the sacred relics.