Introduction: rituals, relics and war Over the past few decades, scholarship on Sri Lanka has focused upon changes in Sri Lankan Buddhism, changes that have led Richard Gombrich and Gananath Obeyesekere to conclude, as the title of their 1988 opus suggests, that Buddhism has been transformed. They document, as part of that transformation, a new emphasis in the devotional ritual (puja) associated with the Bodhi tree, that is, the tree (and its offshoots planted throughout the island) under which (tradition claims) the Buddha was enlightened. Though a traditional bodhi puja “involves the participation only of the person, whether monk or layman,” and “takes only a couple of minutes,” the new bodhi puja “takes well over an hour,” and a “congregation is actively involved.”1 As Gombrich and Obeyesekere explain, the new form of bodhi puja can be traced to the 1970s, since which time they have been able to chart the development of devotional texts associated with the puja. In the present, despite the intentions of the monk who redefined the ritual in the 1970s and popularized it, the bodhi puja is performed “for worldly ends”;2 in the past, the ritual celebrated the tree and its association with the Buddha’s enlightenment. According to Gombrich and Obeyesekere, the bodhi puja has “become something of a national ritual for Sinhala Buddhists.” Yet, at the same time, they argue that the ritual does not form “part of the civic religion [nor] is [it] associated with the state.” Gombrich and Obeyesekere note, however, that, given the wide emotional appeal of the bodhi puja, “it is not surprising, though deeply ironic, that services have been held with the express purpose of bringing success to the Sinhala army waging war against the Tamils in the north and east.”3 It is with Gombrich and Obeyesekere’s sense of irony over the bodhi puja’s use in the context of war that I would like to begin my final reflection upon just-war thinking in Sri Lankan Buddhism.