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The next four pages show each stage of this ceremony in detail 

The Mahasohon Samayama

This ceremony took place in 2007 near Ambalangoda, performed by a chief yakadura and five assistants.



The patient


The patient had been talking nonsense, hearing voices and talking to invisible people. He had nightmares about monsters and demons (yakas) and was afraid to go to sleep. If he ate meat, fish or eggs (polluted foods loved by demons) demons came to torment him. He often went to the cemetery - a place loved by demons.



The patient was diagnosed 2-3 weeks earlier by the chief yakadura and a small 'holding' ceremony performed - a charmed thread (apa nul) was tied around his wrist. This gives some protection until the main ritual can be performed. A horoscope was also taken to gain more information about the patient and decide a date for the main ceremony.



On the day of the ceremony the largest room in the patient's house was cleared. All items and structures used for the ritual were made the same day, including the altar for the gods, offering baskets, foods and other items.

Mahasona 200
  • Buddha and the gods are asked for their blessings and protection.


  • Demon offerings are made

  • The most importent and famous part of the ritual.


  • The four main demons (Kalu Yaka, Riri Yaka, Mahasona and Suniyam) arrive and are pursuaded to cure the patient.

  • The palis arrive with ritual objects.


  • Powerful rituals to purify and protect the patient and family.


 An exorcism ritual for Mahasona

and other demons

Mahasona with ritual sword

Part 4 - Protecting the patient Part 2 - Dealing with demons Part 3 - The palis Part 1 - Inviting gods