Lanka is a multi ethnic society, all the religions and cultures has been
equally followed by the people of Sri Lanka but Buddhism founds its
roots in Sri Lanka. Buddhism, originated by Lord Budha, Buddhism is
followed by 70% population of Sri Lanka. Monks from Sri Lanka have had
an important role in spreading both Theravada and Mahayana in South-east
Asia the West and even in Africa.
Some of the most marvelous monuments in Sri Lanka belongs to Buddhism ,
and their sculpture is closely associated with the early art of the
Krishna valley and the later Pallava and Chola kings. Some splendid
stupas and other monuments of Sri Lanka owes the honor of being remains
of the origin of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in Sri Lanka
206 kms from Colombo, Anuradhapura was the original capital of Sri
Lanka established around a cutting from Buddha's fig tree, brought there
in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitra. This sacred city flourished for
1,300 years, until when it was reduced into rubbles in an invasion. The
city, with its fascinating palaces, monasteries and monuments, lay
hidden in the thick jungles until it was rediscovered and made
accessible for visitors.
This was second capital of Sri Lanka established after the destruction
of Anuradhapura. The crowning glory of Polonnaruwa is upheld by the
Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the
fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. It
is 216 kms from Colombo.
History of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka around 2 century BC and it was introduced
by Indian monasteries. Not only the teachings of Buddhism but also the
culture and civilization of Indian Buddhism is practiced till date in
Sri Lanka. Almost all Buddhist rites, ceremonies, festivals and
observance of Sri Lanka are originally introduce by Indian monks, with
slight local changes and modifications.
After introducing and spreading teachings of Buddhism in India Emperor
Asoka decided to convey the sacred teachings of Lord Budha to other
regions. He ordered missionaries to go to the different regions to
preach Buddhism and establish the Saasana there. Mahendra and her sister
Sanghamitra were the first two persons who undertook the mission for Sri
Lanka. Having spent twenty-six days in the Mahaamegha Park, they with
their group returned to Mihintale for the rain-retreat (vassa). This was
the beginning of the Cetiyagiri-vihaara, another great monastic
institution of early Buddhist Sri Lanka. Followed by the bringing of the
sapling of Bodhi Tree and later establishment of Saasana Buddhism
progressed in Sri Lanka. Buddhist teachings later on deeply impacted the
Sri Lankan society and culture.
Buddhist clergies in Sri Lanka
Nikayas are the main Sri Lankan Buddhist clergies. There are many other
clergies based on casts, the three main sects of Nikayas are
Siam Nikaya: A Thai monk founded th Siam Nikaya in18th century to
reduce corruption and malpractices in the Sangha.
Amarapura Nikaya founded in 1800 with higher ordination obtained from
Ramanna Nikaya founded in 1864 by Ambagahawatte Saranankara.
Buddhist Information centers in Sri Lanka
All Ceylon Buddhist Congress
380 Bauddhaloka Mw
Bhikku Training Center
Buddhist Theosophical Society
203 Olcott Mawatha
Institute for Buddhist Studies
(Dhammaratna Memorial Meditation & Foreign Languages)
Buddhist & Pali University
71b Huludagoda Road
20 Magazine Road
29 Rosmead Place