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Buddhism in Sri Lanka

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Buddhism in Sri LankaSri 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

Anuradhapura
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.

Polonnaruwa
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 Burma

Ramanna Nikaya founded in 1864 by Ambagahawatte Saranankara.

Buddhist Information centers in Sri Lanka
All Ceylon Buddhist Congress
380 Bauddhaloka Mw
Colombo 7

Bhikku Training Center
Lake Road
Maharagama

Buddhist Theosophical Society
203 Olcott Mawatha
Colombo 11

Institute for Buddhist Studies
(Dhammaratna Memorial Meditation & Foreign Languages)

Buddhist & Pali University
71b Huludagoda Road
Mount Lavinia

Buddhist Library
20 Magazine Road
Colombo 8

Buddhist University
29 Rosmead Place
Colombo 7

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» Sri Lanka Buddhist Tourism
» History of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
» Buddhism and Sri Lanka
» Buddhism in Sri Lanka
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» Sri Lanka Buddhism