Posted by: isurubmv | May 29, 2009

Gall sri lanka

“Galle – The walled city”

GalleThe seaside town of Galle is 116 Km., from Colombo by road or rail, down the southwest coast. Both routes are picturesque, following the coastline closely for much of the way.
Today’s town has grown greatly and spreads into the hinterland but the Fort is the slow-beating heart of Galle’s history.

The walled city has stood since the early sixteenth century, through the Colonial periods of the Portuguese, Dutch and British and in our present times is proclaimed as an Archaeological Reserve and been identified as a World Heritage site.

The Portuguese

The Portuguese took Galle from the Sinhala kings in 1587 and erected the first fortifications, a single wall fronted by a moat which extended from the sea to the harbour.

The Dutch

The Dutch landed in 1640 with 12 ships and 2,000 men under the command of Wilhelm Jacobsz Coster who defeated the Portuguese after severe fighting and a four-day siege. Akersloot Bastion is named after the birthplace of Coster, the Dutch commander who captured Galle.

The Dutch later converted the Portuguese fortaleza into a single bastion which they named Zwart Bastion and built a formidable line of defence, ringing the walled town by ten bastions, which endure to this day.

Galle FortThrough the rolling streams of time and change, Galle still retains as few other towns in Sri Lanka; an atmosphere of the past. The town was graced with considerable civic amenities and military features.
Despite recent face-lifts and new facades to many of the houses and the introduction of modern civic amenities like electricity, telephone systems, water and drainage services, the streets remain narrow and many are known by their original names such as Leyn-Baan street, Zeeberg street and Moderabaay street. A peep into the old houses reveal them to be spacious and airy, with large, ornamental doors and windows, pillared verandahs and cool inner courtyards and gardens.

The British

Nothing bespeaks the town’s prosperity in British times as the splendid mansions – with the names Closenburg, Eddystone, Barthfield, Armitage Hill or Nooit-Gedacht- a few of which, though wrought with time’s changes, still exist.

The best preserved is Closenburg, the gracious and spacious bungalow built by the agent of the British shipping company, P & O: its roof trusses still display the P & O sunburst. Armitage Hill bungalow occupied a site rustically lovely- out of Galle town.

The drive to Baddegama is a delightful experience and leads out to the fine church consecrated in 1825, by Bishop Heber – Bishop of Calcutta. The church today is decorated in a purely indigenous style and at mass the Ceylon Liturgy is said in Sinhalese, sung to Sinhalese music. The fine pillars of the nave, each a single piece of ironwood timber should be noted and the view from the tower is worth the climb.

Around the city of Galle

Drive back through Dodanduwa, visiting, if permission can be arranged, the Buddhist island hermitage in the Ratgama Lake, a retreat of infinite peace and beauty.

Unawatuna bay provides safe swimming and snorkeling, protected as it is by a reef. Rhumassala Kanda is associated with the legend of the traditional Ramayana story. When the warrior Lakshman was wounded, a Himalayan herb was required for his cure and Rama des patched the Monkey-god Hanuman to fetch it. But Hanuman forgot the name of the herb, so to be on the safe side he tore off a hunk of the Himalayas, carried it on his back and dumped it, where it now lies!

Galle is the sort of place from which one must take away a souvenir. You may make a pick of Galle lace, -handmade, like the Brussels or the Honiton types. Where but in Galle may you plunge your hands into a bucketful of limpid moonstones or the more precious and rarer of gems, the blue sapphire or the ruby! These can be beautifully set according to your whim or wish!

Posted by: isurubmv | May 29, 2009

Udawalawe national park

The Udawalawe National Park situated in the dry zone of the country and belonging to Sabaragamuwa & Uva provinces. The park area is 30,821 ha. The park was established in 1972.udawalawe_water_birds

The park lies within dry zone and small segment lies within intermediate zone. The long dry season is characteristic feature. Main source of rainfall is southwest monsoon (May September) and mean annual rainfall is about 1520mm. the mean annual temperature is around 29C.

Park consists of dry lowland forest, riverine forest, thorny scrublands and grasslands. One special attraction of the park is the Udawalawe reservoir and the Walawe River which flows through the park.

The main tree species found in the forest area are the satin (Chloroxylon swietenia), Milla (Vites pinata), ebony (Diospyros ebenum) and Ehala (Cassia fistula). Riverine forest dominated by Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna) & Mandora (Hopea cordifolia). Mana (Cymbopogon confertiflorus), Illuk (Imperata cylindrica) and Daminiya (Grewia tiliaefolia) are found in grasslands & scrublands.

Udawalawe National Park is world famous for its large elephant populations. In this park one can observe elephants at any given time of the day. Other than Elephants water buffalo, spotted & barking deer, wild boar, sambhur, jackal & ruddy, grey & striped necked mongoose are also found in this park.udawalawe_peacock Though the leopard, jungle & fishing cats have recorded in the park sightings are very rare.

The park is also famous for birdlife. Crested serpent eagle, changeable hawk eagle, white-bellied sea eagle & grey-headed fishing eagle are the main raptors found in the park. Painted stork, open bill, little & Indian cormorant, Indian darter, many species of waders are also found within the park. Among the forest birds are the warblers, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Malabar pied hornbill, Sikir Malkoha, Blue face Malkoha, common Caucal, and grey hornbill.udawalawe_spotted_deer

How to get there
Uda walawe is easily accessible via Ratnapura after a 4 hours drive. You can also reach Udawalawe from Downsouth via Tangalla or Hambantota. Udawalawe is closer to Haputale and Bandarawela if you are coming from central hills. Yala National Park also near by Udawalawe.

Posted by: isurubmv | May 23, 2009

we salute our heroes

01

Sri Lanka

Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero

04 Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thero passed away in St. Petersburg on 12th December 2003 after a heart attack. Born on 24th April 1948, Venerable Soma was in his 56th year. He was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1974 at the age of 26.

Prior to being ordained Venerable Soma had been engaged in business, but had worked closely with the Siri Vajiragnana Dharmayathanaya as a student leader and lay preacher. His teachers were the most Venerable Madihe Pannaseeha Maha Nayaka Thero and Venerable Ampitiye Rahula Thero. His love and veneration for his teachers was exceeded only by his deep and abiding veneration of Lord Buddha.

Educated at Isipathana Vidyalaya, formerly Greenlands College, Venerable Soma, in lay life known as Somaratna played Rugby for the school.

Venerable Soma first visited Australia in 1986, when he came on an invitation from the Buddhist temple at Richmond, where he stayed for a period of three months. Venerable Soma realised that Mahayana practices had a strong foothold in Australia and felt that there was a need for a Vihara where Theravada practices could be followed correctly. When he returned to Australia in 1989, Venerable Soma established the first Sinhala Vihara in Melbourne. This was known as the Melbourne Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara and was situated at Regent Street in Springvale. In 1993, he moved away from the Melbourne Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara and established Buddhist Vihara Victoria at 21 Rich Street, Noble Park. Later, this Vihara was moved to Berwick and is called the Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara.

Venerable Soma was a farsighted person and his vision was to pave the way to establishing a centre of Buddhist philosophy in Australia. Sakyamuni Sambudddha Vihara was established with the intention of becoming a Buddhist Education, Research and Information Centre for scholars of the Dhamma and to cater to all those who were interested in the study and practice of the Dhamma.

In 1996 he returned to Sri Lanka after seven years in Australia. This was intended to be a short stay to revitalise his spiritual development and to be at the side of his father who had suffered a stroke. The stay was extended as his father became more gravely ill and his presence was required to comfort his mother who was also ailing. While in Sri Lanka Venerable Soma became aware that Buddhists and the Dhamma were increasingly under siege from various outside influences that02 threatened to distort the word of Lord Buddha and destroy Buddhism. He was moved by the plight of the rural people, especially those living in areas under threat from terrorist attacks, who were undergoing great hardship and suffering and had no one to turn to for help.When Venerable Soma returned to Australia for a short visit, he launched a campaign to raise funds to reconstruct several tanks in these areas so that the villagers could engage in their traditional occupation of agriculture and be assured that they would not want for food. To support and sustain the villagers, he organised the local Buddhist monks at the village Viharas to move more closely with the people and help them in various ways.

On his return to Sri Lanka he was also appalled to note that alcoholism was rife in the country. He immediately began a campaign to open the eyes of the nation, especially the younger generation to the depravities of drink.

He also carried out a campaign to root out misconceptions entertained by all Buddhists with regard to the worship of Hindu deities practiced by Buddhists, and especially the practice of having Hindu Kovils as an integral part of a Buddhist Vihara. He also campaigned against the bringing in of Sai Baba worship into Buddhism. These campaigns were not against those who held beliefs in other religions. His campaign was against engaging in these practices and beliefs and identifying them with the Buddha’s teachings. His message was that as Buddhists, we did not need to turn to any “higher power”, as the Buddha had shown the way to peace, prosperity and contentment through the Dhamma.

Venerable Soma Thero Venerable Soma was a great man. His greatness lay in the fact that he was not afraid to speak out where he saw a wrong. If someone engaged in practices that were contrary to the teachings of Lord Buddha, he was not slow to point this out at the same time explaining what practices should be followed. Many people have followed his advice and have profited from this. He worked tirelessly in Sri Lanka to awaken the nation, especially the younger generation, to the Dhamma. He travelled far and wide and everywhere he went his sermons were well attended. His sermons were generally held in a Vihara so that everyone who wished to could attend. Even the few sermons he conducted in private houses attracted large crowds some coming out of curiosity to see the Monk who, single handed, had succeeded in waking up a nation not only appealing to Buddhists, but also to many who were non-Buddhists but who were wise enough to understand the truth of his words.

When Venerable Soma spoke out he did so frankly and fearlessly. He did not believe in sugar coating unpalatable truths in order to spare the feelings of individuals. His forthrightness may offended some, but those who had the wisdom understood his message without ambiguity. Those who did not wish to hear the truth, found refuge in taking offence and finding fault with the Thero. In all his work, his inspiration was always Lord Buddha.

His deep and abiding veneration of Lord Buddha was evident in his words. His knowledge of the Dhamma was profound and was reflected in the many books he wrote. His final book was completed the night before his untimely passing away.

One of the most remembered of his qualities was his service to the sick. Whenever he learned of someone being in hospital or being very ill, he would make all efforts to be at the sick persons bedside to comfort the family and the sick person by chanting pirith and with encouraging words. If someone had lost a dear one, The Thero would speak words of comfort to help the person come to terms with his or her loss.

Venerable Soma had the courage of his convictions and would face any adverse situation strong in his belief that since his actions were just and righteous, he would win through. This courage helped him to face the darkest period of his life during the late eighties and early nineties in Australia. Many were the calumnies thrown at him during this time, but he forbore to answer those who maligned him. Realising that he could not be destroyed in this manner, one by one his critics were silenced or reduced to carrying out whispering campaigns, which more often than not could not be sustained due to lack of interest. Once his fame began to spread in Sri Lanka and many people came to know Venerable Soma, those who sought to discredit him found it was even harder to get people interested in what they had to say against him.

Being an outgoing person, Venerable Soma was one of the prime movers in the Interfaith group which was very active in the Greater Dandenong area. Realising the importance of networking, Venerable Soma set about building a network of contacts in the Springvale, later the Greater Dandenong Council, and also with the politicians of the area, at both the federal and state levels. Such was the strength of the ties his network that invitations sent out to participate in the Katthina ceremony, were always accepted and it was not unusual to have at least 20 to 25 people from the interfaith group, the council and federal and state MPs attending these functions. He also made appearances on ABC television as a panellist in discussions on theological matters to give the Buddhist point of view.

He was also consulted when Sri Lankans wished to establish a Vihara. He travelled to many cities in Australia to advice devotees on these matters. His advice was always to keep in mind that any Vihara should be open to anyone who wished to learn about and practice the Dhamma, and should not have a narrow focus as only catering to the needs of Sri Lankans. However, it was also necessary to ensure that the pristine Dhamma was followed and the traditions of Theravada practices were followed. He also helped in the establishment of the Sinhala School at Brunswick, which today boasts nearly 200 students.

Buddhist monks from the Vietnamese and Cambodian communities had become his close friends. Following his advice, they have within a short period constructed their Viharas and are close to completing these projects.

The contribution made by Venerable Soma to Buddhists the world over cannot be quantified. Through his frequent travels to many countries, he sought to teach the pristine words of the Buddha Dhamma to those who had forgotten or had never been given this valuable wisdom. He never sought self aggrandisement, whatever steps he took, was in keeping with his motive of furthering the good of the Buddha Sasana. His efforts in Sri Lanka had the effect of bringing to the fore several younger monks who found a champion in Venerable Soma. He gave them the courage to come forward and work for the betterment of the Sasana, which they had been unable to do, as they received no encouragement from the senior monks who had up to then been silent.

Sri Lanka has lost a son who loved his motherland dearly. The people have lost a leader who helped them to be aware of their great Buddhist heritage and made them realise their capability as a nation. Buddists around the world have lost a teacher who taught them how to make the Buddha Dhamma a part of their life and not limit it to something precious tucked away and limited to a temple.

As dayakas of the Vihara that Venerable Soma established, we should uphold Buddhist values in the way he showed us through example and precept, making sure that our actions are always in keeping with the Dhamma. This is the way in which we can alway honour our Soma Hamuduruwo.

In five years Venerable Soma achieved much more than many people achieve in a lifetime.

Posted by: isurubmv | May 19, 2009

dalada maligawa

Dalada Maligawa

peraharapera2

One of the chief objects of interests in Kandy is the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ or Temple of the Sacred Tooth. This is the heart of Kandy, and the Tooth of Buddha is the heart of it. The relic came from India sixteen centuries ago, and moved from capital to capital always with the king. It is rarely shown and never leaves the temple. The temple and the ‘Pattirippuwa’, which is the octagonal building on the right of the main entrance, are enclosed by an ornamental stone wall and a moat. Upon entering, you pass through a small quadrangle and turn to the right, up a flight of stone steps, to the temple. The most striking features that attract one’s attention are the unusual carvings, brightly coloured frescoes representing torments for various classes of sinners, and many images of Lord Buddha. The flower-sellers are ranged on either side and the atmosphere is heavy with the perfume of the white blossoms. Yellow-robed priests flit here and there, whilst the music of the temple bells and the rhythmic beat of the tom-tom fill the air with strange melodies that harmonize with the nature of the city. At the entrance to the sanctuary which contains the Sacred Tooth is an elaborate door, inlaid with silver and ivory, with two pairs of elephants’ tusks on either side. Within this chamber is the huge silver-gilt, bell-shaped shrine that protects the Tooth. Inside this shrine are six inner shrines ornamented with precious stones of rare value.

The Octagon, or the ‘Pattirippuwa’ was built shortly before the Kandyan Convention of 1815, by which Kandy was ceded to the British. After being a British military prison, it is now a library, mainly for ancient “olas” – manuscripts on palm-leaves- many of which are magnificently bound and are held in due reverence by pilgrims as containing the teachings of Lord Buddha. The finest thing artistically is in the small shrine beside the stairway of the Octagon- a crystal statue of the Buddha in a most attractive shrine-case.

Next door to the Tooth Temple is the Audience Hall where the Kandyan kings held court with all pomp and ceremony. The rich carvings on the pillars and the wall plates are excellent examples of Kandyan architecture. It was in this Audience Hall that the last king of Kandy used to receive British ambassadors ; it was also here that the submission to Britain was signed and Sri Lanka’s (then called Ceylon) independence in 1948 celebrated.

Natha Devale

Situated opposite the Tooth Temple. The stone sanctuary is the oldest building in Kandy, built five centuries ago when Kandy was founded ; it is dedicated to the next Buddha to come to the world. The gateway from it to the north is old, with good sculpture. It has a dagoba and a bo-tree, sapling of that at Anuradhapura.

Mahavishnu Devale

Situated opposite the gateway. Dedicated to Vishnu as the Protector of Sri Lanka (but it is a Buddhist temple, not Hindu).

Posted by: isurubmv | May 15, 2009

The star

star_hg_clr christmasstar10

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut you eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveler in the dark-
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Posted by: isurubmv | May 15, 2009

Anuradhapuraya

The sacred city of Anuradhapura, now in picturesque ruins, was once a major center of Sri Lankan civilization. The fascinating ancient ruins include huge bell-shaped stupas built of small sun-dried bricks, temples, sculptures, palaces, and ancient drinking-water reservoirs.
History

Although people may have lived in this area since as early as the 10th century BC, Anuradhapura became a great city after the arrival of a cutting from the Bodhi Tree (‘tree of enlightenment’), the Buddha’s fig tree, in the 3rd century BC. The sacred branch was brought to Sri Lanka by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns.

Anuradhapura went on to become a Ceylonese political and religious capital (4th century BC) that flourished for 1,300 years. In its prime, Anuradhapura ranked alongside Nineveh and Babylon in its colossal proportions—its four walls, each 16 miles (26 km) long, enclosing an area of 256 square miles (663 km²)—in the number of its inhabitants, and the splendour of its shrines and public buildings.

The city also had some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world. Most of the great reservoir tanks still survive today, and some many be the oldest surviving reservoirs in the world.

After an invasion in 993 AD, Anuradhapura was permanently abandoned. For centuries, the site lay hidden in the jungle. Rediscovered by the British in the 19th century, Anuradhapura became a Buddhist pilgrimage site once again.

The revival of the city of Anuradhapura began in earnest in the 1870s. The modern city (population 40,000) is a major road junction of northern Sri Lanka and lies along a railway line. The headquarters of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon is in Anuradhapura.

Today, the splendid sacred city of Anuradhapura, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, draws many Buddhist pilgrims and visitors.
What to See

There is much to see at Anuradhapura, including the sacred Bodhi tree, eight major palaces, monasteries and monuments.

The Sri Maha bodhiya is perhaps the oldest living tree in the world. Around 245 BC, Sanghamitta Theri brought with her a branch of the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightment. The tree was planted on a high terrace about 21 feet (6.5 m) above the ground and surrounded by railings. Today, the tree is one of the most sacred relics in Sri Lanka, respected by Buddhists all over the world. A wall was built around the tree during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha, to protect it from wild elephants.

Ruwanwelisaya. After defeating the Tamil king Elara, King Dutugemunu of Sri Lanka built this magnificant stupa. The stupa is known as Ruwanwelisaya, Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya and Rathnamali Dagaba. The compound is supported by stone elephants, and the surrounding wall is decorated with 1,900 figures of elephants – 475 on each side. Successive kings added to the palace over the years.

Thuparamaya. Thera Mahinda himself introduced Theravada Buddhism and also chetiya worship to Ceylon. At his request King Devanampiyatissa built Thuparamaya in which was enshrined the collarbone of the Buddha and is considered as the first dagaba built in Sri Lanka, after the introduction of Buddhism. This chetiya was built in the shape of a heap of paddy. This dagaba was destroyed from time to time. During the reign of King Agbo II it was completely destroyed and the King restored it. What we have today is the construction of the dagaba, done in 1862 AD. As it is today, after several renovations, in the course of the centuries, the monument has a diameter of 59 ft (18 m), at the base. The dome is 11 feet 4 inches (3.45 m) in height from the ground, 164½ ft (50.1 m) in diameter. The compound is paved with granite and there are 2 rows of stone pillars round the dagaba. During the early period vatadage was built round the dagaba.

Lovamahapaya is situated between Ruvanveliseya and Sri Mahabodiya. It is also known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya. In ancient times the building included the refectory and the uposathagara. (Uposatha house). There was also a simamalake where the sangha assembled on poya days to recite the formula of the confessional]. The famous Lohaprasada built by King Dutugemunu described as an edifice of nine storeys, was a building of this class. One side of the building was 400 ft (120 m) in length. As the roof was covered with tiles made of bronze, this was known as the Brazen Palace. There are 40 rows, each row consisting of 40 stone pillars and a total of 1600 stone pillars were used for the building. It is believed that it took 6 years for the construction of the building and the plan was brought from the heavens. The building was completely destroyed during the reign of King Saddhatissa.

Abhayagiri Dagaba. King Valagamba ascended the throne in 103 AD. He waged war with the Tamils and was defeated. When he fled, a Nigantha named Giri shouted words of derisive mockery at him. Later the king collected an army attacked the Tamils by slaying the last of their leaders, and recovered the throne he had lost. It is said that he demolished Nigantaramaya (the temple of the Niganthas) and built the Abhayagiri Vihara in the same premises. Shortly after this event, the monks of the Mahavihara took disciplinary action against one of the bhikkus of the Abhayagiri Vihara, for violating a rule of the vinaya. Thereafter the bhikkhus of the Abhayagiri Vihara founded a separate sect there. King Valagamba’s reign is marked by an important event – the first schism in Buddhism in Ceylon. Most learned bhikkhus lives in Abhayagiri Vihara. It consisted of a large library. It is recorded that during the reigns of King Voharakatissa and King Gothabhaya this library was destroyed and the heretical monks driven away. King Parakramabahu renovated Abhayagiri Vihara, then the height is said to have been 140 cubit]s. In the year 1875, Abhayagiri Vihara which had a diameter of 307 feet (94 m) at its base, stood to a height of 231 feet (70 m). The relics of the Buddha are said to have been enshrined in a figure of a bull made out of thick gold.

Jetavanarama. King Mahasen (273-301 AD) built this largest stupa in Ceylon, and possibly the whole world. A part of a sash tied by the Buddha is believed to be enshrined here. Its height is said to be 400 feet (120 m). This is considered as the largest stupa in the whole world. This stupa belongs to the Sagalika sect. The compound of the stupa is 8 acres (3 ha). One side of the stupa is 576 feet (176 m) in depth. The 4 flight of steps at the four sides is 28 feet (8.5 m) in depth. The doorpost to the shrine which is situated at the courtyard is 27 feet (8 m) in height. It is a foot (0.3 m) underground. There are some stone inscriptions in the courtyard with the names of donors inscribed.

Mirisaveti Stupa. King Dutugamunu after defeating King Elara, built the Mirisaveti Stupa. After placing the Buddha relics in the scepter, he had gone to Tisawewa for a bath leaving the scepter. After the bath he returned to the place where the scepter was placed, and it is said that it could not be moved. The stupa was built in the place where the scepter stood. It is also said that he remembered that he partook a chilly curry without offering it to the sangha. In order to punish himself he built the Mirisavetiya Dagaba. The extent of this land is about 50 acres (20 ha). Although the king Kasyapa I and Kasyapa V renovated this, from time to time it was dilapidated. What stands today is the renovation done by the cultural Triangle Fund.

Lankarama was built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it is no doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa (vatadage) to cover it. The round courtyard of the stupa seems to be 10 feet (3 m) above the ground. The diameter of the stupa is 45 feet (14 m). The courtyard is circular in shape and the diameter is 1332 feet (406 m).

Isurumuniya is situated near Tisawewa and was built by King Devanampiyatissa to house 500 newly-ordained children of high caste. King Kasyapa I (473-491 AD) renovated this viharaya and named it as “Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera”. This name is derived from names of his 2 daughters and his name. There is a viharaya connected to a cave and above is a cliff. A small stupa is built on it. It can be seen that the constructional work of this stupa belong to the present period. Lower down on both sides of a cleft, in a rock that appears to rise out of a pool, have been carved the figures of elephants. On the rock is carved the figure of a horse. The carving of Isurumuniya lovers on the slab has been brought from another place and placed it there. A few yards away from this vihara is the Magul Uyana.

The ancient Magul Uyana is situated close to Isurumuni Vihara and Tissawewa and contains several ponds. There are remains of small cells, seats made of stone steps, and taps of aesthetic sense. According to legend it is believed that Prince Saliya met Asokamala in this garden. The largest pond in this garden is 31 x 55 ft (9.5 x 17 m) in length and breadth. This is not a place of worship. [edit] Vessagiri About half a mile (1 km) to the south of Isurumuniya is situated Vessagiri on a mountains region. Scattered are 23 caves made of stone. Above the caves are inscribed the names of donors. These are the oldest inscriptions in Ceylon written in Brahmi script.

Rathna Prasadaya was built by Kng Kanittha Tissa who ruled Ceylon from 167-186 AD. It is known that during the 8th and 10th centuries Mihindu II and Mihindu IV renovated that building. The bhikkhus of the Tapovana belonging to the Pansakulika sect resided here. Beautiful guard stones of the Abhayagiri Viharaya were found here. The Queen’s Palace, containing the largest and the most beautiful moonstones, is near Ratna Prasadaya.

According to an inscription, the Dakkhina Stupa was constructed by Uttiya, a Minister of King Valagamba. For sometime by an error it was considered as Elara’s tomb. King Kanittha Tissa had build an alms hall, King Gottabhaya built an uposathagaraya, where the bhikkhis assembled for the ceremony of confession, while King Agbo I constructed a large building. The Bhikkhus of the Sagalika sect resided here. The most popularly known fact is that this stupa was constructed on the tomb of King Dutugemunu. Human bones that were collected were sent to France and according to the scientific analysis it was revealed that these ashes belong to King Dutugemunu.

Sela Cetiya is one of the 16 main places of worship and is situated to the west of Jetavanaramaya. This was constructed by King Lajjitissa who ruled in the first century BC. The diameter of the base of the stupa is 37½ feet (11.4 m). This stupa has been given this name as the platform and stupa has been constructed in stone. A moonstone and guardstones can be seen here.

Naka Vihara is a square-shaped stupa built of bricks. This is constructed according to an unusual model and would have been similar to the 7 storeyed building (Satmahal Prasadaya) in Polonnaruwa. Excavations done in this place reveal that there were several clay caskets.

Kiribath Vehera. The remains of this vihara shows that it is 30 feet (10 m) in height and the circumference is 425 feet (130 m). The date of construction and the king who built it, is unknown. In close proximity to this are the ruins of an image house. There is controversy whether the Pattamaka Chetiya built by King Devanampiyatissa is one and the same.

The most magnificent specimen of bathing tanks is the pair known as Kuttam Pokuna at Anuradhapura, near Abhayagiri Vihara. The garden which separates these 2 ponds is 18½ ft (5.6 m). The larger of this pair is 132 ft in length and 51 ft in breadth (40 by 15.5 m), while the smaller is 91 feet long, the breadth is the same (28 by 15.5 m). The depth of the smaller pond is 14 feet (4.3 m) and the larger pond is 18 feet (5.5 m). The sides and the bottom of the ponds were faced with well cut granite slabs. Round the pond is a magnificent wall. Leading to the pond are a beautiful flight of steps on both sides, and decorated with “punkalas” and scroll design. There were underground ducts bringing water into these ponds and others emptying them. A wall is built to enclose the ponds, and inside it is a small compound.

Samadhi Statue, in the Mahamevuna Park, is one of the best pieces of sculpture on the site. The statue is 8 feet (2.4 m) in height and made of granite and the Dhyana mudra is symbolished – The posture of meditation in which Buddha sits in the cross-legged position with upturned palms, placed one over the other on the lap. [edit] Toluwila Statue Which has a close resemblance to the Samadhi statue at Anuradhapura, was found among the ruins in a temple at Toluwila in Anuradhapura. It is 5’9″ (1.75 m) in height. The gap between the knees is 5’9″ (1.75 m). The width between the shoulders is 3’5″ (1.04 m). At present this statue is placed near the main entrance to the Colombo Museum.

In the sacred city of Anuradhapura and in the vicinity are a large number of other ruins. These have not been identified properly and many have been destroyed either by Tamil invaders or by vandals. Neither tourists nor pilgrims havepaid much attention to these ruins and information regarding this is meager.

Posted by: isurubmv | March 12, 2009

WEL COME MY WEB BLOG

blog

I take great pleasure in introducing my self. I am Isuru Madushan. i study at G/Batuwangala Maha Vidyalaya. i am learning of Grade 12. I live in Batuwangala, Neluwa It situated in Gall district. My target is to pass the 2011 A/L exam.i have two brothers and no sister. My mother’s name is Mrs. Vinitha Irangani.
she is a very kind heated. she is a house wife. My father is M.A Sunil. he is a Blacksmith. he is an innocent villager.. i love my parents. i like to learn I.C.T. My favorite subject is English. My school is near the Sinharaja rain forest. There is a water fall called “Duuliella”. it’s very beauty full. I like to eat Banana.
My birth day is 1992.11.14. I do kandian dancing, sports and learning English.
Aruna Chaminda Pushpa Kumara is my computer teacher.
His village Is Gall. My hobbies are reading Navels, rowing picture and collecting pictures.
I am 17 years old. I like to swim in ‘Gingaga’. i want to be a computer hardware Engineer.

ANAGARIKA DARMAPALA THUMA

With the invasion of Ceylon, by three western powers, namely, Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, the lifestyle of Sri Lankans were changed drastically. Invaders imposed their religion, language, customs, dress, food and their culture on the peoples in the island. They adopted the divide and rule policy to gain supremacy in the country. z_ana.jpg (11707 bytes)

From 1505 to 1815, these invaders used their authority to make this country a safe haven for their ideals to flourish. However, in certain ways, they failed to convince or convert the whole community of islanders to satisfy their wants.

Native people fought with their limited resources from time to time to chase them away from the country. Until they were driven away, they used all strategies to destroy our cherished culture existed for more than 2,000 years. During the British rule, two uprisings took place in the country in 1818 and 1848. Ova uprising under the heroic leadership of Keppetipola and the Matale uprising under Gongalegoda Banda and Puran Appu made a great impact on the lives of people. Finally, the western powers left the island making an indelible mark on the political landscape of the country.

Some people in coastal areas and middle class preferred to embrace Christianity and Christian names giving up their traditional names and the religion.

David Hewavitharana was born to a rich, upper middle class family at a time like this. His father, H. Don Carolis was an accomplished furniture manufacturer, and the mother was Mallika, whose name was synonymous with a famous queen in Buddhist literature. As usual, David was sent to a missionary school for education.
He grew up with the knowledge of history in the country. He lamented furiously over the cultural, religious and national decline and developed a firm determination to fight against the escalation of the foreign power in the country.

He took a new name with religious connotation; a name revered in Buddhist literature. He became known as Dharmapala. He pledged to be an Anagarika, one who doesn’t have a home. (Na Agaram Yassa So = Anagariko). Homeless-ness means to dedicate oneself in leading a celebate life, treading the noble eight-fold path of the Buddha.

He advised others also to take native, Buddhist names and give up ‘Thuppahi’ (westernised) names. Thus, Uparis Silva became Piyadasa Sirisena, the famous novelist. George Pieris became Gunapala Piyasena (Malalasekera), the erudite Buddhist scholar of repute.

People listened to his message and were determined to assign Sinhala names to their children, instead of alien names. Native names, such as Piyasena, Piyadasa, Weerasena, Dharmadasa, Kamalawathie, Manel etc. became popular among native people. It paved the way, for people to maintain their national and cultural identities as a result of his patriotic message. Today, it is heartening to note that Sinhala people, irrespective of their religious faiths have assigned themselves with Sinhala names. Anagarika Dharmapala should be credited for this enormous change brought to the Sri Lankan society.

Due to his tremendous contribution in the fields of sociology, culture and religion, he made a great impact on day to day lives of the people. During the Sinhala-Muslim riots in the country, he was in India, however, he spoke against the grave injustices done to the Sinhala-Buddhists by the British Governor, Charmers. The Governor, himself was ironically a Pali scholar, Anagarika Dharmapala’s contribution helped expedite bringing constitutional changes to the country.

His anti-imperialist message was later highly taken up by some politicians and they carried out their campaign in a different style with a different flavour to gain independence. Three past pupils of the premier Buddhist school, Ananda College, Dr. S.A. Wickramasinghe, Philip Gunawardene and Dr. N.M. Perera, fought with their tooth and nail against colonialism and imperialism. They not only campaigned, but also, educated the masses to make their motherland a free, sovereign and an independent nation. Their dream came true in 1972, under the premiership of late Mrs. Sirima R.D. Bandaranaike, making the country a Republic. She took the native name, Sri Lanka, instead of her alien name, Ceylon. Anagarika Dharmapala was one of the pioneers of this campaign.

As a teenager, David Hewavitharana was chosen by the Buddhist leaders to represent the Theravada Buddhism at the Parliament of world religions held in San Francisco in 1893. It was a wake up call for America, as the moral decline seen as a result of the civil war. It is believed, that his speech had been written by none other than the most venerable, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala, Principal, Vidyodaya Pirivena.

Anagarika Dharmapala, in his prepared address at the conference, convinced the audience how it is important to follow the noble eight-fold path delivered by the Buddha,
according to Buddhist Philosophy, Swamy, Vivekananda of India presented the Hindu Philophy at the conference.

Anagarika Dharmapala received invitations from the audience to make more speeches on Buddhism at various places in the US and he delightfully accepted each and every invitation. His name has been recorded in gold as the first Theravada Buddhist to bring the message of peace of the Buddha to this hemisphere. He came back with honours to the island.

He later started visiting villages all over the country, to wake up the Sinhala-Buddhist villagers and talked about the dangers of the spread of foreign culture. A teenager who was so eager to hear one of his speeches, walked for more than twelve miles in Tissamaharama, the deep down south of Sri Lanka to listen to this great speaker and was attracted to his ideals. With great difficulties, this young boy finished his education and became the colossus of journalism. He was none other than, D.B. Dhanapala, Principal, Journalist and the patriot par excellence.

Anagarika Dharmapala, called the spade a spade. He was against the consumption of liquor and advised people to avoid consumption. He also made speeches against the meat consumption and labelled those who consume meat as ‘Vasalaya’ (outcaste). He became the close associate of Col. Henry Steele Olcott, the Theosophist, who later founded the Buddhist Theosophical Society. The first Buddhist school, Ananda College was founded. Thereafter, the Buddhist Theosophical Society undertook establishing more Buddhist schools in the island.

Anagarika Dharmapala concentrated in spreading Buddha Dhamma in the world. He founded the Maha Bodhi Society in New Delhi with branches in London and New York. He started his own newspaper – Sinhala Bauddhaya – and opened the eyes of the Buddhists. The establishment of the Buddhist Maha Vihara in London, UK, was the greatest event that took place in the twentieth century in the annals of Buddhist history.

Three Theravada Buddhist monks, Ven. Paravahera Vajiragnana, Dehigaspe Pagnasara, and Hegoda Nandasara were selected and despatched to the London Buddhist Maha Vihara. They had been trained as Dhammaduta Bhikkhus. Before they arrived in London, an Englishman, who later became a Bhikkhu by the name of Ananda Metteyya, had been spreading the word of peace of the Buddha in UK. Ven. Paravahera Vajiragnana Nayaka Maha Thera, who later became the Vice-Chancellor of Vidyodaya University, wrote his most illustrious book on Buddhist Meditation and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University during his tenure at London Maha Vihara. If, not for Anagarika Dharmapala, Buddhist world would have missed reading this great work.

This great man while earning his reputation as a whistle blower, also made enemies, who were unpatriotic, corrupt and westernised. They harboured grudges and petty jealousies against Anagarika Dharmapala. Anagarika Dharmapala left the island for India with a firm determination not to come back to the island. He was disappointed over the manner in which he was treated. He died at Mula Ghandhakuti Vihara, India, as a Bhikkhu, by the name of Devamitta.

THE COCONUT TREE

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The coconut which is a kind of plam is a very useful tree. Its trunk raises straight up, some times as high as fifty feets. Its cadjans are spreaded far as in a circle like a crown of a king. The average length of a cadjan is about twenty feets.It grows well only in hot countries, and does best on a sandy shore near the sea. They can be seen, grown very well on the coral islands in the Pacific Ocean .Its fruit are the coconut. There is a white kernel covered with a hard shell and the outer is covered with a husk.

The coconut plam is the most useful tree in the world. The every part of this is used for many purposes. Mostly the coconut is important in every aspect. When the shell is broken; the hollow inside contains a tasty liquid, which is a refreshing and wholesome drink. The white kernel can be eaten as a food and is used for flavouring cakes and puddings. In the pacific island, a great trade is carried on “coppera” which is the dried kernel of coconuts. This contains much coconut oil, which is used largely in making candles and soap. From the strong brown fiber that covers the hard shell of the nut, is manufactured “coir”, which is made into rugs, ropes etc. The shell is used as a cup or carved into an ornament.

From the sap or juice of the tree is made “toddy, a pleasant drink when taken fresh, and one that makes men drunk when it is left to stand for a while. Also a wine called plam wine, is made from it , and a kind of vinegar when boiled and treated in a special way , the juice gives kind of sweet sugar, called “jiggery.”
The leaves are used for making roof of house. And woven into mats and basket. And finally, the wood is used for building and other purposes.

coconut_tree_in_napili_z3v31
isurubmv@yahoo.com

POLONNARUWA

The second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. While Vijayabahu’s victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. The city Polonnaruwa was also called as Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign.It was his reign that is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the King, who was adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu’s reign, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems, of course is the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama, a tank so vast that it is often mistaken for the ocean. It is of such a width that it is impossible to stand upon one shore and view the other side, and it encircles the main city like a ribbon, being both a defensive border against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu’s reign

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C.w.w Kannangara

z_p07-dr-cwwkannangara

Born on October 13, 1884 primary education at Weslyan English High School.Secondary education at Richmond Collage, Galle.
Passed Cambridge senior in 1901.
Fine sportsman captained the Richmond cricket team, won colours in foot ball.
Become a teacher Richmond college, Galle.
Prince of Wales college Moratuwa. Wesley college, Colombo.

Methodist College, Colombo.
Passed the law examinations. Started practicing law in Galle,in 1910.

Married Edith Weerasuriya in 1922.

Entered Politics in 1919. become the president of the Ceylon National Congress,in1931 elected as the member for Galle under the Donoughmore Constitution in 1931.
Appointed the fist Minister of Education in the State Council.
Introduced the fee Education Bill
In the State Council- recommended
free education from kindergarten to university education.
The bill came into operation in 1945.
In 1961, honoured With an LLD by the University of Ceylon.
D.LITT by the Vidyodaya University.
Death September 23, 1969.
Lovingly called,” Father of Free Education”.

The story of sigiriya

sigiriya sigiriya-31
The following story of Kasyapa as obtained from the documents of Ananda-Sthavira, translated by Senarath Paranavitana, differs from the story that many learned as school children; that King Datusena had been plastered alive to a wall by his son Kasyapa who later died in battle facing his brother Moggallana. Perhaps this is the story accepted until later documents and literary works suggested otherwise.
King Kasyapa was the man who dared to hold the dream of his father of building a palace in the sky, despite the many obstacles he faced. Kasyapa was unfortunately called a parricide, owing to the earlier legend and later by his famed epithet ‘God-King’.
The birth of a palace in the sky
King Datusena’s reign saw 15 years of peace and prosperity in the land. He built the greatest tank in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Kalaveva, which he considered as all the wealth he ever possessed. King Datusena now wanted to be the ‘Bodhirajaya’ a title which the monarchs of Sri Lanka had held as protectors of Buddhism in Asia. How- ever, King Sri Kundya of Java had assumed this title and stubbornly held on to it even after Datusena sent word to him saying that it was illegal for another ruler other than a Sri Lankan to hold this title.
Disappointed, Datusena sought the advice of the Abbot of the Mahaviharaya, head of the ‘Theravada’ sect of Buddhism, who advised the king to practise the ‘dasarajadharma’ (ten royal virtues) which would enable him to acquire the status of a ‘Chakravarti’, which was higher than a Bodhirajaya. Datusena, being quite human was unable to practise it and found himself in a state of great mental distress, when he came into contact with a ‘Maga Brahmana’ or Magian Priest of Persian origin, a Christian who had come to the Royal Palace.
This priest was to play a very in- fluential role both in Datusena’s and Kasyapa’s lives. Datusena confided in this priest and he counselled the king saying that it was impossible for a human being to practise the ten royal virtues and that even the ancient Persian Kings had tried and failed. There- after, they had tried to obtain imperial status by observing the ritual of ‘Parvataraja’ or Mountain King. To achieve this, the king had to reside in a palace built on the summit of a rock and rule from there.
The Maga Brahmana suggested that funds for building such a palace could be obtained if all the people in the kingdom gave a gift according to their ability to the king on his birthday as a token of their allegiance. They calculated that if they do so for seven consecutive years they could obtain the funds needed for building the palace. Meanwhile, the intrigues within the palace of Datusena began to grow. Samgha his second queen desired the throne for her son Moggallana whereas Kasyapa too wanted the same. Abroad too, the acts of fate began to intrude upon the rule of Datusena. Simhavarman, Datusena’s brother-in-law assumes the title of ‘Parvataraja’ in India and declares war on Datusena. He sends Datusena’s sister’s husband, Migara as general of the army to invade Sri Lanka. Simhavarman had purposely sent him at the head of a small army so he may be destroyed because he resented Migara and his wife converting to Christianity.
In the same way Datusena had decided that the only way to stop Kasyapa making a claim to the throne would be to have him destroyed because he had already decided to give the throne to Moggallana. Datusena sent Kasyapa to war against General Migara at the head of a small army. Kasyapa realized that his father wanted him dead and he made a pact with General Migara to stage a mock battle and to have Migara and his army surrender to him. Migara gave his allegiance to Datusena and promised to serve him.
The rivalry between the two brothers grew, when after this battle, Kasyapa claimed the title of ‘Yuvaraja’. Datusena made no commitment and Kasyapa assumed that the title will be given to Moggallana and decided to leave Sri Lanka. In despair, he went to see his mother for one last time and told her that he’d rather live in exile than be subservient to his younger brother. He had worshipped at her feet and had sobbed saying, “This may be the last sight that I may have of my mother.” She too had sobbed and blessed him saying “May thy paths be propitious.”
Kasyapa was informed shortly by General Migara that Datusena had brought a charge of treason against him because he had reportedly conspired with Simhavarman of India. This, in fact, was a false piece of information deliberately given to mislead Kasyapa and make him flee the country so that the people can confirm that if he fled then he must indeed be guilty of treason. Kasyapa fled to Madras and sought refuge with his uncle Silatisyabodhi. After seven months he gathered an army and prepared to invade Sri Lanka. He landed at Chilaw and proceeded to the Kurunegala District where he set up camp near the village of Sri-Pura. Datusena ordered his troops to set up camp in the village itself, that is in the rear of Kasyapa’s army, and thus he forfeited the claim to immunity when setting up camp because he was doing it at the rear of Kasyapa’s army instead of in front. Datusena’s army was thus attacked while they were setting up camp and they were badly defeated. Kasyapa had no idea that it was his father who was at the head of the army. He was under the misconception that it was Moggallana. Datusena not wanting to see the outcome of this battle, cut off his head with his own sword.
Thus Datusena’s reign came to a tragic end, indirectly caused by his first born. He died without the impe- rial title of ‘Parvataraja’. Kasyapa, stricken, paid last respects to his father and ordered that a stupa be built at the site where he was cremated.
Kasyapa takes over the sovereignty
After this battle Kasyapa marched to Anuradhapura and took over the reins of power without any opposition. He magnanimously offered friendship and the title of Regent to Moggallana who turned it down and fled abroad with his mother. Kasyapa tried to intercept them but he was too late. Returning from Batticaloa, he camped for the night at Habarana. Rising at dawn he had seen in the southern direction a solitary mass of rock looming high over the horizon. He had inquired about this rock and was told that it was called Aksa-paravata and that his father had begun to build a palace on its summit. He had climbed the rock from the northern side with a few others and observing the outline of the construction had said that it was too large and that it would be difficult to remain at the summit right throughout the year and ordered a small edifice to be built there. Kasyapa employed a Sinhalese architect named Sena Lal to execute his designs for Sigiri.
Raising funds for building Sigiriya
On the advice of the Maga Brahmana, Kasyapa issued and regulated a gold coinage. For this to be accepted by overseas merchants he was told to proclaim himself as ‘Kuvera’ or God of Wealth. Further- more, if the merchants were to accept him as Kuvera, he had to reside and administer his kingdom from a palace on the summit of a rock. Though the Abbot of the Abhayagiri Viharaya had accepted his new imperial status, the Abbot of the Mahaviharaya who was not consulted by Kasyapa before embarking on this new venture, chastised him saying, “Kuvera was the chief of the ‘Yakksa’ or demons and it would take a long time for a Yakksa to acquire human status again.” Proclaiming himself Kuvera, Kasyapa earned the animosity not only of the Mahaviharaya but also of other overseas rulers.
Kasyapa also established free ports to attract more merchants to the ports of Sri Lanka. By this, other trading nations too suffered. Ship chose to sail to Suvarnapura (Palewbang) from India, even after the Maharaja too issued a gold coinage. Angered by the loss of trade for his nation, he summoned Kasyapa’s brother Moggallana and told him that he would sponsor an army to fight his brother if he promised, in the event he succeeded to defeat Kasyapa to discontinue the use of a gold coinage and abandon Sigiri and rule once more from Anuradhapura. Moggallana agreed to do this.
An ancient description of Sigiri
An ancient Sinhalese guide book called the ‘Sihigiri Vihara’ found in the library of the Maharaja at Suvarnapura describes this rock and its palace in great detail. It describes the edifice constructed at the summit to have been made only for the use of a couple. No one was allowed to climb there other than King Kasyapa and his Queen. This edifice is described as a mansion with several landscaped gardens and a beautiful pond called Dharani with aquatic flowers. It was always full of water even in the dry season as a mechanism conducted water there.
It also gives a wonderful description of the lion figure. The forepart of a lion had been there but now only the massive paws exist. The rock above the lion figure had painted images of Kasyapa and his father. The plateau in front of the lion figure was known as the plateau of Red Arsenic.
This guide book also mentions the gallery and its protective mirror wall whose shining surface was obtained by the use of some mineral which only Sri Lanka possessed at that time.
Above the gallery were the beautiful frescos or ‘Sigiri Apsaras’ painted in the form of cloud damsels and Lightning Princesses.
The western and southern slopes were divided into terraces with dwelling places for the maids, members of the body-guard and concubines of Kasyapa, supposedly 500. On the western slope there had been two flights of stairs to climb the Sigiri rock, one which passed a cave which was believed to have been a shrine for the goddess Abhrasthita (Aphrodite). A figurine had been discovered there in the time of King Parakramabahu.
There had also been a theatre with seats carved on to the rock. Tradition says that many ancient Sinhalese plays were first performed here during Kasyapa’s reign.
A cave below a boulder of stone which has the appearance of the hood of a cobra, had the paintings of Kas-yapa’s biography which were eventually erased by his brother Moggallana.
There had also been fountains for the use of the harem. According to legend, Kasyapa used to watch them bathing from his mansion. There had also been a pavilion where these damsels used to leave their clothes before bathing and sometimes dried themselves there naked.
Ananda-Sthavira in his essay ‘The two sons of Datusena’ says that “King Kasyapa brought honour to the Sinhala Kingdom. Though the mercantile undertakings initiated by King Kasyspa were discontinued by King Maudgalyana, they were again started and continued by Sinhala Kings after King Maudgalyana. Vast wealth accrued to the Sinhala Kingdom through these mercantile undertakings.”
Kasyapa also renovated the ancient monastery named Isirimana (sometimes called Vessagiri) and bequeathed it to the Mahaviharaya, even though he himself was an adherent of the Mahayana doctrines. The Mahavihara was endlessly opposed to Kasyapa not only because he had proclaimed himself as Kuvera but also because he followed the ‘Mahayana’ sect and not the ‘Theravada’ sect.
The role of Moggallana in King Kasyapa’s death
The son of the Maga Brahmana and Kasyapa fell out and after the death of his father, he left the palace and went abroad. There he conspired with Kasyapa’s brother Moggallana. The Maga Brahmana (Jr) obtained a promise from Moggallana that if he ever assassinated Kasyapa, then he must convert to Christianity. He returned to Sigiriya and told General Migara about Moggallana’s promise. He then told Migara that his sister, the wife of Kasyapa must be the one to kill him. Migara’s sister agreed to kill Kasyapa if she was assured of never being accused of his murder.
She had then persuaded Kasyapa to climb to the summit where they were to spend the night alone together. In the night the king’s attendants were summoned by her and was told that the king was ill. They carried Kasyapa down to the plateau of Red Arsenic where the physician proclaimed him dead. The queen may have poisoned him.
Ananda-Sthavira in his narrative says that “There was a great commotion at the city of Simhagiri on the death of King Kasyapa.” Kasyapa passed away after 18 years on the throne, in the palace in the sky that he had built. In his book of verse titled “The Sigiriyan King” (1973) V. Ariyaratnam makes the following to be the dying words of the God-King Kasyapa.
“Oh Sigiri, my sanctuary in the sky.”
After the king’s death the commander-in-chief of the garrison at Sigiri, General Sulaksmana, installed the son of Kasyapa, Datusena, on the throne and administered his kingdom in his name. Eventually this General was defeated in battle by Moggallana. He died like Kasyapa’s father by beheading himself. Moggallana seized Sigiri and abandoned it as the capital. He later administered the kingdom from Anuradhapura, as in keeping with the promise made to the Maharaja of Suvarnapura. Moggallana later married Kasyapa’s widow. Kasyapa’s son fled to India, where he died in exile.
The tales surrounding King Kasyapa have been passed from generation to generation and still have the power to instill respect and admiration. Perhaps this is why Sigiriya is such a major tourist attraction right throughout the year. If you ever climb Sigiriya you will definitely see at least one young mother cuddling an infant or a toddler to her and scaling the steep climb to the top. Maybe these young mothers hope to instill the essence of Kasyapa into the lives of their young children by showing them the greatest monument to his memory the remnants of his palace in the sky.

Morning

I love to wake to each new day,
And brush my dreams
Of night away,

And look out through
my window wide
To see what weather is outside,

And wonder what exciting thing
This shining, un-used day
Will bring.

Sliver

By Walter de la Mare

Slowly, silently, now the moon

Walks the night in her silver shoon;

This way, and that, she peers, and sees

Sliver fruit upon silver trees;

One by one the casements catch

Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;

Couched in his kennel, like a log,

With paws of silver sleeps the dog;

From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep

Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;

A harvest mouse goes scampering by,

With silver claws, and silver eye;

And motionless fish in the water gleam,

By silver reeds in a silver stream.

Silent meaning

The word not spoken

goes not quite unheard.

It lingers in the eye,

in the semi-arch of brow.

A gesture of the hand

speaks pages more than words,

The echo rests in the heart

as driftwood does in sand,

To be rubbed by time

until it rots or shines.

The word not spoken

touches us as music

does the mind.

Life is Beauty

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.

Be a Friend

Be a friend. You don’t need money;
Just a disposition sunny;
Just the wish to help another
Get along some way or other;
Just a kindly hand extended
Out to one who’s unbefriended;
Just the will to give or lend,
This will make you someone’s friend.

Be a friend. You don’t need glory.
Friendship is a simple story.
Pass by trifling errors blindly,
Gaze on honest effort kindly,
Cheer the youth who’s bravely trying,
Pity him who’s sadly sighing;
Just a little labor spend
On the duties of a friend.

Be a friend. The pay is bigger
(Though not written by a figure)
Than is earned by people clever
In what’s merely self-endeavor.
You’ll have friends instead of neighbors
For the profits of your labors;
You’ll be richer in the end
Than a prince, if you’re a friend.

isurubmv@yahoo.com,isurubmv@gmail.comwww.batuwangala.sch.lk

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