Saturday, November 30, 2013

'Sri Maha Bodhi', Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The old entrance to the 'Sri Maha Bodhi', Anuradhapura.

Monkeys upsetting the litter bin.

The road leading to the 'Ruwanweli Saeya'.

Friday, November 29, 2013

'Sri Maha Bodhi', Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The 'Sri Maha Bodhi', Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The branch supported by gold posts is the branch from the original tree at Buddha Gaya, India, brought to Sri Lanka by Theri Sanghamitta more than 2000 years ago.

The 'Dolosmahe pahane' (the 12 month lamp). Devotees pour small amounts of coconut oil into a funnel on the side. This oil falls into the lamp and is collected below it. This oil is used to keep the lamp burning for the twelve months of the year.

A tree trimmed of a branch at the site.

An ancient building in the premises. Note the pillars made out of cut granite at a time when concrete was unheard of. Note also the stairway with the two 'Guard-stones'.
The 'Sacred Bodhi Tree' at Buddha Gaya, India, under which Lord Buddha had Enlightenement had many vicissitudes in its lifetime. During its lifetime, a fruit from it was taken and given to the
Ven. Anandha by Lord Buddha. It produced a sapling which was planted at Sravasthy, India, during Lord Buddha's life time. It is called the 'Ananda Bo tree' and is still in existence. A branch of the original Bo tree was brought to Sri Lanka by Theri Sanghamittha in the 2nd Century BC. This is the one now existing at Anuradhapura. It had many saplings produced in its lifetime. One of the earliest now in existence is at 'Thanthrimale'. With present day techniques, DNA studies on this plant and making comparisons with the 'Ananda Bo tree' at Srawasthy and the Bo tree standing now at Buddha Gaya, India, could give us valuable historical data.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

'Sri Maha Bodhi', Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The entrance to the sacred site of the Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Stairway entrance with a 'guard-stone' on either side.

'Moon-stone' at the bottom of the stair-way.

'Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi (Sinhala:ජය ශ්රි මහා බොධිය) is a Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Bodhi tree Sri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC,[1][2][3][4] and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date.[5] Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world.

The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc....'. -

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mirisawetiya (ctd), Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

A wash basin made of granite.


A wall of granite blocks.

One of the four entrances to the Dagoba.
The size of the Dagoba and the work done in stone and baked clay is simply amazing.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mirisawetiya Dagoba, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

'Mirisawetiya was the first dagaba built by the great king Dutugamunu. Great King Dutugamunu built the mirisa wetiya in 161 -137 BC and united Sri Lanka under one flag. Sri lankans believed that King Dutugamunu had a sceptre that contained a sacred relic of the Buddha. While going to the tank "Tissawewa", for a water festival, the King has planted the scepter in a certain place. When he came back, it is said that his men could not remove the sceptre from the place. Witnessing the miracle, the King decided to build a dagaba enclosing the scepter. Thus was the creation of Mirisawetiya. The significance of the sceptre is the fact that this was the king's "victory sceptre" for his battles with Elara, and by building the Dagaba around it shows the tremendous dedication that the King had for Buddhism and his spirituality'. 

'There are several believes about the Mirisavetiya name and most populer belive is. It is a custom among Buddhists whenever food is partaken, some of it is symbolically offered to the holy monks. In Sinhala, "Mirisaweitiya" comes from "Miris-Wetiya", which means a pod of Chillie. It is rumored that the King once forgot to offer a pod of chillie to the Monks before eating . As a token of apology, it is said that the King named the Dagaba "Mirisawetiya"' – Web-link:-

Sunday, November 24, 2013

'Sivura paevareema' Ctd., Sri Jaya Bhodhi Vihare, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

'Sivura paevareema' - Donating the robe.

The monks leaving the site.

The kids jump into the pool.

An ice-cream 'dansala'

Saturday, November 23, 2013

'Sivura pavaereema', Sri Jayabodhi Vihara, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

The procession conducting the priests to the venue of the 'Sivura pavaereema'.

The 'confession'.

Being conducted to the 'Seema maluwa' float.

On the float.
Click on the web-link below to view some videos I took and posted on my site, on Youtube.:-

Friday, November 22, 2013

'Sivura paevareema' - the giving of a robe to a Buddhist priest at the end of 'Vas', Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

The damed up stream with an artificial pond

The float on empty steel drums being decorated.
Fresh flowers being threaded.
The float.
The retreat of Buddhist monks during the rainy season of the year is called 'Vas'. The book of 'Vinaya' - rules of the Buddhist canon - has rules regarding the observance of 'Vas'. At the end of 'Vas' there is an act called 'Sivura pavaereema'. This involves the giving of a fresh set of robes to the monk. The robe during the Saakyamuni's presence on earth was made by collecting the clothing covering corpses and from these a patch-work robe was stitched. This was then washed, dyed, allowed to dry and was given to the monk. The present day rituals in Sri Lanka involves laymen buying a white linen cloth, cutting it, making a robe by stitching, washing and dyeing it and then drying it. A special enclosure called a 'Seema maluwa' is made on land or water. The priests taking part in the ceremony have to confess any transgressions made to another monk of 'Upasampadaa' rank. If there are no transgressions demanding dismissal - 'Paaraajika' - the monks are led to the enclosure. The monks then do the donation of the robe ceremonially, reciting the appropriate 'Gaathas'. No one else is allowed to enter this 'Seema maluwa' other than monks holding a rank of 'Upasampadaa'.
The above are some of the scenes of preparation for this event held for the Chief Monk, Rev Gonagala Somaloka, at the Sri Jayabodhi Vihara, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.
These traditions have been observed in Sri Lanka for more than 2000 years.

Click on the web-link below to view some videos I took and posted on my site on Youtube.:-

Thursday, November 21, 2013

'The lovers', Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Isurumuni Lovers

'6th Century Gupta style carving. The woman, seated on the man's lap, lifts a warning finger, probably as a manifestation of her coyness; but the man carries on regardless. The figures may represent Dutugemunu's son Saliya and the low caste (Sadol Kula) maiden Asokamala whom he loved. It's known that he gave up the throne for her.
‘Siddha mahayaha kuni – maha (la) ka Asala yaha (di) ni’ [Hail! The cell of Mahaya is given to Venerable Asalaya]
The above Brahmi inscription was inscribed at the original place where the Isurumuniya Lovers were originally sculptured and placed. It is a special one as a letters in this inscription is 3 inches x 4 inches in size. After donating Vessagiriya to Maha Sangha this sculpture would have been removed and placed at its present place. The Lovers in the sculptured plaque are King Kuvera Vaisrawana and his Queen Kuni. Ramayana states that Vaisrawana who lived in Vessagiriya ruled Sri Lanka from Lankapura before Rawana'. (Refer Sri Lanka Rawana Rajadhaniya – Ariyadasa Seneviratna Chapter 9)

IIt has been claimed  by some that the 'mudra' of the right hand of the female figure, indicates a
a'desire for sexual congress'. If it is so, it indicates a high degree of sophistication in the era of this stone-cutting (PGV).

The 'Lovers' in their original site in the 1950s. Photo of Mr.Jayaratne, Puwakpitiya, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The top of the rock where the Sacred Footprint is worked in stone.

In the early days after the passing away of Lord Buddha, Lord Buddha did not have any statues made of him. Since he went away 'to nothingness' only objects reminding him were used by devotees. Representation of foot-prints, an empty chair, an umbrella etc were used by devotees to be reminded of the 'Thathagatha'. The 'Foot-print' was used extensively. Thus 'Isurumuniya' one of the earliest places of Buddhism in ancient Sri Lanka, had this. The 'Foot-print' is still found on the top of this rock in present Isurumuniya.

Old rock cuttings used to ascend the rock.

The enclosed site of the ancient Foot-print.

A view of the pool from the top of the rock.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stairways and doorway, Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Under an overhanging rock.

Early stage of cracking open a boulder.
 Holes were made in a large rock and special wooden pegs were inserted into these holes and tightened. When the wooden pegs were soaked with water they swelled up and cracked the boulder open. This technique was used about 2000 years ago. There were no electric drills nor dynamite available those days.


A decorative door-way made from granite.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scenes from Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

View from the far side of the pond.

A stone carving of a squirrel?

The Buddha image under the overhanging rock.

Scenes from the life of Lord Buddha.
The recumbent image of Lord Buddha lies under the overhanging rock. Repeated applications of paint over the years and the drawings on the walls give it a very tasteful sight.