The Enlightenment – Janbudveepa and Hela Diva

The birth of prince Sidhuhath[1], the sacred Enlightenment of Gothma Bosath [2]and the parivirvana[3] of the Buddha were taken place in Janbudveepa. A long period like forty five years, Buddha Dhamma[4] was preached to the people in Janbudveepa. Janbudveepa (Jan+bud+deepa)[5] is a three letter word in Magadhi language [6] which gives the meaning that ‘It is the island where the Buddhas are born’. According to the meaning of this Magadhi term, any particular noble person in this mother earth who aspires to achieve this supermandane status called The Buddhahood[7], he will get that great opportunity only in this Janbudveepa. All the Buddhas attended in to the most supermandane Enlightenment in the past and all the Buddhas who will attend to the most supermandane Enlightenment in the future in this world, will select this sacred island as their birth place. This name Janbudveepa is not a name of a particular place or a country. There is only, not many, place on earth which would be suitable for a birth of a Buddha with the universal energy in its center. There is only one place of this nature where the universal energy stands in its center. That place is called Madya Mandala[8] in Janbudveepa. This great human being, the noble man who aspires to achieve the supreme status called The Enlightenment without any guidance of any teacher but only by self wisdom, should defiantly be born in Janbudveepa and his sacred incident should occur at a particular place, under a particular Bo tree[9] situated in the Madya Mandala where the universal energies are centralized. This sacred Enlightenment itself is a definitive phenomena planned according to Dhamma Niyaama[10].

All the Buddhas from the time of Deepankara Buddha[11] lived in this Badra Kalpa[12], attended to their sacred Enlightenments in this motherland called Janbudveepa. The very meaning of the word suggests that this place is a deepa, an island. It cannot be a sub-continent or a continent. Because, a particular place or a point called Madhya Mandala cannot be marked in a continent or in a sub-continent. The universal energy will not be gathered or centralized in a place which is not a Madhya Mandala.

Hence, according to Dhamma Niyaama it is certain that there is only one single place in this whole world, there is no any other place, where there is a special universal energy which enables a Buddha to attend to his supreme status, The Enlightenment. By fulfilling Samathis Paramithas[13], the Buddha develops the universal energy within himself in a countless periods of this Samsara[14] which then will be united with the universal energy. This universal energy developed by him and the universal energy which had already developed by the previous Buddhas will be together and be centralized in the Madhya Mandala in Jambudveepa. The fulfillment of this process is called ‘Vivarana Ganeema’ in Sinhala language [15].

It should be highlighted that this particular magnificent place called Madhya Mandala in Janbudveepa, as we call it in our day-today language, which is the center point of the world with good energies and also the place of refuge for many Buddhas, is situated in the very center of a Dhamma Deepa[16]. Whiles there is a Madhya Mandala in this world with centralized good universal energies, on the other side of the world, there is an ending-point too with bad universal energies in its center. The western world calls this The Bermuda Triangle[17] and it has the bad universal energies in its center. These two places are located in two different extremes. The ones who do the good, the nature will support them and the ones who do the bad will be destroyed by the power of the nature, this is the nature of this phenomena. Hence, it is clear that the universal energy too is two-fold, there are two extremes of it, namely, the good and the bad.

It is no doubt that someone who can preciously understand the meaning of the word ‘Buddha’ in term of Artha, Dharma, Nirukthi and Patibhaaga[18], which has many different meanings and explanations in general context, such as, power[19] or virtues of Buddha, Buddha Dharma, Shakthi or energies of the Buddha, Buddha Gnaana, Buddhanussathi[20], way of Buddha etc, would not face any difficulties in understanding the meaning of “Janbudveepa” as well.

 “The power of the consciousness“ is the only energy source reasoned to create or to originate all the Sankatha, all the Sankara (Sabbe Dhamma) in this world. Every being is in the process of generating this power of consciousness on a continuous basis (punabbavothi). bu+uddha = Buddha means the total eradication of the process of this re-generation, origination (or punabbavothi) of the energy source, namely the power of consciousness. When the process of generating the power of consciousness is totally taken off or eradicated the power of the wisdom will come in to the mind in full. It is the power of wisdom called anuppado. Based on this Dharmatha[21] only, Buddha explained it as “nibbaanan anuppado”.

The meaning of existence or living is the constant origination (or come in to being) of the characteristics of raga, desha, moha[22] in your own mind which are powered by the power of the consciousness. The word bu+uddha means the total eradication of power of Sanbava [23] or the total eradication of the power source (Bhava) or the total eradication of root of the origin of raga, desha and moha. This power of origin will be originated no anywhere else, but only in the mind. Yatha bootha gaana darshana (or the wisdom of seeing things as they are) is the realization that this power of origin should be totally eradicated. The beings who constantly suffer due to the origin of raga, desha and moha can get a real liberation or a constant relief only by the total eradication of these powers which generate these defilements (Bhava). The Noble One who discovers this principle by his own insight and preaches it to the world, will certainly attend to this supreme position in this Janbudveepa itself and will be called Sammaa Sambuddha[24].

Hence, the birth of a Lord Buddha, preaching Dhamma to the people in the world, re-becoming of Buddha Dhamma and operation of the code of Dhamma over & over again, will occur only in an island called Janbudveepa where there is one single Maddha Mandala. The true Darmatha[25] was clearly stated in the Tripitaka[26] literature and Hela Wansa Katha[27] written in the past. Now, the main question remains for us to find the answer is that what was that island named “Janbudveepa” found even before the Anuradhapura period, i.e. in the era of Buddha.

The three lettered name “Janbudveepa” found in the original use in Magadhi Prakrit language[28], later, has been translated in to Sinhala language as Dambadiva, the island of Damba trees[29], by someone with padaparama[30] knowledge driven by the whole ignorance of the knowledge, and still is used with the same wrong interpretations. It has to be firmly mentioned that in India – The Bharath Desha – any place or any part of the Bharath Desha had never ever been used the names such as Janbudveepa or Dambadiva across the whole history and in the whole of Indian history there had never been existed a place by this name. During reign of Anuradhapura, 600 years after Buddha, some writers came from India only started to use the name Janbudveepa in place of India. Bhikku Mahanama who wrote Mahavamsa[31] Pela Commentaries is also an Indian. The very original Mahavamsa was written in Hela language. What Bhikku Mahanama did was translating the Hela Mahavamsa in to Pali language. It can be seen that Bhikku Mahanama had used the name Janbudveepa in several places in Pali Mahavamsa commentaries and it is correct. Bhikku Mahanama also described the word Janbudveepa as the island where Buddha was born. This clearly says that Janbudveepa had commonly been used with the meaning ‘The island where Buddha was born’.

“Janbuddeepaa Idhaa Gathaa” mentioned in Pali Mahavamsa commentaries is true and correct. Those days the name “Janbudveepa” was used for the area where Buddha was born, Deva Hela, which was in another part of this same island called Hela[32].  The book called Lokopakaraya written in the Anuradapura period says that this land of Hela had been divided in to four islands (Deepa), namely, Janbudveepa, Uthuru Kuru Deepa, Apara Goyanaya and Poorva Videha. And also the capital city of Yakkha Hela was named and used as Lankapura (Alakamandava). Even in the story of King Vijaya says that those days Lankapura was the name of the capital city of Yakkha Hela. In the city of Lankapura, with the support of King Vijaya, Kuveni[33] assassinated eighty leaders of the Yakkha clan. Later, this Lankapura kingdom was renamed as Anuradhapura kingdom. The names such as Lankapura and Janbudveepa found in Pali   Mahavamsa commentaries were used with wrong interpretations by some writers and the ones who worked on atuwa, teekaa and tippani [34] in the latter stage. They had no any clear idea or knowledge over the exact use of the word Janbudveepa and they, driven by assumptions, used it as of a place in India. The original Hela Mahavamsa written in the very early part in the Anuradhapura era with genuine details does not exist now. What is available now is just a commentary in Pali which is written for that Hela Mahavamsa. This particular commentary was written 500 years after the original Hela Mahavamsa, meaning, approximately 850 years after The Enlightenment of Buddha. The birth place of the Buddha in Deva Hela (Janbudveepa), by this time, turned in to a place covered by the jungle and had only few Aranya Senasanas[35], Stupas & monasteries with few Bhikkus[36] who still had the firm determination of going along on the path of Dhamma and they led extremely a hard life. In the Anuradhapura era, sublime Buddha Dhamma came to an end and that place was taken by the popular Buddhism. A large group of worldly thinking Bhikkus could be seen in the country. They had very close relationships with the palace, accepted the alms only from the palace and had a luxury life in seven story mansions. They were not interested in following the sublime Buddha Dhamma, but in some beliefs and worldly customs in popular Buddhism which were organized and confirmed in the latter stage. All the things such as the division between Nikayas[37], the conflict between Abayagiri Vihara  and Mahavihara, the division of Bhikkus for and against the throne, the concepts of gods etc are not the characteristics of the sublime Buddha Dhamma, but of the popular Buddhism. This situation became so worse in the Polonnaruwa[38] period. It can be noticed that ordinary Bhikkus completely changed the sacred Buddha Dhamma and they highly praised the religious beliefs based on gods. But the noble Bhikkus resided in the forests and monasteries in the areas like Thissamaharama, Sabaragamuwa & Kegalle, worked for the protection of sublime Buddha Dhamma, followed the Dhamma and gained the results in the supermandane path.

Hence, it is very certain that the name “Jambudveepa” given by the writer of the true story found in the first Hela Mahavamsa, had been changed after 500 years by the commentaries. This gave a wrong interpretation to this name and distorted the entire Hela history.

The biography of the Buddha, Buddha Dhamma, Tripitaka, Dhammapadha, Jaathaka Potha [39]and most of other related literature were also written in this Hela Deepa. That was in Hela language or Maagahi Praakruthi language. Though the books written in Maagadhi language can be found in the period of King Valagamba, books such as Hela Atuwa (Hela Commentaries in Hela language), Kurundi Atuwa (Kurundi Commentaries), Budukali Atuwa (Budukali Commentaries), Maha Atta Katha (Great Atta Katha) & Seehalatta Katha had been used in the Deva Hela, even prior to the Anuradhapura period. The history, Mahavamsa, say that on his way to Anuradhapura from the city of Rajagaha[40] (today it is Rajagala) in Ampara in Hela Diva, great Arahant Mahinda Thero had taken the Budukali Commentaries written in Hela language with him. The city of Rajagaha was the capital city of the kingdom Maghada in Deva Hela. Many books in Maaghadi language too were written in this Hela Diva. Pela Dhamma originally written in Maagahi language was modified later in to Pali language, Pali literature and Pali grammar. This formation of Pali language occurred in the latter part in the Anuradhapura period. In the Polonnaruwa period, Pali commentary books written by Bhikku Buddhagosha were used in plenty by the mass. A language called Pali was not used by any country in any day across the history. It is not a dead language too. It was a modified language. Maghadi Prakrutha (Prakrit) and Pali are not the same language.

In order to take forward from this generation to the others and for the comfort in studying, the supreme Budhha Dhamma preached by Buddha in Maaghadi Prakrit language, was arranged in the form of lines. Buddha Dhamma arranged in a form of lines, later, was popular as Pela Dahama[41]. Later, based on the general meanings, modified interpretations were given for this Pela Dahama and it was called Pali language. All these happened, all these changes happened in this Hela Deepa itself, not anywhere else. A language called Maghadi Prakrit was not used in any place in India any time. In the second half of the Anuradhapura period, many Pali books were taken to India, translated in to Sanskrit and used in India. Also it says that Pali scholars in Lanka had taught the Pali language in Indian universities (Ajantha and Ellora). Some Indians had studied the Pali language in Lanka & in India and the books written in Hela language had been translated in to Pali language. Master Buddhagosha and Bhikku Mahanama who wrote the Vinaya Atuwa (Vinaya Commentaries) were among them. All of them learnt the Pali and Hela language only from the Buddhist Bhikkhus lived in this Hela Deepa. Hence it is clear that Gautama Buddha preached the Buddha Dhamma in Magahadi Language in a region called Deva Hela in this country, in Janbudveepa. Lankapura was the capital city of Yakkha Hela (Uthuru Kuru Deepa).


[1] Siddhartha,Siddaththa,Sidduhath,Siduhat – Gautama Buddha’s name as a prince, prior to his Enlightenment.

[2] Bosath or Bodhisatta” (Pāli language) was used by the Buddha to refer to himself both in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life, prior to his enlightenment, in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation.

[3] parinirvana or parinibbana of Buddha is  the passing away of the Buddha.

[4] The doctrine of the Buddha.

[5] Jan is for birth, bud is for Buddha and deepaya is for the island.

[6] Following note is an extract from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to explain the understanding of the world about the origination of Magadhi language.

“The Magahi language (Devanagari: मगही; also known as Magadhi, मगधी) is a language spoken in India. Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadhi, from which the latter’s name derives. The ancestral language, Magadhi Prakrit, is believed to be the language spoken by the Buddha, and the language of the ancient kingdom of Magadha. Magadhi is closely related to Bhojpuri and Maithili, and these languages are sometimes referred to as a single language, Bihari. These languages, together with several other related languages, are known as the Bihari languages, which form a sub-group  of the Eastern Zone of Indo-Aryan languages. Magadhi has approximately 18 million speakers.”

[7] The Enlightenment or The Buddhahood.

[8] The center point or the middle zone in Janbudveepa.

[9] The Bodhi Tree, also known as Bo, was a large and very old sacred fig tree,Ficus religiosa.Bo is for Bodhi which is the Enlightenment or the wisdom. As Buddha gained The Enlightenment under a fig tree, this  variety of fig tree is called the Bo Tree.

[10] Principles of Dhamma. A natural phenomenon.

[11] A name of a previous Buddha.

[12] A world-period.   An inconceivably long space of time. An eon.

[13] 30 Perfections, the qualities leading to The Buddhahood. These qualities were developed and brought to maturity by the Boddhisatta in his past existences.

[14] Samsara or Sansara. According to Buddha Dhamma all the beings, a human being too, experience a journey of life. This very life will not be the end or the start. It’s a circle. Until one eradicates the reasons to be-come, which is the thirst, he will live, die and come back and die again, so and so forth. This whole process or the journey is called Samsara.

[15]The Buddha in the present will announce or name another one, a Buddha Aspirant – a Boddhisatta, as the next Buddha.

[16] Island of Dhamma or island dedicated for Dhamma.

[17] The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircrafts and surface vessels are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Popular culture has attributed these disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extra terrestrial beings.

[18] Buddha enjoys four types of understanding: understanding of doctrine (Dharma), understanding of meaning (Artha), understanding of grammar (Nirukti) and understanding of eloquence (Pratibhaana).

[19] The word power does not use here as it is known by the western world. It does not mean any strength or miracles. But it approximately means ‘the spiritual strength of Buddha’.

[20] Meditation over the virtues of the Buddha.

[21] Principles of Dhamma. A natural phenomena.

[22] Raaga – The desire to possess, to own, to get ownership, to taste, to enjoy, to crave, to want, to lust, to hold on to forever, The meaning of the word raga cannot be explicit to one word as it has many meanings in relation to the world. Lust is only one segment of Raaga. Remembering the taste os food and wanting to eat the same again falls into the category of Raaga. In a nut shell it is one bond that binds you to the material world.

Dwesha – anger, dissatisfaction, conflict, frustration, hatred are all parts of Dwesha which is the opposite of Raaga. When one cannot possess or own something that one desire or crave dwesha sets in. Also has many forms and should not be explained in one word. for dwesha to begin there must first be an attachement, a desire, lust, want, greed. When these cannot be fulfilled or continued to ones hearts desire then dwesha sets in

Moha- The state that one belives that the the worldly states bring happiness and contentment. That self achievement in studies, having immense wealth, being of a very healthy disposition, doing good things like giving alms and helping the poor, refraining from doing bad things are all things that lead to salvation. Not understanding the proper path to Nibbana or freeing from bondage is the biggest moha.

[23] san (collection or being collected) + bava (origination,birth,come in to being)

[24] Another name for Lord Buddha.

[25] The natural phenomena,the natural order.

[26] ‘The Three Baskets’ is the name for the three main divisions of the Pali Canon: The Basket of Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), The Basket of Discourses (Sutta Pitaka) and  The Basket of Philosophy (Abhidhamma Pitaka).

[27] Historical records or chronicle written in Hela language. Hela is another name for  Lanka. Lanka is called ‘The land of Hela people or Helayos’. Helayos are the inhabitants of the country prior to King Vijaya, the Indian invader.

[29] A tree bearing fruits.

[30] ‘one for whom the words are the utmost attainment’, Whoever, though having learned much, speaking much, knowing many things by heart, and discoursing much, has not penetrated the truth, such a man is called by that name.

[31] The Great Chronicles.

[32] The island of Hela people. Another name for Lanka.

[33] History says that this is a Yakkha queen; she fell in love with king Vijaya and supported him to kill her relations. She later became the wife of king Vijaya.

[34] atuwa are commentaries, tika and tippani were developed as sub-commentaries for atuwa.

[35] A monastery in the forest.

[36] Bhikkus or Sanga are the members of the Order.

[37] The conflict among the sectors of the Order.

[38]After the collapse of the throne of Anuradhapura, it got shifted to the city of Polonnaruwa.

[39] Jaathaka Potha, Jaathaka Potha Wahanse or Pansiya Panak Jathaka Potha is named in that manner as this book contains    nearly 550 stories of the previous births of Gautama Buddha. Jathaka are ‘the births’. This is a master piece in Sinhalese literature which was written in the 14th century during the reign of King Parakramabahu IV (1302-1326). The book contains full of advisory tales which had gone to the very root of the lives of the Sinhala Buddhists and over thousanad years they had used the book in shaping up, directing their lives on the path of Dhamma. The culture of the Sinhala Buddhists is such that people apply the examples found in the stories of the book on the vicissitudes they face in their day today lives.

[40] The city called Rajagaha.

[41] Dhamma or the doctrine is arranged in the form of lines.

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