‘Gautama Buddha came to Lanka for three times’, the real truth behind this statement

It’s a well known story that Gautama Buddha came three times to Lankapura from Janbudveepa from where he attended to the supreme Enlightenment. This is very clearly mentioned in many historical books, history of Buddhism and Mahavamsa Commentaries written by Bhikku Mahanama. But nothing had been written about the Buddha, Buddha’s journey to Lanka and Janbudveepa in any Indian history book, any document or any place in India.  What is mentioned in the original Mahavamsa written in Hela language that Buddha came to Lanka for three times is true. There is nothing to argue on that. The mistake had happened after 300 years when this story was written in the Pali Mahavamsa Commentaries which was written for the original Hela Mahavamsa. Those days in the time of the Buddha, different Hela terms such as Lankapura – Aalakamandawa – Alankarapura were used for the capital city of the great King Wesamuni in the kingdom of Yakkha Hela. Today we call Lanka for the all three Helas, thun Hela. In the ancient times Hela Diva was Deva Hela, Yakkha Hela and Naaga Hela. In the ancient times, Yakkha Hela and Naaga Hela came under one kingdom and eighteen Sakyan states in Dewa Hela were taken as separate kingdoms.

Lankapura, the capital city of the kingdom of King Wessavana was situated in the areas like Vilachchiya and Maha Vilachchiya, as they are called today. It had been a very magnificent city. Its beauty had been highly praised in the Aataanaataa Sutta. Kingdom of Kuwera was another name given for it. Even when the time King Vijaya came to Lanka, kings of the Yakkha tribe had ruled there. With the help given by princess Kuveni of the Yakkha tribe, King Vijaya killed 80 leaders of the Yakkha tribe and conquered their kingdom of which capital city was Lankapura.

King Vijaya came to Lankapura. Because of this kingdom of Yakkha was commonly known as the kingdom of Lankapura.

There were sixteen of Sakyan states in Deva Hela and where Sakyan[1] Buddha lived and attended to the supreme Enlightenment was called “Janbudveepa” which had the meaning of ‘the land where Buddha was born’ . “Janbudveepa” was the name commonly used for all the solos maha janapadas in Deva Hela.

Kelaniya, Nagadeepa, Mahiyangana and also the Samanala Adaviya, area where Sripada peak[2] is situated, were coming under the reign of the leaders of Yakkha tribe in the kingdom of Lankapura. Deva Hela and Yakkha Hela were totally two different kingdoms in the ancient times. The administrative systems also were totally different to each other. Kelaniya was a city reigned by the regional leaders of Yakkha Hela and dwelled by the tribal community of Naaga.  In the ancient times, travelling in Janbudveepa from the city of Sawath or city of Rajagaha to Kelaniya in the same country in the west coast was very difficult than travelling to a foreign land. In the ancient times proper roads, sub-roads or bridges were not common and Gautama Buddha travelled to Kelaniya from Janbudveepa which was situated in Hela Diva itself. Kelaniya was in the kingdom of Lankapura. Also Naagadeepa[3]  was in the kingdom of Lankapura. The great forest Lakgala next to where Mahiyangana is located today also came under the same kingdom of Yakkha. Today, the large forest area in Sri Pada was also a part of Lankapura in the kingdom of Yakkha. The name of the regional King “Samana”, the ruler in the Sri Pada area, was among the other names of the forty leaders found in Aataanaataa Sutta. Also the two regional leaders whom that Buddha met on the road, like Hemawatha and Saathhagira, can also be found in the Aataanaataa Sutta.

Regional leader of Naaga tribe like Choolodara, Mahodara and Maniakkhitha were partners in the kingdom of Lankapura. To console a dispute between two regional kings in Kelaniya which came under Lankapura, Gautama Buddha travelled from one place to another, in this Hela Deepa itself. It was from Janbudveepa to Lankapura, earlier. It is Ampara to Kelaniya, now.

“Samana” was a regional ruler of Yakkaha tribe whose reign was in the area called Samanala, now it is the Sri Pada area. He is a member in the kingdom of Yakkha itself. King “Samana” was the ruler for the jungle area stretched from Sri Pada to Mahiyanganaya.  Gautama Buddha’s visit to the reign of this King “Samana” to subjugate of Yakkhas who disturbed the life of disciple of the Buddha, was also a journey to this same Lankapura. That day, Buddha came to Lankapura from Janbudveepa. Buddha’s visit to Nagadeepa was also from Janbudveepa. Naagadeepa was another area of Lankapura reigned by the regional leaders of Naaga tribe. According to this, this story in Mahavamsa is absolutely correct. The error was occurred when a Pali commentary was written to the original Hela Mahavamsa.  This Pali commentary was written 300 years after the original Mahavamsa. The author of this is also a person called Bhikku Mahanama from India.

After 600 years of Buddha’s parinirvana, 300 years after Ashoka’s time, when the time this commentary was written by Bhikku Mahanama, the model kingdom of Buddha built by emperor Ashoka in India, would have been popular among the people. By this time the administrative strengths of the Sakyan states in Hela Diva was very poor. Because of this, it can be seen that books had been written using the name Janbudveepa in place of India. All these distortions were done by our own contemporary writers in Anuradhapura period who wrote books and commentaries, but not the ones in India. In the ancient times, in any book or any document written in India, even in any inscription of Ashoka, this name “Janbudveepa” had not been used to any place in India. Hence, what had actually happened in the history was that Gauthma Buddha had gone from one place known as Janbudveepa in Hela Diva itself, where Gautama Buddha lived, to another place known as Lankapura again in the Hela Diva itself. All three journeys to Lanka made by the Buddha happened in this manner.

It is very strongly proved by Aataanaataa Sutta, Mahaasamaya Sutta and also by the stories found in Tripitaka such as the subjugation of Yakkha, subjugation of Alawaka, the story in the forest Paarileyya etc that the majority of the Yakkha community lived in the Lankapura had not accepted Buddha Dhamma and these tribal communities had made certain troubles to the disciples of the Buddha. These stories are from Thripitaka itself, not the stories guessed and made by the ordinary people.

Day and night, for a very long period like forty five years, The Enlightened One travelled and preached the Dhamma to the people who lived in sixteen states in Deva Hela, stretched from Jaffna, Mulathiw to Thissmaharama & Mathara in Ruhuna. All these sixteen Sakyan Janapadas mentioned in Tripitaka were situated in this Hela Diva itself, in “Janbudveepa” which was known as Deva Hela by the history.

In the history it can be seen that the name “Janbudveepa” had been used, later, for the artificial kingdom of Buddha built by the great King Ashoka with eighty four thousand temples & monasteries. In the period after the emperor Ashoka’s, this distortion was done only by the authors of this island who wrote the history and the articles for the Buddhist literature, but not by the Indians.

There is a special thing to be mentioned again about this matter. That is, in this world we live in, the universal energy given by the nature which is a must for a noble person who wishes to attend to this supermandane position called the Enlightenment one day, will get it only at one place in whole world. That is “The Madya Mandala in Janbudveepa”. This Madya Mandala is situated in the very center of a monastic place in the sacred land, the island what we call Lanka. When Artha, Dharma, Nirukthi & Pratibhaana are recited for Buddha Dhamma Artha, Dharma & Nirukthi of Janbudveepa have sprung up and now it has been identifies as the birth island of Buddha.



[1] Buddha was born to the Sakyan clan.

[2] In the present day, after the colonial era, this mountain is called Adam’s peak which is seriously wrong. Sri or Siri are the synonymous used for Buddha. Pada means foot. The peak where the Buddha in-printed his sacred foot print is called Sripada Peak.

[3] Island of Naaga, island of Naaga tribe.

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