Main places to honor and pay homage in Deva Hela (Janbudveepa)

1.  Lumbini, birth place of prince Sidduhat

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=7.289069,80.760788&hl=en&t=h&z=16

The place which was picked up by Ashoka the Great to mark the birth of Sidduhat was a place of distance located within a mountain range in India. Today this place is a village called “Rumindai and this is a village in Nepal. This village has never ever been called Lumbini throughout the whole history. But some of us had given the name Lumbini to this place. In this place there is a pillar installed by King Ashoka. Based on the information of this, the inscription which was installed 300 years after the parinirvana of Buddha, it was only the ordinary people claim that this was set up as a monument to commemorate the birth of the Buddha. But not a single line out of ninety four words in this says that Sidduhat’s birth had occurred in this place.

lumbini_sal_gasa

Even in the explanation about this place found in Ashokaawadaanaya[1], a Sanskrit book written after some times by an Indian author, it does not say that prince Sidduhat was born in this village called  Rumindai or the name Lumbini had been used for this place. What is written there is that King Ashoka had come, honored and worshipped this place during the pilgrimages he made in his empire. It is clear that in his visit, King Ashoka had granted a village and in order to commemorate that, this Ashoka inscription had been installed there.  The Ashokaawadaanaya says that in the ancient times Indian kings had gone on worshiping Theertha, and Theertha were the ferries[2] which were used to wash away the sins. Indian history accepts that King Ashoka and King Shilaadithya had worshipped eight of such ferries (Lalitha Visthara). It is very clear that King Ashoka had given the equality for all the religions in his kingdom of virtue and even buildings were made accordingly. Then it is clear that King Ashoka had given this name to one such Theertha place in his kingdom, what had been a pilgrim site by that time too, new buildings had been made and erected a pillar to commemorate his visit, his pilgrimage to the said place. Other than that there isn’t anything about the birth of Sidduhat in that letter, inscription.  Basham, the great historian, also confirms the same. Later, it can be seen in the history that Indian Hindu kings too, for instance king Shilaadithya, Chinese Hung San[3] had gone on pilgrimage and paid their homage to this place.

bambaragala

Purohithas of King Ashoka may have heard The Enlightenment of the Buddha, but not the birth of Sidduhat. Because of this in building temples and monasteries in India such as the Ashoka inscription at the place called Rumindai, what mentioned there was that it had been installed to commemorate The Enlightenment of the Buddha. They did not know about prince Siddartha. The real birth of Sidduhat occurred in this Hela Diva at one Sal [4] grow situated near the city of Dewdaha which is one of the Sakyan states in Deva Hela in Janbudveepa. Today, this place is identified as Bambaragala, a place near Theldeniya. In the ancient times, the city of Dewdaha was situated where we find Kundasale and Ganoruwa today. In the ancient times, the Sakyan Janapadas including the city of Dewdaha covered many places near river Mahaveli in the up country. In the Sakka Panha Sutta in Tripitaka, Gautama Buddha says that few years after his Enlightenment he had lived one year in a cave called Indasala, his birth place near the Sal grow in Theldeniya. That garden of Sal, the Sal grow, had been changed in to Salwaththa and now it is Thalwaththa[5] . Today this Indasala cave is known as Bambaragala. An inscription found in Bambaragala says that Gautama Buddha had resided there. A Sutta called Panitha Sutta had been preached here, but for some reason today this Sutta too had been taken off from the Tripitaka.  Prof. Paranavithana too has accepted that Buddha had lived here for a period of one year. (INSCRIPTION OF CEYLON – VOL – 1.P.63).

In the very ancient time like 560 B.C., or in Buddha’s time, many inscriptions found in,

  1. Dekundara
  2. Kotaa Davu Hela
  3. and Korawakgala

clearly say that even by that time there had been twelve thousand Arahants in the Sithula Pawwa Vihara (Chiththa Pabbatha). ( INSCRIPTION OF CEYLON – VOL – 1 No 1035,1103,1104).

 One can find this story also in the Pali Mahavamsa Commentaries written by Bhikku Mahanama. (This is mentioned in Pali Mahavamsa, stanzas in chapter 24,8,9).

 “Sanghan sannipaathai boopathi, dvaadaseththa sahassaathi Bhikku chithtala pabbathaa. Thatho Thatho dvaadhasseva sahassaathi samaagamun”. Dvaadaseththa sahassaathi is 12,000. Chithtala Pabbathaa is Sithulpawwa. This is the time that Gautama Buddha lived. This story is found in the very original Hela Mahavamsa written either in Ruhuna or the city of Rajagaha.

Because the name “Gautama Shramana[6] is very clearly stated in the above mentioned inscription in Dekundara, and also in another 30 inscriptions, it is very clearly proved that caves had been arranged and offered for the use of Gautama Shramana.

That day, King Suddodana reigned in the city of Kapilawasthu in Janbudveepa. The city of Kapilawasthu in Hela Diva was situated in the area below Dimbulagala, in a very fertile and luxuriant area with paddy fields cultivated with the waters of Maduru Oya. The kingdom of Sakyan which was reigned by King Suddodana was situated on the east bank of river Mahaweli[7] (it was Rohini in the ancient past). This kingdom of Sakya, in the ancient time, was stretched for a large area from Maduru Oya, Mavial Aaru, Seruvila and Ella Janapada.  The other side of the river Mahaveli was the kingdom of Koliya, covering areas like, as we call them now, Somawathi, Polonnaruwa and Kanthale. Two kingdoms, Sakya & Koliya, had a battle over the waters of Rohini. This battle happened in the Mavial Aaru area and it was same as the war experienced in the recent past.[8] The waters of the river was the root cause for the battle. The most recent battle over the waters of Mavil Aaru can be considered as a reoccurrence of the battle of Sakya & Koliya. These are special incidents happen again and again in the history.  They are incidents which are scheduled to happen again and again across the history, i.e. the returns.

For the gab perahera, it says that queen Mahamaya had gone to the city of Devdaha from the city of Kapilawastu. There was a route to the city of Devdaha from Dimbulagala, along on the bank of river Mahaveli. After completing nearly 40 miles on this road one can reach Theldeniya. This distance can be followed by a pregnant mother, even by walking, who expects her baby in the very near future. But the distance from the place marked today as the city of Kapilawasthu in India to the place marked as Lumbini in Nepal is about 300 km. All of you should think, without being biased, whether this is a practical distance for a pregnant lady to walk in.

gab perahera was a custom prevailed in this Hela Diva. That is the journey made by a pregnant mother to see her parents who expects her child in the near future. This custom can be seen in Lanka even to this date.  But a custom of this nature cannot be seen in India. Hence, it is evident that the birth of prince Sidduhat happened in “Janbudveepa” in Lanka in the ancient past, this place is known today as Theldeniya – a place near Kundasale and is hidden in time. What is named today as Bambaragala Raja Maha Vihara is nowhere else but Lumbini.

The direction to the Rajamaha Vihara in Bambaragala where prince Sidduhath was born is as follows:

One can come to Diggana junction after covering nearly 10 kms on the road which goes from Mahanuwara to Mahiyangana. When he comes nearly 2 kms towards the Victoria Dam on the old Theldeniya road, will find the road leading to Bambaragala Rajamaha Vihara in Vavagama. In the ancient times, the road leads to kingdom of Kapilawasthu to the city of Dewdaha was named as Raja Mawatha.[9] Today Bambaragala Rajamaha Vihara is situated near this Raja Mawatha.  Even today, in the ground of the Bambaragala Rajamaha Vihara one can see Sal trees which date back to thousand years. The birth of prince Sidduhath was occurred here in this place. In the same grounds of this Vihara[10], there is a cave named Indasala Guha and engraved Magadhi Prakurtha letters found in this cave says that Gautama Buddha had resided there in the 6th year of his Enlightenment. In the time that Buddha lived, Salumini Seya[11] which was built by enshrining a shawl used by the Buddha was situated on the mountain peak in the grounds of Bambaragala Rajamaha Vihara.

2. Buddagaya (Gaya Bodi)

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=8.022746,80.735792&hl=en&t=h&z=16

11 km away from the railway station in the Bihar state and 10 kms away from the river called Thaalgu, there is a place, in India today that conventional Buddhists believe in, assume as Buddagaya. Sometimes ago, Anagarika Darmapala [12] identified this place as the place where Gautama Buddha attended to his supermandane Enlightenment and declared it to the world. Even today, one can see some buildings of King Ashoka with Hindu & Greek traditions which he did for his model kingdom of Buddha and also a Bo tree grown later to commemorate the Asathu Bo. And History also says that the first Bo tree what emperor Ashoka got down from Hela Diva & planted there, during his time itself, had been destroyed by one of his queens[13] by piercing it with poisonous thorns.

The most sacred Asathu Bo tree which was the shelter for Gautama Buddha to attend to his supermandane Enlightenment is something which will stand safely in the Madya Mandala in Janbudveepa for five thousand years. It is not something to be destroyed by any earthquake, flood, fire, and storm or by any human activity. As the sacred Buddha Dhamma will be secured five thousand years, this Asathu Bo tree also will help the devoted Kula Puthras, who are fortunate to attend to Nirvana, to become “Buddha” (to become Arahant Buddha) by conforming to the universal energies. This sacred Bodhi tree will survive for another long period of time within this land of Hela.

The most sacred Hiriwadunna Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

Hiriwadunna Bodhiya

(image from http://ptolemysiri.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html)

The most sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi where Gothama Sidhartha attended in to the supermandane Enlightenment nearly 2600 years ago is still stands legendry in this manner. This sacred place is the Madya Mandala of the island where Buddha was born in the ancient Hela Diva. Today, this place is on the very center point in the map of Lanka. This is the Madya Mandala where universal energies are centered.

Vajrasana

hiriwadunna

Vajrasana is protected by Darmatha and unshaken positioned to the base of the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi where Gauthma Buddha attended in to the supermandane Enlightenment. This Vajrasana was made and fixed here in the ancient past by King Muchalinda. It is mentioned in the inscription found in this place.

The sacred white Bo tree

sudu bodhiya

In the month of Wesak this bud of white Bo springs up from the very place where Meheni Sangamiththa uprooted a bud of Bo tree. This bud of Bo tree lives for seven weeks and later dies off. This picture of  the sacred white Bo of Hiriwadunna was taken on 17th May 2009. What is taken to the front cover of this book is also this sacred white Bo tree.

At this place Just before The Enlightenment, Bosath Siduhath, after having the milk rice offered by maiden Sujatha firmly determined by his powerful mental strength to float up his begging bowl in the river of Neranjana at this place. This is the remaining of that big river of Neranjana where the begging bowl was floating up right. This part of the river of Neranjana is still well secured.

 Indian history itself gives true evidence on the story that King Ashoka the Great obtained a plant of the Asathu Bo from Janbudveepa in Hela Diva and planted it at a place which is conventionally accepted today as Buddagaya in India. The illustrations that exit up to date in the gateway of Sanchi Vihara, Sanchi Thorana, which was built by King Ashoka with the aim of praising and showcasing his religious activities to the outside world, clearly depict that the king welcomes the plant of Asathu Bo obtained from Janbudveepa and grows it there. This story t has been engraved in the gateway of Sanchi during King Ashoka’s time itself. Today it can be seen that it is attempted to misinterpret this incident as well.

 Attending to the supermandane Enlightenment, not only by Gautama Buddha, but also by all the supreme Buddhas in the past or all the supreme Buddhas in the future, can be done only at one single place in this world. That place is the Madya Mandala in Janbudveepa (the birth place of the Buddha in the island of Hela Diva) where virtuous universal energies can be found in its center. This place with extreme charming beauty is a place situated permanently in the very center in this Hela Diva. One can take a map of Lanka and mark the latitudes and longitudes in a way that the lines inter cross and check out the very center point, that is HIriwadunna. Even today this most sacred Asathu Bo tree is well secured and can be seen by anyone in the Madya Mandala of Hela Diva. (See the map). Even to this date, this place is the exact middle point of Lanka.

Anyone who checks out this ancient sacred Asathu Bo tree, it could easily be understood that it is older than 2700 years.  When the time the Bosath Gautama[14] came to this charming plot of land and looked for a suitable tree for shelter, this great Asathu Bo tree may have grown well in suitable height and size. This Bodi is purely set up by the Darmatha, and is not an artificial one made by somebody.

Today this place is called “Hiriwadunna”. In the past, this place was popular as “Himivedaunna”, the place where Himi resided[15] or “Siri veda unna” – the place where Siri resided, among the people in Janbudveepa and for the easy pronunciation today, it is changed from Himivedaunna to Hiriwadunna. One can reach this place even today by covering nearly one mile of walking distance to the west from the 110 km post on the Badulla Hambarana road.

 Anyone can visit this plot of land with extreme charming beauty of nature and is well secured up to date as an archaeological reserve & as an Aranya Senasana. Many places related to the Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha can be seen in this site, even today.

  1. The sacred Asathu Bodhi tree ( Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi)
  2. The Vajrasana (rocky seat) made by King Muchalinda for Gautama Bosath.
  3. The shrub of Kusathana[16] to be seen in the same land where Bo tree is situated. This Kusathana was not grown there by someone.[17] And this Kusa Thana grass is an endemic species to our country.
  4. Ruwan Sakmana[18], Sakmana made for Bosath Gautama (Sakman Maluwa).
  5. The chamber made by King Muchalinda (in the Naaga tribe) for Gautama Buddha for the protection from the heavy rain and rocky seat (the bed) made for sleeping.
    Muchalinda
  6. Ajapal Nuga tree, the banyan tree, where the maiden Sujatha[19] offered milk rice for Bosath Gautama. The original banyan tree is dead now and a new banyan tree which got sprung up from the older one exists there to this date.
  7. The remaining part of the river of Neranjana, where Gautama Bosath sent his begging bowl upstream with the determination to gain Enlightenment, It’s a miracle to see, still, a part of 200 meters of the river.
    neranjana
  8. Many ruins of the monasteries made for Arahants, namely, Nadee Kaashpa, Gaya Kaashpa and Uruwel Kaashapa (In memory of these three brothers one side of the Hiriwadunna village is still called “Kassapa Gama, the village of Kassapa”.

History says that Gautama Buddha made a determination and sent his begging bowl floating upstream in the river Neranjana. The village in the upper region (Ihaththawa) of Hiriwadunna, is still called “Udangaawa [20].” Udangaawa” (Uda+gan+aa) is a name given by the people lived in the past to commemorate the floating of the begging bowl upstream in the river. Another village situated little bit far from Hiriwadunna is still called “Maaminiyaawa”. This name was given with the meaning of “the place where Maha Muni came”[21]. Maha Muni is Gautama Buddha. After The Enlightenment, the Buddha must have gone to this village.

The elders in HIriwadunna village say, even now, that from the time of their ancestors, these names are well preserved by the strength of Dharmatha. It should be mentioned that anyone can still go and see the land with charming beauty and the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree which helped, sheltered Buddha in his Enlightenment. This initial sacred Sri Maha Bodhi is protected by a very particular, invisible force. It has no any fence made in gold.[22] It should be mentioned that this invisible force, from the time that Gautama Buddha gained his Enlightenment, lives and safe guards this place. Based on the incidents happened in the recent past any one can imagine that this force is still alive and active around the sacred Siri Maha Bodhi.  What exactly happened in the past was that bringing the southern branch of this Sri Maha Bodhi from Hiriwadunna to the city of Anuradhapura by Therini[23] Sangamiththa. This is stated in Mahavamsa too. The journey of the sacred Bo tree is written in Mahavamsa as “Janbudveepa idhaa gatha Lankapura in Maghadi  language. In the ancient past what was meant by Janbudveepa is nothing but this Hiriwadunna area which is the birth place of the Buddha. From this place, Therini Sangamithra came through the river in a boat to Mahakanadarawa with an offshoot of this Bo tree planted in a pathra[24] and handed it to the King Devana Paa Tissa. A large river called Neranjana crossed the neighboring place of Hiriwadunna Aranya Senasana, crossed the city of Sawath and met the sea in the Kokilai lagoon. Today this large river has turned in to a small cannel (Hurulu Oya). This is because, later, King Parakramabahu diverted the Aban ganga & Sudu ganga [25] in the Elahera area, waters of them were taken to Parakrama Samudra and also in the lower regions many large tanks such as Hiriwadunna wewa, Hurulu wewa, Mahagal Kadawala wewa,Waahalkada wewa & Padawiya wewa were built across the river. Today this large river has turned in to a water stream (Yaan Oya Hurulu Oya). But earlier, even merchandise to the city of Sawath was transported in this river by the barges, boats and small ships. Therini Sangamiththa too brought the southern branch of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in a boat from Hiriwadunna to Anuradapura through this very river of Neranjana. That is Janbudveepa in Hela Diva to Lankapura. Lankapura, later, was named as Anuradapura.

Nobody knows that even to this day, for some years, a miraculous thing happens near this sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi where Lord Buddha gained his Enlightenment. A sacred white Bodi is emerged exactly from where the southern branch was uprooted and illuminated with Buddhuras[26]. A photograph of this miraculous white bud of the Bo tree emerged from the sacred Bo tree in Hiriwadunna in Wesak full moon Poya Day on 8th May 2009 is taken in to this book. (picture was taken on 17th May 2009). This bud of the Bo tree lasts for seven weeks. Later, it will die off. The emerging of this white bud of the Bo tree occurs exactly in the Wesak full moon Poya Day. Even the leaves of this sacred Sri Maha Bodhi have special features which cannot be seen in any other Bo tree. Even today, leaves of this Sri Maha Bo tree generate some rays, some illuminations. This Bo tree has features which cannot be seen any other Bo tree. It can be proved, even scientifically, that this sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodi is the mother Bo tree of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradapura.

The maiden Sujatha offered milk rice to Gautama Bosat at the Ajapal Nuga tree[27] which is situated closer to this sacred Bo tree. This Nuga tree and also a 300-400 feet long remaining part of the river Neranjana, in which the begging bowl was sent to float upstream, are well secured up to date in same grounds of this Aranya Senasana, anyone can go and see them. The end of the upper region of this river is still a village called “Udangaawa. It is named so to give the meaning that “….came upstream of the river”.  What came upstream is the begging bowl put to the river for floating. In the past the ruler of the most neighboring land was King Muchalinda. Name of King Muchalinda is mentioned in the Aataanaataa Sutta as well. This king is from the Naaga tribe (and not a Naaga, a cobra)[28].  The stone chamber and the stone seat (length 6.5 feet width 3 feet) made and offered to Buddha by King Muchalinda using the highest technology prevailed to that date are still exist there. Earlier it was called Ruwan Geya[29].

 After The Enlightenment, the journey that the Buddha started to see the five ascetics to disclose his first sermon, was begun from this Bo tree. Five ascetics, Yasa Kula Puthra[30] and his friends were taken in to the Order by the Buddha and came back to the Bo tree in a short period of time. The Buddha preached Dhamma under this sacred Sri Maha Bodhi to the three Jatila[31] brothers, namely, Nadee Kassapa, Gayaa Kasspa & Uruwel Kassapa who lived in the village called Kassapa (village Kassapa still exists) which is being bordered to this Sri Maha Bodi in Hiriwadunna. It is clear then that these three Jatila brothers & their followers realized the supermundane fruitions of the Path (Marga Pala) and lived in the Aaranya Senaasanas built in this place itself, Hiriwadunna. Even to this date, all the ruins of the ancient Aaranya Sanaasanas are scattered all over in this 11 acre land with serene beauty. All these ruins are at least 300 years older than the Anuradapura period.

The pond known as Muchalinda Vila can still be seen to the west of the river Neranjana. What is seen by the pilgrims going India today is just a monument of Buddhagaya built with bricks by Ashoka the Grate after 300 years of Buddha. It is nothing but a dummy, a false structure. But all the aspects found in Hiriwadunna were protected and secured by the Darmatha. The Buddha himself says, it’s clearly mentioned in the Ariya Paryeshana Sutta, that its very pleasing the splendorous land & the sandy plain near the beautiful river Neranjana, and also the neighboring village which provides the necessaries. Anyone wishes to go to Hiriwadunna Aaranya Senaasana today, will be able see all these well preserved sceneries with his own eyes without any mismatching to the praises given to them in the Ariya Paryeshana Sutta. Following my own experience, it should be mentioned here that it exists an amazing universal energy source in this place up to this date and it is ideal for an ascetic who practices the code of Dhamma[32], which had helped for all the Buddhas in the past to enjoy the samapaththi[33] of the sublime Arahantship and would still help to gain bliss of the samapaththi of Arahantship.

In order to prove that Gautama Buddha gained his supermandane Enlightenment here in this place, it is not necessary to give examples and comparisons any more.

It should honestly be mentioned that there isn’t any other place in this world than this place where the universal energy is centralized in this manner and this universal energy in this place can be used only by the ones who follow the path of Dhamma. This sacred place was covered by the great jungles for all these times, more than 1200 years, and nobody could find it. The reason for that also is nothing but the effect of the Darmatha. It is due to effect of same Darmatha that emerging with the sublime Buddha Dhamma, this place too got emerged.

The direction to where the sacred Hiriwadunna Sri Maha Bodhi is situated is as follows:

After covering nearly 20 kms from Dambulla on the Colombo- Trincomalee road, it has to be turned to your left from the 110 km post and walked 1 km on the gravel road.  If someone comes from Habarana or Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, nearly 2 kms should be covered on the Habarana-Dabulla road and turned to the right and after covering another km on the gravel road to see the Aranya Senasana where the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi is resided. It is easy to reach this most sacred place by getting in to any bus coming from Colombo which aims the destinations such as Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, the sacred land Somawathi, Kanthale, Hangurakgoda, Madhirigiriya, Kaduruwela, Dehiaththakandiya, Batticaloa and getting down from Hiriwadunna. There are ruins scattered all around in a large Aranya Senasana ground of 11 acres and all the places related to Sath Sathi can be observed even today.

3. Migadaya in Isipathana

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=8.567707,80.481675&hl=en&t=h&z=16

The Load Gautama who gained the sublime Enlightenment in the Wesak Poya Day, who is the supermandane Buddha, spent seven weeks near the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree and started to walk in search of five ascetics who lived in a cave in Migadaya in Isipathana in Kasirata. Araya Paryeshana Sutta has given information of this journey and the people met on the way to Isipathana.

King Asoka in India too wanted to mark this incident, he reserved a place called Isipathana and did the constructions there. This is the period nearly 300 years after the Damsak Pawathum Sutta[34]. The distance between the place which is called Gaya Bodhi and the place which is called Isipathana in India today is about 400 kms. It would take at least 20 days to walk and cover this distance, in the ancient time. According to the Ariya Paryeshana Sutta, Gautama Buddha attended in to his supermandane Enlightenment in the Wesak full moon Poya Day under the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi and after nearly two months of the Enlightenment, Damsak Pawathum Sutta was preached in Isipathna in the Esala Full moon Poya Day. It says that the Buddha has spent almost seven weeks near the Bo tree. This suggests that ones who wrote the history have done a mistake somewhere.

 Answering all these issues is not difficult if someone takes in to consideration the distances of ancient Janbudveepa (Hela Diva). Isipathana in the ancient Heladiwa is the place called “Isinbassa Gala”, even today, situated near Madawachchiya on the Poonawa road. Areas like Vavniya, Mullathiw and Padaviya were coming under Kasirata in the past. The capital of Kasirata was Varanaasi. Today it is called Vavniya. In this place known as “Issinbassagala” today, all the things such as the large natural cave where the five ascetics lived, the inscriptions engraved in the cave and the place where the Buddha preached Damsak Pawathum Sutta to the five ascetics can still be seen. Those days the area to the west from Migadaya in Issipathanaya was ruled by the regional Yakkha kings such as Saathaagira and Hemawatha. Both these kings had met the Buddha that day, listened to Dhamma and they were so pleased by Dhamma, says Aaraya Paryeshana Sutta. These two names, Saathagira and Hemawatha, are included in Aatanaata Sutta among other names of the tribal leaders in Hela Diva. Even today this area is called Santhaana Kanda[35].

Now, the attention should be taken in to another important story found in Tripitaka. That is the story of meeting two brother merchants called “Thapassu Bhalluka, by Gautama Buddha on his way to Issipathana from the sacred Sri Maha Bodi in HIriwadunna. They were met at a place on the road which was in between Issipathana and Sri Maha Bodhi. Today it is at the Horowpathana Morawewa area near Trincomalee. Thapassu and Balluka brothers got Kesa Daathu[36] from the Lord Buddha as an object of offerings. The Stupa built by these two brother merchants enshrining Kesa Daathu is popular by names such as Girihadu Seya and Thiriyaya. These two places called Girihadu Seya and Thihariya are found in Hela Diva, in the area in between Issipathana and Sri Maha Bodhi. A large no of ruins of buildings can still be seen in this area.

Yasa Kula Putra and his fifty four friends followed Buddha Dhamma and realized the effects of Dhamma in this very place called Kasirata. Based on this story, Gauthma Buddha started the missionary service of Buddha Dhamma from this most sacred place called Issinbassagala (Isipathana) near Vavniya. Even up to date, these places are closed and hidden by effects of the Darmatha. That is purely to see and pay homage by the ones who follow the path of Dhamma.

Hisin Bassa Gala or Isipathana where the sages came down from

This Isipathana or the grounds of Issin Bassa Gala Raja Maha Vihara is the place where Gautama Buddha, after the realization of the supermandane Dhamma, made his very first sermon to the five disciples. Today there is a Raja Maha Vihara at this ground. When covering nearly 2 kms towards Vavniya from Madavachchiya on the Mahanuwara- Jaffna road No 9, this sacred place is found on the right side of the road.

Migadaya in Isipathana

Isenbessagala

(image from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/44249406)

After two months period of the Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, his very first sermon was preached here. That was for the five ascetics or five disciples, paswaga mahanu. These five ascetics lived in this cave. Today this is place near Madavachchiya known as Isinbassagala (Isin – Rishis or Sages, bassa – came down from, gala – the rock or the plain of rocks). Later, this place too had been modified with walls.

4. The city of Kusinara

 http://maps.google.com/maps?q=6.633791,80.875546&hl=en&t=h&z=16

Budugala

(image from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/46471308)

The parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the cremation of the sacred body of the Buddha and also the distribution of relics by Brahamin called Drona, all these happened at the city of Kusinara. Earlier this city of Kusinara was situated in the country of King Malla. In order to commemorate the parinirvana of the Buddha, King Ashoka too built a monument at a place called “Kaasiya” in India. One Stupa too was built there. Later one Buddha statue was built as well.

 The parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the cremation of the sacred body of the Buddha and the distribution of relics by the Brahmin called Drona, all these incidents happened here in this Hela Diva. In the ancient times, the area stretched from Rajawaka Mahwalathanna in the lower region of Balangoda, Uggal Kalthota Welioya to Sankapaala was coming under the kingdom of Malla. Today what we call as “Budugala” Kuragala which is on Kalthota road in the lower region of Balangoda is where Gautama Buddha entered in to parinirvana, the passing away. There are a large no of ruins in this area up to date. All the monuments & inscriptions built by the kings of Malla and also the panchaavasa[37] built to commemorate the cremation of the Buddha too can be seen even up to date.  Gautama Buddha entered in to parinirvana in the city of Kusinara (in Budugala in Hela Diva), the cremation ceremony was set up there itself and kings of Mallawa made all the necessary arrangements for this, the Maha Parinibbaana Sutta says. The sacred relics that the kings of Mallawa got at the ceremony of distribution of relics by the Brahamin called Drona was placed in a Dhathu Mandira[38] built in the city of Kusinara (today it is the very place called Budugala), arranged the relevant offerings and safe guarded it by the royal families of Mallawa. The foundation of the first Dantha Dhathu Mandira [39] built in Hela Diva can still be seen at Budugala in Balangoda.

Prince Dantha and princess Hemamala were from this Helabima, born to the royal family of Mallawa and did safe guard the sacred tooth relic. When the power of the kingdom of Mallawa was weak & poor and  Anuradhapura became a powerful kingdom, prince Dantha and princess Hemamala who were born in this Hela Diva itself, secretly went and handed over the sacred tooth relic which they had kept hidden and secured all this times, to the ruling king of Anuradhapura, King  Kithsirimewan.

This story is found preciously in Mahavamsa Commentaries as well. That is the story of bringing the sacred tooth relic from Janbudveepa to Lankapura by prince Dantha and princess Hemamala. Today’s Budugala was the city of Kusinara in the past. The city of Kusinara  was situated where Buddha was born, in Janbudveepa in Hela Diva. Lankapura was the city of Anuradapura. Anyone interested in visiting the large area of 15 acres called Budugala, ruins of the ancient buildings made by kings of Malla can still be seen.

As its explained in Maha Parinibbana Sutta Gautama Buddha came to the city of Vishala from the city of Rajagaha, from there to the village called Beluva, then to the city of Paawaa, crossed the river and came to the city of Kusinara, Buddha passed away there. In the past Veluwanaramaya in the city of Rajagaha was situated at the place called Rajagala Thanna on the Nilgala road in Bibila. Buddha walked from there to Bibila, to Maddagama & Monaragala and then finally to the city of Vishala trough Maligavila. Today the city of Vishala cannot be seen. It is situated in a place near Kumbukan Oya in the center of the Yaala Sanctuary. A large no of ruins can be seen there as well, even today. They are still covered by the thick jungle. Today this place is identified as Kebiliththa Dewalana.

Budugala Ruins

(image from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/46471253)

After the cremation ceremony of Gautama Buddha, this is the place where the Brahmin called Drona (Malla Rata) distributed the sacred relics of The Enlightened One to the members of the royal families in Deva Hela. The relics of the Enlightened One, including a sacred tooth relic, were placed in a dathu mandira here, a chamber of relics. Today, though this dathu mandira has turned in to the ruins its majesty has not yet gone down in any way. What was taken to Anuradapura by the prince Dantha and princess Hemamala is the tooth relic which was placed here.

Buddha came to village called Beluwa (Buththla) from city of Vishala, from there Buddha came to Hambegamuwa through Athiliwewa which is situated in the lower region of Wallawaya. The area covered by the thick jungle today is Hambegamuwa and it was called the city of Paawaa in the past. Lord Buddha was sick and rested two three days on the road in between Athiliwewa and Hambegamuwa. Those huge caves can be seen even today. Now, all these areas are covered by the thick jungles. It says that the Buddha crossed the river in the city of Paawa and came to the city of Kusinara in the kingdom of Malla kings. Today, the river that Buddha crossed is called Weli Oya, another spot in river Walawe. The capital city of the kingdom of the Malla kings was the area called Rajawaka Mahawelathanna in Balangoda.  The place where Gautama Buddha passed away, Budugala, is situated nearly 5 miles down from Mahawelathanna. Earlier it was a large village called Kusinara. Today it is called Budugala, kuragala.

The most significant four incidents in Buddha’s life such as the birth of prince Sidduhath, the supermandane Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, the very first sermon and the parinirvaana of Buddha happened in Janbudveepa in this Hela Diva. What built by Asoka the Great in India in the ancient times were just models of them. Today, Lankan Buddhists go to India to see and pay their homage to these models, but not to the real places. This statement is not based on any assumptions and this statement is made only after seen the truth. It is the real truth disclosed for the use of the dedicated Kula Puthras.

Kusinara or Budugala where Gautama Buddha entered in to parinirvana

Budugala is situated in the Kalthota Divisional Secretariat in Rathnapura district. Balangoda to Rathnapura, turning right from Balangoda and covering 30 kms on the Kalthota road, then again turning to the right to cover 3 kms on the Diyavinna road is the direction to the Budugala Raja Maha Vihara. Godakawela to Waligepola, covering nearly 5 kms after Diyawiththa on Waligepola to Kalthota road also can be used to go to the Budugala Raja Maha Vihara. Another route to this place is the road leading to Balangoda through Thanamalvila and Hambegamuwa.

The  cave of  Drona

The place which is known by this name even to this date is the place which was named in memory of the Brahmin called Drona build to commemorate the incident of distribution of the sacred relics of Buddha. It can be seen very clearly in the picture that this cave is modified today with new walls.

When Gautama Buddha attended to parinirvana in the ancient city of  Kusinara (today its Budugala), the cremation was done in this place itself (today its Budugala). The ruins of the sacred place built to commemorate it by the regional rulers of the royal family of Mallawa can be seen even today.

5. The city of Sawath and Devram Vehera

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=8.122196,80.6596899&hl=en&t=h&z=16

The city of Sawath was the capital city of the kingdom of Kosol. The King Kosol of the kingdom of Kosal was the contemporary ruler to Buddha. The kingdom of Kosol was the largest out of all Sakyan states in Janbudveepa in Hela Diva, wealthy people lived there and the population in the kingdom was also high. The Sakyan state of King Suddodana (including river Mahaveli) was situated to the east of it, Kingdoms of Anga & Kasi were situated on the north, Yakkha Hela to the west was ruled by King Wesamuni, and to the south it was the kingdom of Dewdha ruled by King Dewdaha. A large area covering Galenbinduwewa, Hurulu Wewa, Pallugas Wewa and Ritigala was the wealthy city, Sawath. Earlier, river Neranjana was flowing across the city of Sawath. Even to this date it flows down with a new name, Hurulu Oya and Yan Oya. Many large areas such as Kanthale, Polonnaruwa, Kahatagasdigiliya and Padaviya were coming under the kingdom of Kosol. In the ancient times River Neranjana was another large river like river Mahaveli and carried out lot of waters. Presently this water does not flow in to this area. Building the tanks[40] across the upper regions of the river and diverting its waters to Minneriya Wewa in Elahara are the reasons for this. That water still flows into all the tanks such as Girithale, Minneriya, Kawdulla and Kanthale. Building Moragahakanda tank and letting that waters to flow again as it was is now in progress. This too happens with the effect of Darmatha. The city of Sawath located near river Neranjana was one main business city in the east. Small ships, boats and barges were used to transport the merchandise to this city, even from foreign lands. Meheni Sangamithra used a small ship in this river when take in procession a branch of Sri Maha Bodhi from Hirivadunna to Anuradhapura,. The Sakyan princess Baddakachchaayana too came floating in this same river. That was in the period of King Panduwas. The princess Baddakachchaayana and her eighteen brothers lived in these Sakyan states. King Paduwasdev reigned from a capital city of Mahavilachchiya in Hela Diva in the kingdom of Yakkha. Baddakachchaayana coming to Lankapura from Janbudveepa is a true story.

Wealthy people who lived in Janbudveepa in Hela Diva in the ancient times spent their wealth for building monasteries & stupas such as Jethvanaramaya in the city of Savath, Poorwaramaya & Goshitharamaya and offered them to Gautama Buddha and his disciples. Gautama Buddha, in the latter part of his life, delivered his sermons and lived a long period like twenty years in Devram Vehera in Jethavana which was built by Sudaththa, the count, the wealthy merchant. “Jetha” in Magadhi language means “Na tree”.[41] “Velu” was a name used for the Bamboo tree. Jethavana[42] means a forest filled with lot of Na trees.

Even today this Jethvana (Naa forest) of 2000 acres is stretched over the mountain range called Ritigala in Janbudveepa in Hela Diva. Na tress of 2500- 3000 years old, or more than that, can still be seen in the grounds of Jethavana. Earlier this Jethavana was situated to the western boundary of the city of Sawath. Now this Jetha Vana is called Ritigala forest reserve and protected by the National Archaeological Department. It is still available the ruins and the foundations of many buildings of the marvelous Devramvehera, built for Gautama Buddha by the Count Sudaththa (the Count Anepidu) spending a massive amount [43]of his wealth. Nearly one mile long beautiful pathway to Devramvehera made with seasoned granites, large pond called Banda made for the supply of water for the use of Buddha & the disciples, the Gandakili in Devramvehera offered for Buddha, the chamber of Ananda Thero[44] found at the same place, the Sakman Malu[45], halls for alms-givings, halls for dispensing medications and also the Damsaba Mandapa[46] used by Gautama Buddha for sermons can be identified very clearly as ruins even to this day. Apart from this, foundations of many more buildings which cannot be easily classified and identified are also still found here. Some can be identified as chambers built for 500 Arahants lived in Devramvehera that day.

One can think about the peculiarity behind this only by considering the rationale behind the incident of giving the name Devramvehera to this Vehera built with lot of wealth by the Count Sudaththa. Someone who observes the real nature of this marvelous & wonderful collection of buildings made almost three hundred years before Ashoka’s period, would realize that they are master pieces which may vanquish even the seven wonders in the world.

It is because of the effect of Darmatha that all these still exist and can be seen with our own eyes. If these areas had not been covered by the thick jungle in the periods of Portugal, Dutch and British[47] we would have lost all these precious ruins found in these areas.

Ritigala

The ruins to be seen even to this date of the Devram Vihara (Jethavana Vihara) in the city of Sawath which was built by the Count Sudaththa (The Count Anepidu. Gandakili[48], the halls for alms-givings and Damsabha Mandapa and all other things of Devram Vihara where Gautama Buddha and also Ananda Thero lived for 20 years.

ritigala

(image from http://sharmini-serasinghe.blogspot.com/2011/03/ritigala-kanda-mountain.html)

Apart from Devram Vehera, one can still observe the ruins of Poorawarama, Vihara of Meheni Yashodara and some other Aaranya Senasanas situated near the Ritigala mountain area. Archaeologists may not know that in the upper region of Jethavanarama, on the mountain top covering 5000 acres of forest area called Ritigala Mountain, there are extremely large inscriptions written in Maagadhi Prakrit language made in Buddha’s time. There are more than ten thousand letters in them, not less than that. It is certain that no one has made an attempt to read them. It can also be seen that someone had tried to destroy them. During the colonial times, someone who saw these inscriptions may have tried to break and take them away. But, because of great size and the effect of the Darmatha it had not been easy to remove them from that place and they are still there.

It is the duty & the responsibility of the government and the ruling authorities to read & understand what is written there and to get revealed the real history of Janbudveepa in Hela Diva in the past. Ritigala is the most amazing place in Janbudveepa in Hela Diva in the ancient times. That beauty is still there. It can be declared with confidence now that this great donor Sudaththa, who was honored as the Count Anepidu, lived in the kingdom of Kosol in Janbudveepa in this Hela Diva, like you and I live presently, but not in India.

Ashoka the Great, after hearing about the news of this amazing Devram Vehera built by the Count Anepidu, had taken some attempts to build a Devram Vehera in his kingdom too. The dimensions & the plan of the Gandakili of Buddha & all the other surrounding buildings found in the first Devramvehera in Ritigala are identical to the foundations of the model Devramvehera in India. The main mismatching which is unbelievable, is that seasoned solid rocks had been used for the foundations of Devramvehera built in Buddha’s time in Ritigala. They are granites, in the modern context. Devramvehera of the great King Ashoka had been made with bricks. Devramvehera built by Ashoka the Great after nearly 300 years of Buddha’s time had been made with bricks following the Greek influences. It can be noticed that the walls of Devramvehera in Ritigala had been made with sandal wood. In India, bricks had been used for the walls. The pilgrims going to Dambadiva in India can go to Ritigala as well, compare these two constructions and can clearly identify the differences of the first Janbudveepa and the Janbudveepa model built later in India. This real truth should come out one day. Greek or Hindu influence can be seen in all the building constructions and eight four thousand stupas & monasteries built in India in Ashoka’s reign.  There isn’t a major difference between the Hindu temples in India and the stupas and monasteries built by Ashoka the Great. But all the constructions found in Buddha’s period, in Janbudveepa, in Deva Hela, an architectural methodology which is unique only to us had been used. These methodologies cannot be seen in any other country. The characteristics of the constructions in Ashoka’s period in India and in Auradapura period in Lanka are the same. In Janbudveepa in Buddha’s period, in Deva Hela, bricks had not been used for any single building. If any place is found with constructions with bricks, then that is certainly a construction coming under either Anuradapura or Polonnaruwa era. After the era of Buddha, this stone technology was disappeared from Hela Diva as well.


[1] Narrative of Asoka.

[2] Or it could be a pilgrim site, a place to worship.

[3] The great Chinese traveler.

[4] Sal or Shala tree, Shorea robusta, is a flowering tree belonging to the Dipterocarpaceae family.

[5] Sal Wanaya (Sal grow or Sal forest) -> Sal Uyana (garden of Sal) -> Sal Waththa (plantation of Sal) ->Tal Waththa

[6] One who strives, wandering monk.

[7] Longest river in Lanka.

[8] Mavil Aru (Mother River) is a waterway that supplies water to some regions of eastern Lanka. The closure by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist militant organization, of the sluice-gates of Mavil Aru on July 26, 2006, was a crucial turning point in the Sri Lankan Civil War. With the initiation of ‘Operation Watershed’, the Sri Lanka Armed Forces undertook to wipe out the LTTE.

[9] Road of the king or The Royal street.

[10] In today’s context Vihara is the place where Buddhist monks reside, the temple.

[11] The stupa of the shawl. This could be a shawl, a robe or a wrapping cloth.

[12] Anagarika Dharmapala (17 September 1864 – 29 April 1933) was a leading figure in Buddhism in the 20 century.

[14] The term “bosath or “bodhisatta” (Pāli language) was used by the Buddha to refer to himself 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.

[15]Himivadaunna –  Himi(The Buddha)+vadaunna(lived,resided) -> Hiriwadunna.

[16] Kusa grass, a type of grass with the wider blades\leaves which grows to an average height of 6-7 feet.

[17] It says that someone offered Buddha some kusa grass. Buddha made a seat, a cushion under the Bo tree with them and used it in the Enlightenment.

[18] The pathway used for walking meditation.

[19] According to the traditional belief, Sujatha is a daughter of the headman, a rich person or a Count in the village.

[20] Udangaawa ->  Uda (upper ) + gan ( the river) +aa ( came or reached).

[21] Maha Muni or The great sage. Maa(great)+miniyava(where muni came in to..).

[22] Building a fence, probably gold plated, around the Bo trees in the temple is a very famous practice in the popular Buddhism.

[23] Therini or Mehini are female members of the Order. At present they are commonly called as Buddhist nuns.

[24] Begging bowl .

[25] These are two rivers.

[26] Buddha Rashmi – illumination of Buddha’s body.

[27] Nuga tree- Ficus benghalensis.

[28] The seating Buddha coiled by a large cobra is a very famous statue, a painting found in Buddhist temples and it is made so based on the misinterpretation of this story.

[29] The house or the chamber of gems.

[30] A young man from a rich family.

[31] A type of ascetics wearing turbans.

[32]Dammanudhamma patipada .

[33] The fruits or the trance experience by an Arahanth.

[34] Setting in motion the wheel of Dhamma.

[35] The mountain of Santhana.

[36]The hair lerics of the Buddha. Dhathu, in Sinhala language, means material remains of Buddha.

[37] Five hermitages.

[38] A house specially built to keep the relics.

[39] House of tooth relic.

[40] These are massive water reservoirs. A marvel of irrigation systems in ancient Lanka.

[41] The Ironwood (Na Tree), botanically known as “Mesua Nagassarium”, is the National Tree of Lanka.

[42] Vana means “the forest or the grow”.

[43] It says that the amount is Asukotiya, literary it is eighty millions.

[44] The last attendant of Buddha. In Buddha’s lay life, Ananda Thero was Buddha’s cousin. Ananda Thero served as the attendant for the remaining 25 years of the Buddha’s life.

[45] Pathways specially made for walking mediations.

[46] Dam (the Dhamma) + saba (audience) +mandapa (flat form or a seat positioned at a higher level). The place where Buddha had Dhamma discussions.

[47] Portugal ( 1505-1658), Dutch (1658 -1798), British (1815-1948).

[48] The personal chamber of the Buddha (also known as Gandhakutiya).

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