Siri Sambudhu, Siri Sath Dharma and Sirilak Derana

Gautama Buddha was born and attended to the Enlightenment in this Sirilaka. He preached the sacred Dhamma, Siri Sath Dhamma, in this Sirilaka. The people, the kings and the Counts who lived in this Helabima  in the time that Gautama Buddha lived used an honorable and very distinctive term. That is the name called Siri.

Siri Dalada Sammidu (the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha), Siri Dantha Dhaathun Wahanse (the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha), Siri Dalada (the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha), Siri Maha Bo Sammidu (the sacred Bodhi tree), Siri Maha Bo Ankura (the sacred offshoot of the Bodhi tree), Siri Maha Bo Dakshina Shakaawa (the right branch of the sacred Bodhi tree), Budu Siri Pathula (the sacred footprint of the Buddha), Siri Paa Samanola (the Samanala Peak where the sacred footprint of the Buddha was placed), Siri Paa (the sacred footprint of the Buddha), Budu Siripaa (the sacred footprint of the Buddha), Siridesma (the teachings of the Buddha), Siri Sath Darmaya (the teachings of the Buddha), Siri Waruna (the commendation of the Buddha), Siri Maluwa (the terrace or the compound where homage was paid to Buddha), Maha Siri Sanga Gana (the great Order of the Sanga of Buddha), Siri Lak Bima ( the  land of Lanka or the Lankan land of the Buddha), Sirilak Deshaya (the land, the country called Sirilaka or the Lankan land of the Buddha), Siri Deshaya (the land of Siri), Siri Lanka ( the Lanka of Siri or Sri Lanka i.e the country), Siri Saga Mok (the emancipation of Sanga of the Buddha), Siri Nivan (the Siri Nibbana or the Nibbana preached by the Buddha), Siri Sepa ( the blissful happiness)”.

In this way, this very distinctive term called Sirifound frequently in the vocabulary of the ancient Hela people was used in the place of Gautama Buddha, Buddha Dhamma of Gautama Buddha, the body relics of the Gautama Buddha, the Uddesika and Saririka objects of Buddha and also in the place of this island where Gautama Buddha lived.

It a well known thing that the Buddhist who lived in the past and living in the present day pilgrim to Samanala Peak and sing songs such as, “Gautama Siri Paada Wadimi Samanala Kande” – “May I worship the sacred footprint of Gautama Buddha which is placed in the Samanala Peak” and pay their homage to Siripaa (the sacred footprint of the Buddha).[1]

The Buddhists lived in the ancient Helabima  used terms such as Budu Siri Pathula (the sacred footprints of the Buddha), Budu Siri Paa (the sacred footprints of the Buddha), Samonala Siri Paa (the Samanala Peak where the sacred footprint of the Buddha was placed), Siri Paa kanda (the mountain of the sacred footprint) etc with a distinctive term called Siriand this term was used for Gautama Buddha.

They composed stanzas such as “Chakkawarankitha Rathna Supado”, praised the special symbols found in the sacred SiriPaa (the sacred footprints of the Buddha) and paid their homage to it. They were the sacred Siri Paa (the sacred footprints of the Buddha) of the Gautama Buddha who lived in this country.

The sacred Buddha Dhamma, Siri Saddharma, which was preached by Buddha for a period of forty five years, was termed as “Siri Desma” in the ancient Hela texts. Even to this date, the Hela Buddhists use the distinctive term Siriin connection with Buddha Dhamma –  Siri Sadaham Maga.

Siri Maha Bo Sammidu, Siri Maha Bo Ankura, Jaya Siri Maha Bodhiya and Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura are the some terms used in the place of the sacred Bodhi tree. Even today, the distinctive term “Siri” has been used in the introduction of the Asathu[2] Bodhi tree. The Asathu tree which gave shelter for the Buddha to attend to his sacred Enlightenment, later, was known as Siri Maha Bodhin Wahanse (the most sacred Bodhi) by the people in Helabima . They used this honorable, distinctive term for this Asathu tree to commemorate Gautama Buddha. For all these times this tree was known by the world as Asathu tree and later it was termed as Jaya Siri Maha Bodin Wahanse[3].

In the same way, the name of the village where the sacred Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi tree was situated too was changed, this tree gave shelter for Gautama Buddha to attend to his Enlightenment 2600 years ago.

 “SiriWadaunna Gama” (the village where Siri resided) was the new name received by this village. Today, based on the easy pronunciation, this “Siri Wadaunna Gama” had changed in to Hiriwadunna Gama (the village of Hiriwadunna). The real, genuine name of this village is “Siri Wadaunna Gama” (the village where Siri resided).

Even to this, the Buddhists in Helabima  use the term Siri in connection with all the Dathu Madiras (the chambers used to place the sacred relics of the Buddha),the Viharas and monasteries built enshrining the body relics and hair relics of the Buddha were called Siri Daladaa Madura (the chamber of the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha), Siri Dantha Dhatun Mandira (the chamber of the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha), Siri Daladaa Karaduwa (the sacred casket of the tooth relic of the Buddha), Siri Lalaata Dhatuwa ( the sacred forehead relic of the Buddha).

Just after few dates of the Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, the merchant brothers called Thapassu Balluka received the sacred hair relics of the Buddha. The Chaitya built by them enshrining those sacred hair relics is called “Girihandu Seya”. Today the place where it was built is called Thiriyaaya.

Originally, this Seya was known as “Siri Handu Seya”.  This Seya was called “ Siri Handu Seya” as the sacred hair relics of the Buddha was called “Siri Handu” in the ancient times. The place where these Siri Handu was placed was called “Siri Yaaya” (Yaaya – the field, the vast area). Siri Handu Seya was changed in to Giri Handu Seya. Siri Yaaya was changed in to Thiriyaaya in the use. In the most ancient times, the Buddhists who lived in Helabima  used to call “Siri Waruna” for the commendations or praises used for Buddha,Siri Maluwa” was the term used for the place or the compound where the relevant offerings for Buddha were made and those customs practiced were called “Budu Sirith.

Accordingly, the words such as Siri Lakbima, Siri Deshaya were used for the country where Gautama Buddha lived, the country, the island where Gautama Buddha preached his Buddha Dhamma. It was only because of Gautama Buddha that we got the distinctive tern Siriagainst the name of our country, Siri Lanka. Me Sirilaka (this Siri Lanka), Esirilaka, Esiribara, Sirilak Derana (the island of Siri Lanka) were some of such specialized terms used for our country. It was because Gautama Buddha was born in this Deepa, the island. It was because Gautama Buddha attended to his Enlightenment in this country. In the ancient times this name “Siri Deshaya” (the island of Siri) was used purely to denote that this is the Deepa, island of Buddha. There is an old Hela poem “Siri Deshe Wasiyo Kipee” i.e. ….. the people in the island of Siri is in anger. Hence, after the great incident of the Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, a distinctive term called Siri was added in to the name of our Helabima  and the world started to use special names such as Siri Deshaya, Siri Lak Derana, Siri Lanka for this country and entered them in their books.

Later, this sacred name Siri was influenced by the effect of Srungara Rasa, the erotic feelings found in Sanskrit, got it confused with the Sanskrit term (word) “Sri” and finally Siri Lanka, Siri Deshaya was named as Sri Lanka. This country is Siri Lakbima, Siri Deshaya, Siri Lak Derana but not Sri Lanka. The people in Siri Lak Bima (the Lankan land of Siri) should know, should seriously keep in mind that naming this country with a special term such as “Siri was not an accident. In the past this country has been offered to Gautama Buddha for seven times. The whole idea of using this term is to show this relationship that it has Gautama Buddha.

The real pronunciation is Siri, but not Sri. Hence the name “Siri Dammalankara”, received by the effects of Darmatha, is a special distinctive name with Artha and Dharma. Disclosing the Siri Saddharma, preaching it to the world by quenching the thirst of Dhamma of the ordinary world, preaching Buddha Dhamma to show the direction(s) to the world to find a solution for the burning issue called Samsara are the Dhamma meanings of the name “Siri Dhammalankara”. This effort made for the betterment of the mankind is to preach the Siri Sath Dhamma and to open the path for Siri Saga Mok. There isn’t any other worldly objective in this effort.

What is explained in this manner is the way how this term Siri was used in the ancient world by the Buddhists lived in this Helabima for Gautama Buddha, the teaching of Gautama Buddha and the sacred relics of Uddesika, Paribogika and Saririka objects of Buddha. Accordingly, the name Sirilak Bima too was used for this Helabima. And also this term Siri is not used for any county in the world in this manner d suggesting this said meaning.

Next Chapter…


[1] This is a custom of climbing the Samanala Peak practiced by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka every year. They do sing special stanzas, verses and songs in climbing and coming down from the Peak. Most of these songs are based on the virtues of Buddha.

[2] Asathu – The name used for the sacred Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi prior to the Enlightenment of Buddha.

[3]Jaya SiriMaha Bodin WahanseJaya (the victory), Maha (great, grand), Bodhi (Bodi – the wisdom), Wahanse (reverend).

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