Anuradhapura period

  • Category: sri lanka
  • Published: Wednesday, 07 November 2018 14:40
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Anuradhapura period

 
The Avukana Buddha statue, a 12 metres (39 ft) tall standing Buddha statue from the reign of Dhatusena of Anuradhapura, 5th century

The Anuradhapura Kingdom was established in 380 BC during the reign of Pandukabhaya of Anuradhapura. Thereafter, Anuradhapura served as the capital city of the country for nearly 1,400 years.[46] Ancient Sri Lankans excelled at building certain types of structures (constructions) such as tanksdagobas and palaces.[47] Society underwent a major transformation during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura, with the arrival of Buddhism from India. In 250 BC,[48] Mahinda, the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka and a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) arrived in Mihintale carrying the message of Buddhism.[49] His mission won over the monarch, who embraced the faith and propagated it throughout the Sinhalese population.[50]

Succeeding kingdoms of Sri Lanka would maintain a large number of Buddhist schools and monasteries and support the propagation of Buddhism into other countries in Southeast Asia. Sri Lankan Bhikkhus studied in India's famous ancient Buddhist University of Nalanda, which was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji. It is probable that many of the scriptures from Nalanda are preserved in Sri Lanka's many monasteries and that the written form of the Tipitaka, including Sinhalese Buddhist literature, were part of the University of Nalanda.[51]In 245 BC, bhikkhuni Sangamitta arrived with the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree, which is considered to be a sapling from the historical Bodhi tree under which Gautama Buddha became enlightened.[52] It is considered the oldest human-planted tree (with a continuous historical record) in the world. (Bodhivamsa)[53]