Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
|The entrance to the courtyard.|
|A hall with granite pillers.|
|A trough carved out of granite used to immerse a patient in medicinal oils.|
It was reported by Chinese mahayana buddhist priest "Fa- Hsien" who visited the cave in the 5th century that Mihinthalawa was home to over 2000 Buddhist monks at that time. To support that number of monks, Mihinthalawa should have been a complete monastery with all facilities for the resident monks. The complete Veda Sala or the hospital complex is one of these support facilities which can be still seen today.
The ruins of the present hospital is attributed to King Sena II (853-887 AD). But it is believed that there was a hospital at Mihinthalawa long before this building. The inner Chamber of the hospital is centred around a Buddha Shrine. Around it are the rooms for the patients. Each room entrance face the shrine and is about 10x10 feet in size. The corners have larger rooms and the medicinal trough is on the North-Eastern eastern room.
The southern side of the building is the outer court which contain the hot water and steam bath, a clinic, a medicine stores, the refectory and a grinding stone for grinding medicine.
Heinz E Müller-Dietz (Historia Hospitalium 1975) describes Mihintale Hospital as being perhaps the oldest in the world.(Wikipedia)
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
|An old wall made of cut granite.|
|A water cistern made of stone.|
|A mango grove.|
‘For the benefit of our readers, I quote Mahavamsa chapter XIV line 16:-
Arahat Mahinda – What is the name of this tree ?
King Devanampiyatissa – This tree is a mango tree.
AM – Is there yet another mango tree, besides this?
Are there any mango trees?
KD – Sir, there is this Mango tree
AM – Are there besides the other mango trees, which are not mango trees, yet other trees?
KD – there is this mango tree.
AM – Thou, has shrewd not Ruler of men, has thou kingsfolk o' king?
KD – There are many sir,
AM – Are there also some who are not thy kinsfolk?
KD – There are more of those than my kinsmen,
AM – Is there anyone besides the kingsfolk and others?
KD – There is myself
AM – Good, thus has gained shrewd wit’.