Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kanthaka Chathya, Mihinthale, Sri Lanka.

Kantaka Chethiya was renovated in 1930′s to the current status. When this stupa was discovered, it has been a just a mound of earth covered by various debris. This has been known as the Kiribadapavu Dagaba, Kiribat Vehera, or Giribhanda during this time. But a stone inscription found close by has identified the original name of this stupa as Kantaka Chethiya.
It is unknown who built this stupa but it is said that the King Lanjatissa (119-109 BC) has built a stone mantel built for this stupa. Therefore we can assume that the stupa was built prior to 119 BC. The present stupa is 425 feet in diameter and is about 40 feet high. This stupa is most popular for one of the most well preserved vahalkada which can be seen today.

Mihinthale sights, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Sights at Mihinthale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Sights at Mihinthale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

A mini-stupa made of baked bricks.

Stone pillars of the alms-hall.

A water conduit made from stone, the equivalent of a GI or plastic pipe of today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mihinthale sights, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

'Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka at Mihintale in 247 B.C. King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka, who was on a hunting expedition, became a disciple of Buddha after the Buddhist missionary Mahinda preached a sermon. He was followed by his queen, his ministers, officials and the people. Mihintale thus became historically and religiously significant, and ever since it annually attracts pilgrims during the June full moon to commemorate the official introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. To accommodate the lay and scholarly interest in Mihintale, both the sacred area and the town have undergone several phases of development, includ­ing a site museum. A rock inscription records the finest description of the running of a monastery in the 9th century A.D. It refers to the 200 or more serfs who assisted the religious congregation of 2,000. It also records the salaries paid to the physi­cian, the surgeons, the teachers, potters, cooks and other workers. The lay assistants were instructed to submit the list of expenditures once a week, a sum­mary of accounts at the end of each lunar month, and a balance sheet at the end of each year.

Refectory hall (left), stone inscriptions (above) and the relic chamber (below) at Mihintale where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka by Prince Mahinda, the son of Indian Emperor Ashoka, in 247 B.C.'

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Going green', a Power-point presentation.

Click on web-link below:-

The caves at Mihinthale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Caves used by Buddhist Monks in ancient times.

Stone stairway leading to the 'Kanthaka Chaithya'.

‘In the 3rd century BC, area of Mihinthalawa was a thick jungle area inhibited by wild animals and was a hunting ground reserved for the royals. All this changed in 250 BC when the son of the Indian Emperor Asoka, Mahinda Maha Thero arrived at the Missaka Pauwa to meet king Devamnampiyatissa for the first time and asked the famous questions to decide whether he is intelligent enough to understand the philosophy of the Buddha. Initially Mahinda Maha Thero’s residence, but later Mihinthale became a main centre for Theravada Buddhism.
Mihinthale is a collection of four mountains each about 1000 feet in height. They are
1.    Mihinthalawa
2.    Ath Vehera mountain
3.    Anaikutti mountain
4.    Rajagiri Lena mountain
Mihinthalawa is the main mountain and where the Aradhana gala (The rock of invitation) and the main Mahaseya stupa is situated’.

A flower seller at the beginning of the ascent to Mihinthale.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The 'Samaadhi Buddha statue', Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The 'Samaadhi Buddha' statue.

Rear view of above.

A vandalized statue behind the 'Samaadhi Buddha' statue.

Statues were vandalized to seek for hidden treasure. Sadly it is a constant threat at present to the archaeological artifacts all over Sri Lanka.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Abheyagiri sights, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, Sankha, Padhma, Guardian Spirits.

'Padma Guardian Spirit''?

'Shanka guardian spirit'?
The above two statues are now installed on either side of the entrance to the Abheyagiri Dagoba.

'Sri Ram asked Agastya--'Who was Ravana -- the tormentor of deities? I am anxious to know about the origin of his whole clan."
Sage Agastya replied--Vishrava was the grandson of Lord Brahma. His father was sage Pulastya. Vishrava had two wives--Mandakini and Kaikasi. Mandakani's son was Kubera while Kaikasi was the mother of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishan. Kubera ruled over Lanka. One day, Kubera, came to see his parents boarded on his aircraft--Pushpak Viman. After he returned to Lanka, Ravana, who was very much impressed by Kubera's royal appearances asked Kaikasi--"Who was this fellow? From where did he acquire such an amazing aircraft."
Kaikasi revealed to Ravana that the guest was none other than his step-brother Kubera. She said--"Kubera is the son of your step mother--Mandakini. He has made his mother proud by his conduct but I am ashamed of you, because of your inconsequential existence. You are no better than a worm."
Ravan decided to prove his mother wrong by acquiring insurmountable power and authority. Ravana went to the forest and performed an austere penance for ten thousand years by standing on one foot. He fixed his gaze at the sun and never for a moment did he remove his gaze from it. Kumbhakarna and Vibhishan also engaged themselves in austere penance. At last, Lord Brahma became pleased and blessed Ravana with a vast kingdom. Ravan then started tormenting his step-brother Kumbhakarna. He snatched Kubera's Pushpak Viman and drove him out of Lanka. Ravan then turned his attention towards the deities and drove them out of heaven. The deities went to seek the help of Lord Brahma who in turn took them to Lord Shiva. Even Lord Shiva was clueless about the means by which the indomitable Ravana could be subdued. Ultimately all of them including Lord Shiva went to Lord Vishnu and sought his help'...

'In the context of Hindu mythology, Nidhi, that is, a treasure, constituted of nine treasures (nawanidhi) belonging to Kubera (also spelt as Kuvera), the god of wealth. According to the tradition, each nidhi is personified as having a guardian spirit, and some tantrikas worship them. The nature and characteristics of nidhis have remained largely unexplained and have not been fully understood. According toAmarakosha, the nine nidhis are:
- mahapadma "great lotus flower"
- padma "lotus flower"
- shankha "conch"
- makara "crocodile"
- kachchhapa "tortoise"
- mukunda "a particular precious stone"
- kunda "jasmine"
- nila "sapphire"
- kharva "dwarf"