Category Archives: Buddhism

Vesak: The Emergence of Buddhism in the Indian Subcontinent

 Uditha Devapriya … an original essay with the title ppreferred by Uditha being “Some Reflections on Vesak”

 By the 6th century BC, the centre of Indian civilisation had shifted to the Ganges Valley. Social and economic conditions made possible the rise of several religions that posed as alternatives to the rigid orthodoxy of Brahmanism. By the end of the 5th century BC, the number of these sects had come down, and among those that survived were Jainism and Buddhism.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, life stories, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Historical Revaluations: The Boundary Books of the Matale District

Gananath Obeyesekere: Historical Revaluations: the Boundary Books of the Matale district[1], being  Chapter 19 in Professor KD Paranavitana Felicitation Volume, edited by Vinie Vitharana & Prasad Fonseka, Colombo, Godage & Bros (pvt ltd) …. ISBN 978-955-30-9035-5

Professor K. D. Paranavitana has not only written important work on t, edit by Vinnie Vitharane Dutch Period in Sri Lanka that has influenced my own writing but he also has been also associated with the National Archives. These archives as well as those in Europe, such as the British Library are replete with popular Sinhala texts that constitute an enormous resource for understanding the pasts of our nation. The term vitti pot or “books of events” is a useful term to broadly characterize this genre of literature.  Among these vitti pot are various boundary books (kaḍaim pot), some dealing with the boundaries of the nation, some with specific regions and some on family genealogies (banḍāravaliya).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes

The Marvellous Hydraulic Civilization of Ancient Lanka via You Tube and …. More

Sri Lanka’s hydraulic civilization spans over two Millenia and is integral part of our agricultural heritage. Watch the story of the origins, the rise, the golden age, the decline and the resurgence of this technology. Voice talent – Arun Dias-Bandaranaike And don’t forget to subscribe 🙂 for more content For more fascinating video’s on Sri Lanka check out channel Destination Sri Lanka https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwRl​#destinationsrilanka​ #srilanka​ #beautysrilanka​ #srilankaculture​ #srilankasights​ #srilankalocation​ #irrigationsystems #irrigation #hydraulic #civilization

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, Buddhism, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, photography, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, world events & processes

In Search of Archaic Practices & Features in Ancient and Medieval Lanka

Two foreign personnel, one a British man and the other a Taiwanese Chinese lady, have developed a deep interest in Sri Lanka and a considerable  äcquaintance”, so to speak. with the land and its peAnswer: perhaps Sigiriya?oples, and have recently sent me these fascinating inquiries on arcane topics. Michael Roberts

ONE:  A NOTE from Lewis Bower [i], late February 2021

 Have you heard the term “Argyra” before? It was mentioned in Stephanus of Byzantium’s contribution to the geographical dictionary Ethnica to describe a “thriving metropolis” that he came across on his travels of Sri Lanka… Typing that made me feel like I’m on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.

We’re talking 5th/6th Century AD so I’d be really interested to find out where he was talking about,”

… Answer: perhaps Sigiriya? … Michael Roberts

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, Buddhism, cultural transmission, governance, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Kandyan kingdom, landscape wondrous, life stories, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Amity transcending Faiths and Nationalities: At Haputale and Canberra

Somasiri Skandakumar in Haputale

Rev Rahula, who once headed the Khemba Buddhist Vihara in Canberra during my tenure as High Commissioner, honoured me with a visit to  Haputale accompanied by his superior who  heads thirteen temples in various parts of the Island !

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Buddhism, charitable outreach, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, patriotism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The British in Ceylon: The Camera as Power

In 2011 Godfrey and Amar Gunatilleke sponsored the presentation of a pictorial history entitled Potency. Power & People in Groups, (Colombo, Marga Institute, 2011, ISBN 978-955-582 129-2.

Kotahena Riots 1883

This work was, albeit partially, the presentation of items gathered by Ismeth Raheem and myself for inclusion in the coffee-table book that appeared in the year 200o as Images of British Ceylon (Singapore, Times Edition) — items within segments that were excluded because of financial constraints. Such constraints also meant that the pictures in this booklet were not produced in coffee-table quality. The emphasis was on the interpretations attached to the photographs read in context.  While the booklet is still available at relatively low cost, the opportunity is taken here to widen the readership via the reproduction of sections — itself a project inspired by Anura Hettiarachchi’s translation of the work into Sinhala.[a]

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, photography, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Charting Anagarika Dharmapala’s Many Pursuits

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, reviewing  Bhadrajee S. Hewage’s book A NAME FOR EVERY CHAPTER: Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism”

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.

Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’s “Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, British imperialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, economic processes, education, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, nationalism, patriotism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

A Refreshing New Study of the Anagarika Dharmapala’s Endeavours

The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.

Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’sAnagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, Buddhism, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, education, education policy, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes, zealotry

Dhammika Thera’s History of Bodh Gaya

S. Dhammika

The town of Bodh Gaya in the north Indian state of Bihar is the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment and the most sacred place in the Buddhist world. For over 2000 years pilgrims have made their way to Bodh Gaya from every corner of Asia, often leaving records of their visit in inscriptions, memoirs, travelogues and even graffiti. Using these and other sources the book chronicles the place’s long and fascinating history. It recounts the magnificent ceremonies that once took place there, the saints and scholars associated with it and the various legends that grew up around it. Including previously overlooked information it also challenges the popular belief that Bodh Gaya was destroyed at the end on the 12th century and was forgotten and unvisited by Buddhist pilgrims for the next 700 years. This book should prove to be of interest to Indologists and social historians as well as to Buddhists.

Catalogue No.  BP630s  Language:  English
Publisher:  Buddhist Publication Society………

e-mail: bps@bps.lk.……….Tel:  .94 81 2237283 …. Fax: +94 81 2223679

Type: Book  Category:
ISBN:  978-955-24-0433-7  (2018)  (Paperback)
Pages:  146   Size: 145 x 226 mm

Price: $4.00     Rs. 225

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, Buddhism, charitable outreach, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, pilgrimages, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Democracy under the Gun in Sri Lanka

Jayadeva Uyangoda, in Sri Lanka Guardian 24 September 2020, where the title is “The End of Sri Lanka’s Democracy”

The debate on the proposed 20th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution is gathering momentum. The proposal, which has been published in the Government Gazette, is indeed a constitutional bombshell, literally. Its provisions are very destructive in their objectives as well as consequences. 

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, disparagement, economic processes, electoral structures, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, parliamentary elections, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

%d bloggers like this: