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Evolution and influences of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Although it took a long time in India for Buddhism to become the state religion, in Sri
Lanka, it soon became the national religion. At the very beginning, the development
of the order of monks started with the ordination of the minister Arittha together with
his followers. rom then, the Buddha Sasana developed. !hen "evanampiya #issa
constructed #huparama, prince Abhaya together with many people entered the order
form various village groups of $%% young men entered the order. In this manner, very
soon, there were about &%,%%% monks, thus we observed that the bhikkhu Sasana soon
developed. At the very beginning, the monks stayed at 'ahamegha (ark in the
monastery constructed there. 'ahavihara was the centre. #he #huparama, where the
Buddha)s collar bone was enshrined at 'ahamegha park. In this manner, gradually
development of 'onastic building took place. #he bringing of the branch of Sri
'ahabodhi was responsible for the spreading of Buddhism. As a result, in many
places of Sri Lanka, Bodhi trees were planted. According to Samantapasadika, there
had been a Bodhi tree planted within one mile.
According to various sources there are many places where the shoots of Sri
'ahabodhi has been planted. Everywhere monks resided near these Bodhi trees
putting up monastery. !ith the coming in of Savghamitta and various many others,
they also preached the Buddha)s "hamma eg. *hema, (abbata and 'itta.
#hus, as an evolution of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, we can observe the following
,. 'any young people entered the order as monks
-. 'any young women entered the order as Bhikkhunis
&. 'any monasteries were constructed for the residence of monks
.. 'any ritual buildings as stupas arose
$. 'any people started various ritual as making offerings to the Bodhi tree and
the stupa
/. (eople understand the essence of Buddhism as *arma. #he evil of misdeed,
impermanence and the danger of the cycle of Birth.

00000.1missing+ late for class2 they connected kingship with Buddhism as a
result the king of Sri Lanka had to be a Buddhist person. *ing "utthagamini fought
with the Ellara not for his personal benefits. 3is aim was to protect the country and
Buddhism. Later a *ing named Amandadagamini stopped killing animals throughout
the country. #his was called 'aghata. #his indicated that the king had a great respect
to Buddha, "hamma and Savgha. #herefore metta and non4harming became the
prominent concept of the *ing. #he king was followed by the rest of the advisers of
the people. !hen the people had the problem they went to the 'ahasavgha for
solution, therefore, after the advent of 'ahinda #hera, Sri Lanka became very
As a result of the advent of 'ahinda #hera, Sri Lanka got developed in various arts
and crafts. #he Sri Lanka)s alphabets also developed and influenced by the message
of *ing Asoka. #he Sinhala language developed further and many sinhalese books
were written on Buddhist themes for e5ample+
4 Butsarana
4 *avsilumina
4 Amavatura
#he kingship changed as a result of the *ings embracing in Buddhism. Some times, in
Sri Lanka , #amils ruled for a short period. #hey also embraced Buddhism when they
were ruling. #he kings observed the ten ra6adhammas for e5ample Sirisanghabo can
be considered as a great king who acted like a Bodhisatta. As a result of Buddhism, art
and architecture developed. #here are many stupa like #huparama, Abhayagiri,
7etavana, and 'irisagati. #here are also developed culture such as the moonstones,
wing4stones 8Balustrade) and guard4stones. Apart from that there are Buddha)s statue,
sculpture even from the living rock. In Sri Lanka, the message of Buddhism
pertaining to impermanence, solitude, serene, 6oy and happiness can be seen through
all these modes.
As a result of the Introduction of Buddhism, people of Sri Lanka developed ethics.
or e5ample, people developed gratitude, kindness, generosity, patience, effort,
helpfulness etc.