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Buddhism Introduction to Sri Lanka

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Arrival of Mahinda Thera

King Devenampiyatissa

King Devenampiyatissa - meaning 'beloved of the gods' - had his second coronation on a Vesak Poya day. Mahavamsa goes on to describe the moment of glory: "Grand miracles occurred during the consecration of King Devanampiya Tissa. Jewels buried in earth rose to the surface, pearls in deep oceans were washed ashore and piled up and bamboo trees started to look like they were made out of silver. King Devanampiya Tissa thought that these pearls and gems should be sent to his great friend, King Dharmashoka of India.

King Dharmashoka and King Devanampiya Tissa were great friends for many years but had never seen each other."

Mahinda Thera

King Dharmashoka by this time was sending Buddhist missionaries to countries around the world. He selected his son Mahinda Thera to be sent to Lanka with the message of Buddhism.

Mahinda Thera and four other theras started out from India to visit Lanka and ended up in "Missaka Pavva" (Mihintale). At this time King Devanampiya Tissa was conducting a deer hunt close to Mihintale.

The god of the mountain wanted to show Mahinda Thera to the King and disguised himself as a deer. King Devanampiya Tissa and his men chased the deer.

When the deer came near the mountain where Mahinda Thera was standing, the deer disappeared. King Devanampiya Tissa saw Mahinda Thera standing on the mountain.

Such is the meaningful influence of Vesak Poya day that intermingles the events of both religious and historical significance.

Source

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