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Nathadeva

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Nathadeva A name given to Visnu as the protector (natha) of Ceylon.
Natha-deva
Natha deva
Avalokiteshvara‎, in Sri Lanka he is known as Natha-deva (often mistakenly confused with Maitreya, the Buddha yet to come).

Natha is the only purely Buddhist god of the four protectors of Kandy, and his temple is the oldest structure in the city, dating from sometime in the 14th century. Sri Lanka’s Natha corresponds to Avalokitesvara, who is an enlightened being that encompasses all the compassion in the world.

The Natha temple is one of the most important in Kandy, only eclipsed by the Temple of the Tooth. Because of the god’s importance, new Kings of Kandy were obligated to appear here to claim a name, before ascending to the throne. The main shrine