SRI LANKA & BUDDHISM
In this new millennium it seems as if Sri Lanka and Buddhism have become synonyms. Why? Because in the history of Buddhism it was here in Sri Lanka that the Tripitaka was for the first time written down on palm leaves in 100 BC. Again it was here that the cutting of the original Bo-tree from Bodh Gaya was transplanted in the land of Sri Lanka in 240 BC, which is till the present day well protected and well venerated. It was here in 425 AD that Venerable Buddhagosha translated the Tripitaka commentaries from sinhela to pali, which is now available to the whole world. He also wrote his magnum opus "VISUDDHIMAGGA" redefining and consolidating the Theravada tradition. Again it was Venerable Nyanamoli who translated this very treatise here from pali to English and was published in the year 1956. C.P. Gunawardana designed the so-called Buddhist flag here in 1885. It was again a noble personality from Sri Lanka named Anagarika Dharmapala who founded the Maha Bodhi Society of India in 1891. This society located the historic sites sanctified by the presence of Lord Buddha and protected these places for the benefit of people. Now it maintains those places of Buddhist worship with deep devotion. The last but not the least is that it was the Sri Lanka sponsored Buddhist conference in 1998 which passed the resolution calling on the United Nations to make "VESAK" a day of observance by the United Nations, its regional offices and agencies. This resolution submitted by Sri Lanka at 54th United Nation General Assembly was implemented on VESAK-2000.
It is also note worthy that here we have the Buddha Sasana Ministry taking care of preservation and propagation of Dhamma in its own way and giving all possible help to the monks, especially to the foreign monks in getting their visas with out having to pay anything and with less difficulty.
So taking the above facts into consideration it would not be an exaggeration if I would compare mother INDIA and mother SRI LANKA with mother MAHA MAYA and foster mother PRAJAPATI GOTAMI of BUDDHA.
Since it was mother Maha Maya who gave birth and mother Prajapati Gotami who nursed the then would be Buddha. Similarly it was mother India that gave birth to Buddhism and it is mother Sri Lanka that has been fostering it for more than 2300 years now. It is said that the Buddhas are always born in India, then may Sri Lanka be always the Preserver and Protector of Buddha's Dhamma for long time.
SALUTATIONS TO MOTHER INDIA
SALUTATIONS TO MOTHER LANKA
MAY ALL BE HAPPY.
Venerable Bhikkhu Vinayarakkhita