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Sripada, the peak of world fame

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Author Topic: Sripada, the peak of world fame  (Read 215 times)
indunil
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« on: May 15, 2010, 05:23:49 am »



This is the season for the worship of the Sripada peak. Thousands of pilgrims trek to the holy summit to pay homage to the footprints of Gautama Buddha.

The Christians believe that Jesus Christ blessed this peak after a visit, while followers of Islam believe that Allah, the Almighty visited this peak. Hence this peak is a holy place of worship to those of all religious faiths. All Buddhas before Gautama blessed this summit with their visits to take a rest on the peak.


It is believed that this world will exist for innumerable twenty Kalpas. A Kalpa is a period starting from the lifespan of Devas and Brahmas coming down to a span where human beings will enjoy a total lifespan of ten years. Eighty such Kalpas will be a Maha Kalpa. At the end of a Maha Kalpa will dawn a maha Badra Kalpa.

Kalpa according to Charles Carter's dictionary is a period said to be equal to a day of Brahma which equals 4,320,000,000 solar years.

Five Buddhas will be born in one maha Badra Kalpa. A Kalpa is divided into four Yugas i.e. Krautha yuga, Thetra yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali yuga.

The calculation of yuga, according to Bharata Kula Pandiyar is sixteen lakhs and twenty eight thousand years for the Krutha Yuga, twelve lakhs ninety-six thousand years to Thetra yuga eight lakhs and sixty-four thousand years to a Dwapara yuga and four lakhs thirty two thousand years to a Kali yuga which we are in today.

Kakusanda Buddha was born in the Thetra yuga. Kakusanda Buddha visited Sri Lanka accompanied by forty-thousand Arahats. At that time Sri Lanka was known as 'Ojadeepa'. The king of this country was Abaya. His capital was Abayapura. It was in a place between Kelaniya and Colombo.

The royal garden like today's Mahameuna in Anuradhapura, was known as Mahatitta. A branch of the Bo sapling under which he attained Buddhahood was planted in this garden by Ven. Ruchinanda. A chetiya named Dharmakaraka was built in this garden. The receptacle used for drinking water by the Buddha was enshrined there.

Footprint on the peak

Kakusanda, Buddha's chief disciple Ven. Maha Deva established the Dhamma here. Lord Kakusanda with his forty-thousand Arahats visited Sripada which was then known as Sripawatha and placed his footprint on the peak.

The second to visit the island was Konagama Buddha with thirty-thousand Arahats. Then our Island was known as Varadeepa. King Samida ruled at that time and his capital was Varadamana.

The chief disciple of the Buddha Ven. Nanda Thera enshrined the relics of the Buddha and built a cheitya named Kahaban, Ven. Sumana Thera established the Dhamma here. The Buddha with his disciples went to Sheelakuta as the Samanala was then known and placed his footprint in the summit.

The third Buddha Kassapa accompanied by twenty thousand Arahats visited Sri Lanka which was then known as Mandadeepa. A cheitya was built and the Dhamma was established here. The Buddha with his disciples went to rest at 'Subakuta' as Sripada was then known.

Samanalakanda

Thus it is seen that all the Buddhas before Gautama also visited this peak and blessed our island. The names Lanka, Sinhala and Hela are derived from Samanala Kanda. This mountain served as a lighthouse for sea voyages. It was seen by seamen as a white mountain and called Sriparwatha. It is called Samanala Kanda because the Buddhas rested here for mediation ((Samawath Suwa). The two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha Seriuth and Mugalan rested here and meditated and that place is known as Brana Samanala.

Access to Sripada

It was during the period of King Bhatikabaya alias Bhatiya that the access route to Sripada was found. It was during his reign that Jesus Christ was born. The story how Bhatikabaya alias Bhatiya found the route to Sripada is described by Higgins in her book "Our Heritage" Bhatikabaya is a grandson of King Ballatanaga, a brother of well-known King Walagamba.

For the second time in history Maha Wijayabahu (1065-1120) improved the track to Sripada and to encourage the pilgrims to visit the holy peak offered Gilimale paddy fields to Sripada for the pilgrims to be supplied with a meal of rice. The subsequent monarchs improved the access road to Sripada and paid homage at the footprint.
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