Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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robertk
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by robertk »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:43 am

This is just one example of many. However, the only source for the Buddha visiting Sri Lanka is from the Mahāvaṃsa, a later work that is not part of the Tipiṭaka, its Commentaries, or Subcommentaries.

I asked the initial question because I do not wish to make any claims that are contradicted by reliable sources. I do not regard the Mahāvaṃsa as a reliable source.
There is also an account in the Dipavamsa of Buddha visiting Sri lanka.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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retrofuturist wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:27 am Greetings,
form wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:23 am I post about flying because I recalled my monk friend telling me once how Chinese believed Bodhidharma came to China, he said they believe by flying.
I cannot remember where I heard this (possibly in one of Ven. Sujato's books?) but in the Chinese Agamas, the Buddha does a lot more flying than he does in the Pali Sutta equivalents of those same texts, where he is far more likely to be traversing via perambulation.

Metta,
Paul. :)
I heard from one of the talks by Bhante Dhamikka. I think at that time he was casually mentioning Zen, then asked the audience to guess how did bodhidharma arrived at China, some said by boat etc, all wrong. Then Bhante mentioned according to legend by flying. And I thought how absurd can these legends be.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by form »

robertk wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:39 am
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:43 am

This is just one example of many. However, the only source for the Buddha visiting Sri Lanka is from the Mahāvaṃsa, a later work that is not part of the Tipiṭaka, its Commentaries, or Subcommentaries.

I asked the initial question because I do not wish to make any claims that are contradicted by reliable sources. I do not regard the Mahāvaṃsa as a reliable source.
There is also an account in the Dipavamsa of Buddha visiting Sri lanka.
Someone need to cross examine all these accounts that are not in the nikayas. Also if the nikayas are 100% complete of the Buddha words or there could be others that are not included.

One day I was just telling a friend that those non Theravada sutras that begin with thus as I heard. That suggest that these are also heard directly from the Buddha. But yet the focus of teachings there are not the same.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:43 am I asked the initial question because I do not wish to make any claims that are contradicted by reliable sources. I do not regard the Mahāvaṃsa as a reliable source.
Well, absence of proof is not proof of absence. (although I get why people feel that way) Because of our various backgrounds we will all regard different sources as reliable. Nothing inherently wrong with that. Personally I try to be cautious when disregarding the way other people form their beliefs in matters that are to some degree unknowable. If one wanted to, one could come up with numerous reasons why things that did in fact happen were not recorded in the suttas. But only if one wanted to.

As far as I know, people who recognize the Mahāvaṁsa as reliable don't claim that a record of the Buddha's visits to the Island can be found in the Suttas or Vinaya. But I am also not aware of any proof or arguments that the Buddha did not come to the island. So to say that he did not isn't making "any claims that are contradicted by reliable sources." However making the claim that he did not is not supported by any reliable sources either.

So, to me, claiming that he did not come to Sri Lanka is at best, not supported by any evidence, and at worst unnecessarily antagonistic to a very large number of people. To me it goes to protecting the truth. One can certainly say they don't believe the Buddha came to Lanka. But in this situation I'm not sure one can say for sure he didn't. I can say for sure that if someone wants to stir up controversy in Sri Lanka, then stating that the Buddha never came there is a great way to do it! :smile:

Beyond just visiting, the text records that the Buddha left some things behind on the island, including relics. So, many Sri Lankan Buddhists believe that these objects are still on the island. So to say that the Buddha never visited is also to say that these relics don't exist. And what follows from that is that many of the pilgrimages devout Buddhists have done throughout their lives... weren't pilgrimages? Just something else to be aware of when we make the claim that the Buddha did not visit.

It's also true that Sinhala nationalists are quick to point out things from the Mahavamsa to support their political beliefs. But that has more to do with how the information is used rather than its inherent truth. And to be clear, I'm not defending how they are using it.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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If some claim is not supported by the Dhamma/Vinaya, it should be rejected. This is from the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta:

188. “In the first place, monks, a monk may say thus: ‘From the mouth of the Blessed One himself have I heard, from his own mouth have I learned it. This is the Dhamma, this the discipline, this the doctrine of the teacher." The words spoken, monks, by that monk should neither be received with praise nor treated with scorn. Without praise and without scorn every word and syllable should be carefully understood, and compared with the discourses and the rules of discipline. If when so compared they do not harmonise with the discourses, and do not fit in with the rules of discipline, then you may conclude, ‘Verily, this is not the word of the Blessed One, and has been wrongly grasped by that monk.’ Therefore, monks, you should reject it. However, if they harmonise with the discourses and fit in with the rules of discipline, then you may conclude, ‘Verily, this is the word of the Blessed One, and has been well grasped by that monk.’ This, monks, you should remember as the first great reference.

...

“Again, monks, a monk may say: “In such and such a dwelling-place there lives a monk, deeply read, holding the faith as handed down by tradition, versed in the truths, versed in the regulations of the Saṅgha versed in the summaries of the doctrines and the law. From the mouth of that elder have I heard, from his own mouth have I learned it. This is the Dhamma, this the discipline, this the doctrine of the teacher.’ The words spoken, monks, by that monk should neither be received with praise nor treated with scorn. Without praise and without scorn every word and syllable should be carefully understood, and compared with the discourses and the rules of discipline. If when so compared they do not harmonise with the discourses, and do not fit in with the rules of discipline, then you may conclude, ‘Verily, this is not the word of the Blessed One, and has been wrongly grasped by that monk.’ Therefore, monks, you should reject it. However, if they harmonise with the discourses and fit in with the rules of discipline, then you may conclude, ‘Verily, this is the word of the Blessed One, and has been well grasped by that monk.’ This, monks, you should remember as the fourth great reference.
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BKh
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by BKh »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:22 am If some claim is not supported by the Dhamma/Vinaya, it should be rejected. This is from the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta:
Well, this isn't at all a matter of Dhamma. In the text you quote it says "This is the Dhamma, this the discipline, this the doctrine of the teacher." I hardly see how a visit to Sri Lanka falls into any of those things. I'm open to hearing how you feel it is, though.

It's a historical matter, so I just don't think that guideline applies. The original question you raised doesn't pertain to a specific teaching he gave in Sri Lanka, does it? Are you referring to the Laṅkāvatāra_Sūtra? Because that's a totally different thing. Orthodox Theravada monks in Sri Lanka probably don't recognize that sutta as being authentic, but that's because it's a Mahayana text.

Another commenter raised the issue of "Word of the Buddha," but I don't think it has anything to do with that. We aren't talking about anything that the Buddha said. I think it is an interpretive fallacy to think that everything about the life of the Buddha is recorded in the suttas. I mean, obviously it isn't. Of course I can't know what was in the minds of the arahants at the first council, but it is conceivable to me that they declined to include any visits the Buddha took lands outside of Jambudipa.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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confusedlayman wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:15 pm
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:13 pm I see no reason to believe that he did.

I found this article from the Sunday Times, which refers to the account in the Mahāvaṃsa, which is not in the Tipiṭka or its Commentaries, but among the Other Books.

Sri Lankan children are taught in school about the Buddha's visit to Sri Pāda, so they take it as a fact, but I wonder what the general consensus is among learned monks and scholars?
he didnt visit.

first buddhism spread was from ashoka missionary project... till that sri lankas were either following own religion or hindusim.

also people in srilanka were normal humans not monsters like naga king or ravana king with multi face
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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Why didn't the Buddha visit China? Lao-tzu and Confucius will be so glad to meet them. Did he knew they exist? How would he overcome the language barrier?
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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form wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:36 am Why didn't the Buddha visit China? Lao-tzu and Confucius will be so glad to meet them. Did he knew they exist? How would he overcome the language barrier?
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:13 pm I see no reason to believe that he did.

I found this article from the Sunday Times, which refers to the account in the Mahāvaṃsa, which is not in the Tipiṭka or its Commentaries, but among the Other Books.

Sri Lankan children are taught in school about the Buddha's visit to Sri Pāda, so they take it as a fact, but I wonder what the general consensus is among learned monks and scholars?
Bhante,

Which are these "Other Books"?

I think that what we have most important and most reliable is the Canon in Pali ...

But we cannot totally dismiss "Other Books" about the Buddha and his Teachings.

it is important that students and practitioners of Theravada Buddhism and other Buddhist Traditions have a chance to learn about these stories and better choose the path they want to follow.

what monks and scholars of Theravada Buddhism must do is show that these teachings are or are not in accordance with Theravada Buddhism or other Buddhist Traditions.

I think an extreme is what they say Buddhaghosa did ..
The Buddhaghosuppatti, a later biographical text, is generally regarded by Western scholars as being legend rather than history.[19] It adds to the Mahavamsa tale certain details, such as the identity of Buddhaghosa's parents and his village, as well as several dramatic episodes, such as the conversion of Buddhaghosa's father and Buddhaghosa's role in deciding a legal case.[20] It also explains the eventual loss of the Sinhala originals that Buddhaghosa worked from in creating his Pali commentaries by claiming that Buddhaghosa collected and burnt the original manuscripts once his work was completed.[21]
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and we must avoid these extremes.

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justindesilva
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by justindesilva »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:53 pm There isn't any evidence of that. It seems more like a nationalist idea, or at least one that cements Sri Lanka as the centre of Buddhism from the beginning.
I recall watching a Dhammatalk in which Bhante Vimalaramsi says Srilankans learn more about Abhidhamma (and possibly Vissudhi magga) than the suttas.
There is indeed an element of nationalism in it all, sadly.
I must first state that I personally do away with Visuddi magga as a Sri Lankan and follow sati pattana. ( There are many argumentative remarks from visuddimagga and why follow a second version).
Secondly getting back to the post, I recollect the late scholar Archaeologist Dr.Senarat Paranavithana stating that there is no historical evidence in Sri Lanka to prove of past visits by Lord Buddas. ( Dr. Paranavithana was a buddhist who had his primary education at a pirivena - damma school by Buddhist priests). However he kept silent when objections from many buddhist scholars arise.
Secondly I personally believe that from sutra we can identify that Lord budda explained damma to many vedic Brahmans to make a point it was India. Further Lord Buddas is believed to have liberated the women from the strict Hindu grasp, which prevailed only in India.
History shows that women in Sri Lanka by the time of Buddas was more dominating, taking the story of Kuveni a chiftain of the past.
Recently a well arguments theory is being discussed to the effect that Lord Buddas was born in Sri Lanka supported by historical based geographical evidence made by certain scholars. I personally believe Lord budda visited Sri Lanka.
Last edited by justindesilva on Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

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justindesilva wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:07 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:53 pm There isn't any evidence of that. It seems more like a nationalist idea, or at least one that cements Sri Lanka as the centre of Buddhism from the beginning.
I recall watching a Dhammatalk in which Bhante Vimalaramsi says Srilankans learn more about Abhidhamma (and possibly Vissudhi magga) than the suttas.
There is indeed an element of nationalism in it all, sadly.
I must first state that I personally do away with Visuddi magga as a Sri Lankan and follow sati pattana. ( There are many argumentative remarks from visuddimagga and why follow a second version).
Secondly getting back to the post, I recollect the late scholar Archaeologist Dr.Senarat Paranavithana stating that there is no historical evidence in Sri Lanka to prove of past visits by Lord Buddas. ( Dr. Paranavithana was a buddhist who had his primary education at a pirivena - damma school by Buddhist priests). However he kept silent when objections from many buddhist scholars arise.
Secondly I personally believe that from sutra we can identify that Lord budda explained damma to many vedic Brahmans to make a point it was India. Further Lord Buddas is believed to have liberated the women from the strict Hindu grasp, which prevailed only in India.
History shows that women in Sri Lanka by the time of Buddas was more dominating, taking the story of Kuveni a chiftain of the past.
Recently a well arguments theory is being discussed to the effect that Lord Buddas was born in Sri Lanka supported by historical based geographical evidence made by certain scholars. I personally believe Lord budda busted Sri Lanka.
Thanks for your post, Justin!
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by justindesilva »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:34 am
justindesilva wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:07 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm

I recall watching a Dhammatalk in which Bhante Vimalaramsi says Srilankans learn more about Abhidhamma (and possibly Vissudhi magga) than the suttas.
There is indeed an element of nationalism in it all, sadly.
I must first state that I personally do away with Visuddi magga as a Sri Lankan and follow sati pattana. ( There are many argumentative remarks from visuddimagga and why follow a second version).
Secondly getting back to the post, I recollect the late scholar Archaeologist Dr.Senarat Paranavithana stating that there is no historical evidence in Sri Lanka to prove of past visits by Lord Buddas. ( Dr. Paranavithana was a buddhist who had his primary education at a pirivena - damma school by Buddhist priests). However he kept silent when objections from many buddhist scholars arise.
Secondly I personally believe that from sutra we can identify that Lord budda explained damma to many vedic Brahmans to make a point it was India. Further Lord Buddas is believed to have liberated the women from the strict Hindu grasp, which prevailed only in India.
History shows that women in Sri Lanka by the time of Buddas was more dominating, taking the story of Kuveni a chiftain of the past.
Recently a well arguments theory is being discussed to the effect that Lord Buddas was born in Sri Lanka supported by historical based geographical evidence made by certain scholars. I personally believe Lord budda busted Sri Lanka.
Thanks for your post, Justin!
Note pl. with an edition , with an apology. My post appeared with a sentence as at the end " Lord budda busted Sri Lanka" to be changed as "Lord budda visited Sri Lanka." May I be excused for not noting the change made by the system from visited to busted.
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

justindesilva wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:05 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:34 am
justindesilva wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:07 am

I must first state that I personally do away with Visuddi magga as a Sri Lankan and follow sati pattana. ( There are many argumentative remarks from visuddimagga and why follow a second version).
Secondly getting back to the post, I recollect the late scholar Archaeologist Dr.Senarat Paranavithana stating that there is no historical evidence in Sri Lanka to prove of past visits by Lord Buddas. ( Dr. Paranavithana was a buddhist who had his primary education at a pirivena - damma school by Buddhist priests). However he kept silent when objections from many buddhist scholars arise.
Secondly I personally believe that from sutra we can identify that Lord budda explained damma to many vedic Brahmans to make a point it was India. Further Lord Buddas is believed to have liberated the women from the strict Hindu grasp, which prevailed only in India.
History shows that women in Sri Lanka by the time of Buddas was more dominating, taking the story of Kuveni a chiftain of the past.
Recently a well arguments theory is being discussed to the effect that Lord Buddas was born in Sri Lanka supported by historical based geographical evidence made by certain scholars. I personally believe Lord budda busted Sri Lanka.
Thanks for your post, Justin!
Note pl. with an edition , with an apology. My post appeared with a sentence as at the end " Lord budda busted Sri Lanka" to be changed as "Lord budda visited Sri Lanka." May I be excused for not noting the change made by the system from visited to busted.
Such things happen to everyone. Just like illness, ageing and death. :tongue:
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
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JC938
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Re: Did the Buddha Ever Visit Sri Lanka?

Post by JC938 »

Probably not because it's too far away from north India, and there were no ships to travel from India into Sri Lanka.
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