Fruits of an intellectual struggle | Daily News

Fruits of an intellectual struggle

Northern Sri Lanka is said to have been blessed by Thathagatha the perfect one with the outcome of his intellectual struggle - the absolute truth of life during the month of Bak.

Dhamma chronicles reveal that he diverts his divine eye, a countless number of times on the lives of countless beings and their journey in the sea of Sansara, to come to their aid and relieve them of their suffering.

This is said to be his daily routine. In the fifth year of his supreme enlightenment, while he was at Jetavanarama, Sri Lanka had caught his divine eye. He could see a great disaster in Northern Sri Lanka. The Buddha with his wealth of Metta arrived in Nagadeepa to settle a dispute, an event of great historical importance.

Divine Vision

His divine vision attracted his attention to avert the human destruction resulting from a war between Mahodara and Chulodara, uncle and nephew who were at loggerheads over the ownership of a gem studded throne. Mahodara a powerful King in Nagadeepa whose younger sister named Thirachchika married a Naga King had been offered the above throne which was later inherited by her son Chulodara.

The raging King was about to wage war when Thathagatha appeared immediately which happened to be the month of Bak. Here the inhabitants who belonged to various tribes such as Yakka and Naga, Naga being more advanced in trade and industry supporting the Naga Kings with their rough behaviour and poor intellect though opposed the Buddha at the beginning, they did have the good fortune to be blessed with the message of the Dhamma.

Rajayathana Kiripalu Rukha

A deity named Samiddhi Sumana who had made the above banyan tree his abode, in Jetavana accompanied Thathagatha holding the uprooted tree as an umbrella to him, who knew that it was a merit bestowing act to the deity.

On arrival seeing the Naga Kings involved in fighting, Sakyamuni with his psychic powers appeared above, in the sky performing miracles which made the Nagas astonished and happy. Finally having listened to the sermons displaying the masterly knowledge of unity and harmony, meththa and compassion they worshipped Thathagatha with overwhelming shraddah and within minutes the throne was offered to him in unison and became pious devotees thereafter.

The Naga King Maniakkitha, the ruler of Kelaniya who had become a follower of the Buddha during his first visit to Mahiyangana, while on his way to help Chulodara Mahodara in the battle ground, moved by the compassion of the Buddha thanked him profusely for settling the dispute. He further pleaded for a souvenir to worship and consequently the Buddha offered him the Kiripalu tree and the throne. History says that where Kiripaluruka was planted a Chetiya was built enshrining the Minipalanga by Chulodara and Mahodara.

Nagadeepa Seya

The temple premises with its glittering dagaba bear testimony to Thathgatha blessings. This above mentioned Chaitya, Nagadeepa Seya is supposed to be one of the 16 most sacred places to be worshipped in Sri Lanka. This is a milestone in Sasanic history and is of considerable historic value and immense cultural significance.

History records that it was developed and reconstructed by pious Kings like Devanampiyatissa, Dutugemunu and converted into a fully accomplished sacred place. According to the golden Sannasa Wallipuram committed to writing during the reign of King Vasabha, it is the present Jaffna peninsula that was identified as Nagadeepa.

Invitation to Thathagatha

When King Maniakkitha met Thathagatha on his second visit to Lanka at Nagadeepa he was very anxious that the great master, visit his kingdom too. With universal love towards all beings he arrived at Kelaniya later in the eighth year of his enlightenment. This honoured invitation had been made on a Bak full moon day, paving way for the third visit of the Buddha to this Dharmadweepa. There is other evidence which highlight the importance of Buddha’s visit to Nagadeepa during the month of Bak. Surrounding areas bear testimony to this. To show profound religious devotion and respect to Thathagatha, devotional activities include, the offering of flowers, incense and oil lamps coming down from Buddha times to this day. These offerings are made as a mark of gratitude in return for Buddha’s blessings.

It is believed that villages in and around Nagadeepa known as ‘Mallakam’ and ‘Chunnakam’ indicate places where flowers and incense were supplied for the worship of the Buddha. Further, the Buddhist chronicles make mention of ‘Puwangu Divayina, Ka-ara Divayina, Manda Divayina’ as popular Buddhist villages in the area, entirely devoted to Buddhist activities.

One can well and truly say that Nagadeepa the most favoured spot visited and blessed by Buddha occupies a unique place in the history of the island as a blissful place showered with peace and harmony among the inhabitants. May the relics enshrined in the Chetiya usher the area with unity for the peaceful co-existence of all beings.