By Kitsiri Malalgoda

Even supposing the inhabitants of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) embraces many fans of Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, Buddhists have lengthy constituted the nice majority. equally, Buddhism is practiced through the Sinhalese, through a ways the biggest ethnic crew within the country.

For greater than 2,000 years the background of Sinhalese Buddhism has been recorded via priests in a chain of chronicles. those chronicles encouraged a deep feel of historic continuity. Mr. Malalgoda has made an in depth research of the fairly contemporary historical past of Sinhalese Buddhism, in which the classical culture skilled revival and alter in line with either inner and exterior pressures.

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N ignoI1lnt or immOI1l. I priest wouldn't ! pin the distinction o r the :. r. ffcccion of t he humans upon whose ch:1riry he subsists. The Ka ndpn priesthood, 00 the opposite hand, is supported by way of the produce of the royal benefactions and endowments, and lead a lifetime of arcless and sensual ... religio n. every one pries! seems to be upon his viMrc as his inner most estate, and considers that thc choices of the folk and the produce of the l:1nds :1re to be dcyoted to his own amusement. the result's that t he temples are;lll in a rui nous kingdom, and the lands arc being gnduaIl Y:1lien:1ted. 20 This used to be, obviously, :1 brood generalization, and of course it truly is n ot freed from the umitations o f this sort of gen eralization. but, as :1 gen cI1I. l ization, it was once still legitimate, and has the aid o f a substantial quantity of alternative sixteen 1Upcrt of1M o. ",;U;lIt/trJ .. ppoi",td 10 ''''I";'' ;,,10 1M """';";i"rJ{il;tJ (S. P. XVIII; 1876). pp. viii_ix. ""'" ptwlm. """ " s«u. m. -~. PI' l H - 127. 19 S« ~bovc. pp. 8-9. '" L F. 1. «,' Ann lUl file On ,he Kcgal Ll Di stoa·. tfthrU~iPr"I;"" Rtpom : 1811. DECLINE OR REVIVAL? 179 facts. for example, essentially each witness- lay and cleric, Kand yan and low-counrry-who seemed ahead of the Buddhist T empornlicies fee in 1876, n:stificd to the ' wo rldliness' of the Kandyan priests and to their mismanagement of monastic estate and to rhe overlook of thei r (:ducational tasks. C. B. Dunuwille, the Diyavaqana N ilame (Chief Lay Custodian) of the Temple of the T ooth Relic, while he was once requested, ' D o you think about that the clergymen overlook their responsibility? ' answered: ' certain; the Temples have been bui lt and the lands have been granted to them for the aim of learning and instructing faith either to the pricsts and the laity, which tasks are actually utterl y ignored, the clergymen utilising their time in different goals, equivalent to exchange and the administration of temporal affairs of the temple'. 21 Dull~ve Loku Bary. qa (grandson of the D isava of Valapanc who signed the Kandyan Convendon), presidenT of the Village Tribunals of M;itale North, acknowledged : 'There is facts of the upkeep of colleges hooked up to temples in historical past and within the reminiscence of the folks. this tradition has now been deserted. i personally lcarnt my alphabet in Ehclapola pansala with approximately twenty different boys. Now there is not any one.... I learnt Sinhalese in Kandyat Korugoddla Vihare. there is not any longer any educating there'. n Even the 2 hig hest faculties, Mal vatta and Asgiriya, weren't unaffected via this common decline, Rambukvalll? Sonuttara of Malvarre Vih are testified : 'Six of the twenty monks of the Malwane Vihare be aware of Pali, and of the twenty monks at Asgiria purely 3. within the Ka ndyan occasions it was once very infrequent for someone of those monks to be blind to Pali '. 23 Ocarly, so far as the temples in and arou nd Kandy have been con cerned , the stipulations depicted via T u m our in 1837 did nor live on within the nex t iteration. 24 the main revealing during this connection , probably, used to be the proof of the leadi ng low-country monk, Hikkaquvl?

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