Muthiyangana Vihara, Sri Lanka
At the southern end of Badulla stands the
Muthiyangana Vihara whose origins date back 5th Century BC. Buddha is
believed to have visited Lanka for the third time, on the eighth year
following the supreme enlightenment. King Indaka of pre-historic
(meaning prior to our recorded history) tribe Deva (one of the three
tribes believed have inhabited Lanka, the other tribes being Yakka &
Naga) built Muthiyangana stupa at the location where Buddha is believed
to have made the sermons. The stupa was developed into a temple complex
by a succession of Sinhalese kings commencing from
King Devanam Piya Tissa
(307-266 BC), The Deer Hunter, the first Sinhalese convert to Buddhism.
Dragon Arch at the entrance
The ancient Makara Torana (Dragon Arch) hasn't been dated. Mythological
figures Vamana (a non-human ape like tribe believed have existed in
India), Lion like beasts; bulls with very prominent humps decorate an
arch unlike any other in Lanka.
Main Image House
Once again at the entrance to main image house (the house of status) is
a colourful dragon arch with a statue of Maitree Bodhisattva, the next
Buddha to be, according to the Mahayana Buddhism. The past Buddhas were
Kakusanda, Konagama, Kassapa & Gauthama.
Guardian of the Muthiyangana
To the right of the image house is a statue of god Indaka, the guardian
deity of Namunukula mountain range & Muthiyanga. Following his death,
king Indaka of Naga tribe was elevated to a deity (most possibly, a
superior being in another planet in cosmos) by virtue of his meritorious
deeds. That is action & reaction. Lovely.
The stupa enshrines Sacred Kesha Datu, a lock of pure & blue-black,
(Perhaps such could be the colour of the hair of an Asian man of perfect
of health & purest of thought. Then again medieval Sinhalese poetry
praising lissom women of matchless grace never fail to emphasise the
colour of hair as bluish black) & Mutukuda datu (solidified sweat) of
Buddha. The present 65m tall stupa with a diameter of 90m is a
reconstruction of the original stupa. The moonstone at the entrance to
the stupa is of Anurdadhapura Era.
The first Bo tree in to the temple complex called Maliyadeva bodhi is
believed to be exact location where the last Maha Arhath (the
enlightened one, who has broken free from the cycle of suffering of
birth, & rebirth) Maliyadeva made the sermons on his visit to
Muthiyangana. The second, Ananda Bodhi is believed to be brought from
Jetavanarama in India. The third, Dethispala Sri Maha Bodhi was planted
by King Devanam Piya
Tissa.This is one of the 32 Bo trees originated
from Sri Maha bodhi tree at
Anuradhapura. It is well protected by the
original fence & another newly built gold plated fence.
on photo to enlarge