Trip to Katharahgama Part II

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Trip to Kataragama

Part II- Kirivehera Temple and Devalaya

(Visit my previous post for Part I of this post by clicking here)

Kirivehera Stupa

According to the history written down in the Mahawansa Chronicle, by accepting King Mahasen’s invitation, Lord Buddha, followed by 500 Arahant monks visited the King’s Royal Garden named as “Kihirivane” in Sri Lanka. A golden chair had been kept prepared in the middle of the Royal Garden on which the Lord Buddha could sit on and preach a Dhamma Summon (where the stupa is built on now). Additionally, around Lord Buddha’s chair, the King had also taken steps to prepare 500 seats honorably for the arahant monks who had arrived with Lord Buddha to his Royal Garden as per his invitation.

The King too listened to the Dhamma Summon preached by Lord Buddha and attained Sovan State (a stage in the chain of attaining Nibbhana). At the end of the Dhamma Summon, King Mahasen has requested for some memorable treasures which could be used for worshiping purposes by Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha then, has rubbed his hand over his hair and gotten two pieces of hair which was then given to the King. It is believed and also stated in the Mahawansaya Chronicle that the chair as well as the two pieces of hair are kept safe inside Kirivehera Stupa (Pagoda). 

It is also believed that this Stupa comprises of other historical valuables. Long ago, there has been a King known as “Webb” who has tried several times to invade the Kapilavastu Kingdom (the home town of Lord Buddha which is now a part in Northern India). However, due to Lord Buddha’s interference, he has been stopped twice but has found his own way to go ahead with the fight the third time. Although Lord Buddha could have done something more to calm the King down, such as by preaching the Dhamma and help him to purify his thoughts by letting go of the fight, Lord Buddha figured out that the reason why the King tried so hardly to fight with the Kingdom was due to a Karma of the citizens of the Kapilavasthu Kingdom. Just before King Webb could invade into the palace, the relatives of Lord Buddha had made arrangements to send away the most valuable treasures out of the palace for protection. 

The sword (called the “Mangala” sword) that Prince Siddhartha (Lord Buddha’s Royal name before attaining Buddhahood) utilized during his life at the palace was initially sent back to the palace by the Prince through his personal minister when he left the palace to start his journey to find the truth of life at the age of 29. This sword has been kept protected throughout the years by Lord Buddha’s relatives as a memory and a historical valuable. However, there is a belief that this sword was given to one of the persons in the palace for protection and that the so called protector had arrived to Sri Lanka and handed over this sword to King Mahasen for better protection, which had thereafter been kept inside the Stupa while it was constructed by the King together with the two pieces of hair and the golden chair.

Although this Royal Garden was initially known as “Kihiriwane”, it was later renamed as “Kirivehera” as the time passed. These historical valuables bring great importance to this wonderful island and makes it even more beautiful. As a beginner in my journey to become a great traveler someday and find valuable facts about particular landmarks and other places, although I have not yet been capable of visiting every single place I have wished and wanted to so far due to my studies and other reasons, I believe that when you know the historical value of any ancient kingdom in any country that you visit, or any other important place, it is really fun and amazing to visit such places with a good knowledge that you acquired beforehand about the place you visit. It brings more feeling and happiness to be able to learn new things every time you visit somewhere.

It is even more interesting when you get to meet up with someone who has the same passion as you and get to talk and share facts about the places you visited in addition to the beautiful pictures you were capable to capture. However, it is of importance that you remember to protect and keep the places you visit as clean as possible so that the future generations will get to experience the same wonderful feeling you felt when you visited these beautiful places. This is regardless of who you are and where you visit, whether in your own country or otherwise.

There are so many things you see around the temple!

The oil lamp you see next to the stupa. It is lit 365 days!

The beauty of nature which you get to see around the temple is exceptional.

Also note, there so many monkeys on trees around the temple, but they won’t hurt you, they are just watching you ;).

Both are looking at us, do you see the baby monkey?

This is just another part of my visit to Kataragama. There are so many things that I saw on this visit. Therefore, since it is almost impossible to write all of them in one post, I have divided them into parts. This is the second one as you see and thus, the third part which of course is the final one is on its way. Keep in touch! Hope you enjoyed reading this.

(Watch my video for more pictures which I captured on my trip by clicking here, don't forget to subscribe!...)

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