Friday, April 12, 2019

Cullavagga, National Museum of Colombo

Cullavagga, National Museum of Colombo
The Ola-Leaf book known as Cullavagga (a part of the Vinaya Pitaka/ one of the three main Buddhist scriptures, written in Pali language) in the library of Colombo National Museum is of great historical interest as it is believed to be the oldest extant (palm-leaf manuscript) found in Sri Lanka (Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018). The manuscript consists of 143 palm-leaves and is in good preservation.

As mentioned in its colophon, this Pali manuscript had been copied by a Buddhist monk named Medhankara Thera of Beligala under the patronage of King Parakramabahu II [(1236-1271 C.E.) Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018]. It has been written in Sinhala characters of the 13th century.

On the recommendation of scholars, this old manuscript was purchased by the museum in 1937 (Rambukwella, 2014).

1) Prematilaka, L., Hewage, R., 2018. A guide to the National Museum, Colombo: Department of National Museum. ISBN: 978-955-578-035-3. p.27.
2) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). p.155.

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This page was last updated on 28 June 2019


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