Friday, July 16, 2021

Ratmalana Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena

Not to be confused with Parama Dhamma Nivesa Pirivena

Ratmalana Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Ratmalana in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The Buddhist monk Walane Siddhartha Thera established this temple in 1841 (Goonatilake, 2004; Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). With the help of local donors such as Don Karolis Lekham Ralahami, the temple gradually became a prominent Pirivena (a centre of learning) for Buddhist monks (Manathunga, 2016). Several buildings were added to the temple from time to time such as an Awasa-ge (monks' dwelling) in 1861, a Patimaghara (image house) in 1890, a Bana Maduwa (Dhamma preaching hall) in 1892, and a Stupa in 1928 (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The Bana Maduwa is said to have been built by the King of Cambodia who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1892 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). In 1911, the name of the Pirivena was changed from "Parama Dhamma Chetiyaramaya Pirivena" to "Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena" (Manathunga, 2016). A library and a new image house were added to the temple in 1961 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Several scholarly Buddhist monks such as Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera (1827-1911), Ratmalane Dhammaloka Thera (1828-1887), Suriyagoda Sonuttara Thera (1879-1939), and Veedurupola Piyatissa Thera (1888-1954) are said to be old students of this temple (Goonatilake, 2004; Manathunga, 2016; Paranavitana, 1983). Of them, Hikkaduwe Sumangala Thera established the Vidyodaya Pirivena at Maligakanda in 1873 and Ratmalane Dhammaloka Thera established Vidyalankara Pirivena at Peliyagoda in 1875 (Goonatilake, 2004; Paranavitana, 1983).

The Buddha image
A standing Buddha statue which is said to have been discovered from the Kumburulena area in Kurunegala is presently preserved in the image house of this temple (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The statue is about 6.5 ft. in height and is believed to be a work of the Anuradhapura Period (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

The two seated statues of Buddha that are placed on either side of this standing statue are said to have been donated to this temple by a Myanmar queen Sin Dan Basa in 1891 (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

References
1) Goonatilake, S., 2004. Pānadurā Vādaya and Its Consequences: Mischievous Association with Fundamentalism. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 49, pp.87-118.
2) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.95. 
3) Paranavitana, K.D., 1983. Scholar monks of the nineteenth century and the tragic transformation of the high priest Ven. Kapugama Dhammakkhanda Thero. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka Branch, 28, pp.123-164.
4) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.57.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 11 October 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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