[INDOLOGY] Buddha's visit to Lanka

Bradley Clough bclough9377 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 13:59:30 UTC 2020

Yes, the matter of Mahinda's mission to Sri Lanka is a separate one, to at
least some extent, from the  "coming of the Buddha" to the island of Sri
Lanka as described in the Dipavamsa.

I suppose some of Alakendu's (if I may) questions could begin to be
answered by consulting the text of the Dipavamsa itself, which is available
here (in Pali and Hermann Oldenberg's English translation):


It describes the Buddha making several visits to (Sri) Lanka, by means of
the supernormal powers he has attained through meditation. The primary
reason is said to be destruction of various demonic forces there, so that
the doctrine and path may be established there. The Buddha also predicts
the eventual arrival of Mahinda's mission, so this is where that event ties

As I understood your initial question, Alakendu (again, if I may), you were
asking if there is any "proof" of these visits besides this textual
account. I think it is safe to say that the scholarly consensus is "no".
However, I suppose there are scholars--and here we get into interesting and
important (at least to me!) issues of etic versus emic perspectives and
modern scholarship's attitudes towards the "miraculous"--for whom the
textual accounts and phenomenon like the supposed "footprint" on Sri
Pada/Adam's Peak would constitute some kind of valid evidence.

Brad Clough

On Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 11:57 PM alakendu das via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> I once again thank Prof.Kapstein,Prof.Jonathan Silk and Prof.Clough for
> elaborating on this topic, an answer to which I was searching for long.
> However,I  trying to evaluate the word"DipAgamanam Buddhassa" ,as found in
> Dipavamsa.Etymologically the word means, -Dipa=Island
>                 Agamanam=Coming of.
>                  Buddhassa= Buddha's.
> which literally translate as-The coming of Buddha to the Island.
> In this context, I was going through an article written in 1926 by reputed
> Indian scholar Haraprasad Shastri from where I find that Buddha, during his
> lifetime, extensively visited the Nepal- bordering Eastern, and Northern
> part of India.Nothing has been mentioned regarding his visits to Southern
> peninsular India, or crossing the Bay of Bengal to reach Ceylone(present
> day Sri Lanka).I am not sure whether any other secondary source exists
> Precisely, that is the reason why the word "Buddhassa DipAgamanam "
> appears intriguing to me . Does it indicate the àdvent of Buddhism to
> Lanka?I keep my fingers crossed.
> because  in that case, the word"Buddhassa"  seems to be out of place
> The arrival  of Emperor Ashoka's son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra
> with 7 nuns happened much later, in 3rd BCE, while Gautam Buddha thrived in
> 6th BCE.
> Alakendu Das.
> Sent from RediffmailNG on Android
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