By Kitsiri Malalgoda

Even if the inhabitants of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) embraces many fans of Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, Buddhists have lengthy constituted the good majority. equally, Buddhism is practiced via the Sinhalese, by way of a long way the biggest ethnic workforce within the country.

For greater than 2,000 years the background of Sinhalese Buddhism has been recorded through priests in a sequence of chronicles. those chronicles encouraged a deep feel of ancient continuity. Mr. Malalgoda has made an in depth learn of the quite contemporary background of Sinhalese Buddhism, in which the classical culture skilled revival and alter in keeping with either inner and exterior pressures.

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Extra resources for Buddhism in Sinhalese Society 1750-1900: A Study of Religious Revival and Change

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22 A justification was nonetheless found in terms of rhe historical circumstances [hat :u onc stage gravely threatened the very existence of Buddhism in Ceylon. C. 's, the whole country was ravaged by an unprecedented famine. lgha were reduced [Q a precarious existence. Some left their monasteries, and certain ot hers were forced [Q go abroad. Since the dhamma (doctrine) w:1S preserved through the 01'31 tradition handed down by the Ja1{lghfl, any threat [Q the Ja1{lgha mean! a threat to the dhamma as well .

L A. ,. CJ HSS. VII (1964 ) 98. In 16}ol . Ihe cx. ffn. bou I 17,000. R. BO

1 8 W hile some liTcrary works, like the Piljiwaliya, were wrinen with the almost exclusive purpose of eulogizing works of merit , the same purJXlsc pervaded many ot her works, like the Mahii/l(JltlJa. Certain laymen , especially those of noble and royal bi rth, kept records known as pujiiia polth{lka ('merit-books') in which t hcir merilOrious deeds were written down. ), fo r insTancc, had such a mcrit-book, which was read to him by his "(Colombo, 19~6), p. 2H. " II>IJ. , p. 2) 2 . S. d An Series (Ncw York , t9~8) .

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