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The Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
or Deepavamsa (i.e., "Chronicle of the Island"; in Pali: Dīpavaṃsa), is the oldest historical record of Sri Lanka. It means Chronicle of the Island. The chronicle is believed to be compiled from Atthakatha
Atthakatha
and other sources around the 3-4th century. Together with the Mahavamsa, it is the source of many accounts of ancient history of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and India. Its importance resides not only as a source of history and legend, but also as an important early work in Buddhist and Pali
Pali
literature.

Contents

1 Contents 2 Depiction of Buddhist
Buddhist
sects 3 Relationship to the Mahavamsa 4 Translations 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Contents[edit] It is probably authored by several Buddhist
Buddhist
monks of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya in the 3rd-4th century. The preamble begins with "Listen! I shall relate the chronicle of the Buddha's visits to the island, the arrival of the Tooth Relic and the Bodhi
Bodhi
tree, the advent of the Buddha's doctrine, the rise of the teachers, the spread of Buddhism
Buddhism
in the island and the coming of Vijaya the Chief of Men".[1] Dhatusena of Anuradhapura
Dhatusena of Anuradhapura
(5th century) had ordered the Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
be recited at the Mahinda festival held annually in Anuradhapura. The Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
refers to three visits to the Island by the Buddha, the places being Kelaniya, Deegavapi Raja Maha Viharaya, the place where the Bo-sapling was later planted within the Maha Mewna-uyana (Park) of Anuradhapura. It does not make any mention of the Buddha visiting Adam's Peak. Depiction of Buddhist
Buddhist
sects[edit] Starting with the Dīpavaṃsa in the 4th century, the Theravādins of the Mahāvihāra in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
attempted to identify themselves with the original Sthavira sect of India. The Dīpavaṃsa lauds the Theravāda as a "great banyan tree," and dismissively portrays the other early Buddhist
Buddhist
schools as thorns (kaṇṭaka).[2]

These 17 sects are schismatic, only one is non-schismatic. With the non-schismatic sect, there are eighteen in all. Like a great banyan tree, the Theravāda is supreme, The Dispensation of the Conqueror, complete, without lack or excess. The other sects arose like thorns on the tree. — Dīpavaṃsa, 4.90–91[3]

Relationship to the Mahavamsa[edit] Regarding the Vijaya legend, Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
has tried to be less super-natural than the later work, Mahavamsa
Mahavamsa
in referring to the husband of the Kalinga-Vanga princess, ancestor of Vijya, as a man named Sinha who was an outlaw that attacked caravans en route. In the meantime, Sinha-bahu and Sinhasivali, as king and queen of the kingdom of Lala (Lata), "gave birth to twin sons, sixteen times." The eldest was Vijaya and the second was Sumitta. As Vijaya was of cruel and unseemly conduct, the enraged people requested the king to kill his son. But the king caused him and his seven hundred followers to leave the kingdom, and they landed in Sri Lanka, at a place called Tamba-panni, on the exact day when the Buddha passed into Maha Parinibbana. The Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
gives a fuller account of the arrival of Theri Sangamitta
Sangamitta
(daughter to Asoka), but the epic story of Dutugamunu
Dutugamunu
is treated only briefly, in ten Pali
Pali
stanzas, while the Mahavamsa
Mahavamsa
devoted ten chapters to it. The Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
is considered "source material" to the Mahavamsa. The latter is more coherently organized, and is probably the greatest religious and historical epic in the Pali
Pali
language. The historiography (i.e., the chronology of kings, battles etc.) given in the Mahavamsa, and to that extent in the Dipavasma, are believed to be largely correct from about the time of the death of Asoka.[4][5] Translations[edit] The Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
was translated into English by Hermann Oldenberg in 1879,[6] and B.C. Law in 1947.[7] See also[edit]

History of Sri Lanka Anuradhapura Polonnaruwa Mahavamsa Bodhi
Bodhi
Vamsa

References[edit]

^ Differences between the Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
and the Mahavamsa. ^ Morgan, Diane. Essential Buddhism: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice. 2010. p. 113 ^ Bhikkhu
Bhikkhu
Sujato. Sects & Sectarianism: The Origins of Buddhist Schools. Santi Forest Monastery, 2006. p. i ^ [1] See Geiger's defence of the historicity of the Mahavamsa ^ K. M. de Silva, History of Sri Lanka
History of Sri Lanka
(Penguin) 1995 ^ “The Dîpavaṃsa; an ancient Buddhist
Buddhist
historical record”, edited and translated by Hermann Oldenberg. London, Williams and Norgate, 1879. ^ Law, B. C. (1947). On the Chronicles of Ceylon. Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

External links[edit]

 "Dīpavansa". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

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