Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Buddhists in Sri Lanka
Weliwita Sri Saranankara thera.jpg
Venerable Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera (1823-1890).jpg
Anagarika Dharmapala.jpg
Brahmachari Walisingha Harischandra (1876-1913).jpg
Official Photographic Portrait of Don Stephen Senanayaka (1884-1952).jpg
Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranayaka (1916-2000) (Hon.Sirimavo Bandaranaike with Hon.Lalith Athulathmudali Crop).jpg
Nissanka Parakrama.jpg
A T Ariyarathna.jpg
Pradeep Nilanga Dela.jpg
Total population
14,222,844 (2012)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Province
 Western 4,288,797
 Southern 2,334,535
 North Western 1,754,424
 Central 1,665,465
 Sabaragamuwa 1,647,462
Religions
Buddhism
Languages
According to the Mahavamsa, the Great Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka (around 140 BCE.).
Avukana Buddha statue from 5th century
Gilded bronze statue of the Tara Bodhisattva, from the Anuradhapura period (8th century)
Bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara. Sri Lanka, ca. 750.
80-foot World's tallest statue of walking Buddha in Pilimathalawa, Kandy[2]

Theravada Buddhism is the religion of 70.2% of the population of Sri Lanka.[3] The island has been a center of Buddhist scholarship and learning since the introduction of Buddhism in the third century BCE producing eminent scholars such as Buddhaghosa and preserving the vast Pāli Canon. Throughout most of its history, Sinhalese kings have played a major role in the maintenance and revival of the Buddhist institutions of the island. During the 19th century, a modern Buddhist revival took place on the island which promoted Buddhist education and learning. There are around 6,000 Buddhist monasteries on Sri Lanka with approximately 15,000 monks.[4]

  1. ^ "A3 : Population by religion according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  2. ^ "World's Tallest Walking Buddha". Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Census of Population and Housing of Sri Lanka, 2012 - Table A4: Population by district, religion and sex" (PDF). Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
  4. ^ Perera, HR, Buddhism in Sri Lanka A Short History, 2007, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/perera/wheel100.html

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