(24) When it was time to go to the Buddhist country of Sri Lanka, I spent three weeks touring the sacred sites of Buddhism! Days when I felt the difference from Japanese Buddhism

Sri Lanka Buddhist Columns & Dharma Talks

Travels in India and Sri Lanka (24)
Three Weeks in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist Country, to Visit Sri Lanka's Sacred Sites Days when I felt the difference between Japanese Buddhism and Sri Lankan Buddhism

My trip to India, which began at the end of October, has come to a successful conclusion. After visiting Khajuraho, Saanchi, Mumbai, Ajanta, and Ellora, I headed for my next destination, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is an island nation just a stone's throw from the southern tip of India. It is about four-fifths the size of Hokkaido and has a population of about 20 million.

Arriving at Bandaranaike International Airport after a flight from Mumbai.

I don't know why, but the moment I stepped off the ramp, I felt a distinctly different atmosphere than in India. I am not sure why, but as soon as I stepped off the ramp, I felt a distinctly different atmosphere from that of India.

The fact that we arrived in Sri Lanka in the evening meant that we decided to stay at a hotel near the airport instead of heading to the city center.

Driving along the road from the airport to the hotel, I noticed immediately that no one was honking. No one sounded the horn. The Indian chaos was absent here. Moreover, as I looked out the window of the car, I noticed that there was hardly any garbage on the ground. Yes, the buildings may be old, but the city itself is clean. I felt as if I had been reminded of the difference between India and Sri Lanka in just ten minutes on the road.

Good one Sri Lanka. This is promising. I'm sure I'll be able to make it all the way to the end.

The view from the hotel was truly a tropical resort. I was also excited by the atmosphere, which was clearly different from what I had seen in India before.

Now, over the next three weeks, we will be touring almost all of Sri Lanka, visiting Buddhist holy sites.

We monks have an image of Sri Lanka as a country with a strong Buddhist faith, but it may be difficult for many people to have a clear image of Sri Lanka.

Here is my favorite guidebook on Sri Lanka, written by Akiko Ishino.Sri Lanka, the Island of Splendor! Sri Lanka, the Island of SplendorI would like to quote its commentary from

Sri Lanka was ranked the "No. 1 country to visit in 2019" by the world's most read guidebooks. But in Japan, there is really only a handful of information about Sri Lanka. Since it used to be called Ceylon, people may have an image of Ceylon tea or the country of tea.

But despite being a small island nation, Sri Lanka has more to offer than just tea. In the Sinhala language of Sri Lanka, "Sri" means "shining" and "Lanka" means "island. Sri Lanka is an island treasure chest filled with a wealth of nature, traditional Ayurvedic medicine, wonderful architecture both old and new, a deep culinary culture, and people who smile shyly at you when they see you. ...... Sri Lanka.

Since the end of the long civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been shining even brighter. In contrast, the new Sri Lanka is evolving in its own unique way, absorbing new cultures that flow in from around the world. Both attract people from all over the world.

Akiko Ishino, Ikaros Publishing Co! To Sri Lanka, the Island of Radiance" P2
Sri Lanka
Places of interest in Sri Lanka

What do you think? It is true that Sri Lanka is a fascinating country.

The miraculous land environment of this country, about 80% the size of Hokkaido, is home to a variety of climates and abundant nature, as well as a compact collection of World Heritage sites. Moreover, in urban Colombo, modern culture has developed, and food, fashion, and relaxation are attractive.

Colombo, the largest city in Sri LankaWikipedia.

No wonder this was chosen as one of the "Countries to Visit in 2019".

So now Sri Lanka has become a tourist destination of global interest.

Unfortunately, for me, Sri Lanka is more than just a sparkling resort.

I have been studying Sri Lanka from a Buddhist perspective.

And while studying Sri Lankan Buddhism, I also became keenly interested in the country's civil war and began to see Sri Lanka in terms of colonialism, world trade, and nationalism.

In other words, for me, Sri Lanka is a countryAnyway, it's heavy.The "one" is the one that is the most important.

You may wonder why I am traveling around Sri Lanka with such a serious face. I will tell you about this in the places I am going to see.

Of course, Sri Lanka is a wonderful country. I would heartily recommend it for an overseas trip. I myself am one of those who have experienced firsthand the charm of this country. I am not faking that feeling.

But Sri Lanka has a very important significance for "Buddhism for me". I have no choice but to take it seriously.

In the future, I will have to say things that may possibly offend the people of Sri Lanka. But that is just my personal opinion. I am not denying the history or culture of Sri Lanka. I am a Japanese Jodo Shinshu priest, and I am only honestly expressing what I think about Sri Lanka itself and Sri Lankan Buddhism.

As a monk, or rather as a student of Buddhism, I want to seriously confront this through Sri Lanka.

I can't just say, "Oh, well. This is a serious matter of what is the difference between my belief in Buddhism and that of Sri Lanka. That is why I read Sri Lankan literature voraciously before my trip to Sri Lanka. The following article introduces some of the books I recommended, and I would be happy if you could refer to them if you are interested.

Let us now begin our journey in Sri Lanka. Our first destination is Mihintale, the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

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