The More Conservative Side Of The Two Major Branches Of Buddhism

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The Ruwanwelisaya Temple in Sri Lanka Theravada is considered to be the more conservative side of the two major branches of Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism developed from the sect called Vibhajjavada that was established in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. Sri Lanka is the oldest continually Buddhist country in the world. Theravada is also the dominantly the main religion in this country, officially introduced in the 2nd century BC by Mahinda the son of the emperor Ashoka. This religion is also in spread throughout Southeast Asian countries that include: Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. During the 1st century during the reign of Vatta Gamini Buddhist monks assembled in Aloka-Vihara and wrote the Tripitaka (The three baskets of…show more content…
This form of Buddhism also focuses on the individual’s enlightenment to become an Arhat which means “worthy one”. An Arhat is a person who realized enlightenment to be freed from the cycle of life and death (Buddhism in Sri Lanka). Standing 300 feet tall and 950 feet in circumference the Ruwanwelisaya is regarded as one of the most important stupas in Sri Lanka, and one of the most sacred places for Buddhists. In 161 BCE the Ruwanwelisaya was built by king Dutugamunu. Sadly the king did not see the end of the stupas construction. The stupa has a statue of the kind outside its doors in memory of king Dutugamunu that began its construction. Latter, Buddha’s relics where sent to the Ruwanwelisaya that include: Buddha’s alms bowl, right collar bone, hair relic, and tooth that is still used for ceremonial purposes in the stupa. This ceremony is called The Festival of the Tooth which is only held on a full moon in August. Until the festival the relics are not to be seen, but covered by beautiful gold shrines with many caskets protecting it. Buddhist monks, and guards keep the relics of Buddha safe from any threat (Buddhism in Sri Lanka) This tour of the stupa was virtual because it is in Sri Lanka. The Ruwanwelisaya is a circular drum on a square base with a long square succession off of the top of the dome. This structure is very sacred to Buddhists around the world because it architecturally entails Buddha’s teachings. Its dome
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