S. Mahinda Thero Musium
A child was born around 1901 in Sikkim in Tibet and named as Pempa Tendupi Serky Cherin. Serky received a scholarship, with an annual allowance of six rupees, to study Buddhism in Ceylon and arrived there in 1912 or 1914. The child had been supervised by the famous Gnanaloka Thero a German national at a temple in Polgasduwa in southern Ceylon. He was then sent to the Vidyodaya Pirivena in Maradana, and admitted to a school there to learn English. After this, he returned to the temple in Polgasduwa, and learned Sinhala and Pali languages., His mentor Gnanaloka, a German national, was arrested With the outbreak of World War I. By being Gnanaloka thero was a German, S. Mahinda Thero was also interned twice by the British government prevailed in Sri Lanka. He was later ordained into the Amarapura Nikaya as Sikkim Mahinda, although he used his name as S. Mahinda. He was re-ordained into the Shyamopali Nikaya on 16 June 1930, and obtained Upasampada later that year. He identified himself as a Tibetan, presumably because it was better known in Ceylon and was a leading Buddhist country in Asia. S.Mahinda Thera served as a teacher at Nalanda College, Colombo from 1934 to 1936. S. Mahinda soon became fluent in the Sinhala language, and established himself as a poet and author. He has written over 40 books, most of them poems inspiring patriotism. His first book was Ova Muthu Dama, written around 1921 and his final book is believed to be Sri Pada. In his works, he has focused on the past glory of the country and the weaknesses of its people in the present, urging them to work towards their freedom. He also wrote several books for children as well, and in these too he has tried to inspire patriotism upon the reader.His most famous works includeNidahase Dehena, Nidahase Manthraya, Lanka Matha, Jathika Thotilla, Ada Lak Mawage Puttu, Nidahasa, Videshikayakugen Lak Mawata Namaskarayak and Sinhala Jathiya. He was also a member of the temperance movement as the basis for the independence movement of Sri Lanka. After the country gained independence in 1948, he was acknowledged as a national hero for his literary works inspiring the independence movement. He died on 16 May 1951.
A short verse from one of the most famous poetry written by Mahinda Thero:
නිදහස මහා මුහුදක් වේ
එහි උල්පත පුතා නුඹ වේ
ඒ බව සිහිකොට මෙලො වේ
යුතුකම ඉටු කල යුතු වේ
To appreciate and respect the thero’s undying work in favour of the freedom in Sri Lanka as well as renew his efforts of inspiring the Sinhalese nation again by his patriotic poems, the Helabima organization has opened a museum on his name at the temple called Weeragaha temple in Alubomulla at Panadura-Horana main road. He had been stayed till his demise at this temple.
Helabima organization kindly request all patriots visiting this museum to mark this great thero’s duty towards Sri Lanka and appreciate his poems, books. The museum consists of the utensils like the thero’s pen, torch, table, his writings etc. As mentioned earlier, S. Mahinda Thero was lived in Sri Lanka through the turbulent times of two World Wars. The time and the society was a boiling pot of a resurgence of the freedom struggle having sectional, regional and ideological differences. The involvement of the lay people was still hesitant with too many distractions, from famine to wars, leaving the movement uninspired as much as in invoking Lankan pride to marshal mass support was concerned. At around this juncture, S. Mahinda's Thero’s patriotism-fuelfed poetry started getting published and were soon being picked up by leaders of the freedom struggle for wider circulation of the inspiring verses. S. Mahinda's poetry consistently sought out inherent instincts of nationalism and faith and commandeered these to address the need for the people to stand up and claim their freedom. We are in a similar junction where the Sinhalese Buddhist values are fast diminishing and it is a duty to convey the essence of Mahinda Thero’s poetry especially to our children . It is notable that the Thero’s iron-will have made a significant change in the Sri Lanka society in past. The motive of making the museum by Helabima organization is to use the same approach by spread his work; in order to reverse the shattering of the Sinhalese Buddhists society in Sri Lanka. The museum is a green building having all the electrical utilities run by solar energy funded by Helabima organization. The other speciality is the building is with the compliance with the facilities for the disable people to visit the same. This facility made especially to respect the disabled soldiers who have been sacrificed their limbs in the separatist war.