Library, Buddhism school at Bogahawatte temple
It was around 155 AD. A young energetic horsemen dressed like a prince gallops through a path of a thick jungle near Kothmale. He stopped near a tree & remove his royal dress, hide them with his ROYAL SWARD inside a hole in the tree & wore like a normal country youth. Just hit the horse & said “Go back”. Started walk toward the Village near.More Detail
He was none other than Prince Gamini, later crowned as “King Dutugemunu” in Sri Lanka. What was he doing in Kothmale? He had escaped from his Farther after the famous quarrel with him over the prevailed Tamil conflict in Anuradhapura. Those days even a Sinhalese Prince escaped for protection to these Areas, Upcountry of Sri Lanka, and a safe heaven to any Sinhalese. Would it be still possible a native Sinhalese Buddhist countryman can survive or living in these areas?
It has to be noted that the South Indians were looking at Sri Lanka via their greedy eyes and they have appointed a chieftain called ‘Elara’ among the illegal migrants in Sri Lanka in Dutugamunu’s time. Elara mainly ruled at the area surrounded by Anuradhapura with the support of unpatriotic Sinhalese people even on those days.
King Dutugamunu later united the Sinhalese under one flag and eventually was able to take the country under his full command.
The picture shows a statue of King Dutugemunu near Ruwanweliseya at Anuradhapuraya
Long time back after the era of King Dutugamunu, the South Indian problem again sneaked in to Sri Lanka in another manifestation. It was at British colonial period when the paid laborers brought from South India for Tea cultivation. Those paid laborers had given the citizenship in Sri Lanka in various stages from the colonial period to the post colonial period with the expectation that they would absorb in to the Sri Lankan identity. Not only it never happened but also they started harassing the native Sinhalese in the upcountry area in a most clannish way with the blessings of distorted Sri Lankan politics.
These problems have well aware by many Sinhalese via the events happened such as in Bindunuweva incident. As a token of recognition of the rights of Sinhalese in upcountry, the Helabima organization has launched a housing project in Thalawakele area in which to support the war heroes.
The story of Bogahawatte area unfolded when some of Helabima members traveled to see this particular Housing project with Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thero.
The time was closed to 1200 hrs. Ven Thero needed to have Dana (Alms) before 1200 hrs. They stopped several locations to find a proper restaurant where a Buddhist monk can take his alms with Buddhist customs but failed. Whatever the eating places were belong to the Tamil owner whom does not give a due regard to a Buddhist monk (Just a white cloth on the chair) as in any other part in Sri Lanka but merely having the rude manners with the rage and suspicion look at the Thero. Finally they reached to Bohahawattha where they heard some Sinhalese people were living the particular area. At last and with many difficulties, they found a Hotel with load Buddha’s statue which hints the hotel belongs to a Buddhist who provide the correct atmosphere to a Buddhist monk to have his alms. It was the only restaurant in whole area which belongs to a Buddhist. Ven Thero entered to the small restaurant.
Just after several minutes a very strange thing happened as the hotel was get filled by a crowd of people. Helabima members were alerted & searched whether any Tamils started an incident to harm the Thero. It was not.
After Ven Thero visited to the restaurant the news was flashed around the area & most of the Buddhists ran to the hotel to see “A Buddhist monk”; a rare scene; a sacred scene! It has happened in Sri Lanka which recognized as a Buddhist country. The villagers said they do not have a temple near by. At least to give “Pansakulaya” (A commemorative Buddhist custom when someone died.) they have to invite a Ven Thero from Thalawakele.
The LTTE terrorism is just not only in the North of Sri Lanka but the Central Hill Country too. They have successfully taken the Tamil youths under their control to spread the germ of racism. The Sinhalese cannot build any Buddhist temple in these areas, as the Tamils inspired by the racism would burn it.
Thalawakele town (near to Kothmale) is dominated by the estate Tamil workers. The Buddhists in this area several time had attempted to build a statue of load Buddha, but all these attempts in vain due to the fierce resistance lighted up by Tamil Terrorism, simply they appear from nowhere & destroys it. No action taken from the authorities due to the influence of powerful Tamil political figures in upcountry.
Under the circumstances, Helabima organization committed to build a temple in Bohahawattha Village near Thalawakele under any cost. It had been blessed by many patriotic Sinhalese people and ultimately the dream of the people in Bogahawatte became true.
Helabima with the help of Ven. Medagama Dhammananda of Asgiriya Viharaya Kandy & Ven Middeniye Soratha Thero, found a place to build a temple in Bogahawaththa. Helabima has Paid Rs 350,000 Rs (Approximately 3500 USD) for the Land. The Temple is completed with a cost of 25,000,00 Rs (Approximately 25000 USD) and opened in 21 st of May, 2005.
The steps to the temple from the road.
Looking in to the Vihara geya from the proposed site for the Chaitya to Bogahawaththa. It was ‘Herculean task’ to complete the temple as many practical problems such as transport in difficult terrain had to overcome.
After passing Ginigathhena, till entered Thalawakele, you will not see any Buddhist Temples despite many Buddhist people living in the areas. Bogahawatta situated around four Kilometers away from Thalawakele. The people been cursed by not only with the Tamil terrorism but also the unethical Catholic conversations. Tendency of those conversations were relatively easy because there is no
religious gathering centre. The only temple they had in Thalawakele town. Ven Middeniye Soratha Thero resided in the temple said that while they come to the temple those villagers used to get a “pottuwa” (a mark made by clay and ash) on their forehead as they are going to Kovil, before the temple.
This is a clear indication of the “Tamilization” in the area just as it happened in North and East of Sri Lanka for years under the usual secular way of Tamil society.
There is a significant observation in the ‘Daham Pasala’ (Buddhism school for the children in the temple) as many Tamil children are coming to study the Buddhism. Many Tamils living in the area finally realized the peaceful and ethical way of the Buddhism and the result was they started supporting the temple thus well maintaining the religious and ethical harmony.
Had it not been without the continuous support of the members, this success of Helabima organization would never have achieved.
We kindly request you to continue supporting in the project as the Chittyaa (Buddhist Pagoda) still needs to be completed.