Baghawa Lena (Diva Guhawa) in Sri Pada Mountain (ශ්‍රී පාද කන්දේ භගවා ලෙණ)

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Diva Guhava is the only place of Solosmasthana which has not been properly identified. It is said in Mahavamsa, that after preaching dhamma to the deity Sumana Saman at Sri Pada mountain, he spent the day in the Diva Guhava Cave on the side of this mountain.

During his lifetime, Buddha visited the island of Sri Lanka three times. These visits are described in detail in the Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, and in ancient writings such as Pujavaliya, Samantapasadika, and Buthsarana also mention these visits. These sixteen places hallowed by Buddha are collectively called Solosmasthana.

The First visit of Buddha was in the 9th month after the attainment of his Enlightenment, the Buddhahood to Mahiyangana. This was to stop a war between Yaksha and Naga tribes. Mahavamsa says that he conquered the yakshas there and sent them to an island named Giri, thereby setting the background for the establishment of Buddhism in the country later on, where the Buddha knew that the Dhamma would prevail “in all its glory”.

The Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka was made to Nagadipa in the fifth year after attaining enlightenment, where he settled a dispute between Naga kings Chulodara and Mahodara regarding a jewel-studded chair. In the eighth year after enlightenment, the Buddha made his third and final visit to the country accompanied by 500 bhikkhus. This visit was to Kelaniya and was due to an invitation by a Naga king named Maniakkika, who had asked the Buddha to come to his kingdom during the previous visit.

The Buddha visited the dwelling of the Sumana Saman at Samanthakuta (now known as Sri Pada Mountain) whom he had met during the first visit to Mahiyangana.

Current opinions of Diva Guhava are focussed on 3 locations. The first one is the cave known as Bhagawa Lena below the Sri Pada Summit. The other popular belief is that the Batathota Cave is the Diva Guhava mentioned in ancient texts. This cave lies in Erathana in Ratnapura off the Sri Pada route and is very popular among tourists as well as pilgrims. The third belief is Diva Guhava lies in the ancient monastery complex of Kuragala.

The Baghawa Lena cave lies hidden in the jungles about 100 meters below the summit of Sri Pada mountain on the Hatton path and is not a place that pilgrims frequently visit.

In 1942, Pandita Kirielle Gnanawimala Thero, who researched the historical and prehistoric places and ruins of Sabaragamuwa commented on this cave in his book ‘Saparagamuwe Parani Liavili’ in 1942. “When you descend about 300 feet along Hatton Road from Siripa Maluwa, on the left side of the path is a beautiful rock cave eight and a half feet high, twenty-five feet long and widened by digging a part with the same amount of space. At the invitation of the deity Sumana, the Tathagata, who placed the Siripa mark on the Saman Kuta, spent the day in this rock cave, which is not far from the foot of the rock.”

Inscriptions of Baghawa Lena

King Nissanga Malla (1187-1196) of Polonnaruwa Kingdom visited the holy mountain of Sri Pada in the 9th year of his reign. On this visit, he left two inscriptions and a line sketch of himself at this cave. Close to this inscription, an Arabic inscription too can be seen.

The smaller inscription (10×9 inches) near the line sketch describes the sketch as King Nissanka Malla visiting Sri Pada.

  1. නිශ්ශං
  2. ක පරාක්‍රමබාහු
  3. හු චක්‍රවර්තී
  4. ස්වාමීන්වහන්
  5. සෙ පදලසදා
  6. වැඳ බැස සිටි
  7. නියා යි
(Gnanawimala, 1942)

The larger inscription is 5’6″x1’10” in size with 14 lines. This describes his rule, receiving of honours, his meritious deeds, worship of Sri Pada, and re-confirmation of the donations by King Vijayabahu of villages such as Ambagamuwa and Keselgamuwa.

  1. ශ්‍රී විරුද රාජ වීර වෙශ්‍යාභුජඟ නිශ්ශංක ලංකෙ [ශ්වර කාලිඟව] ක්‍රවර්තීන් වහන්සෙ
  2. සිරිලක එක්සත් කොටැ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  6. . . . . . . . . . බැවින් යුධාශායෙන් . . . . . . . . . . . . . . දඹදිව වැඩි කල්හි . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  7. හස්ත්‍යශවාදී අය ද සොලී රටින් එවූ පඬුරු ද ගෙනැදෙව කුල මෙ දි තුලාභාර නැගී නන්දෙසෙනා ආ
  8. දිළිඳුන් සිත්පුරා දී නිශ්ශංකෙ ශවරයැ යන දේවාලයක් ද නංවා ලග්දිවූ වැඩ තුන් රජයෙහි නො
  9. එක්තන්හි ද කාලිඟ රට පාඬි රට සොලීරට ද සත්‍ර නංවා නො එක් යාචකයන් . . . . . . . . . . . . . . රන්ව
  10. ළන් රිදී වලන් දන් දී නව වනු නවයැ පුනු පොහොයැ සම නොළ වැ ඩෑ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [පසුව]
  11. ණි රජතමාලායෙන් ද නවරත්නයෙන් ද මළුව සාදා සහ වොටුණු රජ බරණින් සෑදී වැඳ . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  12. . . . . . පූර්වරාජයන් දවස් අපවත් වූ මෙහි බද පළමු කුසලාන්ව ආ අඹ ගමු කෙ . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  13. තැන් පෙර පරිද්දෙන් සිටුවා මෙතුවාක් තැනට කාත් විසින් උද්ධරණයක් නොකරනු කොට . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  14. ලෙඛයයි
(Gnanawimala, 1942)

References

  • Gnanawimala, K. (1942) සපරගමූවේ පැරණි ලියවිලි . Colombo, Sri Lanka: Kirielle J. M. Samarakoon Bandara.
  • Geiger, W. and Bode, M.H. (1912) The Mahavamsa or the Great Chronicle of Ceylon Translated Into English. London: Henry Frowde Oxford University Press, Amen Corner, E.C.

Also See

  • Solosmasthana – The Sixteen Buddhist Sacred Sites hallowed by Buddha

Map of Baghawa Lena (Diva Guhawa) in Sri Pada Mountain

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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Travel Directions to Baghawa Lena (Diva Guhawa) in Sri Pada Mountain

Route from Colombo to Sri Pada (up to Erathna Foot Path)Route from Colombo to Sri Pada (upto Erathna Foot Path)
Though : Kaduwela – Avissawella – Ginigathena – Nallathanniya
Distance : 140 km
Travel time : 4 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Route from Colombo to Sri Pada (up to Nallataniya Foot Path)

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