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How Buddhism Influenced the Origin and Development of Libraries in Sri Lanka (Ceylon): From the Third Century BC to the Fifth Century AD

How Buddhism Influenced the Origin and Development of Libraries in Sri Lanka (Ceylon): From the... AbstractThe aim of the paper is to discuss the influence of Buddhism on the origin of libraries in Sri Lanka from the third century BC to fifth century AD. Contributions made by Buddhist monks and Buddhist kings in this connection too are discussed. A developed education system and scholarly personnel are essential prerequisites for the establishment of a library tradition. Throughout much of history, education systems developed side by side with religious systems. Sri Lanka was not an exception to this regard. Arahat Mahinda introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the third century BC and it soon took root in the country. With the establishment of Buddhism, Buddhist education came into existence and that education enabled Buddhist monks to hand down the Tripitaka and its commentaries orally for centuries. In the first century BC Buddhist scriptures were written and manuscripts were kept at Mahavihara centres for the first time in history. Subsequently, copies of these manuscripts were sent to other temples. Thus, depositing of the Tripitaka and commentaries can be regarded as the origin of libraries in Sri Lanka. These libraries consisted not only of the Tripitaka and its commentaries, but also other Buddhist books too. Buddhist scholars were motivated to write religious books as it was considered to be a meritorious act. Further, libraries had the reputation for production and distribution of Buddhist texts, which attracted foreign scholars to the country. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library History Edinburgh University Press

How Buddhism Influenced the Origin and Development of Libraries in Sri Lanka (Ceylon): From the Third Century BC to the Fifth Century AD

Library History , Volume 24 (4): 6 – Dec 1, 2008

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
0024-2306
eISSN
1758-3497
DOI
10.1179/174581608X381602
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe aim of the paper is to discuss the influence of Buddhism on the origin of libraries in Sri Lanka from the third century BC to fifth century AD. Contributions made by Buddhist monks and Buddhist kings in this connection too are discussed. A developed education system and scholarly personnel are essential prerequisites for the establishment of a library tradition. Throughout much of history, education systems developed side by side with religious systems. Sri Lanka was not an exception to this regard. Arahat Mahinda introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the third century BC and it soon took root in the country. With the establishment of Buddhism, Buddhist education came into existence and that education enabled Buddhist monks to hand down the Tripitaka and its commentaries orally for centuries. In the first century BC Buddhist scriptures were written and manuscripts were kept at Mahavihara centres for the first time in history. Subsequently, copies of these manuscripts were sent to other temples. Thus, depositing of the Tripitaka and commentaries can be regarded as the origin of libraries in Sri Lanka. These libraries consisted not only of the Tripitaka and its commentaries, but also other Buddhist books too. Buddhist scholars were motivated to write religious books as it was considered to be a meritorious act. Further, libraries had the reputation for production and distribution of Buddhist texts, which attracted foreign scholars to the country.

Journal

Library HistoryEdinburgh University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2008

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