The Abhayagiri Temple complex of Anuradhapura spanning 500 acres is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Sri Lanka. In its golden era spanning a few centuries, the area provided temples and requisites for more than 5,000 monks. It was historically recorded that finding a monk who had not at least achieved the state of Sothapanna was a rarity during that period!
Today Abhayagiri complex is beautifully renovated. However, now it is a domain shared by the Gods, Demons and the followers of the Buddha.
This needs to be explained further;
- Many devotees visit the temple and the Stupa to pray for material gains, to beg for extensions of the passing span of life, to pass exams or to get and possess the person they desire. They pray for these gains from the Gods or by equating the Buddha to a God.
- Abhayagiriya is also famous among the locals as the dwelling place of a very powerful Demon and his retinue. A very large number of ‘devotees’ visit the two special temples dedicated to those Demons to curse their enemies. These ‘devotees’ pray for the death and destruction of other humans they label as their enemies.
- Some of the followers of the Buddha and his Path also visit Abhayagiriya. However, unlike in the Golden era of Abhayagiriya, very few of those use this vast spiritual arena to practice meditation.
The magnificent and vast open area of Abhayagiri Stupa is an excellent location for the practitioners of the Buddhist meditative Path. However, few people come to the far corners of the premises even during the day time. The place becomes empty of ‘devotees’ after about 7.30 pm. They are scared to be there after dark.
The location could be once again used as a place to develop the meditative Path – maybe after more than 1,000 years. Initially it will be a challenging location to solitary practitioners at night but not as challenging as Solitary Night Time Meditation at the Cemeteries.
Most Ven. U. Dhammajiva Maha Thero will use this location to hold a residential retreat for a group of 50 International Yogis during 2018. It also has a massive sand area that could be used for Walking Meditation practice by hundreds of practitioners.
The above is presented as a prelude to three rare and excellent Dhamma Clips of Most Ven. U. Dhammajiva Maha Thero.
In the first clip, the Maha Thero calls out to the famous local God of Kataragama and state that the Sons and Daughters of the Buddha are superior to such Gods and then proceeds to explain the reasons for that superiority.
In the second, he explains about understanding and fathoming the ‘Nature of Transiency’ through observing the change of Perception (සංඥා). Understanding the Nature of Transiency is the purpose of Buddhist meditation.
In the final, the Maha Thero explains the development of Sankhara Upekkha Gnana and the progress on wards to Nibbana.
These Dhamma Clips are in Sinhala medium. Please click here to reach the web page.