Towards a Better World is a translation of the famous Sinhala didactic poem Lo-wada Sangarava composed by the Venerable Vidagama Maitreya Mahathera (15 th C. A. D.). This venerable poet flourished during the Kotte period of Sri Lankan history, which saw a revival of Sinhala literature. As the head of the Vidagama Sri Ghanananda monastery, a leading educational centre of the Kotte Era, the Venerable Mahathera made a notable contribution to Sinhala literature and Buddhist culture with his rare poetic talent and eloquence in preaching.
Lo-wada Sangarava is the best known among his literary works, both for its remarkable poetic excellence and the vast impact it has made on the lives of the Buddhists ever since it was composed.
The poem vibrates through and through with a note of compassion for the morally degraded, lifting them up to an awareness of their potential for higher things. The hortative tone of the poem comes-it seems-not from an ivory-tower but from a heart that almost bleeds for those who have gone astray due to ignorance or non-knowledge. Clarification has to precede purification, at least initially. So the poet has modestly chosen the common medium of the natives, making a case for its effectiveness rather apologetically in preference to the more fashionable Pali of the elite.
HOMAGE TO THE BUDDHA !
Glad at heart, I pay homage to the supreme sage-the
giver of Blissful Peace, the Great Ocean of virtue, the
physician for the samsaric ills of beings, the sun that
dispels the pitchy darkness of false views.
සෙත් සිරි දෙන මහ ගුණ මුහු දාණන්
ස ත් හට වන බව දුකට වෙ දාණන්
ති ත් ගණඳුරු දුරලන දිනි ඳාණන්
සි ත් සතොසින් නමදිම් මුනි ඳාණන්