Jun 29

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The Introduction of Buddhism to South India – Ven Pandit Hisselle Dhammaratana Thero

It is not generally known that Buddhism flourished in South India in ancient times. The ancient chronicles of Sri Lanka such as the Dipavansa and Mahavansa are silent on the subject.

While studying Tamil literature, I became interested in this subject, which is one of which we should not be ignorant. Therefore, in order to acquaint myself with it, I had to peruse books on the history of South India and Sri Lanka, the Pali texts and commentaries, in addition to studies in Tamil literature. The Tamil book entitled Bauddhamum Tamil Ilakkiamum (Buddhism and Tamil Literature) by Seeni Vengadasamy of Madras was particularly helpful to me.

In this work I propose to deal with the arrival of Buddhism in South India, its spread and its decay. I shall also touch on famous Buddhist cities, the impact of Buddhism on the local Hindu religion, and on Buddhist teachers and their literary work. There is a division of opinion regarding the period in which Buddhism was introduced to South India. However, on perusal of Tamil literary works, a solution to this problem can be found.

It is now accepted by all scholars that Buddhism was introduced to South India by the Venerable Mahinda himself.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.dhammikaweb.com/?p=9508


  1. Paul Murphy

    Sir, I am trying to locate Ven. Hisselle Ratanaseeha. He is an old friend of mine from here in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. If you have an email address or if you speak to him please let him know that I hope he is well. Thank you. Paul Murphy

    1. Paul Murphy

      Sir, I am trying to locate Ven. Hisselle Ratanaseeha. Please help!

      1. Root Admin

        Please try to locate from Google. We do not have contacts of the Bhante

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