The Lankavamsa in Siam and Siamvamsa in Sri Lanka

Somboon Bunrit

Abstract


This article presents historical relationship of Buddhism between Thailand
(Siam) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in the forms of continuity, development and revival of
Buddhism in both countries. Each country has played a role of transmitter and
receiver in different time and period. As the results, Buddhism has been firmly
established in both countries until today. Thailand or Siam has been accepted and
practiced Lankavamsa Buddhism since 1257 AD and continued to flourish especially
in Nakhon Si-Thammarat. King Ramkhamheang the Great had royally invited Sanghas
(Buddhist monks) and scholars from Nakhon Si Thammarat to propagate Lankavamsa
Buddhism in Sukhothai. From there, it had grew strength and spread to many cities.
In the period of King Borommakot of Ayutthaya Kingdom which was the same time as
King Srivijayarajasingha reigned Sri Lanka. Buddhism in Sri Lanka was on a critical
stage of decline. He had sent ambassadors to Ayutthaya to invite Siamese Sanghas
on mission to revive Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Siam had played a vital role in
reviving Buddhism in Sri Lanka by sending Buddhist missionaries headed by
Phra Upali Thera in the reign of King Kirti Sirirajasingha who was the successor of
the late King Srivijayarajasingha, resulting in revival and prosperity of Buddhism in
Sri Lanka under the name of Siamvamsa Sect until the present.


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