The Religious World of Kirti Sri: Buddhism, Art, and Politics in Late Medieval Sri Lanka

By John Clifford Holt | Go to book overview

Appendix
The Religious Works of Kīrti Śrī at Gangārāma and Ridī Vihāra

The religious works of Kīrti Śrī at Gangārāma and Ridī Vihāra receive by far the most detailed descriptions of any temples cited in the entire Cūlavaṃsa. Insofar as the Buddhist monk Tibboṭuvāve, who was assigned by Kīrti Śrī to update the chronicle from its thirteenth-century state, was originally from Ridī Vihāra, it is not surprising that his treatment of Kīrti Śrī's reign concludes with such an extensive description of the king's efforts to beautify this monk's own monastic home. The description is valuable precisely because it provides us with so many details about the various elements of artistic work carried out by Kīrti Śrī, details that Tibboṭuvāve could record at length because of his own intimacy with the place. Tibboṭuvāve's description of Gangārāma, while not as extensive, seems to have been given great emphasis so as to please Kīrti Śrī himself. Since it was located literally in the king's own backyard, Kīrti Śrī had spent enormous sums, as the chronicle reports, to make this temple resplendent, only to have it ruined by the Dutch invasion in 1765. It should be noted that Gangārāma had also been very

____________________
Wilhelm Geiger, trans. and ed. ( 1953). Cūlavaṃsa: Being the More Recent Part of the Mahāvaṃsa. 2 vols. Colombo: Ceylon Government Information Department.

-109-

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The Religious World of Kirti Sri: Buddhism, Art, and Politics in Late Medieval Sri Lanka
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Kīrti Śrī's Predicament 3
  • 2 - Discourses of a Buddhist King 15
  • 3 - A Visual Liturgy 41
  • Details of the Liturgy: Wall Paintings from the Time of Kīrti Śrī *
  • 4 - Royalty Reborn 73
  • 5 - Implications for Theory and Method 91
  • 6 - Postscript: Ethnic Identity and Alienation 97
  • Appendix the Religious Works of Kīrti Śrī at Gangārāma and Ridī Vihāra 109
  • Notes 115
  • Bibliography 135
  • Index 141
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