Hasthi Kuchchi in the north-western province of Sri Lanka is one of the oldest temple complexes of the country, built between 307–267 BC as a meditation centre for Buddhist monks. This was the location where King Siri Sangha Bo (251–253 AD) offered his own head to a peasant. Today, the partially restored archaeological site is little visited but offers a fascinating glimpse in to ancient history of Sri Lanka.
This is how the Siri Sangha Bo story goes:
Siri Sangha Bodhi I who was King of Anuradhapura, the capital of Sri Lanka in the 3rd century, was so committed to the Buddha’s teachings that he rejected all forms of violence including execution of criminals. When his prime minister led a rebellion against him, he could not bear the thought of the bloodshed that would result from putting down the rebellion. He abdicated and retired to the forested Hasthi Kuchchi complex to meditate…
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