Royal protection and improvement of the Maha Bodhi

Ruwanveli Seya
Ruwanveli Seya, an ancient dagoba from the Anuradhapura period. Built by one of the Sinhalese' favorite kings, it has stood the test of time for over 2200 years. 333 feet high -- yet another architectural feat for its times.

Offerings to the Maha Bodhi

King Dutugemunu (161-137 BC) is said to have performed an unprecedented offering to the Maha Bodhi at a cost of 100,000 gold coins. According to the Mahavamsa King Vijayabahu the 1st (1070-1111 AC) who defeated the Cholas and unified the whole country renovated the Bodhigara at Anuradhapura.

King Parakramabahu the great renovated the Vatadage of the Maha Bodhi complex. Even though King Mahasena (272 to 301 AC) razed the Maha Vihara to the ground apparently no damage was done to the Maha Bodhi.

The Maha Bodhi was saved in spite of doctrinal differences between the Mahavihara and the Abhayagirivihara because it was a common object of worship for both sects. In fact King Mahasena not only protected the Maha Bodhi but had taken steps to develop the Maha Bodhi shrine.

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