Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to the world's oldest continuing Buddhist civilization. Brāhmī inscriptions etched in stone on drip ledges above natural caves in the country's North-Central province indicate that hermitages have been dedicated by Buddhist LAITY for the meditation needs of monks since the third century B.C.E. Moreover, the fourth- and fifth-century C.E. monastic chronicles, the Dīpavaṃsa (Chronicle of the Island) and the Mahāvaṃsa (Great Chronicle), contain a series of myths in which the Lankan king Devanāṃpiya Tissa (third century B.C.E.), a contemporary of the Indian emperor AŚOKA, is said to have been converted to the Buddha's teachings by Aśoka own missionary son, Mahinda.

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