Pirivena

Last updated

A pirivena (plural: piriven) is a monastic college for the education of monks in Sri Lanka. In ancient time, they were also centers of secondary and higher education for lay people. As of 2018, 753 piriven have been founded and maintained by the Ministry of Education. [1] Young monks undergo training at these piriven prior to their ordination.

Contents

History

Ancient

By 100 CE, a pirivena represented one of the highest levels of education in Sinhalese communities, and was the most common centralized educational institution on the island. Prior to this, an education was historically reserved for people attached to the religious establishment, and it would have then been the jobs of these people to traverse the villages and teach skills to the lay people, and therefore the vast majority of the island's people historically did not attend any formal educational institution. The Buddhist doctrine however prefers that lay people are also educated, and unlike the institutions in mainland India, the pirivena would have been attended by lay people as well. [2] [3]

The term is derived from the Pali word for 'living quarters', referring to how these institutions were aimed at teaching priests and monks on the island. It is mostly unique to Sri Lanka but similar to universities found in mainland India. [4]

The Mahavihara and Abhayagirivihara, commissioned through royal patronage from around 300 BCE, were among the first educational institutions to adopt this system of education. [3]

Colonialism

The first European colonialists arrived on the shores of the island in 1505, with the Portuguese, the first to successfully conquer the island, being quite driven to spread Christianity. They succeeded in converting King Dharmapala, who consequently stopped state funding for these non-Christian schools. The pirivena education system saw a rapid decline in Sri Lanka’s coastal areas, but the system continued to flourish in the central Kandy kingdom until the British era. [5]

Structure

The Mulika level offers five years of education and is the most basic level of education. The students are taught six subjects; Pali, Sanskrit, Sinhala, English, Tipitaka studies and mathematics. This is followed by a final examination that can be used to advance to the next level. [3]

The Maha level offers higher education, allowing students to enter a variety of subjects including philosophy, the history of religions, linguistics, Ayurveda, and astrology. [3]

The Vidyayathana level offers the highest level of education and it similar to the university-level. Two major universities in Colombo, the University of Kelaniya and University of Sri Jayewardenepura, are actually piriven vidyayathana renamed. [3]

Notable examples

See also

Related Research Articles

Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero

Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk who was one of the most distinguished scholars and expositors of Theravada Buddhism in the twentieth century. He was highly respected by Sri Lankan Buddhists, who believed that he had achieved a higher level of spiritual development. Sri Lankan Buddhists also considered Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero as a Bodhisattva, who will attain Buddhahood in a future life.

Walpola Rahula Thero (1907–1997) was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, scholar and writer. In 1964, he became the Professor of History and Religions at Northwestern University, thus becoming the first bhikkhu to hold a professorial chair in the Western world. He also once held the position of Vice-Chancellor at the then Vidyodaya University. He has written extensively about Buddhism in English, French and Sinhala. He wrote the book What the Buddha Taught about Theravada Buddhism.

K. Sri Dhammananda

K. Sri Dhammananda was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk and scholar.

University of Kelaniya University in Sri Lanka

The University of Kelaniya is a public university in Sri Lanka. Just outside the municipal limits of Colombo, in the city of Kelaniya, the university has two major campuses, seven locations, six faculties and four institutions.

University of Sri Jayewardenepura University in Sri Lanka

The University of Sri Jayewardenepura is a public university in Sri Lanka. It is in Gangodawila, Nugegoda, near Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the capital city. It was formed in 1958 out of the Vidyodaya Pirivena, a Buddhist educational centre which was founded in 1873 by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera.

Buddhist Library (Singapore) Library in Singapore

The Buddhist Library is the first dedicated Buddhist library in Singapore. The library, which is located in a shophouse in Geylang, aims to meet the needs of the Buddhist community and anyone interested in Buddhism. It is unique in that it is not a voluntary association or a temple and because it takes a non-sectarian approach to Buddhism. Besides functioning as a lending library, it also organises Dhamma talks, accredited Buddhist courses, public art exhibitions and welfare work locally and abroad.

The University of Sri Lanka was a public university in Sri Lanka. Established in 1972 by amalgamating the four existing universities, it was the only university in Sri Lanka from 1972 until 1978. The university was based at six campuses in Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Moratuwa and Jaffna. The university was dissolved in 1978 and its six campuses became independent universities.

Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka

The Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka is a Buddhist university in Homagama, Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1981 and is organized in two faculties.

Hammalawa Saddhatissa

Hammalawa Saddhatissa Maha Thera (1914–1990) was an ordained Buddhist monk, missionary and author from Sri Lanka, educated in Varanasi, London, and Edinburgh. He was a contemporary of Walpola Rahula, also of Sri Lanka.

Mapalagama Wipulasara Maha Thera

Venerable Mapalagama Wipulasara Maha Thera was a Theravada Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka. He was also an artist and sculptor who has gained fame through his sculptures of Buddha statues that are worshiped in many places within Sri Lanka and abroad. He has held Exhibitions in Soviet Russia and China in the years 1961 and 1963 respectively.

Kingdom of Kotte Sinhalese kingdom in southwestern Sri Lanka from 1412 to 1597

The Kingdom of Kotte, named after its capital, Kotte, was a Sinhalese kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century.

The Vidyodaya Pirivena was one of the prominent piriven in Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1873 by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera and later in 1959, the pirivena was granted the university status by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Most Ven. Kadawedduwe Sri Jinavamsa Maha Thera was a Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) Bhikkhu. He was the founder of Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samstha, a reform movement within the Sri Lankan Rāmañña Nikāya.

Witiyala Seewalie Thera

Witiyala Seewalie Thera is the founder and chief incumbent priest of Minnesota Buddhist Vihara. Currently, he is serving the Buddhist spiritual needs for people in six midwestern states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Bodagama Chandima

Bodagama Chandima was born on 3 February 1957 in Thanamalwila, which is located in southern Sri Lanka. As of 2015 he taught Theravada Buddhism in Taiwan. With a group of Taiwanese Buddhists, he founded the Theravada Samadhi Education Association in Taipei.

Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera Great Buddhist monk and a scholar

Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera who was born on 20 January 1827 was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk. The birth name of Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera was Don Niculus Gunawardhana. He was one of the pioneers of Sri Lankan Buddhist revivalist movement in the 19th century. He did a great service to improve the Buddhist Education in the country and was the founder of Vidyodaya Pirivena, Maligakanda in 1873. In 1848 he obtained higher ordination of Upasampada from the Malwatte Chapter, Kandy. A veteran author and a fiery orator, he was a major figure in the Panadurawadaya, a religious debate held between Christian missionaries and Buddhist monks in 1873 at Panadura, Sri Lanka. He was well versed in Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit, English, Buddhism, and History. In 1864 he was appointed as the Chief priest of the Sripada.

Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero

Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero was an influential Sinhalese Buddhist monk regarded for his nonviolent revolutionary leadership in Sri Lanka and the chief incumbent of the Kotte Naga Vihara. He was a prominent social-political activist, an independent thinker who endured to improve the positive and constructive aspects of Sri Lankan Politics.

Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Thera Great Buddhist monk and a scholar

Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Thera was a scholar Buddhist monk who lived in the 19th century in Sri Lanka. An educationist and revivalist of Sri Lankan Buddhism, he was reputed for his knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and Buddhist Philosophy. Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Thera was the founder of Vidyalankara Pirivena, Peliyagoda, which was granted the University status later by the Sri Lankan government in 1959, and presently known as University of Kelaniya. Sri Dharmaloka College in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka is named after him.

Palane Vajiragnana Thero

Palane Vajiragnana Thero was a Sri Lankan (Sinhala) scholar Buddhist monk, who founded the renowned Siri Vajiraramaya temple in Bambalapitiya, Sri Lanka. He was also the Maha Nayaka (head) of Amarapura Sri Dharmarakshita sect for 37 years from August 5, 1918 until his death in 1955.

Agga Maha Pandita Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thero was an eminent Sri Lankan Buddhist monk. He was the supreme Mahanayaka of Sri Lanka Amarapura–Rāmañña Nikāya and was the chief incumbent of Sri Dharmapalaramaya, Mount Lavinia.

References

  1. "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 13 Sep 2018.
  2. "The Evolution of Education in Sri Lanka". roar.media. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "The Pirivena System of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka | Buddhistdoor". www.buddhistdoor.net. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  4. "The Pirivena System of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka | Buddhistdoor". www.buddhistdoor.net. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  5. "The Pirivena System of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka | Buddhistdoor". www.buddhistdoor.net. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  6. "History - Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena". Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  7. "The Sunethra Devi Pirivena in Pepiliyana celebrated its 600th anniversary on Monday". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 2010-06-21. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  8. De Alwis, C.M. (1976). Antiquities of the Kingdom of Kotte. p. 8. Temples and Pirivenas were constructed and endowments made for their upkeep - notably the Pepiliyana Vihare built by him in memory of his mother Sunethra Devi