Quest to recover True Janbuddhdeepa
The Janbuddhdeepa is the land where Buddha Thathāgathas gave birth, Jan (birth) + buddh (Buddha) deepa (land). Today, that true birth land of Thathāgathas has been lost and erased from the modern history. That has happened due to the misinterpretation of early Western writers.
They have merged that Janbuddhdeepa with other similar word that are used in Jainism and Hinduism to define another area, and that is Jambudeepa. But in reality, Jambudeepa and Janbuddhdeepa are two different words used to define two geographical area. It is necessary to rediscover the true Janbuddhdeepa since we must clearly identify the last Thathāgatha, the Buddha Gothama Samana, and his correct chronology as well as the languages that were spoken in his birth land at his time in order to rediscover his pure doctrine, the Nibbāna.
Actually, the Buddha is not a one person. The Buddha refers to the one who is set totally free from attachment to existence. There have been many people considered as Buddha in the world. Basically, there are two type of Buddha tradition that has existed in the Indian sub-continent for a long time; they are mainly categorized as Thithankaras and Thathāgathas. There has been 24 Thitahakaras up until now, and the last one is Lord Mahavira. It is believed that those Thithankaras were living in the area now defined as North, West, and the North Eastern part of present-day India. There, chief disciples are called Munis and each Thithankara has had many Munis under them. Most of them are considered to have attained Nirvāna. According to the Nirvāna in Jainism, they separate their soul from the body and kammik biddings, and then the soul goes to a place call Siddhi Shila and dwells there after the death of an Arahath in their interpretation. That Siddhi Shila is the realm where all pure souls go and dwell, and according to their interpretation then soul will never come down to the lower realms again including human; this means the soul does not create or associate with any physical body. Their final goal is to reach that realm and dwell there, that is what they call Nirvāna.
“Thathāgatha’s” tradition is different from the above Thithankara, and the final goal is Nibbāna. When we study the both Nirvāna and Nibbāna, we could clearly understand that Nibbāna is quite different from the Nirvāna that described in Jainism and Hinduism. Nibbāna is attained through 4 stages, and after one reaches the final stage called Arahath, the mantel body of that Arahath gets dissolved at his death, it is call Parinibbāna. Then the soul or the mental body will not go anywhere and dwell, nor does it exist anywhere. This is the main differences in the final goal of Thithankaras (Nirvāna) and Thathāgathas (Nibbāna).
There are two types in the Thithankara tradition, they are called Digambara and Swethamabara. Normally, Digambara Munis live nude—they do not wear any clothes or use any material things. On the other hand, Swethmabara Munis wear white or yellow robes as similar to nowadays’ Buddhist monks. The majority of modern Buddhist monastic practices have widely adopted the practices and methods of Swethamabara tradition into their Buddhist monastic culture. We also have noticed that statues of Swethamabara munis like “Gauthama Muni” are kept and worshipped in many Buddhist temples in Maynamar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, but those Buddhists think are statues of Buddha. Also, they worship statues of other Thithankaras before the Lord Mahavira by thinking same way as that they are Buddha Gothama. It is widely common in Asia and mainstream Buddhists in most cases do not understands that those statues are not of the Buddha Gothama. This has happened because these two traditions are very much the same from the outside. The people who have surface knowledge cannot easily identify the differences between the principle and concepts of these two traditions.
According to our findings, the Buddhas from Thathagatha tradition were born and lived in the area call central area (madya padesha) of Janbuddhdeepa; this area is also called Dabadiva. The word Janbuddhdeepa is made by combining of three words Jan (birth) + buddh (Buddha) deepa (land): the birth land of Buddha. But there is another concept in Jainism and Hinduism about an area call Jambudeepa. That is a different one; it is an area covering huge part of this universe and our whole planet is included into that Jambudeepa that describe in Jain and Hinduism. But in reality these Janbuddhdeepa and Jambudeepa are two different things, and they are two different words used to define two different areas. But it was probably the early Western scholars that misunderstood and merged those two areas as one; probably due to their similarity in sound. However, now we have clearly identified thorough ancient manuscripts and epigraphs that the Thathāgathas were born and lived in Janbuddhdeepa, and that is situated in the area defined within the island now call Sri Lanka.
The “Gothama Samana” is the last Thathagatha and his birth name was “Siduhath”, not “Siddhartha.” He became famous as “Gothama Samana” after he became a Buddha. Gothama is the surname of his mother’s side. According to the ancient hela tradition, the surname comes from mother’s side, not from father’s side. But now that ancient tradition has been changed in Sri Lanka accordingly upon the establishment of Victorian tradition, now the surnames come from the father’s side. It is also officially recognized that the Historical Buddha was living in the 6th century BCE. But according to our survey, the actual birth day and living period of Samana Gothama as well as Sakyamuni is not certain yet. Some of the astronomers found the exact dates of Sakayamuni alias Sakayasinga as he has been living 1600 -1500 BCE; however, there are huge errors in the official recognized chronology of most historical persons in the Indian sub-continent. Even though people still used the assumption of early Western writers, most likely they are wrong. Present officially recognized dates of Buddha are mostly likely related to “Gauthama Muni”, the chief disciple of Lord Mahavira who was living in North Eastern India where it is called as Rajgir in Nalanda District. The early British history writers and archeologists had mistakenly copied the details of “Gauthama Muni” from somewhere. But that chronology is also questionable, according to the latest findings of Indian chronology.
Anyhow, so far, we have found hundreds of ancient rock inscriptions from Sri Lanka to confirm that Samana Gothama and his disciples mentioned in Tipitaka lived in the island now called Sri Lanka. At that time, the island was called “Siv Helaya”, and part of the island where he was born and living was called Janbuddhdeepa other main part has called Lankadeepa. The name of this island was changed to Ceylon during European colonial times, and now has been changed to Sri Lanka since 1972.
Samana Gothama the Buddha wasn’t a God, Prophet, Avatar, or a Messenger from the God. He was a human being who purified his mind to perfection so that he could see the whole of existence of the Universe. He was the perfect scientist, who investigated the problem of existence and found the complete solution. At the inception, his teaching was described as “Vibajjavāda”. A few centuries later, it was famous as Buddha Dhamma. However, at the present, pure teaching of his doctrine called Nibbāna path is not widely found in the world, also not in so-called Theravada countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Lao etc. There are only very few numbers of people in the world that are aware of his pure teachings at the present. But they are highly criticized and discriminated against by the current mainstream monastic community, because the present mainstream Buddhist flow mostly follows a cultural Buddhism which has evolved by mixing with different cultural beliefs. The present version is also very much contaminated by other Hindu and Jain beliefs and concepts. According to this situation, the present Buddhist communities having very poor knowledge about the pure Nibbāna were thought by the Gothama the Buddha.
Now, a group of scholars that has searched and found the true facts of the Thathāgatha tradition, their pure doctrine Nibbāna, and the areas where they existed; but it is necessary do a scientific, fresh archeological survey to prove those findings to the world and we in the process of planning it. In addition to the above we have planned to take various actions to implement this true facts on long run by doing the followings;
- Publishing a “Lexicon” to provide correct definitions to the Thathāgathavachana (Suddha Māghadhi Sounds Signs) by Sinhala, English, German, French, Thai, and Burmish languages.
- Re publishing earliest version of Tipitaka and Hela Atuā from ancient manuscripts with the correct definitions.
- Obtain digital copies of ancient Hela manuscripts kept in European libraries and establish a Digital Library with free access.
- Setup a University faculty of Māghadhi and Elu Prakirt in Sri Lanka.