Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera

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Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera
Sri Rahula Thera.png
Ven. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada
Ven. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Sangharaja Thera
Nationality Sri Lankan
Born (1409-06-09)9 June 1409
Dematana, Kegalle District
Died 27 September 1491(1491-09-27) (aged 82)
Ambana Indurugiri cave, Elpitiya, Galle District
Senior posting
Title Sangharaja
'Shad Bhasha Parameshwara'
Religious career
Teacher Weedagama Maithree Thero
Students Weththawe Thero

Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera (9 June 1409 - 27 September 1491) was a Buddhist monk and an eminent scholar, who lived in the 15th century in Sri Lanka.[1] He was also a distinguished author, veteran astrologer and a proficient ayurvedic physician.[1]


Though his parentage was uncertain, he had been adopted by King Parakramabahu VI, with the intention of getting him trained as a future government official (Same as Prince Sapumal Bandara). As an infant, he was considered as a prodigy who surprised the king with his knowledge in literature. He later entered the Order of Buddhist monks and gained knowledge in literature in 6 oriental languages which prevailed in the Subcontinent and was known as "Shad Bhasha Parameshwara ('Master of six languages')". He later received the title of "Sangharaja" from the king.

Works (Selection)[edit]

Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thero was a pillar in Sri Lankan literature, who authored a number of highly reputed Sinhala literary works. Some of his notable creations are ;

  • Buddhagajjaya (1430) [2]
  • Uruthamala Sandesaya (1435) [2]
  • Paravi Sandeshaya (1445) [2]
  • Gira Sandeshaya [3]
  • Salalihini Sandeshaya (1447) [4]
  • Kawyashekaraya (1449) [5]
  • Parakumba Siritha
  • Panchika Pradeepaya (1457) [2]
  • Buddhipasadiniya (1480) [2]
  • Sakaskada [3]
  • Mawula Sandesaya [3]


There are many folklore stories regarding Sri Rahula Thera's life from his childhood until death. Though he was a prodigy, he was a kind of a mischievous character who loved adventures. One famous story is that he drank a whole bottle of a medicinal oil called "Saraswathi Oil" which helps to boost memory power, whereas it is prescribed to use only a drop.[6] According to the view of some historians and critics the mortal remains kept in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, India, is the in-corrupt body of Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera, which was smuggled by the Portuguese from the remote village of Ambana in Southern Sri Lanka.[1] It is believed that due to the effect of the Ayurvedic drug 'Siddalaoka Rasaya', which he had eaten when he was living at Ambana cave in the latter part of his life, his body continues to remain intact without decomposing till the year 4230 AD.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Himbutana, Gopitha Peiris (January 29, 2006). "Ven. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera Scholar monk par excellence". Lake House. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kaviratne, W.T.J.S. (5 January 2014). "A great literary figure shrouded in mystery". Sri Lanka. The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Veneraable Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula
  4. ^ Himali ready to give artistic life to Salalihini Sandeshaya
  5. ^ Godakumbura, C. E. (1963). The Literature of Ceylon. 
  6. ^ Ven Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thero of Sri Lanka

External links[edit]