The Tripitaka, the essence of Theravada Buddhism was declared a national heritage at a ceremony held at the historic Aluviharaya in Matale under the aegis of President Maithripala Sirisena today.
It was at the same venue that the Tripitaka which was brought from generation to generation by the Maha Sangha under difficult circumstances was written on Ola leaves for the first time in the first century AD.
The declaration of the Tripitaka as a national heritage was done on the instructions of the Maha Sangha in order to preserve Buddhism for the future generations, a statement issued by the President's Media said.
The Theravada Tripitaka was completed as Sutra Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka and Abhidharma Pitaka at the third Sangayana after the demise of the Buddha and was brought to Sri Lanka by the Arhat Mahinda Thera in the 3rd century AD. It was printed as a series of books as a special project in 1956.