The Hindu Religious Heritage in Sri Lanka

Revived and Remembered

by Prof. A. Sathasivam

[source: Religiousness in Sri Lanka, edited by John Ross Carter, Marga Institute, Colombo, 1979, pp. 161-173.]


Front Note by Sachi Sri Kantha

When I was a 3rd year undergraduate at the University of Colombo, in 1974, I had the opportunity to associate with Prof. A. Sathasivam, then holding the rank of Professor of Tamil. Half a century has passed now. Prof. Sathasivam served as one of the patrons of the Colombo Campus Tamil society during my tenure as the President of the society, during 1974-75. In the group photo taken (presented nearby), Prof. Sathasivam was seated to my left in the front row. He was 5th from the left.

Colombo Campus Tamil Society. Prof. A Sathasivam is seated 5th from left. Sachi is seated to his right.

Prof. Sathasivam was born in Vaddukoddai, Jaffna, in 1926. He died in 1988. The essay I present here first appeared as one of the 14 chapters in the John Ross Carter-edited book, Religiousness in Sri Lanka (1979). Unfortunately, Prof. Sathasivam did not provide sub-headings for his article. Rather than tampering, I have left the text, as it appeared. The essence of this contribution by Prof. Sathasivam is as follows:

First, he provided a synopsis of the contributions of Arumuga Navalar (1822-1879) to rejuvenate Hinduism during the 19th century in Jaffna and Tamil Nadu against the onslaught of white Christian missionaries, who had arrived in bundles from Britain and USA, and the native Tamil converts to Christianity (then pejoratively tagged as ‘rice Christians’ for deserting Hindu faith – only for the purpose of receiving free rice served by the missionaries).

Secondly, Prof. Sathasivam, citing from the earlier studies of Professors Senarath Paranavitana and Ellawala, recorded that Saivite faith prevailed in the island during the pre-Buddhist period of the island, prior to the arrival of Emperor Asoka’s son Mahendra (Mahinda).

In the 2nd paragraph, Prof. Sathasivam includes a short sentence, ‘Hindus in Sri Lanka are almost all Tamils.’ As it had been worded ‘almost all’ before Tamils, the sentence seems appropriate. But, a qualifier is needed here. There have been small number of Indian communities (constituting less than 1% of the total population), whose native tongue is NOT Tamil, but they do practice Hinduism. Most prominent were/are Malayalee population from Kerala state, speaking Malayalam as their primary tongue. And then, there were/are Sindhi merchants settled in Colombo, whose mother tongue is Sindhi language. Majority of Sindhis who arrived in Ceylon during British colonial period were Hindus, though a minority of Sindhis were Muslims.

Sachi’s first flute performance, in 1963 (Saraswathy Hall, Colombo). K.K. Atchuthan master (lt) plays mridangam.

During 1960s and 1970s in Colombo, the most recognized musician of Malayalee descent was Kandanissery Krishnan (K.K.) Atchuthan Master. He was a prominent percussion instrument Ghatam expert and also played mridangam accompaniment. Atchuthan Master was affiliated to the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. He was the live-wire of the Karnatic music community in Colombo during those days. In one memorable photo of my album (taken when I was only 10, and performing a 15 minutes stage flute recital in 1963), Atchuthan Master played mridangam as an accompaniment for me. The one who plays violin in the photo was my tutor Palayamkottai T.P. Jesudasan. Then, during my first job as the laboratory demonstrator at the University of Colombo, one of my women students had the name Maya Sadhwani. She was from the Sindhi community in Colombo.

I have re-formatted the article from the original, and present the 15 footnotes at the end. In addition to the footnotes, Prof. Sathasivam provided 4 citations to previously published books, which are arranged prior to the footnotes. Words or phrases in italics are as in the original. Minor printer’s errors, wherever they appear, have been silently corrected.


Article Proper

The Hindu tradition is composed of a number of complex systems of thought and practice, the most important of which are Saivism, Vaisnavism and Saktism. In a sense, a standard sociological definition of ‘religion’ as ‘a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, uniting into a single moral community all those who adhere to those beliefs and practices’1 is applicable to these systems. The heritage of the Saivas, or Saivites, those for whom Siva is the supreme God, represents the primary religious heritage of the Hindus of Sri Lanka. Siva is worshipped by Saivas in his diverse forms, perhaps the most popular of which is the Sivalingam. Into the sphere of a Saiva’s devotional relationship enter also Siva’s consort, Parvati, his children, Pillaiyar (Ganesha) and Murugan (Skanda), and associated minor gods like Bhairavan, who was born of Siva’s blood. To Siva, Saivas attribute all the functions and attributes of Brahma and Vishnu. He is the creator, preserver and destroyer of all, and he is known by many names: Rudra, Sadasiva, Aran, Isvara, Mahesvaran, Natesan, Natarajah, Sangaran, Mukkannan, Sitambaran and Paramesvaran. To this supreme God temples have been dedicated by Saivas and are scattered throughout the Hindu centres of worship in Sri Lanka.

Hindus are the second largest religious group in Sri Lanka. Precise records are difficult to obtain, but according to the population census of 1971, there were 2,239,310 Hindus in Sri Lanka who formed 17.6 percent of the total population of 12,711,143. Hindus in Sri Lanka are almost all Tamils. Among the Tamil community 80.59 percent of the Sri Lanka Tamils and 89.33 percent of the Indian Tamils were classified as Hindus.2 An analysis of the Hindus by their distribution in various districts shows that the highest proportion was in the northern district of Jaffna where the Tamil population was high. Apart from Jaffna, their proportion reached over 50 percent only in the three districts of Vavuniya in the North, Batticaloa in the East and Nuwara Eliya in the centre hills where their proportion ranged between 52 percent and 66 percent.

The beginning of what appears to have been important strands of Saivism in Sri Lanka dates back to the pre-Buddhist period. Citing evidence from Mahavamsa, inscriptions and epigraphy, some historians point out that for about four centuries before the beginning of the Christian era, very many people of Sri Lanka, perhaps the majority, expressed their religiousness through patterns that have formed a part of the Hindu tradition, Brahmanic and Saivite. Dr. Paranavitana wrote,

‘When we consider that phallic worship was the principal religious faith of the Tamils, the nearest neighbours of the Sinhalese, it is not difficult to believe that the latter people were also attached to this cult before they adopted Buddhism, and also continued to honour the Sivalinga even after this event. Proper names such as Siva, Mahasiva and Sivagusa occurring in the earlier inscriptions show that this God was worshipped by the Sinhalese of the earliest period…The more intellectual among the people perhaps followed the Brahmanical religion.’3

 Professor Ellawala, concluding his study of the religious practices in early Sri Lanka, made a series of relevant observations. ‘It becomes clear’, he said, ‘that the majority of civilized people in pre-Buddhist Ceylon were followers of Hinduism in one form or another…’4 Speaking of forms of worship in the early period, he suggested, ‘Thus the people of Ceylon during this period may have easily come to know of their form of worship – Saivism side by side with Brahmanism’.5 And elsewhere, he noted, ‘phallic worship found part of the religion of the people of Ceylon in the time of Pandukabhaya’6 On the likelihood of the worship of significant saivite deities, Professor Ellawala commented, ‘Archaeological evidence from Mihintale suggests the existence of the Dravidian God Ganesa in Ceylon during the pre-Christian centuries,’7 drawing our attention also to the possibility that, ‘Velusu in our inscriptions may very well be a reference to Murugan’.8

This evidence in Sinhalese history and archaeology bears testimony to the likelihood that Saivite religious practices formed a part of the earliest known civilization in Sri Lanka. Tamil literature produced in Sri Lanka during the later periods mentions traditions recording at least four Hindu shrines as dating from the pre-Christian era. These are the three Siva temples of Tirukethiswaram in the Mannar district, Koneswaram in the Trincomalee district, and Muniswaram in the Chilaw district and the fourth temple dedicated to Sakti, consort of Lord Siva, in the island of Nagadipa. All these Siva shrines of ancient time contain in the sanctuary a phallus or lingam, i.e., the male symbol of fertility, which is a familiar accompaniment of the worship of Siva. According to puranic traditions, Nagas worshipped at the Tirukethiswaram and Nageswari temples, and Ravana, the King of Lanka, worshipped at Koneswaram and Muniswaram. Hymns sung by St. Sambandar, of the 7th century AD, and St. Sundarar, of the 9th century AD, about Tirukethiswaram and Koneswaram are the earliest literary records preserved. These hymns form part of the religious syllabus of Hindu school children in Sri Lanka.

The history of the Hindu tradition in the early centuries of the Christian calendar in Sri Lanka shows that related religious practices became less pervasive in the Sinhalese areas as more and more people became Buddhists. When the Buddhist community became formed, it tended to develop institutional forms different from the rest of the population, particularly with regard to places of worship, religious ceremonies, and the order of monks. The brahmins had no religious rites and ceremonies to perform, and their place became occupied by bhikkus as teachers and advisors of the community.9 However, the Sinhalese kings patronized the brahmins and continued to employ them as purohita in their court. This system continued until rather recent times. There is very little evidence to be drawn from inscriptions dated prior to the Cola invasion in the 10th century AD, to tell us about the Saiva religious practices of the period. But under the patronage of the Colas, numerous Siva temples were built in Polonnaruwa and other centres of worship in the Anuradhapura kingdom. The Siva temple in Kantalai and Tirukkovil, both in the Eastern province, were built during this period.

One major feature of the Hindu worship un the Middle ages is that more and more people began to worship Muruga (Skanda), the second son of Lord Siva. The four ancient Muruga shrines, namely Nallur and Mavittapuram in the Jaffna peninsula, Cittira Velautar in the Trincomalee district, and Katirgamam (Kataragama) in the Southern province, were rebuilt or enlarged by the 15th century. By this time Pillaiyar (Ganesha), the eldest son of Lord Siva, found temples built for him almost in all the villages where Hindus lived.

Saivism was patronized by the kings of Jaffna, from the 14th century, and by the king of Kandy from the 16th century. Saivism appears to have been made the court religion of the Kandyan kingdom by Rajasingha I (1582 – 1592).10 It continued to flourish in the Kandyan kingdom from 1739 to 1815, when Tamils from South India ruled the kingdom. Thus, in the 18th century a larger section of the population of Sri Lanka was familiar with Hindu religious practices than was the case in the pre-Christian era. The introduction of South Indian labour, by the British, into the tea plantations of the Kandyan areas in the 19th century brought a dramatic increase in the Hindu population of the Central province. These Hindus, professing the cult of Siva worship, among other Gods, Mari Amman, the village goddess of infectious diseases, particularly of small pox.

A most significant revival movement among the Hindus in northern Sri Lanka began with Arumuka Navalar (1822-1879) in the nineteenth century. His revival movement was not confined to Sri Lanka only but reached out into South India as well. He is affectionately called ‘Navalar’ by the millions who profess Saivism in Sri Lanka and India. The Saiva tradition had been seriously curtailed by alien forces for about two centuries. The Portuguese came to Jaffna at a time when persecution appears to have been the order of the day in Europe. They pursued a familiar policy of persecuting persons whose religious world view they did not understand; and those who were persecuted were Saivites. Many fled to India and settled there. The vast majority of those who remained in Jaffna adopted the via media of outwardly professing Catholic belief while nutrturing inwardly their Saiva faith. But they were unable to participate in their Saiva religious practices in their essential details. Their inability to attend to their religious observances such as temple worship, fasting and initiation left their religious tradition somewhat empty. The Dutch, who followed the Portuguese, were less severe, but were none the less anxious to impose their religious beliefs on the people. The advent of British rule gave the Saivites freedom of religious practice.

It was then that this country gave birth to Arumuka Navalar. He saw himself as setting out to rejuvenate Saivism, to bring out its latent powers and fully to arm it for defence, and even for offence. He wrote several pamphlets in Tamil defining Saivism, the chief characteristics of a Saivite, insanitary acts, evil acts which are forbidden in a temple or its surroundings, etc. He had established several schools in the city and the remote villages and introduced levels of readers on Saivism to suit the ages and abilities of the children. He outlined the basic doctrines of Saivism and the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy, founded by Meykanda Devar, a Sudra vellala who lived on the banks of the Pennar river, north of Madras, during the thirteenth century.

Saiva Siddhanta, which is the Tamil school of Saivism, draws its doctrines not only from the Agamas but also from the teachings of the Saiva saints of South India, known as Nayanmars. Though Saivism has pre-Vedic roots, Saiva Siddhanta, as practiced today in South India and Sri Lanka, is traced to the teachings of Meykanda Devar in his monumental work Siva gnana bodham of the 13th century. Saiva Siddhana considers the 28 Saiva Agamas, the 12 Saiva anthologies known as Panniru irumuraikal (6th – 12th centuries AD) and the 14 Siddhanta Sastras (12th – 14th centuries) as authoritative scriptures.

Agamic culture is pre-Aryan and Dravidian in origin. Indian tradition has all along demonstrated two strands in Indian religious philosophy and ritual – the Vedic and non-Vedic traditions. The non-Vedic Agama tradition is that which has come down (a-gama) from time immemorial. The Indus Valley religious worship and practices are often traced to Agamic culture. This Agamic culture has come to embody the special teachings of Siva imparted to Uma, his consort. These teachings are contained in the 28 Agamas called ‘Sivagamas’. These Agamas teach a religious orientation theistic in form and connected with temple worship. Devotion, or bhakti, is the highest form of religious sadhana, or practice, according to the Agamas. Symbolism in the form of images and yantras play a very great part in the religious practices of the Agamic schools of thought. These Agamas are more devotional in tone than installation of images, conducting of festivals in temples and the proper times for conducting the pujas in the temples. The earliest reference in Tamil literature to the Saiva Agamas is found in the Tirumantiram of Tirumular, in 7th century AD. This work contains a comprehensive summary of the religious doctrines and philosophy of the Agamas.

Religious practices based on the Vedic tradition are different from those based on the Agamic tradition. Temple ritual is connected with puja, and is Agamic; homa, or the fire ritual is Vedic. According to the Siva Gnana Siddhiyar, a Tamil treatise of the 14th century, the Vedas are for the worldly minded who desire to enjoy the pleasures of the world, and the Agamas are for the spiritual aspirant whose sole aim in life is to realize God.

The Saiva Siddhanta philosophy teaches man how to live well, to think rightly of God, the world and himself. It is the way of life of the Tamil people, One observer, Rev. Goudie, has written,

‘As a system of religious thought, as an expression of faith and life, the Saiva Siddhanta is by far the best South India possesses. It represents not only in the South but in the whole of India the highest watermark of Indian thought and Indian life. It is the religion of the Tamil people, by the side of which every other form is of foreign origin.’11

This religious system, founded by a non-Aryan Sudra vellala Tamil and based on the Agamic or non-Vedic tradition, had received opposition from the brahmin community, which was the guardian of the Vedic tradition. The differences between these two traditions are seen in the emphasis given to religious practices. Though the major expresssions of Indian philosophy are concerned with the self or spirit of man and its attachment of release from its present condition, the philosophy based on the Vedic tradition has as its core concept an Absolute Principle called Brahman, which defies description in its final essence. However, Saiva Siddhanta thought, founded on the Sivagamas, has as its central doctrine three categories, namely – God (Pati), sould (pasu) and the bonds (paasa). All these are eternal and are dependent of each other. God is Siva, the highest reality. The individual soul is of the same essence as Siva but not identical therewith. Saiva Siddhanta, true to its religious aim and purpose, has not attempted to reconcile the categories to the Ultimate Reality. Regarding the Saiva Siddhanta practices, the religious life of a devotee is divided into four stages. These are ‘Cariya’ (physical work), ‘Kriya’ (prayer), ‘Puja’ – ‘Yoga’ (meditation), and ‘Gnana’ (divine knowledge). These essentials of Saiva Siddhanta were enunciated afresh and their religious significance was rekindled by Arumuka Navalar in Sri Lanka and South India.

Navalar, working for the removal of abuses in Saiva religious observances, inspired in the minds of a large section of the enlightened Hindu community a desire to inform themselves of the doctrines of their religious heritage. He started a series of lectures every Friday, beginning the first week of March 1847, in a school established by him in Jaffna. In the very first lecture he explained that the Vedas were common to all Hindus, but the Agamas are specific religious literatures for the saivites to follow.12 Those who practice the Vedic rituals will attain merit, but those who follow the Saiva Path will attain salvation. The brahmins reacted violently to his lectures, abusing him and claiming that they were superior to the Saivites. The larger section of the Hindu public agreed with Navalar and followed the religious practices recommended by him.

One such important practice is initiation or diksha. The distinguishing characteristic in this practice is holy ash, which is smeared with three finger-tips, forming three distinct bars or lines upon sixteen different parts of the body. The uninitiated will just rub the ash upon his forehead. All Saivites, irrespective of caste or sex, are entitled to wear this diksha or three distinct bars of the Saivite. Navalar started preaching against the Vedic brahmins conducting puja in Saiva temples. He refused to receive holy ash from Vedic brahmins to perform ceremonies. Eventually his efforts proved a great success. Brahmins could not exist without the support of the Hindu community at large. They all, gradually, started wearing the Siva dhiksha markings and conducted pujas in the temples according to the rules presecribed in the Sivagamas. Navalar conducted a similar campaign in Chidambaram, South India, and got the Vedic brahmins to conduct pujas there according to the Sivagamas. This more than anything else, brought a unification of the Saivites and standardized the religious practices throughout the country. Saiva Siddhanta had been brought to the doorstep of every man and woman.

After Navalar’s death in 1879, his disciples in Jaffna and South India continued his work. Religious lecture series in temples became very popular, and more and more intellectuals became engaged with a study of the religious and philosophical doctrines of Saiva Siddhanta. The period 1900 – 1950 saw a number of publications of Saiva Siddhanta. In 1900, Mr Nallasvami Pillai started a monthly English magazine The Siddhanta Dipika, or lamp of the Siddhanta, for the purpose of giving expression to the best thought of the Saiva sect. And in 1911, he published a very useful volume called Studies in Saiva Siddhanta. In 1913, Mr. S. Sabaratna Mudaliyar of Jaffna published a book called Essentials of Hinduism in the light of Saiva Siddhanta. The same year saw the publication, Philosophical Saivism or Saiva Siddhanta, by Rev. S. Gnana Prakasar, OMI, a distinguished Tamil scholar and Catholic priest of Jaffna. In 1934, Mr. S. Sivapadasundaaram, a college principal, wrote a book called The Saiva School of Hinduism, still considered a standard reference work on Saivism and Saiva Siddhanta philosophy.13

The introduction of free education, in 1945, brought far reaching changes in the sphere of Hindu religious education, worship and practices. Before the opening of Hindu schools by the Hindu Board of Education in the North, school education was the monopoly of the Christian missionaries. Only Christianity was taught in the schools and even Saivites had to follow the classes. There were cases of Saivite pupils disobeying the order of a Methodist school in Jaffna when it ordered that pupils should not wear holy ashes. Those who disobeyed were sent out of the school. Under the then existing regulaions, the State could not prevent such acts of the denominational schools. The Education Ordinance No. 1 of 1920 attempted to vindicate the neutral role of the Government by prohibiting the teaching of any religion in state schools and by insisting on a conscience clause in respect of denominational schools. The relevant clause runs thus:

‘It shall not be required as a condition of any child being admitted into or continuing in an assisted school that he shall attend or abstain from attending any Sunday school or any place of worship, or that he shall attend any religious observance or any instruction in religious subjects in that school or elsewhere from which observance or instruction he may be withdrawn by his parent or guardian or that he shall attend that school on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parent belongs…’14

No doubt this was an improvement over the earlier legislation. But at a time when Christianity held sway over the destinies of those who were clamouring for public office, when the label of ‘Christianity’ was interpreted as an open passport for acceptance into high society, no ordinary ‘parent could have been expected to have the courage to exercise this right and open his child to all anxieties that were in store for him. The ill effects of this Education Ordinance have been removed by the Education Ordinance No. 26 of 1947.15 This provided for the introduction of religion into the curriculum of state schools. More and more Hindu children had the opportunity of learning the religious tradition of their parents in the schools they attended for their general education. When the Assisted Schools and Training Colleges Act No. 5 of 1960, came into operation, most of the denominational schools in the island were nationalized. The Stat, with the abolition of the denominational system, had taken almost absolute ownership and control over the entire range of schools in the country. Successive governments have made religion a compulsory subject in the school curriculum from grades one through ten, Now, every child of school going age can study the religious tradition that he practices at home.

The content of the Hinduism syllabus, that had been in force up to 1965, included both the Vedic and the Agamic traditions. This syllabus was primarily concerned with the cultural heritage of India. The social changes that took place in Sri Lanka since independence (1947) brought the Saivites from poor familites and the so-called lower classes of the Hindu society to the forefront in public life. More and more Hindu temples were admitting the so-called untouchables. Saivism of the Sri Lanka variety became a force in the Tamil society. Free education and the economic development of the country contributed largely to these changes. There had been numerous requests from the major Hindu organizations for a change in the content of the Hinduism syllabus. Saiva doctrines and religious practices with emphasis on popular or folk aspects were requested to be contained in the childrens’ curriculum. The Department of Education acceded to this request and introduced ‘Saivism’ in place of the earlier ‘General Hinduism’. The content of this Saivism syllabus contains the various aspects of the religious tradition in which the Hindu population of Sri Lanka participates. The current syllabus of the General Certificate of Education – Ordinary Level (Grade 10) is as follows:

Hinduism (Saivism)

  1. History of Saivism
  • Antiquity of Saivism, Siva worship in the period of Indus Valley civilization, Siva worship in the Vedas and the Agamas, Origin of the Sivagamas and the practices.
  • Origin of the twelve Saiva Thirumurai (Anthologies): Names of those who sang the hymns and their date, Classification of Tirumurais, Those who compiled the Tirumurais, Those who ordered the compilation, Greatness of Tirumurais, Benefit by their recital.
  • Saiva Siddhanta literature: Fourteen Siddhanta scriptures, Names of those who wrote, Philosophical contents in them.
  • Origin and development of the Saiva Mutts, Origin of the Saiva Mutts, their development, Contributions.
  • Saivism in Sri Lanka: Ancient Siva temples, Arumuka Navalar’s contributions to Saivism.
  1. Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy

Truth about the Three realities, Nature of God, Soul, and Bond and their relationship.

  1. Saiva Practices

Identities of the Saivites; Holy Ash, Rudraksha, Temple worship, Worship of Guru, Lingam and Saiva Saints, the Four Paths leading to salvation: Cariya, Kriya, Yoha and Gnana; Diksha (Initiation); Fasts in honour of Siva, Ganesa, Uma and Skanda.

  1. Saiva Rituals – Marriage; Funeral; Srarda, Abhisheka, Philosophical explanations.
  2. Four Saiva Saints: Sampandar, Appar, Sundarar and Manikkavasakar.

Four Santanasiriyar: Meykanda Devar, Arulnandi Sivachchariyar, Maraignana Sampantar and Umapati Sivacchariyar.

The objective of providing religious instruction in schools is to help the leaders of tomorrow to understand the true significance of their religious heritage and the religious practices in which they participate at home, and to help them to discern the ideals on which the concepts of right and wrong are based. Whether this objective has been achieved is not yet known. Some people think that educated young people in Sri Lanka are either in revolt against their religious traditions or, at least, very little concerned with them. This impression has been the result of thinking that these traditions are completely at odds with the modern scientific-technological world.

It is true that a section of the Hindu youth in South India, taken by the rationalist movement of Periyar Ramasamy Nayakar, revolted against the traditional institutions of religion. There have been many reasons in their background for this move, such as caste differences, poverty, unemployment, excesses of brahmin control, etc. There have been no cases of their learning religion in any structural, formal manner in schools and other institutions of learning. Those young Hindus, especially from the non-brahmin classes, were not carefully nurtured in the intellectual classics of their religious traditions.

The case of the Hindus of Sri Lanka is very different. Here, Hindu youths have strong religious roots and generally remain firm in their relationship to those roots. Children generally join their parents in visiting the temples and in performing the traditional religious rites. In schools they receive carefully structured formal religious instruction from sincere teachers who are always keen to help their students see what is entailed in living religiously. School children and even the university students go on pilgrimages to ancient Hindu shrines such as Tirukketiswaram, Koneswaram, Nagadipa, Kataragama and Adam’s Peak. Birth anniversaries of the four most famous Saiva Saints are celebrated in all the Saiva schools. Young girls undertake fasting and attend the temples, after physical purification, and perform their worship in conformity with the rules prescribed for such occasions. They learn these rules from their parents and study the mode of worship in their text books. Older people engage in special prayers or undertake vows in relation to the passing of examinations, obtaining promotions, curing of personal or family illnesses.

A Hindu is generally a God-fearing person. He, as an expression of his religiousness, finds intimate relationship between his religious tradition and daily life wherein he, through his faith, finds life enriched by the religious grounding and support furnished through the sacred acts.


Selected Readings.

  1. Navaratnam K. Studies in Hinduism, Jaffna, Ceylon, 1963.
  2. Sivaratnam C. An Outline of the Cultural History and Principles of Hinduism, Colombo, 1964.
  3. Cartman, Rev. James. Hinduism in Ceylon, Colombo, 1957.
  4. Ellawala, H. Social History of Early Ceylon, Department of Cultural Affairs, Colombo, 1969.



  • Leonard Broom and Philip Selznick, Sociology: a text with adapted Readings, 4th, p. 305.
  • Sri Lanka, Census of Population 1971, Department of Census and Stattics, 1978, p. 89,
  • Paranavitana: Pre-Buddhist religious beliefs in Ceylon. J Roy Asiat Soc. Ceyl branch, 1929, pp. 302-327.
  • Ellawala, Social History of Early Ceylon, Department of Cultural Affairs, 1969, p. 161.
  • Ibid, p. 158.
  • Ibid, p. 156.
  • Ibid, p. 159.
  • Ibid, p. 158.
  • Ibid, p. 167.
  • James Cartman, Hinduism in Ceylon, Colombo, 1957, p. 45.
  • Viswalingam, ‘Siddhanta’. Hindu Dharma (Journal of the University of Ceylon Hindu Student Union, Peradeniya), 1959-60, p. 2.
  • Kanagaratnam, Biography of Arumuga Navalar (in Tamil), Jaffna, 1968, 50.
  • James Cartman, Hinduism in Ceylon, Colombo, 1957, p. 184.
  • Education in Ceylon: A Century Volume, 1969, part III, p. 967.
  • Ibid, p. 969.


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