Sinhala History Question (Probably not the right place to ask, but I don't know any other SL forum... )

Hi guys!

As that long title states, I was curious about a bit of Sinhala history. My question today is, what was the religion of the Sinhalese people (not the aboriginal tribes) before Buddhism arrived? If the forefathers of this ethnic group arrived on the island around the mid-500s BCE, and if Buddhism was introduced around 300 BCE, that meant there was an approximate 200 year gap - so, who did they worship during that time? What were some traditions?

Any answers supported by concrete evidence would be much appreciated! Thank you!

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Avatar for Dili


Hi Romhagal,

It's said that before Buddhism came to the island the tribes of Sri Lanka worshiped their own deities. That is the Deva, Yaksha, Raaksha, Naga tribes. It's also said that worshiping nature was also done and that Shaivism and Jainism were also present.

For proper sources I think your best course of action would be to ask for some relevant books at the Colombo Public Library or any leading bookshop. They would be able to help you out.



the literature suggests that there were two religions which were prominent , though there were other minor fractions the two main religions were separated on the "old gods" vs "new gods"

the old gods were mostly followed by people in the north , they personified every significant tree , rock etc. and believed they contain magical or spiritual power
the new gods is whole lot different game , it was consisted of "The Faith holds that there is one god who has seven faces or aspects: the Father, the Mother, the Warrior, the Smith, the Maiden, the Crone and the Stranger. Each aspect represents one part of life or existence."

there were some minor fractions who worshiped fire they were guided by women who devoted themselves to the lord of light and they clad in red always.

there are books (seven or so) on this reply if you need more info

Avatar for Kinita


Hahaha kajja, you are a thoroughly misleading joker. Romhagal, please don't listen to him/her unless you're a Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones fan.

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