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Vol. 3 No. 4 (2021): Volume 3, Issue 4, Year 2021

Small Deity Worship in Sri Lanka: A Comparative Study Based on Hindu and Buddhist Religious Traditions

Gunapalasingam V
Department of Hindu civilization, Eastern University, Sri Lanka

Published 2021-09-15


  • Sri Lanka,
  • Hinduism,
  • Buddhism,
  • Small Deity worship

How to Cite

V, G. (2021). Small Deity Worship in Sri Lanka: A Comparative Study Based on Hindu and Buddhist Religious Traditions. International Research Journal of Tamil, 3(4), 99-107.

Plum Analytics


The People who have not only multi ethnic, multi -religious and multi -languages in Sri Lanka but also, they follow different beliefs and cultural traditions as well.  Hindu and Buddhist religious and cultural traditions are very prominent in Sri Lanka. Even though India is the root cause for the prevailing Hindu and Buddhist traditions in Sri Lanka, both the traditions and its worships and beliefs have unique and independent characteristics different from India. Small deity worship comprises of unique and independent characteristics in Sri Lanka. Small Deity worship in Hindu tradition: Kazhippu ritual, temple ritual, Kumara Deiva worship, Vairava worship, Pathini Amman worship, tree worship, Naga thampiran worship and small deity worship in Buddhist tradition: Thovil, Magapirith, katharagama deio, Bahirava, Pathini Deio, Bothi tree, Maga Naga are compared and identified unique and innovative characteristics among them.  In this research, historical method, comparative method and descriptive method have been used. Data gathered from field work are considered as primary sources and data gathered from literature, research articles, manuscripts, etc. considered as secondary sources.  Knowing origin and background of Hindu and Buddhist religion, identifying characteristics of small deity worship in Hindu and Buddhist tradition in Sri Lanka, discovering unique and innovative characteristics of small deity worship of Hindu and Buddhist traditions and evaluating values revealed by the two traditions are objectives of the research. Research area for this study is Magoya Divisional Secretary and Eravur Pattu Divisional Secretary.  The conclusion of the research is that the small deity worships of the above two traditions fulfills psychological needs of the concerned people and small deity worship beliefs and traditions of Hindu and Buddhist religions will continue for long time.


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