Ola leaf Book Project

Ola leaf Book Project

The supreme Dhamma that was discoursed by the Lord Buddha was protected as Thripitaka by means of conducting first, second and third Dhamma Convocations after the parinibbana of the blessed one while it has been continued via the generations of Theravada Oral Tradition Preachers. Thereafter, during the reign of King Walagamba in Sri Lanka the noble Thripitaka was preserved in ola-leaf books by 500 Great Arahants. This was mentioned as “Poththaka Sangeethiya” in the history of the Buddhist order. Then the noble Thripitaka has been continued by copying onto ola leaves from time to time. In addition, enormous amount of literature including Atta Katha, Tika, Sanna, Geta pada, Vansakatha, Bana Poth, Vyakarana, Chandolankara, Kavya, Veda Poth, Kadaim Poth have been documented in ola leaf books. Ola leaf books in Sri Lanka are mainly written in Pali and Sinhala. Ola leaf books are prepared by mainly using folios made from tanned leaves of palmyra trees. Ola leaf books are currently seen in ancient temples and museums in Sri Lanka. Additionally, lots of ola leaf books that were taken out of the country during the colonial time are available in some universities and museums overseas. Preserving these ancient ola leaf books that mirror the historical pride as well as wisdoms of dhamma, logic, classic and technology of Sri Lankans is an immense noble act carried out not only on behalf of the nation and Buddhism, but the entire world.

Ola leaf books are unforgettable sources when it comes to exploring Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Among these ola leaf books there is a large quantity of pure Theravada Thripitaka, Atta Katha, Tika and Bana Poth. Using the aforementioned copies of ola leaf books, a series of Thripitaka books such as Buddha Jayanthi Thripitaka Book series and Thripitaka printed by Pali Text Society have been produced. However, many ola leaf books, which are considered a special heritage, have been destroyed. It is pity that the remainder of ola leaf books are also in danger of being destroyed due to reasons such as pests, natural disasters, lack of maintenance and natural expiry.

We have initiated this ola leaf project to endow ola leaf books for future generations. Accordingly, this project commits to microfilm and preserve ancient ola leaf books that are found not only in temples of Sri Lanka and abroad. Our project is not solely confined to preservation but extends beyond that to provide free opportunities through the Internet for both national and international scholars to study and explore these ancient ola leaf books.

It is pivotal to microfilm and restore these ola leaf books that help us to verify the continuous and historical identity of the pure Theravada Buddhism. If not, it would be a daunting task for us to prove with evidence that the printed Thripitaka in use at present is the very same ancient Thripitaka that was protected and continued from one generation to another.

This a noble service provided on behalf of the furtherance of the Buddhist order. It is a timely task to restore such a great resource that showcases the historical pride of the nation. It indeed is a tribute from us to the enormous dedication rendered by our ancient Buddhist monks and devout forefathers. Generous devotees like you can contribute towards this noble task which has been carried out amidst various difficulties.

  • Bank account details to contribute for ola leaf project:
    Account number: 102161004585
    Account name: Vibhajjawada Sanvidhanaya
    Bank: Sampath Bank Super Branch, Anuradhapura

Please let us know about your meritorious contributions for the convenience of both you and us.

Contact us: +94 25 570 40770/+94 7666 42882/+94 7727 74640