Murder in the Cathedral: The Conspiracy to Assassinate Kirti Sri Rajasinha by Monks and Aristocrats in 1760 CE

In this case study Dr. Gananath  re-examine the failed attempt to kill King Kīrti Śri Rājasinha by a section of the Kandyan aristocracy and monkhood in a most gruesome manner in the very premises of the Malvatta monastery.  Among the conspirators was the Saṃgharāja Saranaṃkara revered for his piety and knowledge of Buddhist doctrine and ethics. The plan was to entice the king to worship in the temple and then trap him in a huge pit laden with spikes in order to ensure a painful death.  The model for this sadistic scenario is the boru vala or “false pit” used to trap large animals; and humans, it is well known, also sometimes accidentally fall into a boru vala. I will present an alternative interpretation of these momentous events in Buddhist history

Prof Obeyesekere_October presentation