Reading makes full man, well I’m not really agree on that, if it is meaning that reading makes perfect man ,it will never make us perfect, we can be gain knowledge by reading, but we can’t be perfect by reading. After all nobody is perfect. By reading what we can do is we can justify what we are doing we can also find very valid reasons to justify what we do whether it s right or wrong.
It was Egyptians who started keeping document as an archive, and later this converted into the place which is more than just an archive. But it was not written in papers those were burnt clay tiles with writing, but the concert of modern library started in Greece. Greeks adopted the Chinese invention of printing in papers. Then library was common practice most of religious institutes, Now of course we have E libraries, we don’t have to get the hard copy, if we have a tab or smart phone then we can read whatever we want. But reading a book is different from reading it from our tab.
(Jaffna Library form Fort)
In Sri Lanka we had the largest library in South Asia. It was Jaffna library. Of course I never got any chance to go there. Last time when I was in Jaffna I went there but it was closed because of a holiday. Even if I get any chance to go in I don’t think that I will be able to see any of books. Because the entire library was completely burnt by the Sinhalese.
There are ash people,
and ash eyes.
the one you see,
is ash too.
There were ashen people here,
wearing ash spectacles,
sitting on ash chairs
and reading ash books.
Those ash books
contained ashen lessons;
the lessons of 1981,
and on wards,
and the ash walls here
the ash words
heard on the ash day.
Where would all this ash go, ( Burnt library )
maybe there is an ocean,
an ocean of time,
made of ash
The ash ocean,
the ashen shore of
the city of ashes,
the ash heartbeat of my nation,"
“Sri Lanka maatha…”
( Rasika Jayakody 26-05-2012 )
This has happened before that in India. Old universities of “Nalanda” and “Wikramasheela” was burnt completely .Also same thing happened In Germany before the World War II.There was a particular politician who was responsible for burning Jaffna Library and later he also assassinated .ironically under the good governments in Sri Lanka both his sons were elected to the parliament this time. I wish the history won’t repeat again.
The other library which I like most is Colombo public library, I t is not big as the congress library in USA, but still it has reasonable collection, then the other my unforgettable library it is Ingiriya public library, well it was a very small place. Now of course we have new building, but so far I never been to the new library building. But I was a very regular to the old library during my school days. We had a very helpful librarian as well.
However if we are going to library the whole idea is reading something. There may be some of us have occasions that we go to library to meet someone but I don’t think any of us frequently visiting to library to see the building.
We generally go to library to read, there is a lesser tendency to go to library to enjoy the building.
(Padeniya Temple Ancient Library)
But in Sri Lanka there is a one library which I very much like to visit only to see the building. Well it is not large modern building; it is a small wattle and daub construction belongs to Padeniay rajamaha Wiharaya in Kurunagala.
Sri Lanka we had a traditional education system based on Buddhist temples. Most of Buddhist temple has large amount of religious books. Those books are hand written on Palmyra leaves.
These kind of books were known as “Puskolapotha”.the Place where these books were kept known as “ Pothgula”.It is very much similar to a reference section of a modern library. You can’t borrow the book but of course you can read at temple premises.
Sadly this is not allowed for women, due to various reasons. Traditional Sri Lankan education was not a women right. It’s during the British period of Sri Lanka that women were allowed for formal education.
Padeniya Rajamaha Wihara is one of the very old Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. If you are taking Anuradhapura road through Kurunagala this is actually on the main road.
In Sri Lanka history the ancient kingdom started fromAnuradhpura,But eventually it started moving towards south western part of Sri Lanka.At one Point Kurunagala became the capital city of Sri Lanka.
The kings of that time did not think of building high rises or highways. What they built was Buddhist temples.temples. Padeniya belongs to that time period but there are some stories which related to King Dutu Gemunu’s period.
The ancient library, “Pothgula” which is over three hundred years old but its wattle and daub construction. Most of wattle and daub construction does not existing such a long period. With time the moisture will cause to damage the strength of the walls and also termite attacks to the sub structure.
This particular building rests on large rock subsurface of that the water of moisture absorbent by the walls is very little. Since this is an archaeological conserved building they won’t let us to see the inside, I have been to this place several times but so far never got any opportunity of seeing it inside. But the external plastering has very smooth texture. Actually the Padeniya temple is something worth watching.