Studies examining Sri Lanka’s Buddhist literature have primarily focused on its Pāli literary works. But during the Polonnaruwa period (1017–1235), Sri Lankan authors began to produce Sinhalese works, which then flourished in the Dambadeniya period (1220–1345), a period that came to be known as the golden era of Sri Lankan literature. In considering new Buddhist forms of Sri Lankan literature after the eleventh century, research on these Sinhalese literary works is mandatory.
This paper focuses on two Sinhalese prose works: Butsarana and Daham Sarana, written for the purpose of paying homage to the Buddha and dharma, respectively. Both works use the idea of the bodhisattva, through the retelling of many Jātaka stories, to explore the values of the Buddha and dharma. In considering the features of bodhisattva thought as presented in Sinhalese literature, comparisons will be drawn with related Pāli works and their commentaries.