Philosophy

Adam’s Peak

The curious footstep on a mountain in Sri Lanka that draws climbs from multiple nations and religions.

Adam’s Peak is a mountain located in the southwestern jungles of Sri Lanka. This mountain is considered a Holy site for four different major world religions; Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Yet before any of these major religions existed, the mountain was worshipped by the Veddas, which were the aboriginal inhabitants of Sri Lanka.  According to climbers, the mountain seems to have a spiritual, magnetic draw.

If you are at all familiar with Abrahamic religions, you may know that Adam is believed to be the first man. The meaning of the word “Adam” is actually derived from the Hebrew word for “Earth man”. Therefore, it is not hard to make the connection as to why this mountain is referenced in certain sects of both Christianity and Islam to be the first place that Adam took his steps after leaving the Garden of Eden. There is actually a footprint at the summit of the mountain that never seem to disappear.

The mountain is even more commonly known as Sri Pada, which means “Holy Footprint” in Sanskrit. For Buddhists, who make up the largest group of pilgrims to visit the mountain, they come to see the footprint that they believe are from none other than the Buddha himself. But, differing from the other religions, Buddhists believe that the real print is actually beneath the larger footprint marking on the summit, and is imprinted on a huge sapphire. it is said to have been left by the Buddha during his third and final visit to Sri Lanka.

For Hindus, the mountain takes on an earlier significance, that of creation. In Hindi the mountain is called Sivan Adi Padham, meaning “Shiva’s Footprint”. Being that the footprint at the summit is actually 5 feet 7 inches long and 2 feet 6 inches wide, it makes more sense that it would be left by such a deity. It is said the footprint was left when the god Shiva danced and thus created the world.

 

 

 

 

By: Alexandria Addesso Kean Univesity, New Jersey.

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