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THE Scope of this work is limited to the history and description of that particular stock or branch of Buddhism which has been established and continued in Ceylon.
I have tried to treat this subject in a way at once popular enough to interest the general reader, and accurate enough to be of value to the scholar. With a view to the former purpose I have avoided as far as possible the use, in the text, of Pali words and technical terms with a view to the latter purpose, I have given references for every statement which professes to be drawn direct from the Pali books.
The notes which stand at the end of some chapters, the chapter (xxi.) on the Literary History of the Texts, and the Appendix on Sirivaddhanapura, may, I hope, be found contributions to scholarship or history. In the interest of all readers, I have suppressed, as a rule, the marks of quantity and the diacritical points in proper names, after the first occurrence of each.