For the 1997 film, see Paththini (1997 film). For the 2016 film, see Paththini (2016 film).
A The Procession of the marble statue of Goddess Pattini arriving to Nawagamuwa.
The marble statue of Goddess Pattini.

In Sinhala belief, Pattini (also spelled as Paththini) is a guardian deity of Sri Lanka. Goddess Pattini is worshiped by both Buddhists and Hindus and is the patron goddess of fertility and health - particularly protection against smallpox, which is referred to as deviyange ledé ('the divine affliction') in the Sinhala language. According to Sinhala mythology, the Bodhisattva Pattini was incarnated as Kannagi in order to rid the Pandya kingdom of its evil three-eyed king. She was said to have been born of a mango fruit, which was cut down by the god Sakra with an arrow.


Goddess Pattini is the deification of Kannagi, who is the central character of the Tamil epic Silapadhikaram of Ilango Adigal, written in India after the 2nd Century CE. After a short time, it was introduced into Sri Lanka and absorbed earlier deities such as Kiri Amma ('milk mother'). Historians attribute the introduction of goddess Pattini to the island to Gajabahu I, a Sinhalese king who ruled Sri Lanka from 113 - 135 CE. The Silapathikaram mentions Gajabahu's presence at the consecration of a temple to Kannagi (identified as Pattini in this case) by the Chera king Senguttuvan.


Pattini is honoured in annually fertility rites such as

Milk-mother's alms-giving

Sinhalese people believe that diseases like chickenpox and measles are punishments by God for frailty. In such events as the goddess of healing they pray to Pattini Devi. When a family member is infected, they hold Dānas (alms-givings) for her, called Kiri-amma dāna (Milk-mother's alms-giving).

Major Pattini Temples in Sri Lanka

See also


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