© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Deities Hierarchy Ceremonies Sakra Guardians Twelve Deities


Natha is one of the Four Guardian Deities of Sri Lanka having been assigned by Lord Buddha himself the special responsibility for the West of the island of Sri Lanka. During the 14th and 15th centuries he was an especially popular Deity and was venerated at his Shrine at Totagamuwa near Hikkaduwa. There are also significant and ancient Shrines dedicated to him in Kandy near the Temple of the Tooth where important ancient royal coronation ceremonies such as choosing a propitious name for a new king and the ceremonial donning of the royal sword of state took place. Also at Vagiriya there is an important Natha Shrine. There is another important shrine dedicated to him at Kelaniya Temple near Colombo. He is considered to be a very calm and compassionate Deity and it is commonly believed  he will be the next Buddha.

During Perahera processions dance groups often perform a Natha dance dressed in his colours - red and yellow.

Dance groups performing the dance in honour of Natha during a Dikwella Perahera procession

Shrines to Deities within the Temple complex of the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. There is an important shrine here dedicated to Natha.