Amarapura a Buddhist sect in Cevlon, which arose about the commencement of the present century. It seems to have originated from Burmah, and is now considerably extended in its influence, including priests of all castes. The object of this sect is to bring back the doctrines of Buddhism to their pristine purity, by disentangling them from caste, polytheism, and other corruptions. The following are the peculiarities of this sect in its present form in Ceylon, as given by R. Spence Hardy:
"(1.) They publicly preach against the doctrines of Hindusm, and do not invoke the Hindu gods at the recitation of pirit (a mode of exorcism).
(2.) They give ordination to all castes, associating with them indiscriminately, and preach against the secular occupations of the Siamese priests.
(3.) They do not acknowledge the authority of the royal edicts, that they have anything to do with their religion; neither do they acknowledge the Buddhist hierarchy.
(4.) They do not follow the observances of the Pase-Buddhas, unless sanctioned by Gotama.
(5.) They do not use two seats nor employ two priests when Bana (the sacred writings) is read, nor quaver the voice, as not being authorized by Buddha.
(6.) They expound and preach the Winaya (a portion of the sacred writings) to the laity, while the Siamese read it only to the priests, and then only a few passages, with closed doors.
(7.) They perform a ceremony equivalent to confirmation a number of years after ordination, while the Siamese perform it immediately after.
(8.) They lay great stress on the merits of the pan-pinkama (or feast of lamps), which they perform during the whole night, without any kind of preaching or reading; whereas the Siamese kindle only a few lamps in the evening and repeat Bana until the morning.
(9.) The Amarapuras differ from the Siamese by having both the shoulders covered with a peculiar roll of robe under the armpit, and by leaving the eyebrows unshorn."