Saman (also called Sumana, Samantha, Sumana Saman, Sinhala: සුමන සමන් දෙවි) is a deity, subject to local and indigenous belief and worship in Sri Lanka. The name Saman means "the rising morning sun". His character is of historical significance for the Sinhala people and veneration especially to all the Buddhists.
God Saman is considered one of the guardian deities of the island and the Buddha Śāsana. Natha, Upulvan, Vibhishana and Kataragama are the other guardian deities. Nayakkar dynasty from South India introduced Goddess Pattini replacing God Saman. God Saman is the guardian (patron deity) or the presiding deity of Saparagamuva and the Sri Pada mountain. Accordingly his main shrine or devalaya is at Ratnapura, where an annual festival is held in his honor.
According to common belief, he may have been a King or a provincial ruler (Mahasumana) of Saparagamuva from the Deva clan, one of the four main clans in ancient Sri Lanka. Others are Yakkha, Naga and According to the tradition of Sammuthi Deva (considered a deity by common acceptance), he is revered as a deity. He is also thought to have been a Deva (god) of the heaven. There is much debate regarding his origin. By a few, he is also related to Vibhishana and God Katharagama. Some also relate him to the Mahayana tradition of Samantabhadra.
God Maha Sumana Saman is depicted crowned, bejeweled, holding a lotus flower in his right hand and accompanied by a white elephant.
Read more about Saman (deity): History, Sri Pada, Beliefs, Impact On The Sri Lankan Culture, See Also