Saman Deviyo as depicted at Kelaniya Vihara
Saman Deviyo, Guardian of Śrī Pada
One of island Lanka's most important guardian deities is Mahasumana, Sumana or Saman, the guardian or the presiding deity of Śrī Pada mountain or Sumanakuta (Adam's Peak), which the Buddhists treat as sacred on account of its bearing the impression of the Buddha's left foot, which he left on his third visit to the island. (Mahavamsa i, 77 ff.).
God Saman is recorded as having met the Buddha on the latter's first visit to the island when he visited Mahiyangana to drive away the yakkhas. Saman became a stream-entrant (sotapanna) after listening to the Buddha, who gave him a handful of hairs with which he erected the dagaba at Mahiyangana (Mahavamsa i, 33). He is regarded as the chief deity of the area surrounding the sacred mountain as well as of the hill-country in general. Accordingly his main shrine is at Ratnapura, where an annual festival is held in his honour.