The state number is a very important part of Sri Lankan history. Known as the “number of the state,” the satta is a series of fixed dates that have long been used in determining important events and significant milestones in Sri Lankan life. For instance, the satta king up number for the year 2021 was fixed when the Constitution was adopted. Up until that point, the state had already determined the following year’s date. While no one seems to know exactly why the state numbers were created or what their purpose is, there is speculation as to why the satta numbers were assigned in the first place.
Sri Lanka History dates back to approximately 600 BC, during the period of the Mauryas and the Romans. During this time, Tamil speakers from the southern part of the country migrated to the northern region of Sri Lanka in search of a warmer climate and agricultural lands. Over a period of time, these people interbred with the local population and as a result, the current Sri Lankan population was created.
The first century of Sri Lankan History featured a period of instability and change. The dashingly idealistic King Koodiyapura established the Maurya dynasty, but it would be nearly two hundred years later, in the 7th century, that another major king, whom many refer to as Kalidasa, would also come into power. This time, however, there was no longer a need to worry about hereditary succession because Kalidasa was a nominal monarch. Instead, he brought in a group of administrators known as the sattvam, who organized the government and made sure that laws and decrees were duly enacted. This group of officials became known as sativa.
Sattvam also took care of the compulsions that the Tamil population had to undergo in order to be allowed to marry someone outside the Tamil community. Thus, the sattvas played an important role in creating fraternity among the Tamils and the Buddhism that spread in full force after the installation of King Koodiyapura. They were also responsible for the ordination of monks, who were given the robes and tools of the monastic life. Some sattvas, particularly during the reign of Kalidasa, went on to establish their name as great saints, while many more were revered as teachers and spiritual leaders.
In the present day, a state of one thousand is said to be equivalent to about twenty lines of rice. The sattvam in this instance has been replaced by sattvam-satti, which refers to a series of instructions and discussions on how to lead the Sri Lankan people towards enlightenment. A sattva-satti is written in a flowing, conversational style that encourages listeners to ask questions and engage in detailed discussions. These discussions are often impromptu and occur as a result of a simple question or a comment made by a listener.
There are two forms of sattvam-satti: sattvam-satti yoga in Thiruvallam, and sattvam-pindsweda yoga in Kathu. One of the important things to note about these two sattvams is that they are traditionally ordered in the form of hundreds and thousands (in Thiruvallam) or even million (in Kathu). A sattva is usually given as a gift by a nobleman, minister, or scholar to his or her student as a sign of respect. Often a sattva is given for a similar reason, but is usually given as a sign of veneration. Thus, for example, a thousand sattvas are said to symbolize a nobleman’s compassionate generosity.