Pattini is considered a guardian deity of Sri Lanka in Sri Lankan Buddhism and Sinhalese folklore. She is also worshipped by Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus by the name of Kannaki Amman. She is considered the patron goddess of fertility and health--particularly protection against smallpox, which is referred to as deviyange ledé ('the divine affliction') in the Sinhala language.
According to Sinhalese mythology, the Bodhisattva Pattini was incarnated as Kannagi in order to rid the Pandya kingdom of its evil three-eyed king. She was said to have been born of a mango fruit, which was cut down by the god Sakra with an arrow.