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may be the same person. These deities are beneficent, and therefore are Goddesses.
I also heard of one called Gōmbara Nacci Yaksani, 'the Freckled Lady'; she is said to be the wife of the Galē Yakā. She must therefore be a form of the Kiri-Ammā, all these deities being, like the Vaeddas, strictly monogamous.
So far as I learnt, there is only one other kindly deity, the Gange Baṇḍāra, the Chief of the River,' whose aid and countenance are sometimes invoked in the interior when the Vaeddas are about to proceed on a hunting trip. He is known also in the north-western Kandian districts. The Vaeddas locate him at Yangala, near the Mahawaeli-ganga, but he has no temple there.
King Mahā-Sēna, who is worshipped by the Kandians and the Wanniyas under the title of Sat Rajjuruwō, is not known to the Vaeddas, either in the form of a deity or otherwise.
Next come the malevolent deities also called Yakās, a title which in their case means 'demons.' They cause the various evils that afflict the Vaeddas, and their position is exactly the same as that of the evil spirits whom the Sinhalese denominate Yakās. Sickness or misfortune of every kind is especially attributed to them; but some of them also exhibit their spite by throwing down rocks from the cliffs when people are passing by, and by frightening them in the night by strange cries and noises, the latter including the clapping of hands.
These other Yakās, who are thus generally harmful, belong to two categories, those known by names found only in the interior tract of the Vaedi-rața, and those recognised in other parts.
Of the former, Paeraet Yakā is one of the most powerful; he may represent the Daeḍimuṇḍā Yakā of the Sinhalese districts, if, as is probable, his name contains a reference to his being defeated (paeraeddunā) by Buddha in his conflict with the forces of Mara. According to the Sinhalese accounts, this demon alone did not run away when Māra's army was defeated, but crept under Buddha's throne; he was therefore called by Buddha "Daeḍiyā," the Resolute One,' a title
that does not strike one as being particularly applicable under the circumstances. Daeḍimuṇḍā is connected by a legend with the construction of Alut-Nuwara or Mahiyangana, apparently an early Vaedda settlement, which has been already mentioned as the site of one of their early battles. He is also known by the Sinhalese as Dēvatā Baṇḍāra,' the Godling Chief,' and Alut-Nuwara Baṇḍāra, 'the Chief of Alut-nuwara.' As Daeḍimuṇḍā, I was informed by them that he is considered to be an 'Aemaptya,' or minister, of Vishnu, and the son of a demon termed Mānawakā or Mānōkā, who was the spirit of a Mānā or Black Stork (Dissura episcopa), which was caught by a pandita named Widurā,1 yoked to a plough, and forced to plough a field for him. Daeḍimuṇḍā is considered by the Sinhalese to be the most powerful of all demons, and to rank next to Wessawana, or Kuvēra, the Overlord of all Yakshas. It seems possible that the Vaedi name 'Paeraet' has suggested his identification with a Yaksha of the Sinhalese. His connection with Mahiyangana, which he is said to have built, may indicate that he was an original deity of the Vaeddas.
Among the Yakās of this class mentioned by Mr. Nevill, the Kumbe Yakā is noted by him as being the most dreaded by the Vaeddas, and as being a very powerful and vindictive demon. I have no other information regarding him, and not having a full account of his attributes and special powers I cannot state if he is a demon of the Sinhalese. Their Saeda or Haeda Yakā is said by some to hold the next rank to Daeḍimuṇḍā. His name, which means 'strong' or 'cruel,' shows that his character is like that of the Kumbe Yakā; but it is uncertain if the two are identical.
There is also a possibility that the name of the powerful Kohombe Yaka of the Sinhalese, and of Southern India, the Demon of the Margosa (tree)' may have been contracted; or perhaps it may be derived from the Vaedi name Kumbe Yakā. There are reasons for believing that the Kohombe
1 The hero of the Vidhura Pandita Jātaka (No. 545). It was as a punishment for his cruelty to the unfortunate Stork that the demon Punṇaka subsequently ill-treated the saint.
Yakā is an original demon of the Vaeddas; he has as subordinates three Vaedi Yakās,' and also twelve others who are termed 'Vaedi Kaḍawarayo,' and who are of inferior rank under him. The Kumbe Yakā is not likely to be the zodiacal sign Kumbha (Aquarius), which is represented by the Sinhalese as a demon with a human body and the head of a dog.
The Gini Rahu Yakā,' whose worship seems a little mixed up with a Goddess known as Alut Yakini, the New Demoness,' who is represented as his wife, is thought by Mr. Nevill to be a form of Agni, on account of his name, and his symbol, a burning torch. This identification seems to me to be doubtful, partly on account of the character of the Sakti, who is said to be connected with water, and apparently to have been produced in the sea; and also because no worship is paid to Agni in any form by the Sinhalese, so far as I am aware.
He is more likely to be a form of the demon Rāhu already mentioned in connection with Mōhini, than of Agni. The Sinhalese consider that Rāhu the dragon has the form of a snake, and that he rides on a horse, holding a fish as his symbol. This indicates some connection with water. Offerings are made to Rāhu by the Sinhalese, as well as to other planetary signs, which are all considered to be evil demons who afflict mankind.
There are only three deities to whom fire-worship, termed Gini Mangalya, is paid by the Sinhalese; in order of importance these are Pattinī Dēvi, an incarnation of Durgā, Viramuṇḍā Deviyā, and Devol or Devel Deviyā. All are importations from Southern India. The Tamils of India and Ceylon have fire ceremonies in honour of Virabhadra, Draupadi and Devi-Amman, who is either Pattini or a form of Sakti, the daughter of Daksha and wife of Siva. The Gini Rāhu Yakā does not appear to be one of the two male Sinhalese
1 The description of Rāhu in Hindoo Castes is taken from Ward as follows:-' This god is painted black; wears black garments; rides on a lion; has four arms, in which he holds a scimitar, a spear, and a shield, and with the other hand he gives a blessing.' The Vaedi name may mean the Fiery Rahu Demon.'
deities, who are termed Gods and not demons. Torches are used freely in many dances in honour of demons, and in themselves are no proof of any connection with fire-worship.
If the Wana-gatta Yakā is, as Mr. Nevill said, the deity whose power extended over the forests, and who is propitiated only when great want of success follows the huntsman's toils,' his character among the Vaeddas is very different from that of the Forest-Deities of the Sinhalese and Wanniyas. Mr. Nevill described this demon as a dreaded spirit, and the sacrifices and incantations are regarded with intense terror and faith, and only resorted to in extremities.' He stated that the offerings made to him are clothes and blood,' and he therefore considered him to be clearly a form of Bhairava.' Blood, however, is offered by the Sinhalese to many demons, if not to all. Clothes are not presented to any demons by them, I believe, and in any case would appear to be an unnecessary and inappropriate gift to beings of this type. Have the irresistible forces of civilisation begun to affect their ideas of propriety?
Bhairava is not a Forest God; in Ceylon he is known as Bahirawa Deviyā, and as a form of the God Šiva he is a deity of the Underworld, or Pātāla. In Ceylon his special function is acting as guardian of sacred edifices such as dāgabas or wihāras, and treasures, and everything underground (see Fig. 160). He has eight forms, termed the Ashța Kāli Bahirawayō, to whom, collectively, worship is paid by the Sinhalese. In another aspect he is a truculent demon called Bahirawā Yaka, whose duty it is to punish those who break into temples, or dagabas, or who open the ground (as for wells or mining work), or excavate treasure, without first obtaining the permission of the Bahirawa Deviyā.
The characteristics of the Wana-gatta Yakā, as abovenoted, do not, if he is a Forest Deity, point either to Bahirawa, or to the usual Forest-Gods, whose functions are decidedly
1 The Taprobanian, Vol. i, p. 196; at p. 183, however, he is identified by Mr. Nevill with the 'Wanni Dēva,' that is, the Wanni Deviyā (Wanni Bandara of the northern part of the North-central Province), who is said by some to be Ayiyanar, but who possibly may be Bilindă Yakā, and he is not a demon, but a Guardian Forest God.
protective, and who are appealed to on the slightest pretext by all travellers in the jungle, whether under the name of the Wanniya Baṇḍāra of the Wanniyas, or the Wanni Deviyā, or Ayiyanar, or Skanda as the Kataragama God,' of the northern and north-western Kandians.
Regarding Kalu Vaedda Yakā I have no knowledge. Mr. Nevill identifies him as the Kalu Yaka, the Black Demon' of the western Sinhalese, apparently only because both are termed 'black'; but there are several who are similarly described, and it is very unsafe to trust merely to similarity of names for an identification of these obscure deities.
All Sinhalese recognise Vaedi' Yakās to whom offerings are constantly made on account of the illnesses of men and women, but chiefly the latter, and especially after childbirth. If his functions are similar, the Kalu Vaedda Yakā may be one of these demons, the Kalu Yakā not being known to the Sinhalese as a 'Vaedi' Yakā, but as an Indian prince of Madura, who became a demon after his death. The latter's usual designation is Kalu Kumāra Yakā or Baṇḍāra, the 'Black Prince Demon' or 'Chief'; and King Gaja-Bāhu I (113-135 A.D.) is believed to be an incarnation of him because of the cruelties traditionally attributed to him during his invasion of Southern India, in revenge for the deeds of the Sōliyans in the 'War of the Short-horned Buffalo,' during his father's reign.1
Kandē Yakā, 'the Yakā of the Hill,' may be, as Mr. Nevill says, the Galē Baṇḍāra, 'the Chief (or minor deity) of the Rock,' of the Sinhalese; but this assertion is not conclusive in the absence of some further basis than the resemblance of the names. He is said to haunt precipices, and only to be invoked locally, whereas the Galē Baṇḍāra is appealed to throughout a large tract of country in north-western Ceylon. A Kandē Baṇḍāra is found in a list of deified chiefs and other deities contained in a very old manuscript of the Kurunāēgala district, and he may be the Vaedda deity. There is a possibility that the name may be another term for the Galē Yakā, 1 This demon is illustrated in Callaway's Yakkun Nattanawā, 1829, P. 4, and is there dressed as a Kandian Chief.