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Book v, 42.
11. Praise him whose bow is strong and sure his arrow, him who is Lord of every balm that healeth.
Worship thou Rudra for his great good favour.
Thus, although their symbols differ at present, though perhaps not originally, one carrying a billhook, and the other the bow and arrow, both are great sickness-removers from man or beast, the givers of health to their worshippers; and as such, both being gods of the mountains, they may have been in their origins the same deity. If so, the belief in such a god must extend back to a very remote age.
No reason has been discovered why certain hills only, sometimes in close proximity, were selected as the sole spots on which the dances to the God of the Rock should be performed. I could not observe that a specially sacred character is attributed to them by the Sinhalese, although I obtained some verbal evidence, possibly of little value, in favour of it;1 but I believe the Vaeddas have some idea of the kind regarding those in their district, and Mr. F. Lewis heard this said of Kokka-gala.
Ritigala and many other prominent Kandian mountains are not known, according to tradition, ever to have been the sites of Dancing Rocks. Even a commanding rocky peak a few miles from Kurunāēgala, known as Yak-dessăgala, 'the Devil-dancer's Rock,' is stated never to have been one of them, notwithstanding its suggestive name. This is
1 Mr. Bell states regarding the Dancing Rocks at Indigollaewa and Nikawae-kanda, 'The rocks are so sacred that no one dares venture near them, except on the perahaera [procession] day; even hunters worship as they pass! (Arch. Survey. Annual Report for 1895, p. 5.) In the Kurunāēgala districts I have never known any one show any reluctance to go with me onto the hills, or even onto the Dancing Rocks. I have also seen men go readily to cut grass on such a hill, and a party of villagers once spent a night with me at a cave close to one of the rocks.
* In the work on the Kohomba (or Kosamba) Yakā to which allusion is made in the Preface, Vaeddas are mentioned as living at this hill and at Alagala, on the side of the railway to Kandy. In it the word 'Vaeddas' is written Vaeddan and Vaeddhan; the latter shows the transition from Vyādha.
probably correct, as no Yak-dessā, a title applied only to dancers of two very low castes, could ever take any part in the services in honour of this supreme deity of the country. With the decline of the cult, the use of many rocks for the dancing ceremony may have been abandoned and forgotten. In early times its practice must have extended over the whole country.
From the foregoing statements it may be concluded that the God of the Rock is a form of the original Rudra, who was developed at a later date into the great deity Siva.
In his South Indian form he appears to have had two sons, Eiyanar or Ayiyanar,' the elder brother,' and a younger one termed Ilandāri,' the youth,' in Tamil, or Bilinda,' the child,' in Sinhalese. To the sectarian feelings of the worshippers of these younger deities may be due the story of their enmity. Both are Guardian Gods of the forest districts of Ceylon, and as such both may have the title Wanni Deviyā, God of the Wanni.
Having these sons, the father must have had a wife, who would be the Hill Mother, Giri-Ammā, a word which became Kiri-Amman in Tamil, and thence Kiri-Ammā in Sinhalese. As the mother of Ayiyanar, she must be identified with the Indian goddess termed Mōhini.
When Rudra had developed into Siva the northern form of the Hill Mother, Parvati, supplanted this southern deity as the wife of the Hill God in Hinduism.
According to the Mahā-Bhārata the birth of Skanda was 'full of all mysteries,' and in one legend he was the son of Rudra. Thus, if the God of the Rock be Rudra it would seem that, as his son, Ayiyanar may be a form of Skanda; and in that case Ilandāri or Bilindā may be a southern form of Ganesa. The latter's name in Tamil is Pilleiyār, 'the child,' and both deities alike were killed while young, and revivified.
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL VALUE OF
BRICKS IN CEYLON
HE references in the early histories of Ceylon to the construction of any very ancient structures that can be identified at the present day, with the exception of some reservoirs and a few special dagabas, are so rare and meagre that it is almost impossible to learn from the existing writings anything of value regarding the ages of nearly all the remains of buildings of various kinds that are scattered over the whole island. Even in the case of such well-known edifices as the earliest and most celebrated dagabas there are many points of great interest to the antiquarian respecting which the histories are silent. As an instance of the neglect of the chroniclers to transmit to us a satisfactory record of buildings of even great importance, I may cite the absence of any reference to the addition of an outer shell enclosing the celebrated Ruwanwaeli dāgaba which was built at Anuradhapura in the second century B.C.
By a long series of measurements and sketches taken whenever opportunities occurred for a period of more than twenty years, I endeavoured to ascertain whether the mouldings and decorations of the various edifices disclose any types of detail that afford a clue to the period when the buildings at which they are found were constructed or repaired. In Europe, each arch or moulding and almost any kind of decoration is stamped, as it were, with the approximate date of its construction; and it seemed possible that some similar gradation might be discovered in Ceylon. It proved, however, to be nearly hopeless to expect to meet with much success in this research, since it was ascertained that nearly identical mould