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sented as applying to the eight and twenty war-lords of the goblins' to grant a son to a king. The beings mentioned in the Mahāvansa are thus probably the same Yakkhas of the Indian authors. At the dāgaba at Bharhut, in India, these beings were carved in relief at the gateways of the 'Buddhist railing' in the third century B.C., as guards, together with Nāga chiefs.
On the other hand, in Southern India it is the Rakshasas who always act as guards at the Hindu temples, in accordance with the derivation of the word from the root räksh, to guard. When deities are represented on the gōpuras or ornamental gateways at the entrances of the great temples, figures of the Rakshasas are invariably present as their guards, and the Yakshas are never found in such positions of trust.
In the later wall-paintings of the Buddhist wihāras in Ceylon, the Yakshas always form the army of Māra, the god of Death, which attacked the Buddha; but this has been shown to be a conception of later date than the canonical works, and it may not have found acceptance in the country in the time of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi. It is, however, somewhat strange to find Mahānāma inserting the description of these figures in such a position in the dagaba without some explanatory remark. He may have understood them to be representations of aboriginal chiefs.
I believe the Vaeddas only make their appearance twice more in the early Sinhalese histories. The Rājāvaliya relates that King Mahā-Sēna (277-304 A.D.) employed Yakkhas as well as [Sinhalese] men in the construction of a large number of reservoirs that were formed in order to store water for the irrigation of rice fields. Some confirmation of this story may be seen in his deification at some subsequent period, with the title of Sat-Rajjuruwō, that is,' King of (all) living creatures,' --both the men and the supposed demons whom he forced to work for him. Worship is still paid extensively to him in this capacity in the northern Kandian districts.
The Vaeddas still formed a great part of the population in the twelfth century. The Mahavansa (ii, p. 151) recounts how King Parakrama-Bāhu I (1164-1197 A.D.), while his cousin
Gaja-Bāhu ruled at Polannaruwa, made preparations for a campaign for the conquest of the latter's dominions, and enlisted for it large numbers of his subjects. Among these we are told that 'He trained many thousands' of Vyādas, that is, Vaeddas, and made them skilled in the use of their weapons, and gave them suitable swords, black clothes, and the like things.' Thus in the twelfth century we see the Vaeddas in a state of comparative civilisation, taking their place in the army with the other levies.
It is extremely probable that contingents of Vaeddas formed part of the Sinhalese army not only then but in every war. We find them still serving with the other troops under Raja Sinha in the early part of the seventeenth century. Captain Robert Knox, in his Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, p. 62, states of those living near Hurulla, in the North-central Province, 'The King once having occasion of an hasty Expedition against the Dutch, the Governour summoned them all in to go with him, which they did. And with their Bows and Arrows did as good service as any of the rest; but afterwards when they returned home again, they removed farther in the Woods, and would be seen no more, for fear of being afterwards prest again to serve the King.'
As the immigration, such as it was, from the Ganges Valley appears to have practically ceased from the time of Paṇḍukābhaya's birth, his policy of admitting the natives to an equality with the Indian settlers must have caused a rapid fusion of the two races. This was the birth of the Sinhalese nation.1 We must believe that such a broad-minded ruler would not
1 The tradition of the origin of the name is given as follows in the Mahāvansa i, pp. 33, 34. 'By reason of the King Sihabāhu [the father of Wijaya] having slain the lion (Siha), his sons and descendants are called Sihalā" (the lion-slayers). This Lanka [Ceylon] having been conquered by a Sihala, from the circumstance of its having been colonized by a Sihala, it obtained the name of Sihala.' At a much later date it became the fashion to adopt Sanskrit forms of words in writing, and instead of the Pāli word Siha the Sanskrit expression Sinha was used. The word meaning the country and people thus became 'Sinhala' (pronounced with a nasal n, but no g sound). The Vaeddas have retained the old name of the country.
refuse equal rights to the northern Dravidians of Nāgadīpa, and thus the whole population must have gradually coalesced, with a great preponderance of the Vaedda blood. In the same manner as in England in Norman times or after the Roman domination, the natives in the lapse of years totally absorbed the newcomers, and a later very slight admixture of Tamil blood at last produced the race which we now find in the Kandian provinces. It differs from that of the western and southern coast tracts in all respects but colour, religion, and language.
In a note on the subject of Polyandry, the late Mr. E. Goonetilleke, the learned Sinhalese editor of the Orientalist, said in Vol. iv, p. 93 of that publication, regarding the two races of Sinhalese, They are as distinct from each other in their dress, habits, manners, and customs, and in their very ideas and manner of thinking, as if they formed two different races, rather than two sections of one nation.' The Kandian villagers certainly look upon the people of the western coast tracts as a separate race, and do not term them Sinhalese, but always speak of them as Pāța ratē minissu, 'Men of the Low-country.'
The difference is not altogether due to a preponderance of Vaedda blood in the interior. The dwellers near the western coast have always been exposed to foreign influences. The various races who have either settled among them in considerable numbers or held the western coasts as conquerors include Dravidian and Arab traders and settlers; and as conquerors, Malays, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and lastly English. It would be strange if the resultant people did not vary greatly from those of the interior.
That the Kandian Sinhalese are thus the modern representatives of the great bulk of the ancient Vaeddas is, I venture to think, beyond doubt. The people who were so numerous throughout the country in the twelfth century, that in half the island many thousands' could be enlisted as soldiers, have certainly not been exterminated. They, like the Vaeddas of preceding centuries, have simply settled down as Kandian villagers. An insignificant number still retain their ancient
designation, but even these, with the exception of a few families, have become ordinary villagers, and in outward appearance are indistinguishable from many other Kandians.
This abandonment of the wild forest life of their ancestors apparently began at a very early date. After the time of Pandukabhaya the next proof of the fact is found immediately after the introduction of Buddhism into the country. The evidence derivable from the caves or rock-shelters, thousands in number, under the sides of the boulders lying on the slopes of all the hills of the Low-country, whether in the eastern and southern part of the Northern Province, or the North-western, the North-central, the Eastern, or the Southern Provinces, all points to the settling down of the Vaedda populace in early times as peaceable villagers.
The researches of the Drs. Sarasin and Dr. C. G. Seligmann have shown that the first inhabitants of the caves were aborigines who made use of stone implements. Then, at a later date, which we know from the dedicatory inscriptions to be in nearly all cases pre-Christian, the caves throughout the whole of the above-mentioned Provinces (I have no knowledge of those of other districts) were turned into shelters for ascetic Buddhist monks. There is hardly a hill possessing such cave shelters, some of which, at least, were not so converted. Even where no inscription records the fact, the cutting of the katara or drip-ledge to prevent rain-water from trickling down the face of the rock into the cave is indubitable proof that this was the case.
Had the aborigines been forcibly ousted from these caves in order to permit the monks to occupy them, we cannot suppose that they would not have felt resentment, which would have led to reprisals of a violent character. It is clear that in many instances little establishments of only two or three monks must have occupied the caves on some of the most secluded of these hills, buried in the depths of the dense forests of the wildest parts of the island. In such sites the aborigines could have regained possession of their caves with ease and impunity, and with practically no fear of punishment by the Sinhalese authorities. In the histories, also, there is
no hint of any quarrels with the natives after the time when Paṇḍukābhaya became king.
If the monks who occupied the caves had been in danger of attacks by the aborigines, it is extremely improbable that they would have utilised the caves on practically all the hills during the short period between the middle of the third century and the early part of the first century B.C., as the form of the letters of the inscriptions cut on so many of them'hundreds and hundreds,' according to Dr. E. Müller-proves was the case. A few caves, but only an insignificant number, have inscriptions cut in letters of a later date than this. Thus there seems good reason to believe that when the monks came to occupy the caves their original residents had already voluntarily abandoned them, and, like the Vaeddas of Anuradhapura, had established themselves in villages.
Even the people who still call themselves Vaeddas are to some extent of mixed blood. This applies almost equally to the wildest members of the race, and is proved conclusively by the wide variation in the colour of the skin, and in the amount of hair on the face, even if the general outline of the features does not indicate it.
It was probably due to the union of the races on nearly equal terms that the Vaeddas accepted the language of the Gangetic settlers in preference to their own, which they have totally lost. Had they kept more aloof from the newcomers, they might have maintained their own tongue nearly intact down to the present time. The new language spread through Nāgadipa also; there is not a single very early Dravidian inscription in the whole of Northern Ceylon. The adoption of the Buddhist religion throughout the entire country— including Nagadipa, as the numerous remains of ancient wihāras prove-must have accelerated this change of language; at every monastery the monks would teach the dialect. of Pali which had become the Sinhalese speech, in the same manner as at present.
Notwithstanding the alteration of language and ideas and the spread of the new religion, the population of whole districts must have remained more or less pure Vaeddas for many