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monolithic pillars, 13 inches wide in the face, the inner one being as high as the uppermost cornice, and being surmounted by a stone lion sitting on his haunches on a square capital with a Buddhist railing of two bars on its face; he is looking outwards, with half-open mouth. The outer one, which is very short, has vertical flutings on the face, and the lower half of a rayed sun emblem above them. The taller pillars have as ornaments on their face, a dwarf at the base, supporting on his head a vase out of which springs a tree decorated with a series of pairs of men and animals alternately, climbing upwards on each side of it. At the top, above the tree, there is a disk or 'dharma-chakra,' a Wheel of the Law, on a pedestal, over which is a conical chatta in relief, with a snake lying head uppermost on each side of the pedestal. Above each snake is a Yak-tail fly-whisk, the emblem of a guardian deity. Behind the wāhalkaḍas steps led to the two upper basal ledges.
According to Mr. Smither's drawings, the diameter of the dome was 135 feet 6 inches. The upper basal cylinder had a diameter 9 feet 9 inches greater than that of the dome and was 3 feet 11 inches high; the middle one was II feet 6 inches wider still and 4 feet 2 inches high; and the lowest one was 12 feet wider still, and 5 feet 2 inches high. Thus their total height was 13 feet 4 inches. The height to the top of the ruin was 52 feet 7 inches; and the paved basement platform on which it stands is raised 4 feet 11 inches above the ground level, and supported by a retaining wall of stone. The total height when Parakrama-Bāhu I restored it is stated in the Mahāvansa to have been 80 cubits.
This work and the Ruwanwaeli dãgaba prove that DuṭṭhaGāmiņi and his brother Saddha-Tissa may claim the credit of being the first rulers to appreciate the grandeur of the effect of an enormous white dome, far greater than anything of the kind previously erected in Ceylon or India, and admirably adapted to be an expression of stability, and permanence, and inaccessibility, such as the purpose of its construction demanded. The bold rounded outline gives one the feeling of a finish and completeness which, to my mind, the pyramid, with its salient angles, does not possess. The simplicity of
a very large dome is one of its charms; its appearance of strength and nobility would be lessened by any decorative additions on its surface. The effect of the three platforms round the bottom of the dome is decidedly good; they increase the idea of stability and add a finish to the base of the structure that is missing in early Indian works.
Lajji-Tissa (119-109 B.C.), the second son of SaddhaTissa, built a dagaba of stone, called in the Mahavansa the Sila Thupa, the Stone Dagaba, 'in front of the Thūpārāma (i, p. 138). In the Dipavansa (p. 211) its site is better defined as being to the east of the Thūpārāma, and the structure is termed in that work the Digha Thupa, the Long Dagaba, the name doubtless indicating a different shape from that of the other dagabas in Anuradhapura.
There is only one small dagaba, now known as the Sēla Caitya, in the position described, and although it is built of brickwork like all the others it appears to be the building erected by this king. If so, it must have been destroyed, and afterwards rebuilt in brick. Mr. Bell discovered that the material in the interior consisted of earth and brick fragments, cased in by burnt brick,' an indubitable proof of its reconstruction.
The largest bricks found at it are apparently those of an early post-Christian date, being 9 inches wide and 2.53 inches thick, with Bt. 22.8. If the length was 6 times the thickness it would be 15.18 inches, and the contents would be 345 cubic inches. The size points to the 1st century A.D. or late B.C. as the period when they were burnt. There are bricks of three other sizes at this dagaba, which belong to later restorations, probably of the second, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries.
The dome of this dagaba is 37 feet 8 inches in diameter at present, according to Mr. Bell, this being possibly nearly its original width; it is a mere ruin 10 feet high on a platform raised 5 feet 3 inches above the ground level, and 46 feet 8 inches square. The original form can only be surmised; its name, the Long Dagaba,' shows that it must have been
either of a high bell-shape, or more likely almost a cone, these being the only two forms that appear very high in proportion to their width.
On sinking a shaft down the axis of the dāgaba, Mr. Bell found that the relic-chamber was a brick-cased cella, 3 ft. 6 in. in breadth by 2 ft. 6 in. high. Its bottom was on a level with the maluwa [enclosure] platform, and formed by a monolith slab, a foot thick, which covered a square yantragala [a slab with rectangular holes, often 25 in number, sunk in it to receive valuables] of nine partitions all empty.'1
We next come to the reign of King Waṭṭa-Gāmiņi Abhaya, who after being dethroned in 103 or 104 B.C., in the first year of his reign, by South Indian invaders, afterwards re-occupied the throne from 88 to 76 B.C. There can be no doubt that he built a great dagaba called Abhaya-giri, at the extensive monastery of that name which he established. There is no account of the relics which it enshrines.
For some unknown reason it has always, in modern times, been pointed out as one which is to the eastward of the Sēla Caitya and the Ruwanwaeli dāgaba, a mis-identification that perhaps dates from the restoration by Parākrama-Bāhu I, in the twelfth century. The state of the great dāgabas at Anuradhapura at that time is graphically pourtrayed by the old historian:- These three Thūpas that the Tamils had destroyed were covered with great trees in which lurked tigers [sic, literally, leopards] and bears. And because of the great heaps of bricks and clay and the thickets of the forest no man was able to have access thereto' (Mah., ii, p. 260). This tends to prove that the place had been totally abandoned for so long a period that the ruins were practically unknown, and this might give rise to their wrong identification by the officials sent by the king to restore them. In giving an account of this restoration the Mahavansa mentions that the Abhayagiri dagaba was 140 cubits high and another large one, the Jētavana dāgaba, 160 cubits high; whereas we have the statement of the Rājāvaliya (p. 52) that the latter work was built 140 cubits high by Maha-Sēna. Thus it is clear that 1 Annual Report, 1895, p. 2.
there is an error regarding the nomenclature in one of these works. If, as I shall endeavour to show, the present names of these two dagabas are wrong and should be transposed, this would seem to transfer the mistake to the twelfth century, since in more modern times the place was never so much overgrown that these sites could not be visited by pilgrims, and it is on record that several later kings went on pilgrimage to Anurādhapura. As the error involves both structures it will be convenient to deal with them together.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE JĒTAVANA AND ABHAYA-GIRI
The account of the establishment by King Mahā-Sēna (277-304 A.D.) of the Jētavana wihāra at which the Jētavana dāgaba was built is given in the Mahavansa as follows:When Mahā-Sēna was a youth his tutor, who belonged to the (Vaitulya) Abhaya-giri Community of Monks, then engaged in a violent religious feud with the (Theravada) Community of the Maha Wihāra, had induced him to adopt the doctrines of his own sect; and as the result of this partizanship, when he succeeded to the throne he prohibited the giving of alms to any priests of the Maha Wihara. Afterwards, having a high opinion of a (Vaitulya) monk called Tissa, he decided to build a special monastery over which this person might preside, and he 'constructed the Jētavana Wihāra for him, within the sacred limits of the garden called Jōti, belonging to the Maha Wihāra. He then applied to the priests [monks] of the Maha Wihāra to abandon their consecrated boundaries in order that the ground might be consecrated for the new temple' (i, p. 151).
It has been noted previously that the Mahāvansa clearly explains (i, p. 64) that the Jōtivana is only another name for the Nandana garden, which I have shown to be a narrow enclosure wedged in between the city and the Mahāmēgha garden. It is in this strip of land that we must look for the Jētavana dāgaba; and it seems inexplicable that any doubt should be felt that the only great structure of the kind in that part, although it is now commonly called the Abhaya-giri
dāgaba,1 is the building in question. As the Nandana or Jōtivana garden had been granted to the Mahā Wihāra by Dēvānam-piya Tissa, along with the Mahāmēgha garden, the application to the monks to make over part of their consecrated land for the new monastery can be easily understood.
This identification leaves only one other dagaba of the largest size to be named at Anuradhapura, and this must be the Abhaya-giri, which is now mis-called the Jētavana dāgaba.
The description of its site given in the Mahāvansa (i, p. 131), although doubtless sufficiently definite at a time when the different details of the surroundings were well known, is not very clear in these days when all is buried in jungle. A large body of Tamil invaders had marched straight on the capital from Mahātiṭṭha, close to Mannar, and they were encamped at a village near the city, called Kolambālaka, just as in the wars of the king's uncle, Duṭṭha Gāmiņi, a similar force under Bhalluka, the nephew of the Tamil king Elāra, had camped at the same place when advancing on the city from the same port (Mah., i, p. 100). The march of the two invading armies along the same route shows that this village was on the direct highway leading from Mahātiṭṭha to Anuradhapura, and therefore on the north-western side of the town.
Waṭṭa-Gāmiņi led his forces out to meet the invading army, and fought a battle at Kolambālaka, in which he was defeated; and mounting his chariot, fled through the Titthārāma gate. This Tittharama had been built by Paṇḍukābhaya, and had always been assigned as a residence to people of foreign religions.
. A certain Niganṭha [a Jain anchorite] named Giri, seeing him in his flight, shouted in a loud voice, "The great black Sihala [Sinhalese] is flying." The Maharaja hearing this resolved within himself "when my wishes are realised I will build a wihāra here"'' (Mah., i, p. 129). Subsequently he regained the throne, and the account states that 'Thereafter this monarch demolished the aforesaid Niganṭhārāma, at which he was reviled in his flight, and on the site thereof built a wihāra of twelve parivenas [monastic residences]. . . . By
1 A local tradition which could point out the Dakuņu dāgaba as the tomb of Elāra cannot be accepted as possessing much authority.