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grain of wheat, were found in situ, although the relics themselves had disappeared-miraculously, according to the opinion of the Buddhist monks of the place, who with many others believed that true relics of this nature are only visible to arhats and royal personages.
THE MAENIK DĀGABA
The Maeņik dāgaba has been restored in recent years, and I was informed by the Committee in charge of the work that the ancient dimensions would be adhered to. The Irrigation Guardian at Tissa has been good enough to send me the following particulars of its size.
It rests on three basal cylinders as usual, which form steps round it; the lowest one is 3 feet high and 2 feet wide, the middle one 2 feet high and 2 feet wide, and the upper one I feet high and 2 feet wide. The diameter of the lowest one is 60 feet. The base of the dome is 51-9 feet in diameter. The lower part of the dome seems to be vertical for a short distance, up to a fillet or band which passes round the dagaba; above this it is probably hemispherical. The tee is 12 feet square and 5 feet high; the cylindrical base of the spire is 6 feet high, and the finial is 8 feet high. The total height is said to be 80 feet.
I believe that the construction of this dagaba is attributed to Duttha-Gamini; the size of the bricks used in it does not contradict this date. He or his father may have built it. THE SOMAVATI DAGABA
According to the Dhatuvansa, Abhaya, king of the Giri district and son-in-law of Kakavanṇa-Tissa, built a dagaba in his part of the hill region, and called it the Sōmavati dāgaba, after his wife Sōmadēvī.
Its site is unknown. The old writer did not mention its size, but he stated that it had the usual three basal platforms, and was of the Bubble' shape, that is, hemispherical.
THE SERUVILA DAGABA.
The greater part of the Dhatuvansa is devoted to the history of the relics deposited in this dagaba, and to an account.
of its erection, and the ceremonies held in connection with it. It is near the right bank of the Mahawaeliganga, and to the north of the Verukal branch of that river. It was constructed by Kakavaṇṇa-Tissa to enshrine the forehead relic (lalata) and a hair relic of Buddha. Although there are now no Buddhists in that district, the inhabitants of which are all Tamils, or the so-called 'Moormen,' 1 some Sinhalese of other parts of the island still make pilgrimages in order to worship at this site.
According to the old work, which no doubt preserves, even although it considerably amplifies, an older account that, from the quotations, was evidently written in the Pāli language, the forehead relic was first brought to Tissa in the reign of Mahā-Nāga, who erected a relic-house for it in the neighbourhood of his palace- neither near nor far away. It remained there until the last years of Kakavanṇa-Tissa, who was informed that it was his duty to fulfil a prophecy that he would enshrine it in a dāgaba at Sēruvila, then the capital of a subsidiary king-doubtless one of the Parumakas' of the early inscriptions.
He and his queen Wihāra-Dēvi proceeded to the spot in a magnificent procession in order to carry out the work, after first handing over the charge of the government to his son Duttha-Gāmiņi. In order to fix upon the correct position for the structure he resorted to a peculiar device. Two pairs of bulls were decorated with flowers and allowed to proceed alone in the jungle. They were found together in the morning at a rock which was adopted as the site of the dagaba after the same result had followed similar experiments with a horse and an elephant.
The king found some difficulty in providing all the bricks for the work, but Sakka, that is, Indra, was good enough to relieve him of this trouble by sending Vissakamma, the general builder of the gods, to make them for him.
1 Although the Moormen of Ceylon have been stated to be descended from Indian Drāvidians who had adopted Muhammadanism, I have the best authority for saying that Arabs from Western Arabia claim a racial affinity with them, and still occasionally settle among them.
When the relic-chamber in the upper part of the structure was ready for the relics, the king carried the forehead relic on his head and deposited it in it, and afterwards the queen similarly placed the hair relic in the room. After every one had put in the relic-room the jewellery and ornaments on his person, the chamber was closed by being covered with a stone slab.
The dagaba had three basal platforms, and was of the 'Bubble' shape; its dimensions are not stated. A wihara was also built at the spot and liberally endowed. The book describes its formal gift to the Community of Monks at a great festival at which Abhaya, the king's son-in-law, and other princes were present; and the words doubtless show us the orthodox method of making such grants. A large concourse of monks was there, and before these witnesses the king poured water over the right hand of the superior monk present. Then, in the words of the Dhatuvansa, afterwards the king made known (the gift of the temple), saying, " (My) lord, and members of royal families assembled together, in (accordance with) the (usual) arrangement for causing the acceptance of the wihāra, I have poured the water on the right hand"; and the thēra, having heard these words, declared his agreement, saying, "It is good, Maharaja.'
THE NIKAWĀĒ-KANDA DĀGABA
High up on the precipitous eastern side of Nikawāē-kanda, a steep rocky hill in the North-western Province, an early monastery was established at a series of natural caves. Some of these contained statues, and one had also a small dagaba which had been demolished by treasure seekers, so that only a little of the lower part remained. Local tradition attributed the founding of the monastery to Prince Sāli, the son of King Duttha-Gāmiņi 1; in that case it would belong to some date.
1 According to the Mahāvansa, a minister called Sali, who may have been this prince, built the Sāli wihāra during the reign of WattaGāmiņi. Its site is unknown; if it was not at Anuradhapura it may be this one.