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and (3), this last being cut in the natural face of the rock; and in the other case to the rather faint characters, which were at some height from the ground. At a later date, in 1901, I succeeded in copying these by using a rough ladder in order to reach them.
I give facsimiles of all three from my hand copies, arranged one under the other. The inscription No. 1 is twelve feet long to the point where the stone has given way, and the letters are three inches high. No 2 is fifteen feet long, with letters from two to three inches high, cut about a quarter of an inch deep. No. 3 is fourteen feet long as far as portions of the letters remain, and its full length has been about fifteen feet; the letters in it are four inches high and are a quarter of an inch deep.
(The e of loke is accidentally missing in the copy.) The complete inscription is as follows 1:
Raja Naga jita Raja Uti jaya Abi Anuradi ca Raja Uti ca karapitase ima leņa catu disasa sagaya agatagata na Pasu wiharaye aparim (i) ta loke ditu yasa tana.
Abhi Anuradhi, the wife (of) King Uttiya (and) daughter (of) King Nāga, and King Uttiya have caused this cave to be made for the Community of the four quarters, present or future, at the Pāsu wihāra, an illustrious famous place in the boundless world.
In addition to its age, there are several points of interest in connection with this inscription, the date of which belongs to about the middle of the second half of the third century B.C. In the first place, it confirms the statement of the early annals that King Mahā-Nāga ruled over southern Ceylon with the
1 In this and other transliterations and names the letter c is pronounced like ch, as in 'church'; the vowels a, i, and e have the continental sound; u is pronounced as in 'gun'; ae represents the sound given to this diphthong in the New Historical Dictionary; . d, n are hard as in 'dot' and 'ton'; is like in 'full'; g is always hard as in 'gun'; t and d are distinctly dental; is very soft, approaching h; the other letters are pronounced as in English.
title of king while his brother was supreme monarch at Anurādhapura. We learn also that he had a daughter who is not mentioned in the histories, and that she was married to her uncle King Uttiya, an unusual circumstance in Ceylon, although Yaṭṭhāla-Tissa appears to have married the daughter of his sister, the latter being the Abhi Anuradhi of the inscription. King Wasabha (66-11O A.D.) also married his uncle's widow (Mah., i, p. 140), and other instances of such connections occur in later times.
We may perhaps venture to assume that some idea of the position of women in Ceylon at that early date may be gathered from the fact that her name precedes that of the king. In dealing with the primitive religion I gave another instance of the precedence of a lady, perhaps a century afterwards; while in the middle of the first century B.C. we find a queen Anuļā (47-42 B.C.) reigning over the whole country for five years. Also in the inscription numbered 38 it will be seen that the name of a female chieftain, Parumaka Aļapusayā, is mentioned. Dr. Davids has drawn attention to the circumstance that women are always placed before men in Buddhist texts.1 It is also clear from the statements in the Mahavansa that from the earliest times women were allowed great freedom and independence in Ceylon. Even if some of the accounts are fabrications of the annalists from whose works Mahānāma compiled his history, the incidents related by them at least prove that they believed such actions of ladies of a high rank to be customary. There is no evidence of the seclusion of women, such as we see in the Rāmāyana. Thus the Vaedda women are represented in the Jātaka story as proceeding to meet shipwrecked traders, who are not reported to evince any surprise at their accosting them without reserve. The Vaedda princess Kuwēni is described as marrying Wijaya without waiting to obtain the consent of her parents, who would have refused it in all probability.
In the story of the reception of Mahinda, the first Buddhist apostle, at the royal palace in about 244 B.C., it is stated that
1 The Questions of King Milinda, p. 83, note.
King Tissa sent for Anula, the wife of his brother, the King Naga of this inscription, and apparently the mother of Queen Abhi Anuradhi, and probably also Tissa's own sister,1 to hear him expound the doctrine of Buddha. 'The said princess Anuļā proceeding thither, together with five hundred women, and having bowed down and made offerings to the theras [Mahinda and his five companions] placed herself respectfully by the side of them' (Mah., i, p. 53). In the afternoon when Mahinda was about to preach in the royal garden ́ innumerable females of the first rank resorted thither, crowding the royal garden, and ranged themselves near the thera' (p. 54). According to the Dipavansa 'Noble women and maidens, the daughters-in-law and daughters of noble families crowded together in order to see the thera. While he exchanged greetings with them night had fallen' (p. 175).
The name of the place at which the inscription is cut is repeated at a cave lower down the hill in another inscription cut in similar early letters, as follows:
Gapati tapasa Sumana kulasa lene sagasa dine
I think that there can be little or no doubt that the monastery was the Pacina, or Eastern, wihāra which is recorded (Mah., i, p. 79) to have been established by King Dēvānam-piya Tissa, the first Buddhist King, and elder brother of Uttiya, who succeeded him. Pāsu represents the Pāli word Paci, east ; several examples of the change of c into s, and i into u might be quoted.
Tissa ascended the throne in 245 B.C., and is said to have reigned forty years; but this cannot be trusted, as the reigns. of the kings who lived about that time have been extended by the chroniclers in order to make the supposed arrival of the
1 I have already pointed out that the Indian Sakyas from whom the royal family were partly descended were accustomed to marry their sisters.