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The cave of Cuda Ayimbara, son (of) the Chief Mahātissa, at the Ayimbara mountain.
Thus Gōṭhayimbara may mean either the 'Short Ayim
bara,' or Ayimbara son of Gotha.
Kota is a nickname now
used in Ceylon for a short person. In the same way the story regarding Nandi-Mitta may be put aside as absurd.
We learn from Mah., i, p. 88, that he belonged to a family of high position. His uncle, whose name (Mitta) he bore, was a general (cāmupati) under the Tamil king Elāra, and was a native of a village in the north-eastern part of the island, near a hill called Citta, which has not been identified. Nandi-Mitta lived at his uncle's village as a youth, and afterwards with his uncle at Anuradhapura, eventually proceeding to southern Ceylon to join Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi. His residence for some years in the south might enable him to dedicate a cave to the Buddhist monks in that part of the island.
After returning to northern Ceylon as one of the Sinhalese king's leading chieftains, if his native village was in the same district as the Pacīna wihāra, which is equally to the northeast of Anuradhapura, he would be predisposed to do the same for the monks connected with that illustrious famous' temple. According to the history he was of a pious disposition and a devoted Buddhist. He is expressly stated to have had the furtherance of that religion in view in joining the Sinhalese prince. "I will bring about the revival of the glory of the religion of Buddha," he is reported to have said (Mah., i, p. 89). A chieftain of such influence holding these opinions would be certain to make gifts to the monks, and therefore in the absence of any negative evidence there is good foundation for the opinion that it was he who caused both the inscriptions to be cut.
In the inscriptions at the Kaccatkoḍi caves, No. 44 belongs to a Pamatissa who was also the son of a chief called Nandika. The differences between the forms of the letters in this inscription and that of Nandi-Mitta, as seen in the use of the straight ☛ instead of the bent one, and the employment of ha instead of sa for the genitive case, may perhaps point to some other person than a brother of Nandi-Mitta. There still remains
a possibility that this is one belonging to the same family. The father of Nandika is here termed Senapati, which may be either a personal name, or a title, the General. At this early date one would rather expect it to be the latter, especially as it is not preceded by the word Parumaka, Chief, as in the case of that of his son. Thus there is a possibility that he might be the great General of the family, Nandi-Mitta himself, Pamatissa thus being his grandson. Such an identifica
tion would suit the forms of the letters, and would render it unnecessary to assume that there were two chiefs called Nandi, both closely connected with a Senapati, in the same immediate neighbourhood.
No other names can be identified with those given in the histories. It is surprising to see a female Chieftain mentioned in No. 38; it is the only example of the kind, I believe, but the names of two female Chiefs of the Vaeddas were given in a previous chapter.
With regard to the characters used, it is interesting to observe in no less than four of these early inscriptions (Nos. 13, 26, 27, and 38) a letter which in India I believe is only found in southern inscriptions. I am not aware that it occurs in early cave inscriptions in other than the northern parts of the island. It is used in the name of a chief called Palikada, written also Palikada, whose son was the donor of a cave at Wessagiri near Anuradhapura. Dravidian influence appeared to require a letter to represent a cerebral sound of the letter 7 which is not found in Sanskrit.
I am afraid that it would be unsafe to assume that the names given in Nos. 26, 27, 28 and 31 may be those of Dravidians; there might be such chiefs in northern Ceylon whose families were Buddhists.
Returning to the royal inscription, we already see a great difference between its alphabet and style, and those of Aśōka's inscriptions. There are no duplicated consonants, which I think do not make their appearance in Ceylon before the ninth century A.D., while compound letters, excepting in such words as Siddham or Swasti, ' Hail,' or 'May it be well (with you),' are not found until a still later date.1
The aspirated consonants and long vowels were already practically abandoned, although an occasional long a and aspirated b, c, d, or g occur in other early inscriptions. The royal grant is, in fact, written in early Elu, or ancient Sinhalese, as much as in the Pāli language.
The letter j is already represented by the form employed in India for the aspirated jh; it had nearly disappeared in Ceylon early in the first century B.C. The long initial ī is used for the short i, as in the Tonigala inscription No. 54. A special form of m of a deep cup shape with a central horizontal cross bar, differing from the letter generally used in India, and afterwards abandoned in Ceylon by the end of the second century or early in the first century B.C., had already
made its appearance. The trifid s always takes the place
1 Sir A. Cunningham found only three compound letters in the early inscriptions at Sanchi. The Bhilsa Topes, p. 268.
of the usual curled letter, which in these forty-nine inscriptions only occurs in one word in No. 20.
These variations in the alphabet prove that writing had already been employed for a considerable period in Ceylon, long enough to allow time for a local development of the letters to take place.
As the bent form of ʼn is alone used in the royal inscription, the presence of the straight form may perhaps elsewhere generally be evidence of a later date than that of inscriptions in which the crooked letter occurs.
With regard to the language used by King Uttiya it is interesting to see the word lena, cave, instead of the usual lene of practically all later inscriptions. It appears to be confirmed by the last word of the inscription, tana. There are only two other special variations from the ordinary language of similar inscriptions found in the island. One is the expression agatāgata na instead of āgata anāgata, come or come not ' in place of come or not come.' The other is the use of ase, 'they were,' evidently suffixed to verbs in the sense of 'they have,' both in this inscription and in No. 14. The object also is placed after a transitive verb, as we see it in Nos. 53 and 54, below.
In No. 14 the word bhāginiyāna is evidently a plural form like putana in No. 27. I have also met with a form ditāna (the last letter being damaged) where the context shows that two daughters are mentioned. The inscription in which it is found is at Kandalawa wihāra, in the Kurunāēgala district, and is as follows:
Parumaka Majimasa gapati Anu(ra)di puta Gapa
tiya dita(na) Tisagutasa Cuḍasa lene. Tisagutasa Cuḍasa bata Sumanasa leņe saga (sa). The cave of Tissaguttā (and) of Cuḍā, daughters (of) Gāpatiya, the son (of) the (female) householder Anuradhi, (daughter) of the Chief Majjhima. The cave of Sumana, brother of Tissaguttā (and) of Cuda; to the Community.
In the other inscriptions bata appears to represent bhatika, workman'; it occurs too often in these and many other
inscriptions, and almost always before other names, to be a personal name 'Bhatiya,' which in fact is commonly found in the form Bati, as in No. 45, and later examples. Pati ucaya in No. 23 may perhaps be derived from vas to dwell.
The next inscriptions known are two which are cut at a wihāra established under an immense towering rock in the Puttalam district, called Parama-kanda. One of them, No. 51, is cut on the vertical face of a low rock at one side of a small pool of water, termed in Ceylon a pōkuna. The other, No. 52, is at a considerable height on the face of the precipice, over the entrance to the wihāra. High above it is a nesting place of the Indian Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinator) which has doubtless bred there for immemorial ages. The whole site is strikingly picturesque. In the case of both inscriptions a close examination of the letters is not possible on a casual visit. My copies of them are as follows:(51.) Two symbols, the second being the fish. Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tisaha duța kaṇa.
The assigned pool of the Chief Tissa, son (of) the
It has been suggested by Dr. E. Müller that the letters duṭaka may refer to Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, but it is most unlikely that a sovereign would apply a nickname meaning 'Angry to himself in one of his grants. I prefer to assume that the letter pu has been omitted or has been worn away. With it the last word would become pukana, pool. Duța would then be dishta, assigned or ordered.
A symbol unexplained. Parumaka Abaye puta Parumaka T(isa) ha lene agata anagata caya d(i)sa sagasa.
The cave of the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya. To the Community of the (four) quarters, present or future.
The last part is indistinct; I read it with a field glass in 1876. The word which I copied as caya, six, is most probably catu, four, as usual.
There are two other inscriptions near the same hill, both on a low rock called Tōnigala, the Boat-rock, at the side of