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The line below the arched structure may represent a snake, as a guardian deity.

It would appear that at the time when these large circular coins were issued the same confidence was still reposed in the protective powers of the emblems. The sistrum, if it is one, takes its place among them for the first time in Ceylon. We still find the same raised Swastika symbol repeated exactly as in the oblong coins, a proof of the firm belief in its luck-bringing virtues. It is strange that it is now unknown in the island; it is perhaps impossible to meet with ten persons there who are acquainted with either the name or shape of any form of Swastika.

The meaning of the numerous beads on these coins is unknown. The five beads on the later Sinhalese coins afford no assistance in elucidating it, their own meaning being equally unknown. Probably the latter have some reference to the guardian deity at whose side they are represented; on some specimens the uppermost of the five is a lotus bud.

With regard to the structures of three or more arches commonly, when shown on the Purānas, termed 'Chaityas,' that is, dāgabas, I am not satisfied that this title furnishes a correct interpretation of their meaning. In fact, I can see little reason to apply this term to them. The designs with three and five arches appear to be representations of the domed roofs of buildings which originally may have been Hindu temples as in the Kosambi coin No. II of Plate V of Coins of Ancient India, where the nature of the edifice is indicated by the bull standing at its side. The character of some is also clearly expressed on several coins described on pp. 137 and 138 of the Indian Museum Catalogue, by the peacock on the summit of the central arch, which denotes that the building is a temple devoted to Skanda, or is under his protection. Figures of peacocks are still placed on the outsides of his temples, and the bird itself and its feathers are considered to be emblems of good luck in India1 and Ceylon. If in later instances in Ceylon the arched structures were intended for Buddhist

1 Crookes. Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India, Vol. ii, pp. 233, 250.

wihāras, it was probably as places to be avoided by evil spirits that they were delineated among other demonfrightening emblems. That such buildings sometimes had domed roofs is proved by the names Ganthākāra (Bell) Wihāra and Piriwena which occur in the Mahāvansa.

Somewhat similar domed buildings are illustrated among the Amaravati reliefs.1 The central roof, like that of the structures on the coins, is at a much higher level than the two

FIG. 159. Relief near Ruwanwaeli Dāgaba.

lateral ones. There are also two reliefs of unknown age at Anuradhapura which show domed roofs of wihāras rising one behind another in nearly the same way, in one instance five roofs being visible (Fig. No. 159), and in the other three roofs, as on most of the coins.

On one of the Purānas from Mulleittivu the structure is evidently a temple or palace, the central arch rising from the

1 Archaeological Survey of Southern India, Vol. i, Plate XLII, Fig. 9.

ground-level, with high vertical sides. A similar design occurs on Indian coins, and is illustrated by Mr. Theobald in his essay on the symbols. In the Taxila coin No. 5 of Plate III, C.A. I. (No. 34, p. 158, Ind. Mus. Cat.) one of these structures is shown with only two arches side by side; this cannot be a dāgaba. In the third Purāna illustrated by me the building is also not a dāgaba.

An undoubted dāgaba appears on the Andhra coins 41 and 42 of Plate II of Sir Walter Elliott's Coins of Southern India. It is a building of a different type, having a single dome, with two rows of niches for lamps below it, just as they are to be seen in walls about some of these buildings in Ceylon. There must have been few dagabas, and those only small ones, in India before the middle of the third century B.C., whereas the arched symbol on the Purānas appears to be of much earlier date. It is interesting as being probably the first illustration of an Indian roofed building.

The crescent which often crowns the top of the uppermost dome of these arched edifices has not been satisfactorily explained. It is not a Buddhist emblem, and is never seen as an independent emblem on the coins or early sculptures of Ceylon, but it is on a punch-marked Purāna from Mulleittīvu.

In the Taxila coin No. 17, of Plate II, C.A.I. (No. 13, p. 157, Ind. Mus. Cat.) a person is paying reverence to this symbol fixed on the summit of a three-domed building, below which is a mound of seven beads, which may be a tumulus or a sacred hill. On coin No. 14 of the same Plate (No. 9, p. 157, Ind. Mus. Cat.) the worshipper has turned his back on the so-called Chaitya' and its crescent finial, in order to adore a similar mound of seven beads, which in this case is evidently a sacred hill or tumulus. It is significant that the crescent is never seen on these mounds, but only on the arched buildings.

On the coins of Rudradāman (150 A.D.) and his successors, the crescent appears on the top of the three-domed building; while a symbol of the sun, a bead with six, seven, or eight rays, is on the right of the arches, and one of the moon, in the form of a crescent, on the left of them (Plate XVIII, Ind. Mus. Cat.). It is clear that the upper crescent in this and other

instances has some symbolical meaning which the lower one, treated simply as the partner of the sun, does not express.

What this is, may be learnt from the Atharva Veda (ix, 6), which mentions 'Sōma, the God who is called Chandramas' [the moon]. Sōma is still one of the synonyms meaning the moon. The Rig Veda is in agreement with this, and also refers to Sōma as the moon. It says of Sōma, ' He follows the Wide-strider's [the sun's] rapid movement. . . . He with the sharpened horns brings forth abundance; the Silvery shines by night, by day the Golden' (ix, 79, 9). Sōma is also referred to as Subduing our assailants, chasing the demons hard to be encountered' (ix, 110, 12). We also expressly learn of him that 'The mighty takes his seat, and Sōma, ever watchful, guards from fiend and evil sprite. Gold-hued he makes the cloud his diadem, the milk his carpet in both worlds, and prayer his robe of state' (ix, 71, 1). One hymn which is addressed to Sōma ends with the words' Those awful weapons that thou hast, sharpened at point to strike men down-guard us therewith from every foe' (ix, 61, 30). Sōma is also identified with the great demon-slayer Indra :- Indra's self is Pavamāna [Sōma], yea, the Bull' (ix, 5, 7). 'Indu [Sōma] is Indra' (ix, 5, 9).

It is most probably in this aspect, as Sōma, the 'everwatchful' protector from demoniacal interference, that the crescent is so often placed on the arched buildings represented on the coins, whether they are temples or palaces.

Thus it is seen that in the case of most of the early coins of the East, with its elaborate symbolism (excluding those which were mere imitations of Greek models) care was taken to insert on them emblems, or figures of deities, which were believed to have protective powers against evil spirits, as well as others that were thought to be especially luck-bringing.

This may furnish the explanation of the other strange punchmarks of the Purānas, the early signification of many of which is known, while that of some is difficult to understand. For instance, there can be little doubt as to the purpose of the following figures on the coins.

The Elephant is at once recognised both as the 'Vahana,'

or riding-animal, of Indra, a persistent enemy of the demons, and as a lucky emblem.1 It is also the Vāhana of Ayiyanār, who in India protects villages from nocturnal spirits. The dream of a white elephant was the omen of the birth of the Buddha, Gōtama; and in Ceylon it is still thought to prognosticate the birth of a son, which in India is one of the most fortunate of all occurrences. Miniature elephants of ivory are still sold largely in Ceylon as lucky charms. As I have already mentioned, the elephants' heads projecting from the walling and wāhalkaḍas at the Anuradhapura dāgabas were most probably placed there as a protection against evil spiritual influences, and not as mere ornaments.

Indra, the terrific wielder of the ancient thunder' 2 which was a favourite weapon of the Gods in their wars with evil spirits, whether Titans or others; and Agni, 'the master of all wealth'; and the Sun-all, according to the Vedas, noted slayers of demons, and those who practised evil magic —were all, but especially the first one, termed 'Bulls' in Vedic times, perhaps because of their irresistible power, which the Bull also symbolised in the Euphrates valley and Egypt. This animal afterwards became the Vahana of Siva, who through his Sakti, or female manifestation, slew the demons called Asuras.

The 'Taurine' symbol, which is in the form of the skull of a bull, perhaps also signifies these Bulls. Such skulls are everywhere employed in Ceylon as potent guards against the Evil Eye, that bug-bear of all people, and the Bull's head or skull was an amulet in Egypt from prehistoric times, as also in early Greece. It is extremely doubtful if this design has, as some have supposed, an astrological signification; when placed on the corners of the fence or enclosure at the tree its position proves that it was thought to be an additional protection.

The Sun was the luminary whose rays, shown on most of the early Indian coins as straight lines or arrow-heads radiating

1 The Jataka' (Translation), Vol. vi, p. 251.

2 Rig Veda, iv, 20, 6; in x, 92, 8, it is stated of him 'Unhindered, from the air's vault thunders day by day the loud triumphant breathing of the fearful Bull.'

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