Page images

palace with his fraternity. The pious monarch, having offered them seats, presented them with rice-broth and other refreshments. The théra covered his dish (in token of declining the refreshment). On being asked "Why?" he replied," I have come accompanied by Tissa." The instant (the king) had said "Where is that traitor?" (the théra) mentioned the place. The queen Vihára Déví rushing out, folded her son in her arms (to protect him from violence). The monarch thus addressed (the théra) : "Is it now that ye have discovered that we are in the condition of slaves to you? Had ye sent a sámanéra of seven years of age even, most assuredly neither the sacrifice of the lives of my people, nor our deadly strife, would have taken place. The fault (added the king) is that of the priesthood." (The thera pleading guilty thereto, rejoined) "The priesthood will perform penance." "The impending penalty shall be inflicted on you at once: partake of rice-broth and other refreshments" (said the king), presenting them to the priests himself. Calling out for his brother, in the midst of the assemblage of priests, and seated with his brother, he ate out of the same dish (in token of perfect reconciliation); and then allowed the priests to depart. He immediately sent back Tissa (to Díghavápi) to superintend the agricultural works in progress. He similarly employed himself also, calling out the people by the beat of drums.

Thus good men being sensible that violent resentment, engendered hastily by many and various means, is pernicious, what wise man would fail to entertain amicable sentiments towards others?

The twenty-fourth chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled "The War between the Two Brothers," composed equally for the delight and affliction of righteous men.


THEREAFTER the rájá Duṭṭha Gámaní, having made provision for the welfare of his people, and having enshrined in the point of his sceptre a sacred relic (of Buddha), accompanied by his military array, repairing to the Tissavihára, and reverentially bowing down to the priesthood, thus delivered himself: " I am about to cross the river for the restoration of our religion. Allot some priests for our spiritual protection. Their accompanying us will afford both protection and the presence of ministers of religion, (which will be) equivalent to the observance of the services of our religion." The priesthood accordingly allotted five hundred ministers of the faith (to attend the king in his campaign) as a self-imposed penance. The monarch, accompanied by the priesthood, departed.

1 66 We."


Being asked (again)."

[blocks in formation]

566 They will therefore have to perform penance. But the business about which you have come will be successful.

Insert" Then."

Partake now," &c.

7" cherish a spirit of forgiveness."

"that we might render homage unto them: their presence (among us) will be even as a festival unto us, and afford us protection."

punishment for breaches of discipline."

Having had a road cleared through the wilderness for his march. thither, mounting his state elephant Kandula, and attended by his warriors and a powerful force, he took the field. His army formed one unbroken line from Mahágáma to Guttahála. Reaching Mahiyangana, he made the Damila chief Chatta prisoner; and putting the Damilas to death here, he moved on to the Amba ferry. For four months he contended with a most powerful Damila chief at the post of the Amba ferry, which was almost surrounded by the river, without success. He then brought his mother forward (on the pretence of entering into a treaty of marriage), and by that stratagem made him prisoner. This powerful rájá thereupon pouring down on the Damilas there, on the same day took them prisoners. He conciliated the attachment (khémó) of his great force; and distributed the riches (of the plunder among them). From this circumstance the place obtained the name of Khémáráma. He captured at Dóņa, among the marshes in the great division Kóța, the chief Gavara; at Hálakóla, the chief of that place; at the Náli marsh, the chief Nálika; at Díghábhayagallaka, the chief Díghábhaya; and, after the lapse of four months, the chief Kapisísa, at the Kaccha ferry; at the town Kóța, the chief of that name, and subsequently, Hálavabhánaka; at Vahiṭṭha, the Damila of that name; and at Gámaní, the chief of that name; at Kumbágáma, the chief Kumba; at Nandigáma, the chief Nandika; in like manner he took prisoner the chief Kháņu at Khánṇugáma; and at the town Tumbuno, two chiefs, an uncle and nephew named Tumbó and Unnó, as well as the chief Jambu. Each village gave its name to him (the Malabar chief in charge of it). The king having heard this report, viz. :" His army is destroying his own 10subjects, without being able to distinguish them," made this solemn invocation: "This enterprise of mine is not for the purpose of acquiring the pomp and advantages of royalty. This undertaking has always had for its object the re-establishment of the religion of the supreme Buddha. By the truth of this declaration may the arms and equipments of my army (in the hour of battle, as a mark of distinction) flash, as if emitting the rays of the sun." It came to pass accordingly. All those Damilas who had escaped the slaughter along the bank of the river threw themselves for protection into the (fortified) town called Vijita; and he also threw up a (khandhávára) fortification in an open plain, on a spot well provided (with wood and water); and that place became celebrated by the name of Khandhávárapiṭṭhi. While this monarch was revolving in his mind the plan of attack on the town of Vijita, seeing Nandimitta passing by, he let loose the state elephant Kandula after him. Nandimitta, in order that he might arrest the charging elephant, seizing his two tusks in both his hands, planted him on his haunches. 11 Wherever the place, and whatever the circumstance

166 Malaya country."



an experienced Damila chieftain named Titthamba, at that post."
making a descent."

4" from that post took seven of their chiefs prisoners in one day. Having ensured the security (khéma) of the place he distributed the riches (of the plunder) among his forces."


5 Insert at Antarásobbha, the chief Mahákoṭṭha."

7 66 Issariya."

8" towns Tamba and Unnama."

9" Tambaka and Uņņama."


11 46

[merged small][ocr errors]

• Dele.

By reason whereof the village that was (afterwards) formed where Nandimitta wrestled with the elephant received the name of Hatthipóra ( elephant fight ')."

under which the elephant and Nandimitta wrestled, from that circumstance the village formed in that place obtained the name of Hatthipóra (the elephant's contest).

The rájá, having satisfied himself (of the prowess) of both, commenced his assault on the town of Vijita. At the southern gate there was a terrific conflict between the warriors (of the two armies). At the eastern gate the warrior Vélusumana, mounted on the charger (carried away from the stables of Elára), slew innumerable Damilas. The enemy then closed the gates; and the king 1sent the elephant Kandula and the warriors Nandimitta and Súranimila to the southern gate. The warriors Mahásóna, Gótha, and Théraputta, these three were at that time assailing the other three gates. That city was protected by three lines of lofty battlements and an iron gate impenetrable by human efforts. The tusk-elephant, placing himself on his knees, and battering a stone wall which was cemented with fine lime, made his way to the iron gate. The Damilas who defended (that gate) hurled upon him every kind of weapon, heated lumps of iron, and molten lead. Thereupon, on the 3molten lead falling on his back, the agonised Kandula rushing to water submerged himself therein. Góthaimbara thus addressed him: "This is no "assuaging lotion for thee: returning to the demolition of the iron portal batter down that gate." This monarch of elephants recovering his courage, and roaring defiance, emerging from the water, stood up with undaunted pride.

The king, appointing elephant medical practitioners for that purpose, caused remedies to be applied to the (wounds occasioned by the) 3molten lead; and mounting on his back and patting him on his head, said, "My favourite Kandula, I confer on thee the sovereignty over the whole of Lanká." Having thus gladdened him and fed him with choice food, he wrapped him with a linen cloth; and causing a leather covering to be made, formed of well softened buffalo hide seven-fold thick, and adujsting that leather cloak on his back, and over that again spreading an oiled skin, he sent him forth. Roaring like the thunder of heaven, and 10rushing into the sphere of peril, with his tusks he shivered the gate; with his foot battered the threshold; and the gate fell, together with its "arch and superstructure, with a tremendous crash. Nandimitta opposing his shoulder to the mass of 12superstructure, consisting of the watch tower and other materials of masonry, which was tottering over the elephant, hurled it inwards. The elephant witnessing this feat, overwhelmed with gratitude, 13for the first time forgave him for the mortification of having thrown him by his tusks.

This lord of elephants Kandula, in order that he might enter the town close behind (Nandimitta), stopping there, looked around for the warrior. Nandimitta resolving within himself, "Let me not enter by the passage opened by the elephant," charged with his shoulder at

"advanced his warriors. Kandula (the elephant) and Nandimitta and Súranimila charged the southern gate; Mahásóna, Gótha, and Théraputta, these three, charged the other three gates.”

[blocks in formation]

7 Insert" and."

8" noble elephant."

[ocr errors][merged small]

12" materials falling from the watch tower."

13" put away from him the hatred he bore (to Nandimitta) for having hurt his tusks at first."

[ocr errors]

noble elephant."

[ocr errors]

rampart which was in height eighteen cubits and in breadth eight usabhas." It fell, and he looked towards Súranimila; who, disdaining to enter by that passage, leaped over the battlements into the heart of the town. Gótha and Sóna, each battering down a gate, likewise entered. The elephant seized a cart wheel, Nandimitta also a cart wheel, Gótha a 3palmyra tree, Nimila an enormous sword, Mahásóņa a *coconut tree, and Théraputta a great club; and severally slaughtered the Damilas, wherever they were met with scampering through the streets.

The king, demolishing (the fortifications of) Vijita in four months, and proceeding from thence to the attack of Girilaka, slew Giriya the Damila. Marching on the town of Mahéla, which was surrounded on all sides with the thorny kadamba creeper, within which was a great triple line of fortification, in which there was but one gate of difficult access; the king besieging it for four months, got possession of the person of the rájá of Mahéla by diplomatic stratagem.

The sovereign then, preparing to assail Anuradhapura, threw up a fortification at the foot of the Kása mountain, 5in the month " Jetthamúla," and made a reservoir of water. He held a festival there to celebrate the completion of the reservoir. The village formed there acquired the name of Posona.7

The reigning monarch Elára, hearing of the approach of the rájá Duṭṭha Gámaní with hostile intent, assembled his ministers, and thus addressed these personages: "This rájá is himself a hero: he has also many valiant warriors (in his army): counsellors, what should be done; what do ye advise?" These warriors of king Elára, commencing with Díghajantu, came to this resolution: "To-morrow we will attack him."

The rájá Duṭṭha Gámaní also consulted with his mother. At her recommendation he formed thirty-two strong ramparts. The king displayed in each of these posts personifications of himself, with a royal standard-bearer attending on him; while the monarch himself remained in an inner fortification.

King Elára, accoutred for battle and supported by his military array, mounted on his state elephant Mahápabbata, advanced on him. At the commencement of the onset the valiant Díghajantu, with sword and shield in hand, striking terror by the fury of his attack, springing up eighteen cubits into the air, and piercing the figure which represented the king, took the first rampart. In this manner, having carried all the other posts, he approached the fortification defended by Gámaní, the rájá himself.

The powerful warrior Súranimila, shouting out his own name to him who was rushing at the king, taunted him. The one (Díghajantu) incensed, and replying, "Let me slay him first," made a leap at him. The other met the assailant with his shield. Saying to himself, "I will demolish him and his shield at once," (Dighajantu) slashed at the shield with his sword. The other cast the shield at him. Díghajantu plunging at that unresisting shield, fell with it; and Sú:animila springing up, slew the prostrate (enemy) with his sword. Phussadéva

"It (the rampart), eighteen cubits high and eight usabhas' long, fell." 2" the body of a cart."

3" coconut."

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

5" and in the month Jetthamúla' (June-July) made there."

8.66 acquatic sports.'

Poson is the Sinhalese for " June."

sounded his chank, and the army of Damilas gave way: Elára rallied it, and many Damilas were slain. The water of the tank at that place was discoloured by the blood of the slain, and from that circumstance the tank has been celebrated by the name of "Kulattha."1

The monarch Duṭṭha Gámaní then making this proclamation by beat of drums, "No other person but myself shall assail Elára," accoutred for combat, mounted on his well-appointed state elephant Kandula, in his pursuit of Elára reached the southern gate. These two monarchs entered into personal combat near the southern gate of the city. Elára hurled his spear: Gámaní evaded it; and making his own elephant charge with his tusks the other elephant, and hurling at the same time his javelin at Elára, he and his elephant both fell together there.

There this conqueror, in the field of victory, surrounded by his martial might, reducing Lanká under (the shadow of) one canopy of dominion, entered the capital.

Summoning within the town the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, within the distance of a yójana, he held a festival in honour of king Elára. Consuming the corpse in a funeral pile on the spot where he fell, he built a tomb there, and ordained that it should receive honours (like unto those conferred on a Cakkavatti). Even unto this day, the monarchs who have succeeded to the kingdom of Lanká, on reaching that quarter of the city, whatever the procession may be, they silence their musical band.5

In this manner, Duṭṭha Gámaní, having made prisoners thirty-twe Damila chieftains, ruled over Lanká sole sovereign.

On being defeated at Vijita, the warrior Díghajantu, reminding Elára that his nephew was a warrior of repute, sent a mission to the said nephew Bhalluka to hasten hither. Receiving this invitation, he landed on this island on the seventh day after Elára's cremation, at the head of sixty thousand men.

He who had thus debarked, though he heard of the death of his king, considering it a disgrace (to retreat), and deciding, "I will wage war, advanced from Mahátittha hither (to Anuradhapura), and fortified himself at the village Kóļambahálaka.

On receiving intimation of his landing, the rájá, who was fully equipped with an army of elephants, cavalry, chariots of war, and infantry, accoutring himself with his martial equipments, and mounting his elephant Kandula, set out to give him battle. The warrior Ummáda Phussadéva, the most expert archer in the land, equipped with his five weapons of war, and the rest of the warriors, also set out.

When the conflict was on the point of taking place, Bhalluka, who was also accoutred for battle, charged immediately in front of the rájá. Kandula, the monarch of elephants, to break the shock of that attack, backed rapidly; and with him the whole army receded alertly. The king remarked to Phussadéva, "What does this mean? He has never before given ground in the previous twenty-eight battles he has been engaged in.' Victory (replied Phussadéva) is in the rear. This elephant, seeking that field of triumph, is receding. O king, he will make his stand on the spot where victory awaits us.'


[ocr errors]

1 A kind of edible pulse which, when boiled, yields a soup of a blood-red colour. 2" hurled."

3 Full stop; "He."


4" in procession, pay the same honour, and." These honours continued to be paid to the tomb of Elára up to the period of the British occupation of the Kandyan territory.—[Note by Mr. Turnour.]



« PreviousContinue »