Page images

he attained his sixteenth year, a staff thirty-eight inches in circumference and sixteen cubits long. Striking with this instrument the trunks of palmyra and coconut trees, he levelled them to the ground: from this feat he became 1a celebrated hero. The king established him also, in like manner, in the service of prince Gámaní. His (Abhaya's) father was the patron and supporter of the théra Mahásumma. This wealthy person, having heard the doctrines of Buddhism preached by the théra Mahásumma at the vihára of the Kóți mountain, attained the sanctification of "sótápatti." Thereafter being disgusted (with a lay life), announcing his intention to the king, and transferring his property to his son, he entered into the priesthood in the fraternity of that théra. Excelling in his calling, he attained the sanctification of "arhat." From this circumstance his son was known by the name of Théraputtábhaya."3

[ocr errors]

A certain chief of the village Kappakandara had a son named Bharaṇa. When he became ten or twelve years old, repairing to a *wilderness with other boys, he chased many hares; and kicking them with his foot, brought them down cut in two. When he had attained his sixteenth year, the villagers revisited this wilderness; he in the same manner expeditiously brought down the gókannaka elk and wild hogs. From this exploit this hero became celebrated. Him also, in the same manner, the king established in the service of prince Gámaní.

In the district called Giri, in the village Kutiyangana, there lived a wealthy chief named Vasabha. He had (two) attached friends, a native of the Vélu division and one Sumana of (Mahágáma) in the Giri division. At the birth of his (Vasabha's) son both these persons, preceded by presents, visited him, and gave their own name (Véļu Sumana) to this child. The chief of Giri brought up this boy in his own house. He possessed a charger of the "sindhava" breed, which no man could mount. This (animal) on seeing Vélu Sumana, thinking "This is a man worthy of backing me," delighted, neighed. The owner comprehending its meaning, said to the youth, "Mount the steed." He, leaping on the charger, pressed him into full speed in a ring. (The animal) presented the appearance of one continuous horse in every part of the circus. Poising himself by his own weight on the back of the flying steed, the fearless youth repeatedly untied and rebound his scarf. The multitude who witnessed this exploit gave him a simultaneous cheer. This wealthy proprietor of Giri bestowed ten thousand pieces on him, and (saying to himself), "This is a person worthy of being in the service of the king," rejoiced in presenting him to his majesty. The monarch established the said Vélu Sumana in his personal service, conferring on him many honours and other favours.

10In the Mahindadóņika division, in the village Kannikáya, near the city Nakula, the youngest son of one Abhaya, named Déva, was endowed with great bodily strength. Being (khañja) deformed in his foot, he became known by the name of Khañjadéva. At that period,

1" celebrated as a giant."

2" stricken with horror (at the evils incident to the life of a householder)."

3 Add" (Abhaya, the son of the théra ')."

4.4 'jungle (to hunt)."

5" he went with the villagers to hunt in the jungle, and."

[blocks in formation]


"In the Nakula-nága division, in the village Mahinda-dóņiku."

this individual going out with the villagers elk-hunting, and chasing the cattle which came to him, scared them by his dreadful shouts. This person would also, seizing them by the leg and whirling them over his head and dashing them on the ground, reduce their bones to powder. The king, hearing these particulars, sent for Khañjadéva, and established him in the service of Gámaní.


[ocr errors]

Near the vihára on the Cittala mountain, in the village Kapiṭṭha, lived the son of one Uppala named Phussadéva. This valiant youth repairing to that vihára, accompanied by other young men, and making offerings to the bó tree, taking up his chank, sounded it. His blast was like a loud peal of thunder. All these youths were terrified unto (Ummáda) stupefaction. From this exploit he acquired the name of Ummáda-phussadéva, and his father taught him the bow exercise, which was the profession of their caste. He became a sound archer,' who shot guided by sound only (without seeing his object); a "lightning archer," (who shot as quick as lightning); 5a "sand archer," who could shoot through a sandbank. (The arrow) shot by him transpierced through and through a cart filled with sand, as well as through hides a hundredfold thick; through an asóka (wood) eight inches, and an udumbará plank sixteen inches thick, as well as a plate of iron too, and a plate of brass four inches thick. On land his arrow would fly the distance of eight usabhas, and through water one usabha. The Mahárájá hearing of this dexterity, sending for him from his father's house, established him in the service of Gámaní.

Near the Tuládhára 8vihára, in the village Vapigáma, lived one Vasabha, the son of Mattakuṭumbi. As he was endowed with great personal beauty, he acquired the appellation Labhiya Vasabha.10 At twenty years of age he attained extraordinary physical power, and was held in great repute. This powerful and extensive landholder, assembling a few labourers, undertook the formation of the tank (near the Tuládhára vihára). He individually lifting up baskets of earth, which ten and twelve stout labourers could alone raise, expeditiously completed the formation of the embankment of the tank. From this feat he became celebrated. The king enlisting him also, and conferring favours on him, assigned him to Gámaní. The field (irrigated by this tank) became celebrated under the name of 11" Udakavára of Vasabha." Thus Labhiya Vasabha was established in the service of Gámaní.

At that period the sovereign (Kákavanna) conferred 12his royal protection on these ten eminent heroes, in the same degree that he protected his son. Assembling these warriors, that provincial monarch issued these commands: Let the ten warriors each enlist ten men." They enlisted soldiers accordingly. To these hundred warriors similarly the ruler gave directions that each should enlist (ten men). They engaged troops accordingly. Then the king again directed these thousand

1 "would give chase to big wild buffaloes as they were startled one after another, and seizing them by the leg whirl them round his head, and break their bones to pieces by dashing them against the ground.'

[ocr errors]

2" took up a chank that was offered to the bódhi tree and blew."

3" archery."

"(who shot by the flash of the lightning)."

"a hair archer' (who could shoot through a horse-hair held as a target)." "With his arrow he would pierce."

7" his."


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

12" the same favours on these ten strong men as he did on his own son.'

[ocr errors]

soldiers to select in like manner (ten men each). They also enlisted soldiers accordingly. The whole number embodied were eleven thousand one hundred and ten.1

Thus a truly wise man, delighting in having listened to a wonderful result righteously brought about, avoiding the ways of unrighteousness, should incessantly delight in pursuing the paths of righteousness.

The twenty-third chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled The 2" Embodying of the Warriors," composed equally for the delight and affliction of righteous men.


THIS prince Gámaní, who was skilled in the elephant, horse, and bow exercises, as well as in stratagems, was then residing at Mahágáma; and the king had stationed his (second) son Tissa, with a powerful and efficient force, at Díghavápi, for the protection of his dominions (against the invasions of the Damilas).

After a certain period had elapsed, prince Gámaní, having held a review of his army, proposed to his royal father, "Let me wage war with the Damilas." The king, only looking to his (son's) personal safety, interdicted (the enterprise), replying, "Within this bank of the river is sufficient." He, however, renewed the proposition even to the third time; (which being still rejected) he sent to him a female trinket, with this message: "It being said my father is not a man, let him therefore decorate himself with an ornament of this description." The monarch, enraged with him, thus spoke (to his courtiers): "Order a gold chain to be made, with which I shall fetter him; not being able to restrain him by any other means." He (the prince) indignant with his parent, retiring (from his court) fled to (Kóta in) the Malaya district. From this circumstance of his having become (" duttha ") inimical to his father, he acquired from that day the appellation "Duṭṭha Gámaní.” Thereafter the king commenced the construction of the Mahánuggala cétiya. The ruler assembled the priesthood 5* twelve thousand priests from the Cittala mountain; and from other places twelve thousand assembled there. When the great Cétiya vihára was completed, assembling all the warriors in the presence of the priesthood, the king made them take an oath. They thus swore : 8 We will not repair to the scene of conflict between thy sons." this circumstance they (the princes) did not engage in that war.

* * * *


The monarch (Kákavanna Tissa) having caused sixty-four viháras to be constructed, and survived as many years, then demised. The queen placing the corpse of the king 10on a low hearse, and removing it

1 Add" All these persons always found favour in the sight of the ruler of the land, and were maintained on the establishment of his royal son Gámaní." 2" Acquisition of Warriors."

36 remarking, Friends, my father, if he be a man, would not say so; let him, therefore, wear this." 4" undutiful.”

5 The words left out are evidently nitthite cétiya, "when the cétiya was completed," which should precede sanghan sannipátayi bhúpati, "the ruler assembled the priesthood."

666 After he had held the cétiya festival, the king."
8" We will take no part in the impending conflict," &c.
"Therefore they (the warriors) took no part in that war."
10" in a covered."

7 Dele.

to the Tissamahávihára, 1introduced herself to the priesthood. Prince Tissa hearing of this event, hastening thither from Díghavápi, performed his father's funeral obsequies with great pomp. Taking charge of his mother and of the state elephant Kandula, this powerful prince, dreading the attack of his brother, quickly departed thence (from Tissavihára) to Díghavápi.

In order that this event might be made known at the court of Duṭṭha Gámaní, all (his father's) ministers having assembled and prepared a report, despatched (a messenger) to him. He (the prince) repairing to Guttahála, and having despatched emissaries thither, repairing thence himself to Mahágáma, effected the assumption of the sovereignty.

Having sent a despatch to his brother, on the subject of his mother and the state elephant Kandula, and his application having been refused even to the third time, he approached him in hostile array. A great battle was fought between these two princes at Cúlanganiyapiṭṭhi, and many thousands of the king's men fell there. The king, his minister Tissa, and his mare Díghathúliká, all three fled; and the prince pursued them. The priests raised up a mountain between these two (combatants). He (Tissa) seeing this (miracle), desisted from his pursuit, declaring, "This is the act of the priesthood." The king, on reaching the Jívamáli ferry of the Kappakandara river, addressing himself to his minister Tissa, said, "We are famished." The (minister) presented to the (monarch) some dressed rice, placed in a golden dish (which he had kept concealed under his mantle). In order that he might not break through a rule invariably observed by him, of presenting a portion to the priesthood before he himself partook of it, dividing the rice into four portions, he said, "Set up the call of refection." Tissa accordingly set forth the call. The théra (Gótama) resident in the isle of Piyangu, who had been the preceptor in religion of the king, having heard this call by his supernatural gifts of hearing, directed a théra named Tissa, the son of a certain Kuțimbika, to answer it; who accordingly repaired thither through the air. Tissa (the minister) receiving the refection dish from his hand, presented it to the king; the monarch deposited in the dish his own portion, as well as that reserved to the théra; Tissa (the minister) contributed his portion also; the mare likewise rejecting her portion, Tissa deposited that share also in the dish. The king presented this filled dish of dressed rice to the théra, who, departing through the air, gave it to Gótama théra. The said théra having bestowed these portions of rice on five hundred priests who were willing to partake thereof, with the remnants left by them, at the place where the meal was served, filling the dish again, he remitted it back through the air to the king. Tissa (the minister) watching the progress of the approaching dish, and taking possession of it, served the monarch with his meal. The ruler having taken some refreshment himself, and fed the mare, the said rájá gathering his royal insignia into a bundle, together with the dish, launched them into the air, and they found their way to (Gótama).

1" informed the priesthood thereof."

a ball of rice each."

3" having made a rest (cumbata ') for the dish with his coat of mail, sent it back." The "cumbata " is a circular rest for the round refection bowl of Buddhist monks. It is made in the form of a ring. The king twisted his coat into such a form, placed the bowl on it, and sent it back to the owner.

▲ Dele.

Proceeding thence to Mahágáma, and taking with him an army of sixty thousand men, and hastening to make war, engaged in a personal contest with his brother. In the field of battle, in the course of the conflict, the two brothers approached each other, the king mounted on his mare and Tissa on the state elephant Kandula. The king galloped his mare in a circle round the elephant; but even then detecting no unguarded point, he decided on leaping his charger (at the object of his attack). Accordingly, springing his steed over the head of his brother on the elephant, he launched his javelin at 3him, so that it might *pass crossways between the back and the skin armour of the elephant (in order that he might display his superiority without injuring the animal, which was his own property). In that conflict many thousands of the prince's men fell in battle there; and his powerful army was routed. The elephant, indignant with his rider at the thought of having been mastered by an opponent of the female sex (the mare), rushed at a tree, with the intention of shaking him (the prince) off. Tissa, however, scrambled up the tree; and the elephant joined his (destined) master (Gámaní), who, mounting him, pursued the retreating prince; who, in his dread of his brother, seeking refuge in a (neighbouring) vihára, entered the apartment of the chief théra there, and laid himself down under his bed. That priest threw a robe on the bed (to screen him). The king arriving, tracing him by his footsteps, inquired, "Where is Tissa?" The théra replied to him, "Rájá, he is not on the bed." The monarch knowing from this reply that he was under the bed, at once left the premises, and planted guards round the vihára. (In order to prevent the violation of the sanctity of the temple) having placed him (Tissa) on a bed, and covered him with a robe, four young priests lifting up the bed by the four posts, carried the prince out, as if he were the corpse of a priest. The king at once, detecting who the person carried out was, thus addressed him : Tissa, dost thou think it right

to ride mounted on the heads of our tutelar gods? It is not my 'intention to take from our tutelar saints that which they appropriate to themselves. However, never again forget the admonitions of those sanctified characters." From that very spot the monarch repaired to Mahágáma, and had his mother conveyed thither with all the honours due to a royal parent.

That sovereign, a devoted believer in the doctrines of Buddha, who lived (altogether) sixty-eight years, built in the Róhana division (alone) sixty-eight viháras.

This child of royalty, Tissa, who had been protected by the priests, departed at once for Díghavápi in the guise of a common person; and to the théra Tissa, who was afflicted with a cutaneous complaint, which made his skin scaly like that of the "gódha," he thus addressed himself: Lord, I am a guilty, fallen man, obtain for me my brother's forgiveness. This théra, taking with him Tissa in the character of a junior sámanéra, the servitor of five hundred priests, repaired to the king. Leaving the royal youth at the foot of the stairs, the théra entered the


1"he gathered an army of sixty thousand men, and hastened to make war with his brother."

2 Dele.

3" his brother."


4" cut the armour on his back." 546 a female."

"spread" pasárayí meaning that a robe was so spread as to fall down the sides of the bed and screen the prince from view. 7" custom to take aught by force from our shouldst always remember their kindness."

8 ་་ an iguana."

tutelar saints; howbeit, thou

a servitor, and a company."

« PreviousContinue »