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IND after that, that wicked ruler of men (Kásyapa) 1 sent his groom and his cook to his brother (Moggallána) to kill him. And finding that he could not 2 (fulfil his purpose), he feared danger, and took himself to the Síhagiri rock, that was hard for men to climb. He cleared it round about and 3 surrounded it by a rampart, and built galleries in it (ornamented) with figures of lions; wherefore it took its name of Síhagiri ("the Lions' Rock "). Having gathered together all his wealth, 4 he buried it there carefully, and set guards over the treasures he had buried in divers places. He built there a lovely palace, splendid to 5 behold, like unto a second Álakamandá, and lived there like (its lord) Kuvéra. And Migára, the chief of the army, built a parivéņa after his own name, and a house also for the Abhiséka-jina.1 And for the 7 dedication thereof he besought the king that he might (be allowed to) display ceremonies of greater splendour than were permitted to the Silá Sambuddha.3 And because his request was not granted unto him, he thought within himself, "In the reign of the rightful heir to the throne shall I know how to obtain it."


But it repented him (Kásyapa) afterwards of what he had done; so 8 he did many acts of merit, saying, "How shall I escape (punishment) ?" He planted gardens at the gates of the city, and groves of mango 9 trees also throughout the island, at a yójana's distance from each other.

He repaired the Issarasamanáráma (vihára), and by buying 10

1 One of the great statues of Buddha restored and adorned by Dhátuséna. See chap. XXXVIII., vv. 66, 67.

The abhiséka of an image is the setting or painting of its eyes-a ceremony generally performed with great splendour. It is the Nétrá-pinkama of the Sinhalese Buddhists.

3 Another famous stone statue of Buddha which stood in the precincts of the Abhayagiri vihára. Its eyes were adorned by Buddhadása with " the cobra's gem." and when it was lost during the Tamil occupation previous to Dhátuséna's accession, that monarch reset the eyes with two valuable sapphires, and renewed it otherwise. See chap. XXXVII., v. 37; chap. XXXVIII., vv. 61, 32. 4 Supposed to be equal to twelve English miles.




and making gifts of more lands for its support, he gave unto it more substance than it had possessed at any former time.

And he had two daughters, the one named Bódhi and the other Uppalavanná. And he called this vihára after their names and his own. 12 And when it was dedicated the Théravádí1 brethren (to whom it was offered) wished not to accept it, because they feared that the people would blame them in that they accepted an offering which was the 13 work of a parricide. But the king being desirous that these selfsame brethren should possess the vihára dedicated it to the image of the Supreme Buddha; whereupon they consented, saying "It is the 14 property of our Teacher." In like manner, he caused a vihára to be built in the garden that he had offered near the rock (Síhagiri), whence 15 it also took the names of his two daughters. And this vihára, abounding with the four things necessary for monks, he gave unto the Dhammaruci brethren, together with a garden that stood in the north side 16 of the country. And having eaten once of a meal of rice that a woman had prepared for him in the milk of the king coconut and ghee, flavoured highly with sweet condiments, he exclaimed, "This is delicious! 17 Such rice must I give unto the venerable ones." He then caused rice to be prepared after this manner, and made an offering of it to all the 18 brethren, with gifts of robes. He observed the sacred days and practised the Appamaññá2 and Dhútánga3 discipline, and caused books to 19 be written. He made many images, alms-houses, and the like; but he lived on in fear of the world to come and of Moggallána.




At length, in the eighteenth year of his reign, the great warrior Moggallána, being advised thereto by the Niganthas, came hither 21 from Jambudípa attended by twelve noble friends, and encamped with his forces near the Kuṭhári vihára in the country of Ambaṭṭhakóla. And when the king heard thereof, he exclaimed, "I will catch him and eat him." And though the soothsayers prophesied that he could not (be victorious), he went up with a large army (to meet his adver23 sary). And Moggallána also advanced with his army well equipped, and with his valiant companions, like unto the god Sujampati5 in the 24 battle of the Asurs. And the two armies encountered each other like two seas that had burst their bounds; and a great battle ensued. And 25 Kassapa, seeing a great marsh before him, caused his elephant to turn

1 The Mahavihára fraternity.

2 Four subjects of meditation prescribed for a recluse who wishes to attain entire sanctification. They are, friendliness, compassion, goodwill, and equanimity. (Vide Childers' Dictionary for explanation, and Visuddhi-Magga, chap. IV., Samádhi-Bhávanádhikára, for directions.)

3 Certain austere practices (thirteen in number) prescribed for ascetics who desire to prepare themselves for the attainment of the highest stages of sanctification. (See Childers' Dictionary for enumeration, and Visuddhi-Magga, chap. II., for details and mode of practice.)

4 A set of Hindu ascetics. Sanskrit, Nirgrantha.


back, that so he might advance by another direction. And his men 26 seeing this, shouted, "Friends, our lord here fleeth," and broke the ranks; whereupon Moggallána's army cried out, "The back (of the enemy) is seen." And the king (in great despair) raised his head up 27 and cut (his throat) with a knife and returned the knife to its sheath.2 And Moggallána was well pleased with this deed (of boldness) of his 28 brother, and performed the rite of cremation over his dead body; and having gathered together all his spoils, went up to the royal city. And 29 when the brethren heard this news they put on their garments and robed themselves decently and swept the vihára, and ranged themselves in a line (according to seniority). And Moggallána having halted his 30 army outside the elephant rampart of the city, entered the (royal garden called) Maháméghavana, like unto the king of the gods entering his garden Nandana, and being well pleased with the priesthood he 31 approached and made obeisance unto them, and offered unto the Order his royal parasol.3 And they returned it to him. Wherefore 32 the people called that place Chattavaḍḍhi (“ gift of the royal parasol"), and the Parivéņa that was (afterwards) built there was called by the same name. And when the king reached the city he proceeded to the 33 two viháras,1 and having saluted the brethren there he took the government of the great kingdom into his hands, and ruled his people with justice.


But his wrath was kindled against the chief men of the state for 34 having attached themselves to him who had slain his father, and he gnashed his teeth so that he protruded one, and hence he acquired the name of Rakkhasa.5 And he put to death more than a thousand of them 35 who held offices, and caused the ears and noses of some to be cut off, and also banished many from the land. But when he had afterwards 36 hearkened to the sacred discourses (of Buddha), he was greatly calmed in spirit, and his temper became serene, and then he gave alms in great plenty like unto the cloud that poureth forth its waters over the surface of the earth. Every year he gave alms on the full moon day of the 37 month Phussa, and henceforth the custom of giving alms on that day has prevailed over the island even up to this day. And the driver of 38 the chariot who had fed the king his father with fried rice (as he drove him to Kálavápi) took the king's letter (that was given to him) and showed it to Moggallána. And he wept and sorely bewailed himself 39 when he saw it. And after he had spoken of the great love his father had always unto him, he appointed the driver of the chariot to the office of chief of the king's gate. And Migára also, the captain of the 40 army, brought to the king's notice the request that had aforetime been. denied unto him, and having obtained the king's leave thereunto, held the feast of the dedication of the Abhiséka-jina, according to his desire.

1 Meaning "The enemy fleeth."

2 See note A at the end of this chapter.

In token of submission to the Church.

4 Abhayagiri and Jétavana.


See note B attached to this chapter.

41 Moreover, Moggallána gave the Dalha and the Dáṭhá Kondañña viháras at the Síhagiri rock to the Ságalika and Dhammaruci brethren, 42 and having converted the fortress itself into a vihára, he gave it to 43 Mahánáma, the elder of the Díghasanda vihára. And being a man of great wisdom, he likewise built a convent called Rájini, and gave it to the Ságalika sisterhood.



Moreover, a certain Dáthápabhúti of the Lambakanna race, who had been in the service of Kassapa, left it in disgust, and went up to 45 the Mereliya country and settled there. And he had a son, Silákála by name, who, fearing that danger would befall him from Kassapa, 46 accompanied his kinsman Moggallána to Jambudípa, and lived the life

of a recluse at the Bódhimanda vihára and tarried there, serving the 47 Order (as a novice). And he was a man of cheerful disposition and of 48 great skill. And he presented a mango (one day) to the chapter of elders, and they were so pleased with him that they called him (in sport) Amba Sámanéra (" mango-novice "). Wherefore he was known unto all men by that name.


And he afterwards obtained the Késadhátu,2 as it is written in the "Késadhátuvansa," and brought it hither in the reign of Moggallána. 50 And Moggallána gratified him with many favours, and took possession of the hair-relic, and having placed it in a casket of crystal of great value, he bore it in procession to the beautiful image-house of the 51 Lord Dipankara. And he kept it there and made great offerings to it. 52 He made statues of gold of his uncle and of his consort, and other

images also, and a beautiful figure of a horse,3 and placed them there. 53 He caused a casket for the hair-relic to be made, and a parasol and

a (small) pavilion studded with gems, and (the statues) of the two chief 54 disciples (of Buddha), and a chowrie. (Yea) the king did honour to it greater even than he cared to give to himself. And the charge thereof 55 he gave unto Silákála, whom he appointed sword bearer. Wherefore he came to be known afterwards as Asiggáha Silákála.5 And, over and above, the king gave unto him his own sister in marriage with a 56 portion. But this is a very brief account. The details in full are to be found in the "Késadhátuvansa," from which those who desire more 57 knowledge may gather information. And (the king) set a guard along the sea coast, and thus freed the island from fear (of invasion). And he purged the religion of the conqueror as well as his doctrines by enforcing the observance of discipline among the priesthood."

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1 Dhátuséna's uncle, the author of the first thirty-six chapters of the Mahávansa."

2 Hair-relic.

3 The expression cárukan assa bimbañ ca may mean either that he got made a beautiful image of his (own) or that of a horse.

4 Şáriputra and Moggallána.

5 Silákála, the sword bearer.

• See footnote on page 21.

And it was in this king's reign that Uttara, the captain of the army, 58 built a house of meditation1 for the brethren, and called it after his own And the king having performed these acts of merit, expired in


the eighteenth year (of his reign).

Even so he who was so exceedingly powerful, and had snatched 59 victory from Kassapa, was not able to conquer death by reason of his merits being exhausted, but was like unto a slave before him. Wherefore wise men will seek to loose death of its terrors and be happy. Let him therefore who knoweth himself strive to attain Nirváṇa, the real state of happiness and the highest immortality.

Thus endeth the thirty-ninth chapter, entitled "An Account of two Kings," in the Mahávansa, composed equally for the delight and amazement of good men.


THERE can be no doubt that Kásyapa committed suicide in the field of battle, for the text is very clear on the point, and admits of no dispute whatever; but there is some obscurity as to the manner in which he did it. The words of the text run as follows::

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Sisan ukkhipiyákásan chúrikan kósiyan khipí. (Chap. XXXIX., v. 27.)

The order of the words in Páļi prose would be—

Só rájá nikaranena sisan chetvá ákásan ukkhipiya chúrikan kósiyan khi pí;

the literal translation of which would be, "The king having cut off (his) head with (his) knife, threw it (the head) into the air, and put the knife into its sheath." This is clearly absurd, at least the throwing by him of his head into the air after it had been cut off, and the sheathing of the knife subsequently. The only way of avoiding this ridiculous supposition is to construe the passage in the way I have translated it, viz. :

Só rájá sísan ákásan ukkhipiya, nikaranéna chetvá, chúrikan kósiyan khipi;

which would be, "The king having raised his head towards the sky (i.e., raised his head up), cut it (the neck) with a knife, and put the knife into the sheath." As no grammatical difficulty stands in the way of such a construction, I have, after much consideration, and with due deference to the opinions of others who hold otherwise, adopted this rendering.

1 Padhána-gharan, a house or structure intended for the exercise of monastic austerities, which are supposed to lead to the attainment of supernatural powers and the subjugation of the passions.

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