« PreviousContinue »
Thus we see that possessions obtained during a course of slothfulness are not abiding; so the man of sound knowledge, who desires his welfare, should always cultivate diligence with steadfastness.
Thus endeth the fifty-fifth chapter, entitled "The Spoliation of Lanká," in the Mahávansa, composed equally for the delight and amazement of good men.
THEREUPON all the Sihalas gave the name of Vikkama Báhu to the king's son,1 and upheld his authority faithfully. And this prince heaped up riches, that so he might destroy the Tamils, while at the same time he showed favours to his servants also according 3 to their deserts. And he caused the royal jewels to be made, and the crown and the canopy and the throne also. And when the nobles besought him that he would be anointed king, he restrained them, 4 saying, "It shall not be so to me until the king's country is reclaimed ; for what profit shall there be in raising the canopy of dominion until such 5 time?" And when he had waxed strong, he made ready one hundred thousand men. But just as he was about to begin the war he was 6 struck down with a windy disease, and deferred it, saying, " Now is not the time for battle." And soon afterwards, in the twelfth year of his reign, he departed for the celestial city, and joined the company of the gods.
7 Thereupon Kitti, who had been appointed to the office of general, aimed to be king, and maintained his authority as such for seven days. 8 But Mahálána Kitti, a mighty man, slew him, and was crowned king, 9 and ruled over the Róhana country. And being defeated in the war with the Cólians in the third year of his reign, he met with a violent 10 death, having cut off his head with his own hands. Then the Tamils seized again the crown and all the treasure and substance, and sent them to the king of Cóla.
At that time a certain prince of the blood, known as Vikkama Pandu, who had fled from his country through fear, and was a sojourner in the 12 land of Dulu, heard of how things stood in Lanká. And he went into the Róhana and established himself at Kálatittha,2 and ruled the 13 country for one year. Then a prince, Jagatipála by name, who was sprung from the race of Rámá, came from the city of Ayujjha,3 and 14 waxing strong slew Vikkama Pandu in battle, and reigned thereafter 15 for four years at Róhana. Him also the Cólians slew in battle, and taking his queen, together with his daughter and all their substance, 16 they sent them to the Cóla country. And after him a king, Parakkama by name, a son of the king of Pandu, reigned two years; but the Cólians made war against him and slew him also.
Thus were these unruly men, enslaved by the lust for power, brought 17 to their destruction. The man endued with true wisdom should therefore know these things, and set his heart on that which extinguishes desire.
Thus endeth the fifty-sixth chapter, entitled "The Reigns of Six Kings," in the Mahávansa, composed equally for the delight and amazement of good men.
HEREAFTER a general, Lóka by name, of Makkhakudrúsa, a 1 brave and honest man, who subdued the pride of the Cólians, brought the people under his yoke, and reigned in the Róhana country. He was versed in the manners and customs of the country, and he abode at Kájaragáma.1
Now, at that time there lived a prince of great might, whose name was Kitti. Here shall be told, in their due order, the story of his ancestry and all that he was endued with.
There was a governor known by the name of Mána, a son of king 4 Kassapa. And he was a valiant man, endued with all the virtues which adorn the conduct of good men. And he had an elder brother, Máṇa- 5 vamma by name, a man of much learning and well skilled in magic. And 6 he sat him down on the bank of the river nigh unto the Gókannaka sea, and made ready to practise the mantra2 according to the rules thereof. And he took his string of beads and began to mutter the enchantments. And when he had made an end thereof, the god Kumára,3 it is told, 7 appeared before him on his carriage, and the peacock brake the bowl,5 and, finding the shell of the coconuts dry, because the water had 8 escaped from a hole therein, he went up and stood in the presence of the wizard. And the wizard remembered the Bhávinisiddhi,' and offered 9 his own eye to the peacock, who picked it and forthwith drank of its humours. And the god Kumára, being well pleased therewith, granted 10 unto the prince the favour that he had sought, and departed thence, flying radiantly through the sky. And when the nobles of the prince 11 saw him, and perceived that an eye of his was hurt, they grieved exceedingly. But he told them of the miraculous gift that he had
* Mystical incantations to acquire supernatural power as directed in the Yantras.
3 Skanda, the Hindu deity.
4 The peacock.
5 Balipattan. The tray or bowl in which food, flowers, &c., are presented to spirits at the performance of magical rites.
Water is generally placed in a coconut shell on the altar for the benefit of the evil spirit.
? A course of action under certain emergencies, prescribed in magical rites.
12 received, and comforted them therewith. And it delighted the nobles, and they besought him, saying, " It is meet that you should go up to the 13 city of Anuradhapura and be anointed king." But he refused to accept of the kingdom that was offered unto him, saying: "What good can a kingdom do unto me who am deformed of body. I will 14 betake myself to the life of a recluse, and practise austerities. I pray you, therefore, let my younger brother Mána govern the kingdom of Lanká, which has, until now, descended in the order of inheritance.” 15 And when the nobles had learned the desires of the prince fully, they 16 sent men unto his younger brother to tell him of these things. And when his younger brother heard thereof, he came in great haste, and, 17 seeing him, fell down at his feet and wept and wailed greatly. And
then he took his elder brother to Anuradhapura, where he crowned 18 himself as it had been desired by him. And after this he proceeded to
the Abhayagiri vihára, and, having made obeisance to the priests that dwelt there, prayed them that they would clothe his brother in the 19 robe of a recluse. Whereupon the ascetics, regarding not the precepts1 of Buddha, took him, who was deformed of body, into the Order, and 20 ordained him a priest thereof. Moreover, the king built for his use the great monastery, Uttaróla, and made him the chief thereof, and 21 gave him the oversight of six hundred brethren, and granted great honours and privileges unto him, together with the five classes of 22 servants to minister unto him. Workmen also that were skilled in all manner of works did the king give unto him, even unto the guards of 23 the tooth-relic, whom also he put under him. And the monks of the Abhayagiri brotherhood became his (the king's) counsellors. And the king hearkened unto their counsel and governed his people righteously. 24 But certain who were of his family cared not to enter the church, but dwelt there according to their pleasure, and took to themselves the 25 title of Mahásámi. And from this king Máṇavamma, who was skilled 26 in the ways of justice, and born of a pure race, the fountain of all dynasties, and of the lineage of prince Aggabódhi and his sons and grandsons, there sprang full sixteen rulers in Lanká, who governed the kingdom righteously.
Now, king Mahinda had two beautiful cousins, the daughters of his mother's brother. And they were known by the names Devalá and 28 Lókitá. And of these two daughters Lókitá was given in marriage to her cousin Kassapa, a prince of great beauty, to whom she bore two 29 fair sons, Moggallána and Lóka. And the elder of them was versed in all the ways of the world and of religion, and was known to all men as 30"the great Lord." He loved the Order of the priesthood also with a great love, and was a habitation of many lasting virtues. And he took up his abode in the Róhana.
1 Among others who are disqualified from being received into the Order are
those with defective limbs and organs, or otherwise deformed.
They are, carpenters, weavers, dyers, barbers, and workers in leather.
There was also a grandson of the king Dáṭhópatissa, who had follow- 31 ed the monastic life of the religion of the Blessed One. And he had much faith, and practised austerities and restrained himself greatly. But as his mind directed his thoughts to meditation he separated 32 himself from the things of the world, and dwelt in the forest. And his piety greatly pleased the gods of the forest, and they spread his fame abroad everywhere. And when the chief of Lanká had heard at that 33 time of his great fame, he went forth to him and, when he had made obeisance to him, begged him to be his counsellor; but he was not willing. Nevertheless the king besought him again and again, and 34 took him with him, and made him to dwell in a stately house that he had prepared in the city. And the king was well pleased with 35 the virtues of the holy monk who dwelt there, and walked in his counsels, and ruled over his people with justice. And whereas this 36 merciful chief of the monks had accepted the earnest call of the chief of Lanká, and set out from Sélantara (" among the rocks"), and gathered together a number of monks and dwelt there, it was known 37 to all as Sélantara Samúha ( the assembly of the monk from among the rocks"). From that time forth it was the custom with the chiefs 38 of Lanká to cause the monks to pass a night in the temple of the gods, and to appoint to the chief office of king's counsellor him whom the gods had approved. And the princes of Lanká, through the 39 counsel of the monk who held the chief seat of their Order, continued to defend the country and the religion of the land.
And by the prince Bódhi, born of this self-same Dáṭhópatissa, the 40 princess Buddha, who was also born of the same race, gave birth to 41 a daughter of exceeding great beauty, Lókitá by name. And in due time they gave her in marriage to the wise and prudent Moggallána, to whom she bore four sons, the prince Kitti and the princess Mittá, 42 and Mahinda and Rakkhita. And the eldest of these, Kitti, when he 43 had attained to his thirteenth year was full of wisdom and valour, and possessed great skill as an archer. And he bethought himself, saying, 44 "How shall I rid me of these thorns, my enemies, and recover Lanká.” And he dwelt in the village Múlasála, thinking deeply of these things. At that time, a certain prince called Buddharájá, a mighty man 45 and valiant, rebelled against the general Lóka (Lókissara) who ruled Róhaṇa, and fled to Cunnasála, and soon brought Kitti and other men 46 there into entire subjection. And with many of his kinsfolk, who 47 were all mighty men of war, he dwelt at the foot of the Malaya hills, where it was difficult to overcome him. And Sangha, the chief of 48 the astrologers, went up to him and gave a good report of the prince Kitti, saying "Kitti, the eldest son of the great lord, is a prince 49 endued with many signs of future greatness, and he is full of wisdom 50 and valour, able, I think, even to reduce the whole of Jambudípa and bring it under one canopy of dominion. What need is there then to speak of Lanká ?" And when Buddharájá heard these words he 51 bethought himself, "The prince should be supported," and having
52 determined thereon he sent messengers unto him. And when that lord had heard the words of the messengers, he fearing that he might be hindered, departed secretly from his house, unknown even to his 53 parents, with his bow only as his companion. And being full of valour and of a high spirit, he saw divers good omens, and made haste to Sari54 vaggapiṭthi, and dwelt there. And from thence the valiant prince sent his men to Bódhivála, and gained the people there who were opposed 55 to his party. Whereupon the haughty general Lókissara sent his army 56 thither, and encompassed the village and made war against it. But the prince who was a great warrior and a man of tried valour, scattered all that host on every side, like unto a fierce wind scattering a ball of 57 cotton. And seizing the opportunity, he set out to Cunnasála, and 58 dwelt there and subdued the whole country. But Lókissara sent his army against him several times, and was greatly disheartened because he could not subdue him.
Now, at that time, a very mighty man, Dévamalla by name, a son of Kitti, the noble of Makkhakudrúsa,1 came from the Róhana with 60 many of his kinsfolk and a large number of people, and stood before 61 the prince with great devotion. And the prince, who was now fifteen
years of age, and had a good understanding and a great name, there62 upon girt his sword and took the title of governor. And this great and mighty man went to the Hiraññamalaya2 country, and encamped 63 at Rémunuséla. And (Lókissara) the general sent an army against him there also, and made war upon him. But as he met with no 64 success, he gave up the thought of making war again. And at that time, in the sixth year of his reign, he left this world, and went to his rest in the world to come.
Thereupon one Kassapa, the chief of the hair-relic, overawed the 66 people and maintained his authority in the Róhana. And when the king of Cóla heard thereof he set out from Pulatthi, and went to 67 Kájaragáma ready to battle. But Késadhátu scattered the Tamil 68 hosts, and set men to guard the boundary at Rakkhapásána,3 and
returned to Kájaragáma surrounded by his great army and filled with 69 pride at his success in the battle. And when the governor Kitti heard 70 of these things, he made haste and gathered together an army to
destroy Késadhátu, who, when he heard thereof was filled with pride. and set out with all his forces from Kájaragáma, and went forward 71 to Sippatthalaka. But the prince, whom it was hard to subdue, gathered together a great many men from the Pañcayójana 4 and the country thereabout, and took them into his army. But when he drew 72 near to battle, Késadhátu retreated to Kadhiranganí, saying, "It is difficult to give battle here," because he had heard there were many men evil-disposed toward him in those parts.
Whereupon the brave prince Kitti, who was then only sixteen
1 Vide infra. Chap. LV., v. 26.
"The golden hills "-Ratnapura (?)
3 Rakvána (?).
4 Pasdun kóralé.