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a small tank, Galawaewa, the Rock tank. Their cutting is by far the boldest of any inscriptions in Ceylon. Each is about 100 feet long, with excellently chiselled and quite upright letters a foot high and cut an inch deep in the rock. (53.) Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tisaha vapi


Acagirika Tisa pavatahi agata anagata catu d(i)sa sagasa dine. Two symbols, the first being the fish, followed by three dots in a vertical line as a full stop. Devanapi Maharaja Gāmiņi Abaya niyate Aca nagaraka ca (Tavi) rikiya nagaraka ca Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tise niyata pite rajaha agata anagata catu disa sagasa.

The tank of the Chief Tissa, son (of) the Chief Abhaya, at the Acagirika Tissa mountain; given to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. (By) the great king Gāmiņi Abhaya, beloved of the Gods, (are re-) assigned 1 both Aca-nāgara and Tavirikiya-nagara (which were) assigned by the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya, father of the king, to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tise niyate ima vapi Acagirika Tisa pavatahi agata anagata catu d(i)sa sagasa. Emblem and fish, followed by three dots arranged in a vertical line as a full stop. Devanapiya Maharaja Gamiņi Abaye niyate Aca nagaraka ca Tavirikiya nagaraka ca Acagirika Tisa pavatahi agata anagata catu d(i)sa sagasa Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tisaha visara niyata pite.

By the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya is assigned this tank at the Acagirika Tissa mountain to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. By the great king Gāmiņi Abhaya, beloved of the Gods, (are re-) assigned

1 As the property of the Community of monks.

both Aca-nāgara and Tavirikiya-nāgara at the
Acagirika Tissa mountain to the Community of
the four quarters, present or future. The tank
of the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya
assigned by (my) father.

I cannot see any reason to doubt that the inscriptions numbered 53 and 54 belong to the only king of an early date called Gāmiņi Abhaya, who had a father and grandfather named Tissa and Abhaya respectively. They must have been cut by King Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, who reigned from 161 to 137 B.C. Before he reconquered northern Ceylon, which had been in the hands of Tamil conquerors for some forty-four years, his father and grandfather ruled over southern Ceylon, after Mahā-Nāga and his son Yaṭṭhāla-Tissa, as tributary sovereigns under the Tamil king, Elāra. The Rājāvaliya says (p. 25), 'In those days King Kāwantissa, residing in Magama of Ruhuṇa, paid tribute to the Tamil king.' This was also the practice while the previous Sinhalese kings held Ceylon. The same work states, 'The kings of Magama in Ruhuṇa and of Kaelaniya used regularly to pay annual tribute to the king of Anuradhapura' (p. 24).

We now learn from these inscriptions that under the foreign domination they had not even the title of 'king,' like MahāNāga, but were merely termed 'Chief' (Parumaka) like numerous others in the country. Although the title commonly indicated that its bearer was a person of importance in the country, some of these Parumakas occupied subordinate posts, and sometimes were even village headmen. An inscription at Gallāēwa wihara in the North-western Province, which having both the bent and straight forms of r and the cupshaped m, probably belongs to the second half of the second century B.C., runs :

(55.) (1) Barata Maha Tisaye kape (2) Parumaka Naga
gamiya detake.

Cut by the royal messenger Mahā-Tissa, the Chief
Nāga (being) the village headman.

Tissa, the father of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, married the daughter of another subject king or chief who ruled over the district

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of which Kaelaniya, near Colombo, was the headquarters. It would seem that he acquired or succeeded to his father-inlaw's territory, which must have extended far up the west coast, so as to embrace the tract of country in which Paramākanda is found. At a much later date it is certain that the Kaelaniya kingdom included this district and extended many miles to the north of it, up to the Kala-oya1; and this may have been its limit in earlier times also. This will account for Tissa's being able to make grants to this temple while Elāra was ruling at Anuradhapura.

Both the inscriptions at the Paramā-kanda wihāra purport to have been cut to record grants made by this Chieftain Tissa; but the difference in the shapes of the letter 7 in them appears to show that the first is older than the other, which may perhaps have been cut by order of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi as a record of his father's work at the cave temple. If both were the work of the same stone-cutters it is not likely that such a variation would be made in the forms of the letters. The older one may date from the first quarter of the second century B.C.

In No. 52 and the two following inscriptions we find the straight r always used, and the earliest forms of m and j. The symbol inserted beside the fish does not appear to occur elsewhere in Ceylon, and I offer no explanation of its presence. It is the letter m with a central upright, of the earliest known script, and it occurs in Spain and Egypt (1st Dynasty). I should assign these inscriptions to the middle of the second century B.C.

I place next an inscription over a cave at a large boulder lying on the side of the hill at Dambulla, on the road from Kandy to Anuradhapura. The early shapes of the letters r,

1 This is proved by the list of tanks repaired by Parakrama-Bāhu I at the time when he was ruling over only southern Ceylon and Kaelaniya, and Gaja-Bāhu was king at Polannaruwa (Mah., ii, p. 149). Those which can be identified extend through the district immediately south and west of the Kalā-oya, and include Māgalla, Giribāwa, Morawaewa, Maediyawa, Talagalla, and Siyambalan-gamuwa. On p. 150 the Tabba (Tabbowa) district, which is far north of Paramā-kanda, is referred to as being under him.

m and j render it probable that it also dates from the time of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi. It is as follows:


Damarakita teraha lene agata anagata catu disa sagasa dine. Gamaņi Abayasa rajiyahi karite. The cave of the thera Dhammarakkhita; given to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. In the reign of Gāmaņi Abhaya it is made. In the Dipavansa (p. 209) a thera termed the 'learned Dhammarakkhita' is mentioned among those who came from India at the laying of the foundation bricks of the Ruwanwaeli dagaba, but there is nothing to prove that he remained in Ceylon, or that this inscription was cut by his orders. The name was not uncommon, and is found in the inscriptions numbered 8 and 9, and elsewhere.

(57.) Of about the same age is one at a dēwāla, or demon temple, on Dēwāla-hinna, a hill at Tittawaela, in the Northwestern Province :

Bata Maha Tisaha lene. Gamani Abayasa rajiya

sika (ka) sagasa.

The cave of the workman Maha-Tissa. (In) the

reign of Gāmaņi Abhaya. To the Community who keep the Precepts (sila).

Possibly the following inscriptions belong to the same period. They are found at Nuwara-kanda in the Kurunāēgala district, a hill buried in the jungle, on the bank of the Daeduru-oya. Another inscription of later date informs us that its ancient name was the Tissa mountain. The size of the bricks found there has been given previously.



Gamika Siva puta Maharajaha rāmata Kaṇatisaha agata anagata chatu disagasa dine.

(The cave) of Kaṇatissa, devoted to the great King, son (of) the villager (headman) 1 Siva; given to the Community of the four quarters, present or future.

Gamika Siva puta Gami Kaṇatisaha leņe.

1 Gamika is probably equivalent to the modern word Gamarāla,

a village headman or elder. Compare No. 55.

The cave of the villager (headman) Kaṇatissa, son (of) the villager (headman) Siva.

(60.) Gami Kaṇatisaha Badakajaka Anu(rada) ha leņe agata anagata catu disagasaga.


The cave of Bhaddakacchaka Anuradha (son) of
the villager (headman) Kaṇatissa; to the pre-
eminent Community of
of the four quarters,

present or future.

Tisaguta terasa leņe.

The cave of the thera Tissagutta.

I omit many cave inscriptions at places where no reference is made to the king of the period, although the forms of the letters indicate that many of them belong to the second century B.C., or earlier.

The next inscription is cut above a cave on the edge of a deep precipice at Mihintale. I examined the letters closely by the aid of a ladder held back by two men and almost overhanging the precipice, so that there should be no uncertainty regarding them. It belongs to Prince Sāli, the son of DuṭṭhaGāmiņi, whose romantic love story is related in the Mahāvansa (i, p. 127), which explains how he abandoned his right to the throne in order to keep his low-caste wife.1

The inscription is preceded by a complex symbol which may represent the Flag of Victory of Buddhism, raised high on a pole which rests on a horizontal base-line. Under the flag, on the same staff, is the trisūla resting on the circle, and below this a reversed disk-and-crescent. Four short uprights, two on each side of the pole, which stand on the base-line may indicate the Four Great Truths of Buddhism, or the four-fold

1 'He had a son renowned under the designation of the royal prince Sali, gifted with good fortune in an eminent degree and incessantly devoted to acts of piety. He became enamoured of a lovely female of the Candala caste. Having been wedded in a former existence also to this maiden,2 whose name was Aśōkamālā, and who was endowed with exquisite beauty, fascinated therewith he relinquished his right to the sovereignty.' She is said by tradition to have lived at a Duraya village at Hengamuwa, in the North-western Province.

• His grandfather was also believed to have been a pious Candāla in his former life.

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