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King Kalakanņi-Tissa (42-20 B.C.). Mahācula's other son being called Kuḍā-Tissa in the Mahavansa apparently cannot be the prince here termed Mahā-Tissa.
Kalakanni-Tissa is mentioned as a devout Buddhist, and for some time he actually became a monk. As he does not term himself king, this record must date from prior to 42 B.C., and probably from his father's reign.
After this we have thirteen inscriptions at Koṭādaemu-hela and neighbouring rocks in the southern part of the Eastern Province, which were discovered and published in the Taprobanian (vol. i, p. 150) by Mr. H. Nevill. All are described by him as very nearly identical. I therefore give only one transcript, adding the word jaya, as found in some others. (79.) Dama raja puta Maha Tisa Ayaha jita Aya Abaya puta Aya Tisaha (jaya) Abisawaraya dana sagasa.
A gift to the Community by Abhisawarā, wife of the Noble Tissa, son (of) the Noble Abhayā, daughter of Maha-Tissa the Noble, son (of) the devout king.
In some of the inscriptions Mahā-Tissa's daughter is termed 'Abisawara Ayabaya,' and her son's name is also written Tisa Aya and Tisaya.1
As the name of the 'devout king' is not given, and Mr. Nevill did not publish a facsimile of the inscriptions, there is some doubt regarding the identification of his son MahāTissa. At present I can only assume that he is the same person as the Mahā-Tissa, the son of Gāmiņi-Tissa, who cut the inscription numbered 77. The fact that he does not receive the title of king indicates that at the time when these were cut he had not succeeded to the throne. For this to be the case it is very evident that early marriages must have been the custom in the royal family, and even in that case GāmiņiTissa must have been born before 120 B.C. for his great-grandson's wife, whose age would not exceed her husband's, to be
1 It is uncertain if the expression sawara indicates a connection with the Vaeddas. Sawara usually stands for sabara, barbarian,” or in Ceylon, 'Vaedda.'
old enough to cause these inscriptions to be cut before 42 B.C., the year when Kalakaṇņi became king.
The inscriptions are interesting as showing that at this period all the members of the direct line of the royal family had the title Aya (=Ariya), 'Noble,' instead of Prince and Princess. This title is applied to the princes in Prince Sali's inscription, those at Gal-lena, probably that at Andiya-kanda, three others at Bōwata which follow, and No. 34a of Dr. Müller's work.
It would seem that Gamini-Tissa's grand-daughter, Abhayā, had married some local chieftain of south-eastern Ceylon, and that her son, whose wife caused these inscriptions to be cut, continued to reside in that district.
Three inscriptions were cut at some caves at Bōwata, in the extreme south-east of Ceylon. These also were found by Mr. Nevill, and published without facsimiles in the Taprobanian (vol. i, p. 52 ff.). They are as follows:
(80.) Symbols, Sula and fish. Maraja putha Maha Tisa Ayena karite. (This) is made by Mahā-Tissa the Noble, son of the great king.
Symbols, Fish and sula. Samaṇaha tedasa Batika
This cave, the Great Beautiful,' is made by MahāTissa the Noble, son (of) the samaņa (monk), the famous Bhātik a-Naga, the (best) son of all sons, the devout king, the king who protected the Dhamma (religion); given to the Community. Without facsimiles of these inscriptions any identification of the prince who caused them to be cut must be tentative. There is only one king called Bhātika in the first century B.C.; he began to reign in 20 B.C., and was apparently the brother of the Princess Abhayā of No. 79. His name was Abhaya, and as his younger brother was called Naga there could be no reason for terming him Bhātika (the elder brother) unless his brother's name was also Abhaya in addition to Nāga, or his own name was Nāga in addition to Abhaya. In the
same way, two kings called Tissa were discriminated in the second century A.D., the elder one being called Bhātika. Provisionally, therefore, I attribute these inscriptions to a son of Bhātikābhaya (Nāga) who is not mentioned by the historians; the king's title 'Mahāraja' in No. 80 shows that he was the supreme king of Ceylon, and not merely a subordinate ruler of southern Ceylon. The character of the father agrees with that of Bhātikābhaya, who was a most devout king. The third inscription at Bōwata is :
Undescribed symbols. Samaṇaha Tedapana Tisa raja Uti puta Aya Abayasa jita Abi Anuradiyā. (The cave of) Abhi Anuradhiya, daughter of the Noble Abhaya, son (of) King Uttiya, (son of) the samaņa (monk) Tedapana-Tissa.
This King Uttiya may have been a king of Ruhuna or southern Ceylon, there being no ruler among the kings of Anuradhapura who can be identified by this name, except the first one, whose father died before Buddhism was introduced into the island.
With this, my list of the earliest inscriptions is ended. I believe that it includes all royal inscriptions cut prior to the Christian era, so far as they are known at present,1 unless Mr. Bell has found some that are not yet made public. It is unnecessary to give transcripts of numerous others that merely record the dedication of caves by unknown persons at unknown places. The latest record I have seen, in an inscription, of the grant of caves to the monks is contained in one by King Mēghawanṇābhaya II (304-332 A.D.).2
I add one other rock inscription of the second century A.D., as it was covered up when the embankment of Iratperiyakulam, a reservoir near Vavuniya in the Northern Province,
1 Dr. Müller has one (No. 34a) of a prince who cannot be identified. It is Pacina raja puta raja Abayaha puta Tisayaha lene agata, etc. 'The cave of Tissa the Noble, son of King Abhaya, son (of) the King of the East (or Pasu country); to the Community, etc.' It appears to be of early date.
• Mr. Bell found one record of the twelfth century. (Arch. Survey, Annual Report for 1897, p. 9.)
was restored, and therefore will not be seen when the inscriptions of that Province come to be copied.
(83.) (1) Sida. Sata uparaja bare Ti(ya)gasala pa (2)
rinika parasiha pite Gamiņi Abha raja (3) ha hamaneka udi Alavicaka haraha tire Tihadaya wiharahi (4) bhiku sagahața dine.
Hail! The son-in-law (of) the wise sub-king (and) father (of) Tiyāgasāla, the pre-eminent hero, the Crown-prince, King Gāmiņi-Abhaya has given six amunas of undi (pulse) to the Community of monks at the Tihadaya wihāra, on the shore of the Alaviccha Lake.
This inscription belongs to Gaja-Bahu I (113-135 A.D.) whose father-in-law, Mahallaka-Naga, succeeded him. The prince who is referred to in such unusual terms is not mentioned in the histories by this name. He would appear to have greatly distinguished himself in the invasion of Madura,1 the only war in which Gaja-Bāhu is known to have been engaged. He may have died while his grandfather or uncles held the throne, as the prince who succeeded them, from 193 to 195 A.D., was called Culanaga. From this record we learn that the ancient name of the tank was the 'Scorpion Lake,' and this enables the Gōnusu (Scorpion) district which is mentioned in later times to be identified as this part of the island.
I annex a genealogical table of the early kings of Ceylon. The date when Dēvānam-piya Tissa ascended the throne is practically certain within a few years. The Dipavansa states that it occurred seventeen and a half years after the accession of the Indian emperor Aśōka, which may lie within four years of 263 B.C. Dr. Duncker, in his History of Antiquity, vol. ii, p. 525, has fixed it at 263 B.C. Sir F. Max Müller, in the Introduction to the Dhammapada, p. xxxvi, by entirely different reasoning arrived at the year 259 B.C. Professor Rhys Davids
1 He must have been a youth at the time; his brothers died in 195 and 196 A.D. The manuscript 'Pradhana Nuwarawal' states that Gaja-Bahu was only 16 when he became king. I suggest that Mahallaka Nāga was probably a son of Wasabha.
states in his Buddhist Suttas, p. xlvi, that it must be within a year or two of 267 B.C. I adopt 263 B.C. as a mean date; the accession of Dēvānam-piya Tissa would thus take place in 245 B.C., and in any case not more than ten years earlier than that date.
In the Mahavansa, Tissa's father, Muta-Siva, is stated to have reigned 60 years, and the latter's father, Paṇḍukābhaya, 70 years. The same work also records that Paṇḍukābhaya was born in the year in which his grandfather, PaṇḍuwāsaDēva, died. Paṇḍuwāsa-Dēva was succeeded by his eldest son Abhaya, who after reigning 20 years was deposed by his brother Tissa.
Before Abhaya's deposition his nephew Pandukābhaya had taken the field against him, and had also married his niece Suvanṇa-Pāli. It may therefore be assumed that Paṇḍukābhaya's son, Muta-Siva, was born about the time when Abhaya was deposed, which was 17 years before Paṇḍukābhaya succeeded in acquiring the sovereignty. According to Sinhalese chronology, the age attained by Muta-Siva would thus be the length of his own and his father's reigns, plus this 17 years, or a total life of 147 years. Even if we allow him an extremely long life we cannot accept more than 90 years as his age when he died; but as a more probable lifetime I take 80 years. This would fix the deposition of Abhaya at 325 B.C. as the earliest reasonable date, if the accession of Dēvānampiya Tissa took place in 263 B.C.
The lengths of the reigns of the two preceding kings, Wijaya and Paṇḍuwāsa-Dēva, given in the table, are those of the Mahāvansa. As it is unlikely that both Muta-Siva and his father lived exactly 80 years, I have apportioned 70 years to the latter, whose life would then terminate in 275 B.C. This does not affect the total length of their two reigns.
What I wish to emphasise is that if the lengths of the reigns of Wijaya, Paṇḍuwāsa-Dēva, and Abhaya are correctly given by the annalists, and no kings are omitted by them, Wijaya
1 In his Early History of India, p. 145, Mr. V. A. Smith makes the date 272 or 273 B.C.