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with raised trunk and extended tail which branches into three at the end. Below its mouth are three beads arranged in a triangle. Above its tail a structure of three arches under the base line of which is a bead. Above the elephant's back is the isosceles triangle, pointing 1., with an upright cross-bar below its apex. To 1. of this a tree fenced by or standing on an enclosed cross as before, with opposed branches. There are no symbols on the corners of the enclosure. To 1. of this, near the border, three beads arranged in a triangle. Above the arched structure and the triangle the raised Swastika turned r., with one bead near r. end of its base, and three arranged triangularly between its upper part and the top of the tree. Eleven beads in all.
R. opposed to O. Emblems larger and formed with bolder lines. In the middle, at the bottom, the three-arched structure, below the base line of which is a straight raised line. To r., three beads arranged triangularly. Above the arches the raised Swastika, turned r., with three beads on each side of the upper part. In the space to 1. of its basal uprights the Aum monogram. To r. of Swastika and arches, a symbol, part of which only is visible, consisting of a circular band with central bead. Mr. Still has pointed out that when seen in its complete form on other coins this is a trisula resting on a disk or bead.1
55. A roughly circular coin, 1.27 inches by 1.31 inches; weight 264 grains. Found at Mihintale.
band encloses the design; in one part
O. One circular an outer one is visible. tail has only one end. but there are two to r. total of ten.
Designs are like No. 54, but elephant's The beads below its head are absent, of arches and two to 1. of the fence, a
R. Opposed to O., and indistinct on r. The design re1 Journal R.A.S., Ceylon, 1907, p. 201 ff. Mr. Still stated that the weights of twenty examples varied from 197 to 275 grains, the average being 242 75 grains. He considered that they represent a double copper kahāpana of 288 grains. All the specimens had the same symbols, arranged in the same manner, on the two faces, the only variation being the transposition of the double-triangle or Aum monogram and the Trisula on the reverse of a few coins.
sembles No. 54. Three beads to 1. of arches, instead of r., and one above them.
Although the Elephant, the Tree, and the Structure with three arches might be thought to be connected with Buddhism, it is extremely doubtful if they have such a signification on these coins. All three emblems occur on the Puranas, which date from an age anterior to Buddhism. They may have been merely copied from the earlier coinage, seeing that there is not another exclusively Buddhist emblem on either the earlier or later coinage of Ceylon. The probability of such borrowing of the symbols will appear more evident after the following remarks have been read.
The isosceles triangle appears on several early Indian coins reproduced in Cunningham's Coins of Ancient India, especially those of Eran, where in two instances it is elevated on a pole at the base of which in one case there is a cross enclosed in a square (Plate XI). It is also found on a coin of Ujjain (No. 14, Plate X), where Cunningham calls it a sun-standard '; on a Yaudeya coin (No. 5, Plate VI); and on several Kuninda coins in Plate V. These examples show that in its correct position the apex of the triangle is at the bottom.
I suggest that the middle cross-bar, which is sometimes on one side of the triangle and sometimes on the other, indicates that it symbolises a sistrum, an identification that is strongly supported by the form illustrated in Plate XXXIX, Fig. No. 14, of General Maisey's Sanchi and its Remains, in which the side bar ends in a hook. The sistrum is not found in the carvings in Ceylon. This instrument is clearly and unmistakably pourtrayed on an oblong cast coin which Dr. J. R. Henderson of Madras was good enough to forward for my examination. It was found in the bed of the Vaigei river at Madura, and has the elephant in high relief on the obverse, with the sistrum and several other symbols, such as the vase, trisūla, crescent, and double trident in a line near the upper edge. The sistrum is a well-known demon-frightener, and therefore would increase the protective power of the coins on which it occurs.
The line below the arched structure may represent a snake, as a guardian deity.
It would appear that at the time when these large circular coins were issued the same confidence was still reposed in the protective powers of the emblems. The sistrum, if it is one, takes its place among them for the first time in Ceylon. We still find the same raised Swastika symbol repeated exactly as in the oblong coins, a proof of the firm belief in its luck-bringing virtues. It is strange that it is now unknown in the island; it is perhaps impossible to meet with ten persons there who are acquainted with either the name or shape of any form of Swastika.
The meaning of the numerous beads on these coins is unknown. The five beads on the later Sinhalese coins afford no assistance in elucidating it, their own meaning being equally unknown. Probably the latter have some reference to the guardian deity at whose side they are represented; on some specimens the uppermost of the five is a lotus bud.
With regard to the structures of three or more arches commonly, when shown on the Purānas, termed 'Chaityas,' that is, dāgabas, I am not satisfied that this title furnishes a correct interpretation of their meaning. In fact, I can see little reason to apply this term to them. The designs with three and five arches appear to be representations of the domed roofs of buildings which originally may have been Hindu temples as in the Kosambi coin No. II of Plate V of Coins of Ancient India, where the nature of the edifice is indicated by the bull standing at its side. The character of some is also clearly expressed on several coins described on pp. 137 and 138 of the Indian Museum Catalogue, by the peacock on the summit of the central arch, which denotes that the building is a temple devoted to Skanda, or is under his protection. Figures of peacocks are still placed on the outsides of his temples, and the bird itself and its feathers are considered to be emblems of good luck in India1 and Ceylon. If in later instances in Ceylon the arched structures were intended for Buddhist
1 Crookes. Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India, Vol. ii, pp. 233, 250.
wihāras, it was probably as places to be avoided by evil spirits that they were delineated among other demonfrightening emblems. That such buildings sometimes had domed roofs is proved by the names Ganthākāra (Bell) Wihāra and Piriwena which occur in the Mahāvansa.
Somewhat similar domed buildings are illustrated among the Amaravati reliefs.1 The central roof, like that of the structures on the coins, is at a much higher level than the two
FIG. 159. Relief near Ruwanwaeli Dāgaba.
lateral ones. There are also two reliefs of unknown age at Anuradhapura which show domed roofs of wihāras rising one behind another in nearly the same way, in one instance five roofs being visible (Fig. No. 159), and in the other three roofs, as on most of the coins.
On one of the Puranas from Mulleittīvu the structure is evidently a temple or palace, the central arch rising from the
1 Archaeological Survey of Southern India, Vol. i, Plate XLII, Fig. 9.
ground-level, with high vertical sides. A similar design occurs on Indian coins, and is illustrated by Mr. Theobald in his essay on the symbols. In the Taxila coin No. 5 of Plate III, C.A. I. (No. 34, p. 158, Ind. Mus. Cat.) one of these structures is shown with only two arches side by side; this cannot be a dāgaba. In the third Purāna illustrated by me the building is also not a dāgaba.
An undoubted dāgaba appears on the Andhra coins 41 and 42 of Plate II of Sir Walter Elliott's Coins of Southern India. It is a building of a different type, having a single dome, with two rows of niches for lamps below it, just as they are to be seen in walls about some of these buildings in Ceylon. There must have been few dāgabas, and those only small ones, in India before the middle of the third century B.C., whereas the arched symbol on the Purānas appears to be of much earlier date. It is interesting as being probably the first illustration of an Indian roofed building.
The crescent which often crowns the top of the uppermost dome of these arched edifices has not been satisfactorily explained. It is not a Buddhist emblem, and is never seen as an independent emblem on the coins or early sculptures of Ceylon, but it is on a punch-marked Purāna from Mulleittivu.
In the Taxila coin No. 17, of Plate II, C.A.I. (No. 13, p. 157, Ind. Mus. Cat.) a person is paying reverence to this symbol fixed on the summit of a three-domed building, below which is a mound of seven beads, which may be a tumulus or a sacred hill. On coin No. 14 of the same Plate (No. 9, p. 157, Ind. Mus. Cat.) the worshipper has turned his back on the so-called Chaitya' and its crescent finial, in order to adore a similar mound of seven beads, which in this case is evidently a sacred hill or tumulus. It is significant that the crescent is never seen on these mounds, but only on the arched buildings.
On the coins of Rudradāman (150 A.D.) and his successors, the crescent appears on the top of the three-domed building ; while a symbol of the sun, a bead with six, seven, or eight rays, is on the right of the arches, and one of the moon, in the form of a crescent, on the left of them (Plate XVIII, Ind. Mus. Cat.). It is clear that the upper crescent in this and other