Page images

that dare behave to my ambassadors in this manner?" And he sent 38 unto his ministers, saying "It seemeth necessary that we should now compass the king Arimaddana1 to take him captive or to kill him."

Thereupon a certain Tamil commander of high rank in the army, 39 Ádicca by name, stood up with his hands raised to his forehead.

And 40

as he was desirous to go to war he spake these words unto the king, saying: "O king! let not the chief ministers of the kingdom be employed in this work. Let the command be given unto me, and I shall 41 in nowise transgress the bounds of the king's orders. And surely it is 42 not a hard thing even for me alone to carry out successfully the wishes of my lord the king, whose commands no man can set at naught."

And when the king had hearkened unto him he was greatly pleased, 43 and set all the captains that were fit for the enterprise under him, and commanded him to depart quickly.

Then the great king commanded that they should make ready many 44 hundred ships of divers kinds, and that there should be no delay. And all the country round about the coast seemed like one great 45 workshop busied with the constant building of ships. And the 46 building of all those ships was finished in five months; and he gathered them together with all speed at the port Pallavavanka. And then the 47 king, in his great majesty, supplied them to the full with all things that were necessary for the enterprise, namely, rice and other provisions 48 for the voyage, that would last for one year; armour, weapons, and the like; hundreds and thousands of coats wrought of iron and skins of deer, to keep the sharp-pointed arrows, from piercing them; divers 49 kinds of medicines filled in the horns of bullocks as a balm to the burning wounds caused by poisoned arrows; drugs of divers kinds also 50 to serve as antidotes if they should chance to drink of the poisoned waters of divers streams; pincers of iron for drawing out the arrows with poisoned tips that, by reason of their having entered deep into 51 the flesh, could not be drawn out (by the hand); and likewise, physicians 52 of great skill, and nurses also. And the king, whom no one could equal 53 in ordering things aright, sent on board a mighty army numbering many thousands; and sent out, in one day, all those ships laden with 54 good soldiers and much provision, so that the fleet of ships that 55 conveyed the great army seemed like an island moving in the midst of the sea.

But because of the stormy weather certain of these ships were 56 wrecked, and certain others were driven on strange lands. And many 57 soldiers of great skill who had embarked in one of the ships landed at Kákadípa, and fought a battle there, and carried many of the inhabi- 58 tants captive, and brought them away in safety, and took them before the king of Lanká.


But five of the ships, that carried a great host of strong men, landed 59 at the port Kusumi, in the country of Rámañña. And these valiant 60

1 The name of the king of Rámañña.

2 Crow island.

soldiers were led by Kitti and Nagaragiri; and, being provided with weapons and armour, they advanced from the port where they landed 61 and fought many fierce battles, and slew many thousands of the forces 62 of the Rámañña country. Like furious elephants they destroyed a

great number of coconut and other trees in the places round about them, and burned many villages with fire, and destroyed half of the kingdom.

63 And the ship which the Tamil general Ádicca commanded cast 64 anchor at the port Papphála in that country. And these men also, led by the Tamil commander, began straightway a fierce and bloody 65 war, and took many of the inhabitants captive, and shook the kingdom 66 of Rámañña greatly. And after this the mighty and terrible Sinhalese

entered the city, and spared not their weapons, and slew the king of 67 Rámañña who had disregarded the laws of nations. And when they

had subdued the inhabitants of Rámañña and conquered the kingdom, 68 these great warriors rode on the noble white elephant and marched round the city without fear, and afterwards proclaimed by the beating of drums the supreme authority of the lord of Lanká (over that kingdom).


Then the people of Rámañña trembled with fear (for the safety of their country), and seeing none other means of escape (from their 70 troubles), they assembled themselves and took counsel together. And they sent messengers with letters to the Order of priests that dwelt in 73 the island of Lanká, saying "Take henceforth from us, as a yearly tribute, as many elephants as are necessary. We are deserving of compassion at your merciful and divine hands, who, by speaking words of counsel, can turn the king of Lanká from his purpose, that so he 74 may not thus cruelly lay waste our possessions." And the king's heart was made soft towards them by the words that the priests of the 75 three brotherhoods spake unto him; and the people of Rámañña sent yearly many elephants, and entered again into a covenant with the lord of Lanká, and made him a true friend.


And it came to pass that, at that time, Parakkama, the king of 79 Pandu, who dwelt in the city of Madhurá, was besieged in his city by his warlike enemy, king Kulasekhara, who had encompassed the city with his army. And Parakkama, seeing that there was no king in the country of India able to help him in his distress, sent messengers to the lord of Lanká, saying "O thou, who art worthy of looking to for succour ! I am but a grasshopper in the flame of my enemy's glory; let thy feet be a refuge unto me, like a fortress of adamant."1

And when the chief of Lanká had hearkened to the words of the 80 messengers, he spake unto them, saying " If we render not help to him who seeketh refuge from us in his adversity, how then can the name of 81 Parakkama Báhu be given unto us fitly? He who hath chosen


1 Vajira-pañjara, literally a cage of diamond."

"One meaning of which is " He whose arm defends others."

protection from us shall not be crushed by any enemy. Behold the hare that has taken refuge in the moon ;1 what beast of prey can crush her? Lankápura Daṇḍanátha !2 go thou and destroy this Kulasekhara, 82 and establish king Pandu in his kingdom, and return not till thou has accomplished it."

Thereupon that most valiant captain, Lankápura by name, who 83 knew the art of war, and destroyed his enemy like as a flame of fire destroyeth the forests, assented to the king's command and received it 84 with great joy, as if it were a garland for his head. And many chieftains that were skilled in war accompanied him; and he departed from 85 the city with a great host that none could withstand in battle, and came to Mahátittha.

And in the meanwhile king Kulasekhara put the king of Pandu 86 to death with his wife and children, and took the city of Madhurá.

And when the mighty king (Parakkama Báhu) heard of these things 87 he sent a message saying, "Let the kingdom be seized and given to one of his offspring." And when he (Lankápura) was commanded a second time, he proceeded to the haven Talabbilla,3 which is on this side of 88 the sea, and sent his great army on board there in many hundred ships, and then set out. And when they had sailed one day and one night 89 they saw the coast on the other side. And as the enemy stood there in 90 readiness, he commanded all his men to put on their armour on board their own ships; but as the ships stood in deep water he feared that 91 they would wet their armour if they landed in the self-same place. And he put them in hundreds of hulks, and commanded the men to 92 hold their shields of hide before them whenever the Tamils rained their arrows on them from the beach. And in this manner he landed them 93 at the haven called Talabbilla that was on the Pandiyan side of the country.

And the mighty Lankápura drove back the Tamils who were left at that haven, and seized it and encamped there, and fought four battles. 94

1 The dark figure visible in the full moon, supposed to resemble a hare.

2 Addressing the general by that name. Dandanátha may mean a captain,

or a commander, or a general.

3 Talavvilla is also a reading.

[ocr errors]

4 The original has agádha, which means very deep" (water.) This, I think, is a mistake; for it is difficult to understand why the ships stopped, turned back, or struck aground (as the word nivattana may be rendered) in " very deep water," or why the idea of putting down the men there should have occurred at all. The sea near Paumben, where the landing appears to have taken place, was known to be very shallow even in ancient times. (See Caldwell's History of Tinnevelly, p. 22.) I believe, however, the meaning of the passage is, that the sea being shallow the ships struck aground, and through fear of wetting the soldiers' equipments if they waded from their vessels to the shore, and to avoid exposing them to the missiles of the enemy in doing so, the general devised the plan of sending the men ashore in boats, numbers of which were probably lashed together so as to admit of carrying great numbers of the men simultaneously.

2 c


And when the five chieftains,1 namely, Vadavalattirukkádi Náḍálár,2 95 Kuḍayamuttu Ráyar, Villává Ráyar, Añcukoṭṭa Náḍálvár, and 96 Narasíha Déva, proceeded to give battle, he fought with them, and 97 slew many Tamils, and seized their horses, and discomfited all their great host. And then he took Rámissaram3 after he had fought five 98 battles. Then he encamped there and fought nine battles more. And 99 in the tenth battle he fought with these six chieftains, namely, Silá100 mégha, Naratunga Brahmahá Ráyar, Ilankiya Ráyar, Añcukoṭṭa

Ráyar, Paludiya Ráyar, Panasiya Ráyar, and with the five that are 101 mentioned above, who came with a great army. And he prevailed 102 against them, and slew many Tamils, and took many horses. And from thence he proceeded to Kundukála, midway between the two seas, and four leagues distant from Rámissaram. And the Tamils that 103 were there flew for fear and entered into the forests; and he seized some 1064 of them and impaled them there. But the lord of Lanká thought it fit


that these self-same Tamils should repair all the cétiyas in Lanká that they had aforetime destroyed. And when he gave command to Lankápura to that effect he sent some of them to Lanká, and set them to work at the Ratanaváluka cétiya. And the lord of Lanká caused that thúpa which the Tamils had breached to be built up by them.

And when the work was finished the king proceeded to Anuradhapura with his ministers and all his followers to hold the feast of the pinnacle 108 (wherewith it was crowned). And he caused the great body of the

Order throughout the island of Lanká to be assembled there, and ministered unto them with the four things that were necessary for their 109 support. And when the fourteenth day of the moon was come, he caused drums to be beaten and proclamation to be made, saying, “Let 110 the city be adorned, and let all the people go on the morrow to the place of the great thúpa with perfumes and flowers and such like offerings." In this manner did he cause everything to be done properly 111 according to the custom. And then on the day of the full moon the king adorned himself with all the grace of a god, with a diadem and a chain of gold and bracelets and precious ornaments of such kind 112 thickly set with divers gems. And many hundred women of the queen's chamber, whose forms, beautifully attired, were like those of 113 goddesses for elegance, accompanied him, and many chieftains also, of

1 Sámantas, or chiefs, of districts.

2 I believe Náḍálár or Náḍálvár (from the Tamil náḍu, a country, and, áluvar, a ruler) and Rayar, denote the office and rank, and are identical with the office of Zemindar of the present, and Polygar of former times. For an account of them see Caldwell's History of Tinnevelly, pp. 56–58.

3. Rámeṣvaram, the name of the celebrated temple on the eastern extremity of the island (of Paumben). Ráma's Ísvara, Rámas Lord, that is, Siva, recognised and worshipped by Ráma, according to the Saivas as his lord." Caldwell's History of Tinnevelly, p. 21.

4 In the original the editors of the Páli text have made a mistake in numbering the verses of this group. I have, however, kept to those numbers to facilitate


great fame, clothed with divers robes and jewels and glittering ornaments. And the earth sunk, as it were, with the weight of this great 114 multitude, and of the troops of horses and elephants in their trappings 115 of shining gold, and of the worshippers who honoured the cétiya with offerings of lamps which they carried on their bodies. And every quarter thereof was covered, as it were, with parasols and banners and chowries; and the caverns seemed to burst asunder with the sounds of 116 divers instruments of music; and the eyes of all the people were filled with tears of joy by reason of the exceeding great beauty of the sight; and the caskets and flags and vases and fans and pots and other utensils 117 of gold sent forth rays which made all the place to seem yellow. And 118 then the king came forth from his royal palace at the hour when the shadows lengthened, and stood on the terrace of the cétiya with the majesty of the king of the gods. Then many hundred priests went 119 forth and compassed the cétiya round like a wall of coral. And then 120 the king placed the pinnacle of gold on the top of the cétiya, as if he displayed to the world the glory of Kélása with the sun standing on the height thereof. And lo! there was no night in the city on that day. 121 And wherefore came it? By reason of the king's feast of lamps or because of the glittering pinnacle that was set on the top of the thúpa ?

Thus did Parakkama Báhu, the defender of the land, hold this great 122 feast in honour of the thúpa; and then he returned to his own city of Pulatthi.

And the general (Lankápura) built a fortress at Kundukála, which 123 he called Parakkamapura. And as he wished to make it endure for a long time he built three walls of stone of great height round it, two 124 thousand and four hundred cubits long, with twelve gates, and a court 125 with four rows of buildings,5 and three trenches also, the waters of which flowed from the one into the other, as if from sea to sea. And 126 while he dwelt in that fortress he subdued the chieftains Kadakkúdiya Rájá, Cólaganga, and many others. But though the Sinhalese thus 127 gained strength daily, the king Kulasekhara remained not idle, but 128 sent Sundara Pandu Rájá and Pandu Rájá again with many powerful chiefs that they may drive the Sinhalese away from thence. But 129 Lankápura fought with them and discomfited them in three battles, and took Carukkaṭṭa. And he proceeded from thence and fought a 130 great battle with those chieftains and a Tamil, Álavandapperumál by 131

1 At great festivals devotees carry lighted lamps on their heads and in their hands, and sometimes lighted frames which cover the whole of their bodies; and with these they walk round the dágobas to illuminate them. This is, I suppose, what is meant by Sabbanga-dípa-pújá in the text.

a At eventide.

3 Pavála-vediká. The word vediká " is used to mean a low wall or terrace intended for various sacred purposes. The allusion is to the dark-red robes of the priests.

The highest peak of the snow-clad Himálaya. The thúpas being white and glistening edifices, the simile is obvious.

Military barracks ?

« PreviousContinue »