James De Alwis.

A descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, & Sinhalese literary works of Ceylon online

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the sixth on Concord; the seventh on Verbs; the
eio-hth on Derivatives; the ninth on Voices; the tenth
on Syntax ; the eleventh on good and evil Characters,
etc. ; and the twelfth on Rhetoric,

Since there is a translation of this work with a
lenothy Introduction, an extended notice of it here is
unnecessary; a few descriptive observations may not
however be deemed unacceptable.

The correspondence between the terminology of
the writer before us, and that of Buddhagosa, has been
already briefly noticed.— See ajite, p. 68.


The language used, and the grammatical forms
treated of, prove, beyond all manner of doubt, that the
Sinhalese is a North-Indian dialect. For full parti-
culai's on the subject the reader is referred to two
articles published in t!ie Journal of the Ceylon Branch
of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866 and 1867.

The following extract from the concluding part of
the work, which we present as a specimen, contains
allusion to the writer, and his patron :

Me pela paniana si(m)bi kivi man danan pasasata
Garahata yalidu kara kun pa(n)duv6ma mehi pamano.
Duhuna dana hata mut mekudu Sidatin viyatini
Pirij'atnata neta datak mehi ka]a mateta tusva.
Dakana Laka siyal bujamaliavuruui rakna
Dedev radalagam vimanaga patirajadevseradene
Adaren yaduta ohu vibate tirana siya base
Palakaranuvas mekelem kulunen Sidatsangard.

Mehi padauuvaga dens, viyarana vidi bajaiiiina
Nitetinimana pasi(nVla vida danada pini pilena
Yasaraladigebi(m)bena vitara pata sayuru mena
Naganu melaka uiti diya dada narasaliamina.

* What signifies the praise or censure of pretended
Pandits, Avho only acquired the first elements (of
Grammar)? Learned Pandits alone are competent
critics. O Pandits, although this little Sidata, except
to the beginner, has nothing original in it (to recom-
mend itself) to the erudite; rejoice ye at my labours.
May Patiraja, like unto a flag on the summit of the
mansion like village Radula, and who, by the arm
of his extensive ramparts, governs the whole of the


Southern Lanka, be long prosperous ! I have composed
the Sidat- Sangara at his kind request, and witli a view
to disseminate (the knowledge of) the rudiments of
cases, etc., in the Sinhalese language. The wise
man who has learned its rules (both) primary and
secondary, and made Grammar his study, will, having
with facility removed the pretensions of the learned,
who are elated with pride, constantly hoist up the flao"
of success in (this island of) Lanka, like the bound-
less ocean with the renown of his waves, wide-spread
in all directions.'

We are unable to identify the village Kadula ; and
there is no reliable evidence to indicate the situation
of the Patirajapirivena, of which the author was the
superior incumbent; See Sidat- Sangara, p. 43, But,
since the temple was named after its founder, and he
is said to have been the Governor of Southern Lanka,
it may not be difficult to place it somev/here in the
Southern Province of Ceylon. But we have yet to
learn the name of the author, and to identify the
founder of the monastery.

A tradition states that the writer is identical with
the author of the Biilavatara ; but this is contradicted
by another tradition which identifies the Grammarian
with the author of the Sidat- Sano;ara. That tradition
is founded on the facts stated in the following passage
in the Easavahini.

Yoka sihala bhasaya sihala sadda Lakkhanan tena
Vedeha therena kathaya Rasavahini. — ' This book
called the) Kasavahini was composed by the same


Reverend Vedeha who had composed the Smhalese
Grammar in the Sinhalese language.' Before however
we attempt to identify the minister Patiraja, we
shall, from internal evidence, which the Sidat-Sangara
furnishes, endeavour to ascertain the chronological
position which it occupies with reference to the known
literature of the land.

The wi'iter, it would appear, quotes from several
authors, and among others from the Asakda, a poem
which is no longer extant, and of which little or nothing
is known beyond that it was a poem of great merit; and
from the Kavu Silumina, whose author was King
Pandita Parakrama Bahu III — 1266 a. d.

As pointed out by the translator at page cxvi., a
stanza in the Kaviasekara quotes a few words which
are given as examples in the Sidat-Sangara. Now,
it is true that there is a belief among some Sinhalese
scholars, that the grammarian, who professes to write
his work upon ' the precepts of unerring custom, or
after the established usage of eminent writers, has
borrowed most of his illustrations such as 'nat for
anat,from the Kaviasekara;' yet, we believe, apart from
the modernism of the style and poetry of the last-
mentioned work — a fact which sufficiently refutes
the above opinion — there is almost conclusive evidence
to support the more generally prevailing belief, that
the Kaviasekara was subsequent to the date of this
Grammar. We say there is nearly conclusive evidence,
because the poet, as will be seen on reference to the
stanza quoted in the Sidat-Sangara at p. clxxx., places


tlie Verb in the " seventh section or chapter of the
Grammar," a division which agrees accurately with
that given in the Sidat-Sangara.

Assuming then that the above refers to the Gram-
mar under notice, we find no difficulty to assign to it
a date between the age of Parakrama in 1266 and 1410
A, D., when the Kaviasekara was written.

We have yet another fact, by which the interval
between these two dates, which gives a period of 144
years, may be reduced, and that is, if possible, by the
identification of Patirtija. ,

We read of several celebrated ministers of that name
in our historical books. In the Introduction to the
Sidat-Sangara (see p. clxxxii), we were inclined to
identify him with the Wirasinha Patiraja mentioned
in the Introduction to the Sinhalese version of the
Pansiyapanas Jataka. But recent researches enable
us to identify him with the Patiraja deva, whom Parak-
rama III — 1266 A. D, despatched to South Ceylon to
repair dilapidated religious edifices,* and generally
for the promotion of religion, and to whom we have
already alluded at p. 23,

* Ses Mahavansa.

2 Q



Professor Max Midler to Mr. Herbert.

Parks Eiul, Oxford,
March 21st, 1870.


I HAVE read with great interest the papers forwarded
to Lord Granville by Sir Hercules Robinson, stating the
measures which have lately been taken by the Ceylon
Government for making a collection of MSS. — Pali, Sinhalese
and Sanskrit — that are still to be found in Ceylon, and
publishing without delay a Catalogue of the same.

In taking measures for the preservation of the ancient
Literature of India and Ceylon, the Government is perform-
ing a duty which, in the present state of the country, could
be efficiently performed by no one else.

Whatever, according to the varying judgment of European
Scholars, the intrinsic value of the ancient Literature of India
may be, the fact remains that, through all the vicissitudes of
their past history, the inhabitants of that country have from
century to century handed down their literary treasures with
the greatest care, and have thus preserved to us a literature
which in antiquity exceeds that of Italy and Greece, nay,
possibly of evey other country in the world. From the days
of Sir William Jones, the interest excited by the ancient
Literature of India among European scholars has been
steadily increasing, and it seems certainly a strange fact, that
while English education is rapidly spreading all over India,
Professorships should be founded in eveiy University of


Europe for teaching the ancient language and Literature of
the Brahmans.

It would by no means be fair to charge the English
Government with indifference as to the ancient Literature of
its Indian subjects.

Both the East India Company and the Indian Ministry
have repeatedly afforded their patronage to Editions of texts
and translations from Sanskrit Literature, and the collection
of Sanskrit MSS. which has gradually been brought together
in the East India House, and is now preserved at the India
Office, is without comparison the largest and most valuable
in Europe.

At the same time it cannot be doubted, that more energetic
measures are required, in order to prevent the loss of a Litera-
ture w^hich exists chiefly in MSS., and which, with the
progress of English education and the spread of English
ideas in India, is losing in the eyes of many of the natives
that importance which it formerly possessed. In former
days, most native princes considered it their duty to keep up
a Library and to maintain a staff of Librarians, whose office
it was to copy each MS. as soon as it began to shew signs of
decay. Sanskrit MSS. are mostly written on paper made of
vegetable substances, and unless preserved with great care,
they seldom last in the sultry climate of India beyond three
or four centuries. When the native princes were mediatised
and pensioned by the English Government, one of the first
retrenchments in their establishments consisted in the aboli-
tion of their libraries, and the dismissal of their librarians.
Some of the Rajahs offered their libraries as presents to the
East India Company, but report says that a rule was passed
excluding libraries from the class of presents acceptable to
the Company.


Tlie result is, that in ditiereiit parttr of India collections of
ancient MSS. have crumbled to dust, and that literary works
which had been preserved for centuries have been lost forever.

During and after the late mutiny, so inany accounts of the
wanton destruction of Libraries came to my knowledge, that
I ventured to make a representation to Lord Elgin before he
left England as Governor-General, urging him to sanction
some plan for the preservation of the ancient literature of
India. Lord Elgin promised to keep the matter in mind,
and I doubt not that if his life had been spared we should
have had an Elgin collection of Oriental MSS., which need
not have feared comparison with the Elgin collection of
Marbles at the British Museum. My letter to Lord Elgin
would probably be found in his official correspondence.

I was much pleased therefore to find, when reading the
letter from Pandit Radha Kisu to His Excellency the Viceroy,
dated 10th May, 1868, that what I had so long advocated
had at last taken a practical shape, and I trust that nothing
Mill now interfere with the carrying out of the judicious
measures sanctioned by the Indian Government for the col-
lection and preservation of Sanskrit MSS.

With regard to Ceylon, it seems to me that it would there
be even easier to carry out the plan adopted by the Indian
Government than in India itself.

The literature of Ceylon is much more limited. It is the
literature of an Island, and what is important in it is almost
entirely restricted to the sacred literature of Buddhism. I
doubt whether in Ceylon there are MSS. more ancient than
those of India, for although the materials on which they are
written, palm or bamboo leaves, are far more durable than
paper, political and religious convulsions seem to have caused
the destruction of the ancient libraries of the temples and


monasteries ; still there is no reason why a careful search
should not be made for ancient MSS., or fragments of ancient
MSS., and in case they should be found it would seem expe-
dient to preserve carefully-made copies in Ceylon, but to
transfer the originals to England, where they would be in
safer keeping than anywhere else. It is important to observe,
that even paper MSS. which begin to shew signs of decay
in India, are perfectly safe as soon as they are brought to
the colder climate of England. I possess myself MSS. which
had suffered much from damp and insects while in India,
but which now seem to resist all further ravages.

The principal object of the collectors should be to bring
together a complete set of the canonical books of the
Buddhists, with their commentaries, whether in Pali or Sin-
halese.* The titles and contents of most of these books are
known to every student of Buddhism, and the munificent
present of a complete copy of the Buddhist Canon from the

" It will be satisfaotory to know that a carefully revised copy of the
Tepitaka is being transcribed for the Ceylon Oriental Library; that "the
munificent present" of the Burmese Government is already in its shelves,
and that ere long a third copy of the Texts, from Siam, in Kamboja
character, Ihe gift of which has also been promised, will be added to tlic
collection. There is no real difFsrence between these three national
Records, since thej' are all copies of the woi-k originally brought over to
Ceylon by ilahinda. But, we apprehend, great difference will be found to
exist between the Sinhalese version of the Tepitaka and its Commentaries,
and the version of the Northern Buddhists ; and we have no doubt that tbg
Government of this Island will, at no distant date, add to its Library
a copy of the Nepal version of the Buddhist Scriptures, including their
Commentaries, — works which will certainly enable scholars to detect, by
intercomparison, the frauds and impostures which have in process of time
crept into both.


king of Burmah, would enable any Pali Scholar to make out

an accurate list of the books contained in it. It would thus

be easy, after the most accessible MSS. have been brought

together, to draw up a list of deficiencies, and to send it to the

principal monasteries and libraries in Ceylon. It would not

require any large outlay to have the whole of the now

existing Pali literature of Ceylon carefully transcribed, and

the copies preserved in a safe place. It would be still better,

wherever it is possible, that the original MSS. should be

bought and preserved; and I may state, that on several

occasions I have found possessors of ancient and slightly

damaged MSS. in India ready to exchange them for a modern


The publication of a Catalogue of the MSS. thus collected

would be of great use to scholars in Europe, and it is much

to be desired that the making of such a Catalogue should be

entrusted to one or several really competent Pali scholars.

It might be well at first to print a specimen only, and to

send that specimen for approval to some Pali scholars in

Europe. In printing extracts, it would be most desirable to

adopt the Roman alphabet, and strictly to adhere to some

definite system in transcribing Pali letters by Roman letters.

Great care should also be taken that the extracts are given

correctly, and, if possible, with a literal translation.

I return the original enclosures.

I have, &c.,

(Signed) Max MUller.

R. G. W. Herbert, Esq.

2 H


The Scheme of Orthogiuphy

adopted in this work, to express, in Roman characters, the
Pali, Sanskrit, and Sinhalese words and extracts, demands a
brief explanation. It will be observed that that scheme is in
the main identical with the one sanctioned by the Govern-
ment Minute of the 28th August, 1 866, and is as follows : —


PAli, and Sinhalese.



(p 9

(j" 2 (^1 653 S5^9 f^



t a i


1 u u r r Ir

ai o an


Semi- Consonants.

o ni ; 8 h


Gutterals ...

«5 k

Q kh CK) g

es gh

© 11



ff chh d j


is^ li



ei th £) d

^ dh

■<sSS n


^ t

(S th q d

a dh

e:) n


c p

e ph © b

S5 bh

ei m

Semi vowels


(5 r c 1




S3 s

e? s' e<?- sh

« h

The Sinhalese



<^x e; £f e; @ 6;

«> (i3)g

^ (n)j

©(n)l ^(n)d;

© (m)b.



For the vowels £3h and ssaj, the Government ]Minute gives
ri, fi ; and there is neither provision for p3 Ir, and ?^=a If, nor
the necessary type for the signs adopted and given above.
For the anusvara again, the same Minute gives ij ; but since
the use of n, with an open dot below, mvij lead many, as it has
led me, to confound it with tlie lingual n; I have adopted an
in with a dot below. That symbol, however, is not to be
found in the Printing Establishment, and tlie consequence
is, that I have been compelled to use the simple dental n or
the labial m in its stead, leaving it to the reader to discern
the correct character from the sense of the word. Owiiif-
to the same cause I have not been altle to express the
semi-consonant g h properly.

In proceeding to the Consonants I may remark tliat & cli, is
unnecessarily expressed in two letters; and the inconvenience
is doubly great when we have to express it with its aspirate,
tlius chchh. As the scheme adopted by FausboU is in
this respect, as in others, very simple, it is my intention in
the second volume to use c and ch in all cases, where in
this volume I have used ch, and chh. There is only one other
remark necessary under this head, and that is, that I have
not been able to confine the last semi vowel in the list to a
simple V, but have adopted the promiscuous use of v and w.

Under the head of the Sinhalese Vowels the reader will
observe that in the Sinhalese extracts I had to use e, e,
characters which are not found in the Sanskrit and Pali
alphabets ; and also e, and o, which in the Sigihalese are
found with mai'ked accent.

The Sanskrit anubandhas ^g, fij, nd, ud and mb possess
different sounds in the Sinhalese (see Sidatsangara,p. Ixi.) and


are, metrically, one syllabic instant. No signs have been
appropriated authoritatively for these sounds ; nor are there
any types to represent them. I have therefore (though some-
what unwillingly) resorted to the plan indicated in the above
table for expressing them.

In presenting the first volume of this work to the Public,
I may be permitted to state that the materials for the second
volume are ready, and in the press. It will contain a
complete Analysis of the Vinaya-pitaka, with prelimi-
nary observations on several important subjects. I have,
with the assistance of two of the most talented Pandits in
this island, Batuvantudave, and Sumangala, High Priest,
literally rendered into English all that may fairly be ascribed
to Gotama Buddha. I have also given, to an appreciable
extent, all the Precepts, Legends, Explanations, and Sutras,
extracting only those parts of the Text, which, in my
opinion, might lead to important investigations. The
literal translations are invariably preceded by the Texts,
which have been collated with several authentic copie?,
Sinhalese, Burmese, and Siamese. A copious Table of
Contents will serve all the purposes of a Descriptive
Catalogue, Avhilst no pains will be spared to make the
separate Index, intended for the second volume, as full as is

If the Analysis of this Pitaka should fall short of the
prescribed limits, which are the same as those assigned to
the present volume, I purpose to commence with an analysis
of the Su'tra-pitaka, but I do not believe I shall be able
to present as many extracts from it as I have done from the
Vinaya. '



I. Tliat the Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese Library estab-
lished by the Government of Ceylon, be called "The
Government Oriental Library."

II. That the same be under the immediate control aiul
supervision of the Colonial Secretary for the time bein<^.

III. That all affairs connected with the said Library be
conducted and managed by a paid Librarian, and one or more
servants appointed by the Governor.

IV. That the Librarian be required to give security
to the satisfaction of the Colonial Secretary for the due
preservation of the books and records, and generally for the
observance of the rules of the institution, and the due
performance of all the duties I'equired of him.

V. That the Library be kept open every day from
1 1 o'clock in the forenoon till 4 o'clock in the afternoon,
except on Sundays and other Government holidays, and
except after 2 o'clock on Saturdays.

VI. That on no account whatsoever shall any person be
allowed to remove any book belonging to the Library beyond
the precincts of the Library.

* '■' His Excellency the (iovernor has been pleased to direct, that the
following Rules framed by the Government Oriental Library Committee,
and approved by His Excellency, be published for general information.

" By His Excellency's Command,

« Colonial Secretary's Office, Henky T. Irvin«,

Colombo, 2(Uh September, 1870. Colonial Secretary."

— {^Ceylon Uoter/imenl Guzelte. No. 3,787. Oclvber 1, 1870.]

2 I

238 'descriptive catalogue.

VII. That the books belonging to the Libi-ury shall be
kept clear of dust, shall'always during office hours be exposed
to the air, and shall at intervals of two months be exposed
to the sun ; the Librarian shall moreover do all things
necessary for the due preservation of books and olas.

VIII. That the Librarian shall himself keep the keys
of the Library shelves, and shall not permit any person
access to the books of the Library except in his presence,
or except in the manner provided for by Rule IX.

IX. That the Librarian shall be responsible for any book
that may be taken out of the shelf for purposes of copying,
comparison, or inspection, and that the same shall on no
account be removed beyond the limits of the Library

X. That the Librarian shall from time to time, as may
be expedient, cause a printed Catalogue of the Library, both
in English and Sinhalese, to be issued to the public, and for
a price to be fixed by the Colonial Secretary.

XL That the Librarian shall be at liberty to issue
extracts on ola or paper of any of the books, or parts of the
books, of the Library, on the written application of a party,
■and on payment of such a reasonable fee as the Colonial
Secretary may from time to time sanction.

XII. That the Librarian shall keep

( 1 ) A classified Catalogue of the books of the Library,

the numbers in which shall correspond with
the numbers borne by the books. All additions
to the Library shall from time to time be
inserted in the said catalogue ;

(2) A register, in a form to be approved of by the

Colonial Secretary, of references made and
of extracts or copies issued by him ;


(3) A memorandum of all the fees so rrceived as

aforesaid, an account whereof the Librarian
shall, moreover, from time to time render to
the Colonial Secretary, shewing the receipts
on the one hand, and disbursements on the
other ; and

(4) Such further catalogues, lists, or other memo-

randa, as the Colonial Secretary may from time
to time prescribe.

XIII. That all extracts shall be made within the Library
premises either by copyists employed by the Librarian, or
by the person or persons requiring such extracts. No one
shall be employed as copyist without the previous sanction
of the Colonial Secretary,

XIV. That any one desirous of inspecting or comparing
a book of the Library with his own, shall be at liberty to do
so in the presence of the Librarian within the Libraiy
premises, and free of any charge whatever.

XV. That any one desirous of obtaining an extract from
a book belonging to the Library, may employ his own copyist
to make it at his sole cost and expense, or he may obtain
the extract on a written application to the Librarian, and
on his tendering the regulated fee for that purpose.

XVI. That no one should be allowed to smoke, or chew
betel, or spit within the Library premises.




xi ... 29 for PItaka read Pitaka.

2 ... 13 for \\x\\]wck read \s.\x\\yAv'\.

,, ... J 9 /y/- Ganam'pi pani re«(i ganam'pi paui,

„ ... 20 for guno read guno.

„ ... 21 ybr lingesu retfc/ liiigesu.

„ ... 22 /o/' karanan re«£/ karanan.

3 ... 4 for Abhidhana'padi'iiikan read Abhidhanappadipi-


4 ... 22 /or anara reoc/ anara.

7 ... 10 /or Bhikkhus and Sanghasreac/ Council of bLikkhus.

11 ... 7 /or Pali rend Pali; also elseiohere,

,, ... 24 fir Lambakanna 7-ead Lanibakanna.

31 ... 16 for affected read afflicted.

3."^ ... 23 /or lekhanakarayi rearf lekhamakarayi.

35 ... 7 /or Jyotigriana...Purauareac/Jyotiijnana,..Purana
„ ... 11 /or visip read visin.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16

Online LibraryJames De AlwisA descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, & Sinhalese literary works of Ceylon → online text (page 16 of 17)