James De Alwis.

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

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buildings is the " Kotunda," built by Gothabhaya.
(cap. ix, § 6). This is 1.08 feet in circumference, and
is most substantially built, with a broad foundation
rising about 3| feet from the ground, of entirely large
slabs of hewn granite. It has four porches for en-
trances; and the roof, which contains two stories covered
with flat tiles, rests upon two rows of granite pillars, —
the top story in the centre on eight granite pillars,
occupying an area of about 250 feet, and the lower
story upon IG similar pillars, which are fixed close to
the round wall. Both the roof as well as the walls are
beautifully painted in the style peculiar to Buddhists,
embellished with statues, pictures of the Devas, etc..
The Thupa which was originally built by Gotlnihhaya,
(cap. ix, § 7), and subsequently restored by Parakkama,
after its destruction by our intestine foes (cap. xi. § 3),
and of which so much has been written in the history
before us, occupies the centre. It is a neat structure
of bricks, surmounted with a silver-gilt pinnacle, and
reaches the roof wdiich is intended as a canopy for the
same. (cap. ix. § 7.)

Outside these pillars and facing the four doors, are
four images of Buddlia, in a sitting posture, enclosed
in neat glass cases. One of the statues is of granite;

B



26 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

but the liead, Avhicli was destroyed by some fanatics,
has been since restored. In close proximity to this
sacred building is the rocky pool, near which Sangha-
bodhi met the poor traveller ; (cap. viii. §1). Its sides
are found scarped and polished, and the crevices and
holes neatly filled up with granite. It contains a
plantation of the Lotus; and our attendant, the High
Priest of the Temple, pointed out to us a healthy bush
of corn, which he would have us believe never ceased
to live. 'This, Sir,' said he, with great self-satisfac-
tion, 'is the plant produced from the Ma-vi-iice, thrown
by Siri Sangabo at the time he partook of the traveller's
hospitality. This never ceases to exist, when one
withers, another shoots up.' 'Yes, of course,' said I,
promptly, 'if you don't reap the corn it is sure to drop
down and shoot ao;ain.' The Priest would not under-
stand the solution of the mystery, nor did he seem to
relish the explanation. I was not therefore over-
anxious to ridicule a notion, perhaps honestly enter-
tained, by one who paid me much attention, and who
treated me with great courtesy. I therefore changed
the subject of our conversation, and he took us to
another side and pointed out to us an outline of a head
and two feet — emblems engraved on the rock. ' This,'
he declared, 'was the identical spot whei'e the old king-
cut off his head. These marks were of course made in
subsequent times to preserve the tradition respecting
the spot.' We then inspected a large granite slab 2x8
feet, standing in the centre of the compound and con-
taining traces of an inscription, defaced by atmospheric



ATTANAGALUVANSA. 27

influences. This is probably tbe one erected by Patiraja
and mentioned in the Mahavansa. After an unsnccess-
■ful attempt to decipher even a word of this inscription,
we proceeded to the Bauddha-house, which is close to
the rocky pool. Here too desolation and ruin reigned
supreme : tlie figures and images Avere all partially
broken, — and even the granite images of Buddha
mentioned at cap. xi. § 10, had wholly disappeared.

We next insj^ected a little Devala, a very modern
structure. There was nothing remarkable about it,
except some drawings on its walls, which were pointed
out to us as the portraits of Sir Edward Barnes, and the
late Abraham De Saram, Esq., Second Maha Mudliyar
— representations, which, though rude and unfaithful,
yet exhibited the genuine feeling of gratitude, respect,
and esteem felt for two of the greatest statesmen of
the times in Avhich the Temple was repaired.

Casting a glance at the stately Bo which occupies
a corner of the terrace, and which was stated to have
been a branch of the sacred Bo at Anuradhapura, we
descended a flight of steps on the south of this elevation,
and proceeded to the adjacent rocks, which, tradition
aflSrms, King SanMiabodhi selected for his hermitage.
They consisted of two large granite boulders, one
over-hanijin!>- the other and the ground below, so as-to
render it a secure habitation, free from sun and rain.
It almost realized to the mind Shakspeare's description
of the

— ' ballon 'd, oloomy cave, ■with moss o'ergrovrn,
The temple join'd of Nature's pumice stone.'



28 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

Thouoh not so laroe as the rocks of Aluvlliura at
Matale, and though, as in the latter, no

'antique images by priests were kept,

And wooden deities securely slept;'

yet there was trie sameness of appearance in the forma-
tion of a cave by the overhanging brow of a granite
boulder which had been precipitated from the rocks
above. Except this, there was little to see here beyond
the sleeping apartments of another section df priests
belonging to the establishment, and the surrounding
vegetation, consisting cliiefly of the Kancru, planted
for the sake of its flowers. We then proceeded to
partake of the kind hospitality of the Mudliyar of the
district; but, before quitting the premises, there was
one other spot which I desired to see, it was the
Vidhava Vana (see IS'ote 4, cap. ix.) The surprise
of the priests was great, when I asked them to show
me this place. They seemed to wonder how I had
known the name; and from this and other circum-
stances, I concluded that they v/ere not conversant with
the Attanagaluvansa.

They took me a little distance and pointed in the
direction of a paddy field called Kanavenduma, bearing
in the vernacular Sinhalese the same sense as the
name given to it in the Pali work, and its Sinhalese
translation. This is the spot, as the reader is aware,
where the Queen of Saiighabodhi rested; and on
inquiry, with a view to test the accuracy of the descrip-r
tions in the history before us, I ascertained that during
heavy rains the suiTounding country still exhibited



ATT ANAGALUV ANSA. 29

white sandy spots, on one of wliich, close upon a
"blooming shrubbery," the Queen is stated to have
spent the night before her death. — Cap. ix. § 1.

To return to Attanagaluvansa. It will be observed,
that in t no dates are given either as to the number of
years which Sanghabodhi reigned, or the year on Avhich
he ascended the throne. According to the Mahavansa,
he Avas crowned in A. D. 246, and he reigned only
two years. The Dipavansa bears out Mahanama, in
the following stanza —

Sanghabodhi' ti namena raja asi su-silava
Dve vassaneva so raja rajjan karesi khattiyo.

That is to say : ' There was a highly religious king
named Sanghabodhi : the same, who was a Khattiya
reigned only two years.' There is nothing, therefore,
in the Attanao-aluvansa to induce us to doubt the
correctness of Mahanama's figures. On the contrary
there is much in it which confirms the facts given in
the ]Mahavansa. Yet, it would seem from one of the
Mihintala inscriptions, that the reign of Sanghabodhi
had extended to more than sixteen years.*

Kext to the historical and political considerations
which are suggested by the Attanagaluvansa, the
religion which it presents to the reader in one of its most
engaging phases, — indeed in that in which its greatest
superiority is boasted of, and maintained by its adherents,
viz., its moral code, may not be devoid of interest.

* For a reconciliation of these conflicting statements, see Atta-
nagaluvansa, p. ci. et seq.



30 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

'Not less interesting is it in other respects. ' The
objects,' says Professor H. II. Wilson, ' for which an
ancient dialect may be studied, are its philology and
its literature, or the arts and sciences, the notions
and manners, the history and belief of the people by
whom it was spoken.'* Many of these objects may
indeed be attained to no mean degree by a study of
this historical novel. It is reckoned by our learned
Pandits as one of the best Pali Avorks which can
ensrage the attention of the beginner. Though more
artificial than the style of the Pitakas, it is by no
means inferior to many other works such as Buddha-
ghosa's Atthakatha, Milindappanna, etc. It even excels
in its diction the Mahavarisa, the Dipavansa, the
Rasavahini, etc. Its language is generally intellio-ible,
and, altogether, elegant. It is the first Pali work
which is read in many of the Buddhist Monasteries of
this Island, with a view to illustrate grammatical forms ;
and there is scarcely a book more calculated to assist the
Pali scholar, or one which better delineates the manners
and feelings of the Sinhalese, or more largely draws
its illustrations from the Institutions, Usages, Arts,
and Sciences wliich prevailed among them in ancient
times. Here is a specimen from cap. vii. §§ 1 — 3.

Cap. vii.

Atha kadachi Vassadhikatdnan devatanan pama-
dena avaggaho paturahosi. —



Pr. Wilson's Hindu Plays, vol. i. p. ix.



ATTANAGALUVANSA. 31

Nicliigha vegena ravi patiipi
Unhiibhi tatto pavano kharo cha
Janiture'va 'sisira dhariiclia
Pivinsu te sabbadhi sabbama'mbun.

Antobhu sunliena vipachcliamaua
Sauissanambho bliarite'va chati
Tibbatapakkanta vanantarajl
Rutakula khavati chirikauan.



Vassanakale'pi pablia kavassa
Patapasanttipita m'antalikkban
Samachitan panclara varidehi
Sacbandanalepa ra'iva'ti rocbi.

'At this time, through the neglect of tlie divinities
presiding over rain, there was a drought. By reason
thereof a scorching sun, a hot burning atmosphere,
and a dry earth, — these three, like those affected by
fever, had imbibed all the moisture in all parts. The
beautiful forest scorched by the sun, and filled witli
the cry of crickets, seemed as it were a bason filled
with hissing water, boiling with great heat. The
(expanse of the) sky, hot with the burning sun, Avas
brightened, even in the rainy season, with masses of
white clouds, as if it were anointed with (the powder
of the) Sandal.'

With a view, however, to render this work interest-
ing to the ffeneral reader, as well as to the Oriental
scholar, tlie writer has lately published a translation



32 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

of this v,-ork into English, the text itself is at the
fame time printed in the Sinhalese character.*

It may be here convenient to determine the date of
this work. Tradition affirms that it was written in the
reign of Parakkama III., the celebrated patron of
men and letters in the 13th century, (1266 — 1301
A. D.) Both internal and external evidence support
this belief. Its style is not incompatible with that of
other works of the same date. The events, too, which
it records are brought down to the end of this prince's
reign ; and it is remarkable that the writer, after
recordiiifr the various works which Parakkama had
executed in connection with the Temple of Attana-
galla, abruptly concludes the history, by expressing a
fond hope that the annals of Attanagalla from thence-
forth might be continued by future historians.

"If hereafter any pious (persons), by way of repairing
that which is dilapidated, or adding any thing new to it,
or of making a provision of offerings (for it), such as
fields, etc., shall maintain this temple, let them, record
in continuation their names as well as their acts."

Although the above is not conclusive proof of this
work having been written at the date to which the
events it records are brought down, yet it may be

* I'his is the more to be regretted, as an earnest hope is entertained
bjr i'roiessor Weber, in his elaborate Review of Kachchayana's
Tk\i Grammar printed in his Bihliographische Anzeigf-.n, tliat the
Translator should 'use only the Roman character,' since 'the
Siohalese letters are difficult to read and cause needless trouble.'



ATTANAGALUVANSA. 33

safely inferred that a work which implies the prior
existence of Parakkama III., was written during,
or subsequent to, the reign of that prince ; and how
far posterior may be conjectured from another fact,
namely, that the self-same work was translated
into the Sinhalese durino- the reiun of Buvaneka-
bahu in 1304 Saka, or 1382 A. D., answering,
according to the chronological tables of Mr. Turnour,
to the 4th year of the reign of Buvanekabahu IV. of
Gampola.

The Anomadassi mentioned in the Sinhalese version
is also named in the original Pali version ; and the
followino- extract from the Mahawansa contains the
reasons for the belief o-enerallv entertained that he
was identical with the priest of that name, to whom
the Temple of Attanagalla was bestowed by Parakkama
Bahu.

Tato gantviina so Hattha-vanagalla Viluirakan
Rafiiiii vutta niyamena katvii bahu dhanabbayan
Kaiapetvaua piisadan tuuga singan tibhiimakaa
Anomadassi namassa malia samissa dhimato
Tail datvaiia tato tassa maliaraja niyogato
Dauavattampi kappetvii Sila lekhanakarayi.

' He (Patirajadeva), having gone from thence
(Adam's Peak) to the monastery of Hattha-vanagalla,
and having, pursuant to the ordei's of the King, expended
large sums of money, built a lofty mansion of three
stories. Offering it to the erudite and venerable Lord
named Anomadassi, and establishing, according to royal

p



34 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

command, a continuous bestowal of alms for him, he
put up a stone Inscription.'*

According to the above record and the tenor of other
passages in the Mahawansa, the Attanagaluvansa must
have been written, as is generally believed, by a pupil
of Anomadassi during the latter part of the reign of
Parakkama, when that monarch had retired from the
active labours of his life by entrusting the Government
to Wijayabahu.

Professor Weber of Berlin in a Review f of this
work, says: " If this Temple-iegend be compared with
similar works of the kind — tlie so-called Mahaturya
found amongst the Brahmans, — a difference greatly in
favour of the Buddhist legend will become ajiparent.
Instead of the wonderful tales of gods and heroes of
the Puranas, we here possess a sober narrative, which
indeed, thouo-h not altogether free from some conflict-
ing mythical exaggeration [who could expect such a
thing!] is nevertheless very evidently, and possibly
faithfully, related to the truth. "|

Having noticed the Pali work, a brief notice of its

Sinhalese Version
may not be out of place here. It was written in loOl,
A. D., and the modesty of the writer has prevented
the publication of his name. His language however



* This Tablet is the one referred to ante, p. 27.

t Litcrarisches Centralblott. July 13, 18G7.

+ The printed edition contains 43 octavo pages, and the Ola
M.S. in the Temple at relmaduUa has 36 pages of U feet in
length, with 7 lines to a page, closely written.



ATTANAGALUVANSA. 35

Avould jiuthorize the inference that he was a Buddhist
priest. The following Introduction will serve as a
specimen of his language : —

Svastipprasasta pravara dvijakula kamalavana rtiji-
rajahansaya manavu Akshara Likhita Ganita Gandhar-
va Nakshattra Chhandas Nighandu Alankara Salihotra
Yantra Tantra Mantra Jyotigfiana Itihasa Puranadi
sakalakalavanta kalanidhihu venivu Sutrabhi-dharma
vinaya sankhyata Tripitaka buddha vachanayehi ano-
madar.sivu Anomadarsinam sangha rajadhurandaravu
maha-svamihu visin mehayanaladuva itihasa kathavaha
purva-likhitayada assrayakota ptirvayehi Mtighadhika
bhashaven rachanakaranalada Attanagaluvihara-van-
sakkhyata Prabandhaya sri saka varshayen ekvadahas
tunsiya sivu vasak pirunusanda, trisinhaladhisvara
navaratnadhipati Bhuvanaikabahu Narendrayahata
aggramattyavu sraddha buddhi sampanna ratnattraya
saranaparayana asarana-sarana saranagata vajra panjara
anavarata danahctuppranchikrita vividha vibhava
sanchikrita Vanchi purappravara pavitrapurvagotraika
kalapprabhuta chandra surya mandala yugalayamanavu
Srilankadhisvara Alakesvarauam mantrisvarayananha
mema mantrisvarayanauta saliodaravu — ' Parandri
sahodara ' — y anadi anekapprakara viruda vali eti svartha
parartha karana pravina ishtartha prasavaya kirimen
arthijana manoratha piiranayehi atyarthayen arthivu
Ai'thanayakanam Mantrisvarayanan hii dedenage
karunii kataksha nirikshanayen susanrakshitamadhura-
tara kusalaphala bharita taruna vrikshayamanavii
parasattru kunjara nikara nirakaranayehi pravina



36 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

sinhayamaiiavu Satru Sinha Kunjarabhi dhana senana-
yaka pradhanihii visin ijotrujanayage sukhava-bodhaya
pinisa svakiya Sinhala bhashaven pravartitavuvabot
yebekeyi ai'adhitava sastrarambhayelii isbta deva-
ta'radhanava sandaba purva katti'invisln varnitavti
snehuttajiiya hadayd mala mallikaya — yanadi pratbama
gatbavebi patam artba katbanaya karamu.

' Patronized by tbe glance-of- support of two descend-
ants of tbe ancient, iUustrious, and pure family of tbe
city of Vancbi,* like unto tbe sun and moon manifested
at one and tbe same time, viz., (one) named Alakesvara
— tbe Prime minister of Buvanukababu king of tbe
three-divisioned Sinhala, and lord over tbe nine
treasures,! — a Cbieftain of Lanka, wbo is possessed of
faitb and wisdom, and is dependent entirely on tbe
protection of tbe tbree gems ',% wbo belps tbe weak,
and is a mine [cage] of diamond to tbe needy ; and,
wbo, by reason of bis unceasing munificence, bas accu-
mulated and increased great wealtb: — and [tbe otber]
his brotber. Minister Artbanayaka, tbe object of tbe
hymns of praise, such as 'Paranari Sabodara':j:J etc.,

* This is not known, and cannot now be identified. Probably
it was a renowned city in India.

f All precious gems found in tbe island were anciently the
property of the sovereign, and hence the allusion to his being
" the lord over the treasures," (lit. 'gems '), of which there are
nine kinds.

\ "Buddha," "the Priesthood" and "the sacred writings" are
meant by " the three gems."

\\ Lit. ' A brother to others' wives,' etc.



ATTANAGALUVANSA. 37

who is unceasing in doing himself and others good,
and who ever longs to satisfy the desires of mendicants
by giving away the desired objects: — and, invited by
the Chief General of the Forces named Satru Sinha
Kunjara, who is like unto a young tree laden with the
fruits of his delectable* fortune, and an experienced
lion to subdue the elephants of foreign enemies ; and
Avho intimated the propriety of perpetuating [the Pali
Attanagaluvansa] in the native Sinhalese language,
with a view to render it easy of comprehension to
the (learner) student: — we, at the lapse of 1304 years
after the Saka era, paraphrase, commencing from
Snelmttardya hadaya mala malUhdya ,&iQ. ,i\\& first gatha
uttered by its author, in adoration of tlie deity of his
own Faith in his literary introduction to the Attanagalu-
Viharavansa, which was in aforetime composed in the
Magadhi language upon the basis of ancient writings
and traditions, and under the auspices of His Lordship
Sanga Raja Anomadassi, a very Royal-Hansa to a mass
of Lotusesf of the supremely venerable Brahaman race,
and who fas his name signifies) is 'highly educated'
in the Tripitaka word of Buddha, consisting of the

* I have used this word as the nearest that can be employed to
express the original, which conveys the quality of the ' fruit' as
well as of ' fortune '; — one ' sweet ' and the other ' pleasing, '

•f Lit. 'Lotus -massy-line.' This may not be a correct English
expression. It is however an elegant Oriental metaphor. As the
Kansas or cranes are supposed to dwell in lotus fields, here the
writer compares the object of his jjraise to a ' Hansa, ' and his lin-
eage to a " long-row of Lotuses growing in masses."



38 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

Sutra Vinaya and Abhiclharma (sections), and which
(moreover), like unto Kalanidhi* (moon) is -accomplished
in all practical and mechanical arts and sciences
(such as) Akshara, Likhita, Ganita, Gandharva,
Nakshattra, Chhandas, Nighandu, Alankara, Sali-
hotra, Yantra, Tantra, Mantra, Jyotigiiana, Itihasa,
Parana,! ^tc.

The lancuafye of this translation will firlve the reader
but a very imperfect idea of the elegance of the style
of the original. The collocation of the different parts
of the above, which, contains but one sentence, and
which in the Sinhalese may be pronounced to be ex-
ceedingly beavitiful, is however such as to render its
translation into English very difficult. Just before
each name there are a number of complimentary
epithets and metaphors adjectively used, which, as the
reader will perceive, when rendered into English,



* This word is Kalinidi in my copy. It is probably Kala-nidi
or 'moon.' As the moon is supposed to be filled with ambrosia,
so the object of the writer's comparison is said to be accomplished
m the (kala) arts and sciences.

f Akshara may be translated 'letters,' Likhita 'writing,' Ganita
'calculations or arithmetic,' Gandharva ' music, dancing, ' Nak-
sattra 's-jience of asterisms or astrology,' Chhandas 'prosody,'
Nighandu 'philology,' Alankara 'rhetoric,' Salihotra ' Ferriery,'
Yantra 'science of diagrams' for equinoxes, etc., Tantra 'science
of medicine, etc' [This is used to signify difierent arts — such as
Nyaya ' philosophy,' Yoga 'meditation,* jugglery, etc.] Mantra
'charms,' Jyotignana 'asti'onomy,' Itihasa 'ancient legends — such
as Maha Bhdrata, etc' Pm-ana ' ancient history.'



kachcha'yana pa'li grammar. 39

suspeuds the sense between the several members of
that sentence.

Thongh the translator calls it a 'paraphrase'; yet
the wurk is a free translation, with but few errors, and
those of not much consequence. This translation is
also now being printed with the original, and will soon
be published. The M.S. ola copy contains 72^ pages
of 15 inches x2^, with 7 lines to a page.



Kachcha'yana-Pa'li Grammar,

is a very ancient Pali Grammar, and is held by
Buddhists in the same high estimation that Piinini is
by the Brahmans. It is to be found in nearly all the
Buddhist Monasteries in Ceylon, although the learned
translator of the IMahawansa states, in his Introduction,
that it is no lono-er extant in this island.

The writer of this notice has lately published a
translation of a portion of this Grammar; and the
Rev. F. Mason of the Baptist Mission has made a com-
pendium of the entire work, on the model of European
Grammars.

This Grammar is divided into eight books. The first
treats on "Combination," the second on "Declension,"'
the third on " Syntax," the fourth on " Compounds,"
the fifth on (Tadhita) "nominal Derivatives," the sixth
on " Verb.'^,"' the seventh on (Kitaka) "verbal deriva-
tives," and the eis-hth on " Unnadi Affixes,"



40 DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

These are found siibdividecl into Chapters or Sec-
tions. But, all the aphorisms do not exceed six
hundred and eighty seven.* The following extract
embraces the writer's introductory remarks, together
with the firt^t Section of his Grammar : —

Setthan tiloka maliitan abhivandi yaggan
Buddhan cha dhamma' mamalaa gana' mutta mancha
Satthussa tassa vaclxanattha varan suboddhun
Vakkhiiini sutta hita' mettlia su Sandhikappan.

Seyjan Jinerita nayena budha labhanti
Tancha'pi tassa vachanattha subodhauena
At than cba akkhara padesu amoha bhavti
Seyyatthiko pada'mato vividhan suneyya.

'Having reverentially bowed down to the supreme
chief Buddha adored by the three worlds, and also to
the pure dhamma, and the illustrious priesthood ; I now
celebratef the (pure) Sandhikappa in accordance with
the Suttas, to the end that the deep import of that
teacher's words may be easily comprehended.'

' The wise attain to supreme (bliss) by conforming
(themselves) to the teachings of Buddha. That (is the

* Satti'i sifciittara Sutta

chha sata' sun pamanato=G87 Suttans.

f Vakkhdini "I utter" — The true import of this word, taken in
connection witli the aUcgation that ' Kachchayana published
(pakasesi) his Grammar in the midst of the priesthood,' may lead
to the inference that it had at first only a memorial existence.
This Introduction may therefore belong, consistently with tradition,
to the compiler who reduced the aphorisms into writing.



KACHCHA'TAjSrA PA'LI GRAMMAE. 41

result) of p. correct acqiiaiutance with the import of
his word. The sense, too, (is learnt) hy a [non-igno-
rance] knowledge of characters and words. Wherefore,
let hiin who aims at that highest felicity hear the
various verbal forms.'

Lib. I. Section 1.

1 . Attlio aklihara sannato.
The sense is known by letters.

2. Akkliani piiilnjo eka cliattalisan.
The letters, a &c., are forty one.*

3. Tatth'odanta sara attha.

Of ihese the eight ending with o are vowels.


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Online LibraryJames De AlwisA descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, & Sinhalese literary works of Ceylon → online text (page 4 of 17)