How Vijaya Become King Of Sri Lanka - History of Sri Lanka


Vijaya had a reason for agreeing to make Kuveni his queen, for he knew that with her help he would be able to conquer the native tribes, and perhaps bring the whole of Lanka under his rule.the island there were two principal tribes, to whom they gave the names Yakkhas (demons) The Sinhalese found that in and Nagas (snakes); for these tribes seemed to them to be stran go and uncivilized people, who could s Carcely be considered human beings.

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Royal Palace of king Parakramabahu Polonnaruwa

The Yakk has lived chiefly in the hill country towards the middle of the island, and had a oity called Lanka pura. This will remind us of what we read before about the Rakshasas and their city. The Nagas lived in the northern and western parts of the island; there was a Naga king at Kelaniya. Kuveni helped Vijaya willingly and wel, though he was fighting against her own people, A great wedding feast was going on at Laggala in the hill country, when the son of one Yakkha chief was being married to the daughter of another chief who lived close by. Here was a chance for Vijaya to overcome them easily. Kuveni guided him to the place where the feast was held, and there the Yakkhas were taken by surprise and killed. Other tribes were afterwards conquered, and the Sinhalese Saw that they could become masters of thhe whole counury and they began to make it their own. Some of Vijaya's seven hundred followers went far inland, and settled in districts over which they ruled as chiefs. But their principal town was Tammana Nuwara, where their leader Vijaya lived. chiefs met together and decided that they were now strong enough to have a kingdom and king of their own in this new land.They 8reed to ask Vijaya to call himself King or It was a good land to live in, After some time the Sinhalese Lanka. But Vijaya said he could not do that.

while Kuveni was his queen; a king shoula have a queen who was his equal in rank and birth. Thechiefs then sent messengers, with valuable presents, according to the custom of the time, to the king of Madura in South India, and asked him to let his daughter be Vijaya's queen. T'he king was willing to do
this' and with his daughter he sent also seven hundred ladies of high rank to marry Vijaya's followerspeople known as Pandyans, and Madura was the chief city of the kingdom of Pandya inSouth India. All these ladies belonged to the When it was known in Lanka that the Indian princess was coming, Vijaya made haste to send Kuveni do, but he did it. He had to make some excuse to her, so he said that the new princess was a timid person who would be afraid to live
with a demon. But where can I go ? " asked Kuveni. T'his was & cruel thing On thy account have I fought against my own people, so many of whom have been killed. I dare not go back to them ; and now thou too turnest me away." Vijaya said she could live anywhere in his dominions where she would be safe from the revenge of the Yakk has, and he would give her all she wanted. But she proudly refused to accept anything from him, and with her children went weeping to the city of Lanka pura, where her relatives lived. Leaving the children outside the walls, she entered the city alone. Here she was at once surrounded by the Yakk has, who thought she had come again as a spy, and one of them
n his anger killed her with a blow. A friendly warning was at once given to the children, and they fled to a place near Adam's Peak where they settled. The Veddas are said to be their descendants. Vijaya now married the princess who came from Madura, and here was great ceremony and rejoicing when he was made King of Lanka, We may call him the first King of the Sinhalese, and there does not appear to have been any trouble or disturbance during his. long reign of thirty-eight years.


Pandukabhaya, the third king after Vijaya, passed through many dangers and fought many battles before he won the throne of Lanka. He had ten uncles, of whom nine did their best to kill him, for it had been foretold by certain wise Brahmans that he would kill his uncles and become king.
born, therefore, his mother deceived the uncles, saying that a daughter was born, and Sent her son to a village herdsman who brought him up as his own child. It is interesting to read of the escapes that
Pandukabhaya had. Iu the village where he lived there was a marsh near which the young When he was prinoo used to pliny wibh bhe village boys a his oom panions. In bhis marsh there wa6 hollow treo, and bho prince found a w8.y into the hollow of the tree through an opening which wAl hidden under tho water; but he told no-body about this, When h0 WAs about seven yoars old, his uncleH Came to hear about him And sent people to make an end of him. One day thes0 pooplo surrounded the marsh where he and tho villago boys were playing as usual The prince, finding himself in danger, dived under tho water with his clothes on, and hid hims olf in the hollow of the tree. The other boys were killed, und the people went back to tell the uncles that Pandukabhaya also had been killed, for they counted the clothes left on the bank of the marsh and were satisfied that nobody had escaped. After some time, news reached the uncles that the prince was still alive, and they thought it would be best to kill all the herds-men of the village, so as to make sure that the prince could not escape. On the day fixed for this cruel murder, the herd sınen had gone hunting, and they sent the prince to the village for some fire to roast the game they had killed. remained in the village, and sent his guardian s own son with the fire. The moment this boy appeared he and the herdsmen were surrounded and put to death. But the prince was again lucky enough to escape. When he was grown up his mother sent him to a rich and learned Brahman to be The prince went, but feeling tired

The Brahman

who was also an educated. astrologer, saw that his pupii was destined to become King, and soon taught him all that aprince should know, for the prince was a will-ing and clever pupil. The time now came when Pandukabhay awas ready to begin his fight for the throne. The Brahman helped him with money as well as with advice, and the prince soon had soldiers enough. whose daughter he married, and who now took his part. The king himself (who was another uncle and who had always been kind to him) found that Pandukabhaya was to0 strong to be beaten, and offered to divide the kingdom with him, giving the prince all the country south of the Mahaveli Ganga. But the other eight uncles would not agree to this arrangement and they continued the fighting. A great battle took place at the hill called Ritigala, in which Pandukabhaya was greatly helped by a tribe of Yakkhas whom he had conquered. The eight uncles were defeated and killed, and the victorious prince marched to Auurad hapurawhere one of his relatives ruled. After a warthat had Jasted over seventeen years, he was now king of Lanka .From this time (about 400 years before thebirth of Christ), Anuradhapura was the capital of the Sinhalese kings for more thana thousand years. But when Pandukabhayasettled there it was not mucha village. The king determined to make it agreat city. He cleared the land of the jungleHe first defeated one of his uncles,more than that grew over it, made several tanks, of which Jaya-weuwa, the Lake of Victory.
four suburbs to the city, marked out the ground for a cemetery, and provided a place of punishment for those who broke the law. He madarrange ments to keep the city clean and free from sickness; and as seven hundred scaven -gers were employed in this work, the number of people in the city mnust have been very great. village not far fro tn where they worked. The former king, Abhaya, was made governor of the city to see that all the laws were obeyed, and that all the work required properly. streets, and buil tone was called theHe added The scavengers lived in a separate was done Pandukabhaya did not forget the Yakka has .who had helped him to gain his throne. They were still a powerful people, far more innum ber than all the Sinhalese, and the king took care to treat them with respect their leaders was given charge of the southern gate of the city, to prevent enemies coming from that direction. The Yakk has worshippers of demons, and the king ordered that whatever offerings were required for their worship should be regularly provided year by year. In the same way he provided 1or people of all other religions who lived a Anuradhapura. the Sinhalese were followers of the Brahman
religion, the Brahman priests were freely given temples, dwelling-places, and all else that they needed .One of ere As the king himself and


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