Dīpavaṁsa
[The Chronicle of the Island]

XXII. [Vasabha to Mahāsena]

[216] 1. King Vasabha constructed in the Cetiyapabbata monastery ten Thūpas, a most glorious deed by which high reward is to be gained.

2. In the Issariya Ārāma he constructed a delightful Vihāra (and) a pleasing and delightful Uposatha hall.

3. He also ordered a large kettle-drum to be made for the most excellent Mucela monastery. Every three years he gave six robes (to each monk).

4. Throughout the whole of Laṅkādīpa he repaired dilapidated Ārāmas. Everywhere he constructed residences and made most precious offerings to the pious (Bhikkhus).

5. In the most excellent Thūpārāma he constructed a relic-chamber; full forty-four times the king held (Vesākha) festivals.

6. In the Mahāvihāra, in the Thūpārāma, and in Cetiyapabbata monastery, at each of these places he ordered a thousand oil-lamps to be lit.

7-8. The eleven tanks (formed by this king were) the Mayanti, the Rājuppala tank, the Vaha, Kolamba, Mahānikkhavaṭṭi tank and also the Mahārametti, the Kehāla and Kāli tanks, the Jambuṭi, Cāthamaṅgana, and Abhivaḍḍhamānaka tanks.

9-10. He also constructed twelve irrigation canals in order to augment the fertility (of the land). Various meritorious acts he did; he made a wall and a ditch around the town with towers at the gates, and a great palace. He ordered lotus-ponds to be dug at different places in the town, the capital.

11. The most eminent king conducted water by means of an underground aqueduct (to those ponds). This ruler governed forty-four years.

12. The son of Vasabha, known as Tissa, the royal lord, ordered the Ārāma called Maṅgala to be constructed. He reigned straightway (after his father’s death) three years over the Island.

13. Tissa’s son, Gajābāhukagāmani, caused a great Thūpa to be built in the delightful Abhayārāma.

14. This royal chief constructed the pond called Gāmani, according to the wishes of his mother; this lord (also) ordered the Ārāma called Rammaka to be built. He ruled twenty-two years over the Island. [217]

15-17. The ruler of Tambapaṇṇi called king Mahallanāga caused the Sajīlakandakārāma, the Goṭapabbata in the south, the Dakapāsāna Ārāma, the Sālipabbata Vihāra, the Tanaveli (Vihāra), and in Rohana the Nāgapabbata (Vihāra) and the Girisālika Ārāma to be constructed. Having reigned six years he reached the end of his life and died.

18-19. The son of Mahallanāga, known by the name of Bhātutissa, caused for the sake of (re-)establishing the Mahāmeghavana garden, a wall fence with towers at the gates to be constructed (around it); this king also founded the Vara-Ārāma (Gavara-Ārāma?).

20. Having caused the pond called Gāmani to be dug, Bhātutissa, the lord (of the Island), gave it to the Bhikkhu fraternity.

21. He (also) ordered the pond called Randhakaṇḍaka to be dug. In the delightful Thūpārāma he constructed an Uposatha hall.

22. This king bestowed a great donation on the Bhikkhu fraternity. He reigned twenty-four years over the Island.

23. His younger brother, well known by the name of Tissa, erected an Uposatha hall in the delightful Abhayārāma.

24. He constructed twelve edifices within (the limits of) the most excellent Mahāvihāra. In the Dakkhiṇārāma he built a Vihāra and a Thūpa.

25. Many other meritorious acts he did in honour of the blessed religion of the Buddha. He reigned eighteen years.

26. The sons of Tissa’s own body, two brothers worthy of royal dignity, reigned as rulers three years over the Island.

27. Vaṅkanāsikatissa reigned three years in Anurādhapura, a king of proper and meritorious conduct.

28. After the death of Vaṅkanāsikatissa his son Gajābāhukagāmani reigned twenty-two years.

29. After Gajābāhu’s death the father-in-law of that king, Mahallakanāga, reigned six years.

30. After the death of Mahallanāga his son Bhātikatissa reigned twenty-four years over Laṅkā.

31. After Bhātikatissa’s death his younger brother Kaniṭṭhatissa reigned eighteen years over Laṅkādīpa.

32. After the death of Kaniṭṭhatissa his son, known by the name of Khujjanāga, reigned two years.

33. Kuñjanāga, the younger [218] brother of Khujjanāga, put his royal brother to death and reigned one year over Laṅkā.

34. Having gained the victory (over Khujjanāga), Sirināga reigned nineteen years in the most excellent Anurādhapura over Laṅkā.

35. The king called Sirināga by name made an offering of a garland of costly substances to the Mahāthūpa and erected a parasol over the Thūpa.

36. He constructed an Uposatha hall, the most excellent Lohapāsāda. This prince reigned nineteen years.

37. The son of Sirināga, the royal lord called Abhaya, gave two hundred thousand silver pieces to the Bhikkhu fraternity.

38. At the most excellent great Bo tree he constructed a stone ledge. This king governed twenty-two years.

39. His younger brother, known as king Tissaka, erected a most excellent parasol over the Abhayārāma and over the Mahāthūpa.

40. In the delightful Mahāmeghavana and in the beautiful Abhayārāma, at both most excellent Vihāras, he constructed a golden Thūpa.

41. Having heard the Gilāna discourse (of Buddha) which was preached by Thera Deva, he gave medicaments for the sick and (constructed) five most excellent residences (for the Saṅgha?).

42. Having seen a portent in the night, (he constructed) the Dassamālinī Ārāma; near the delightful Bo tree he erected figures formed by lamps.

43. In the reign of that king they proclaimed many wrong doctrines; proclaiming captious doctrines they ruined the religion of the Jina.

44. The king, when he perceived that wicked Bhikkhus ruined the religion of the Jina, together with the minister Kapila subdued those wicked ones.

45. Having destroyed these captious doctrines and caused the (true) religion to shine, he gave (to the Fraternity) the Hatthapaṇṇika (Sattapaṇṇika?) palace and (caused) boiled rice (to be provided) in the Meghavana. This royal ruler governed twenty-two years.

46. Tissa’s own son, known by the name of Sirināga, reigned full two years over the Island.

47. This Sirināga constructed an enclosure around the great Bo tree and also a beautiful pavilion. [219]

48. (The king) called Asaṅgatissa (Saṅghatissa) fixed golden parasols over the most excellent Mahāthūpa, on the top of the Thūpa.

49. (He also constructed) of jewels a Thūpa of the shape of a flame at the most excellent Mahāthūpa, and in connection (?) with that work he also brought offerings.

50. (Having heard) the Andhakavinda Suttanta, This discourse of Buddha which contains praises of those who provide rice-milk for the Fraternity, is contained in the Mahāvagga of the Vinaya-Piṭaka, V1, 24. which was preached by Thera Deva, this victorious king ordered rice-milk continually to be distributed at the four gates (of the town).

51. Vijayakumāra, The stanza treating of Vijaya is interposed between two sections which refer to king Saṁghatissa’s reign. The confusion seems brought on by an injudicious employment of different sources; I do not believe that we ought to alter the succession of these verses. the son of Sirināga, reigned after his father’s death one year.

52. Saṅghatissa reigned four years; he fixed a parasol and goldsmith’s work on the Mahāthūpa.

53. King Saṅghabodhi by name was a virtuous prince; this king reigned two years.

54. This victorious king ordered rice-milk continually to be distributed in the delightful Meghavana garden, and in the most excellent Mahāvihāra he constructed a room where food was distributed by tickets.

55. The king called Abhaya, known by the surname Meghavaṇṇa, constructed a stone pavilion in the most excellent Mahāvihāra.

56-57. To the west of the Mahāvihāra he built a cloister for monks given to meditation. He (also) constructed an incomparable stone altar around the Bo tree and ordered a trench to be made, lined with stones, and a very costly triumphal arch. In the most excellent Bo tree sanctuary he erected a throne of stone.

58. Within the Dakkhiṇārāma he constructed an Uposatha hall. He distributed a great donation to the fraternity of Bhikkhus, the most excellent community.

59. The king, having constructed a royal palace, a great, delightful building, gave it to the Bhikkhu fraternity and then received [220] it back.

60. In the Meghavana garden the king also celebrated a Vesākha festival. He reigned thirteen years.

61. The son of Meghavaṇṇa was king Jeṭṭhatissa; this royal lord reigned over the island of Tambapaṇṇi.

62-65. In the most excellent Mahāthūpa he offered a very costly jewel. Having built a palace covered with iron and offered to it that most excellent jewel, the chief of men gave (to that palace) the name “Maṇipāsāda” (“palace of the gem”). Having constructed the Pācīnatissapabbata Ārāma, the ruler of men called Tissa gave it to fraternity of Bhikkhus. The ruler of the earth, the chief of men, having ordered the Ālambagāma pond to be dug, held festivals (there) during eight years. This king reigned ten years over Tambapaṇṇi.

66. After Jeṭṭhatissa’s death his younger brother, king Mahāsena, reigned twenty-seven years.

67. This king once thought thus: “There are two kinds of Bhikkhus in the Religion (of Buddha); which of them hold the right doctrine and which hold the wrong doctrine, which are modest and which are shameless?”

68. When thinking about this matter and searching after modest persons, he saw wicked Bhikkhus who were no (true) Samaṇas and (only) looked like (Samaṇas).

69. He saw people who were like stinking corpses, and in behaviour like blue flies, wicked persons, who were no (true) Samaṇas and (only) looked like (Samaṇas), –

70. Dummitta and Pāpasoṇa and other shameless men. He went to those wicked Bhikkhus and asked them about the sense (of the Religion) and the doctrine.

71. Dummitta and Pāpasoṇa and other shameless men secretly consulted in order to mislead the pious (king).

72. These wicked, infatuated men taught that (computing) the twenty years (required for) the Upasampadā ordination from the conception, which has been admitted (by Buddha) in (the story about) Kumārakassapa, Mahāvagga, I, 75. is not allowable.

73. The practice of (wearing) ivory (fans) I have translated this passage according to the indications given in the Mahāvaṁsa Ṭikā (see the quotation in the footnote, p. 113), although I do not know any story in the Vinaya mentioning the Chabbaggiya Bhikkhus, which relates to the use of ivory fans. There is in the Khuddakavatthukhandha[ka] (Cullavagga, V, 28, 1) a precept which implicitly excludes the use of fans made of ivory (“anujānāmi bhikkhave tisso vījaniyo vākamayaṁ usīramayaṁ morapiñchamayaṁ”). I think that this is the passage alluded to, though the Chabbaggiyas are not expressly mentioned in it; in the short stories which precede and follow this one, most frequently mention is made of the transgressions of the Chabbaggiyas, so that the expression “Chabbaggiyānaṁ vatthu” may have been extended to this passage also, by an inaccuracy which scarcely will be deemed strange. [221] which has not been admitted in the story about the Chabbaggiyas, these shameless, idle (?) teachers taught to be allowable.

74. Regarding these and other matters many other shameless Bhikkhus, without a reason, for the sake of their own advantage, taught that (the true doctrine) was a false doctrine.

75. Having performed through his life, in consequence of his intercourse with those wicked persons, evil as well as good deeds, this king Mahāsena passed away (to another existence) according to his actions.

76. Therefore one should fly far from intercourse with wicked men, as from a serpent or a snake, and self-controlled ones should perform acts of benevolence as long as his existence lasts.