The Theravāda Lineage

The Theravāda Lineage

Nikāya Saṅgrahaya
or
Sāsanāvatāra

[1] Hail! May long life, health, and prosperity attend the King, the Ministers, and other men of piety and brilliant fame, the lights of the illustrious Laṅkā, who are engaged in the work of protecting the religion and the world, themselves walking in the path of law and virtue. With these good wishes conveyed with love, the chief elder Jayabāhu, formerly known as the elder Devarakṣita, composes this work, Nikāya Saṅgrahaya, as a brief record of the history of the religion, from the death of the Noble Victor of Sin to the fifteenth year of the reign of Bhuvaaiekabāhu V. For this purpose he avails himself of the writings of the well disciplined elders of old, as well as of his own knowledge of contemporaneous events, together with what he has heard. The story is one connected with the faith. Therefore it should be heard with reverent attention.

Our Lord Buddha Gotama, once upon a time, in virtue of previous merit, was born as the ascetic Sumedha of great Wisdom. [The name Sumedha itself means true or great wisdom]. He happened to come before Buddha Dīpaṅkara, and this brought the bliss of Nirvāṇa within his reach. But out of compassion for the world, he preferred to forego it; and forming the resolution of becoming a Buddha himself, he received the “declaration” [P: Vyākaraṇa]. (of the future consummation of his hopes), and re-entering the saṁsāra Metempsychosis. began to exert himself in the accumulation of the necessary merit. In this process he received renewed “declarations” from every Buddha that was born, each of whom he saw. In this way he schooled himself, and by the practice of the ten noble virtues accumulated merit for a period of four asaṅkheyyas [Immeasurable periods]. and one hundred thousand cycles [Kappa]. of years. At the end of this period, his candidature fully matured, he was born in the heaven Tusita. There the gods and Brahmas of ten thousand worlds came to him and prayed him, now that the time had come, to become Buddha. [2] He then looked into the five great “details;” The five great details are: the time for the birth of the Buddha-to-be; the part of the world where he is to be born; the country; the clan; and the woman who is to be his mother. and being begotten by King Suddhodana of the city of Kapilavastu, he was conceived in the womb of the queen Mahā Māyā. King Suddhodana, pure in descent on both sides, was a scion of the Solar race, which counted seven hundred and seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven princes in a direct line from King Mahā Sammata; and he was one of the three hundred and thirty-four thousand five hundred and ninety-one princes of the line who had been called to the royal state.

After a period of ten months, he that was to be Buddha was born, at the pleasure garden Lumbinī, on Tuesday, the full moon day of [3] the month of Vesākha, on the completion of the fifteenth Poya [Full Moon] of the day, under the asterism Visākha. When grown up to man’s estate, he married the Princess Yasodharā; and with her, surrounded by forty thousand ladies in attendance, he lived in princely state like the king of the gods, in three palaces alternately, known as Ramma, Suramma, and Subha. While living this life of luxury, he happened to see four different sights, typical of life on earth, which determined him to take a step which was final. Mounting his good horse Kanthaka, he cut himself off from home and the world, and, at the age of twenty-nine, adopted the life of an ascetic. He then practised various austerities for six years. Afterwards, on a fair morning, he accepted a savoury dish of rice boiled in milk, from Sujātā, the daughter of a merchant-prince, and passed the day-time in a grove of sal [Latin: Shorea robusta]. trees. In the evening, he accepted eight handfuls of kusa [Desmostachya cynosuroides]. grass offered to him by a Brāhmaṇa named Sotthiya, and having spread these at the foot of the Bodhi-tree, [Assattha, Ficus religiosa]. he seated himself on a diamond throne, fourteen cubits high, which sprang from the ground. Thus seated, with his back to the tree, with his legs crossed, and his determination taken in four irrevocable respects, he under that tree conquered Māra and his host, and on the full moon day of Vesākha, under the asterism Visākha, became Buddha the Enlightened, in the sixteenth year of the reign of King Bimbisāra of the kingdom of Magadha, and in the thirty-fifth year of his own age.

After the lapse of seven weeks (from that great day), the Lord Buddha accepted an invitation from Brahma, and preached the “Wheel of the Law” [Now known as the Dhammacakkappavattanasutta, SN 56.11]. at the park of Isipatana; and from that day forward he applied himself to the good of the world for forty-five years.

In the eighth year of King Ajātasattu of Magadha, on Tuesday, the full moon day of the month of Vesākha, under the asterism Visākha, at the city of Kusināra and in the park Upavattana of the Malla princes, he laid himself on a bed prepared between two sal [Shorea robusta]. trees, and at dawn of the said day attained the bliss of Nirvāṇa, which leaves nothing behind.

On the seventh day after the attainment of Nirvāṇa by Lord Buddha, some of his disciples, who had not yet risen above human frailties, began to cry on hearing of the Master’s death. Then a monk, who had taken the robes in old age, whose name was Bhadda [In the texts his name is given as Subaddha]. (Good) but whose disposition was abhadra (evil), showed himself full of rejoicing, and addressed the mourners as follows: “Friends, regret not; and cease your weeping. This old priest used to call good evil, and to give us trouble. Now that he is gone, we are left our own masters. You will do better to rejoice rather than be sorry at your liberation; for our will is now our own and as we please so can we act and move.”

These words having reached the ears of the Venerable Mahā Kassapa, the third great disciple of Lord Buddha, he resolved that in future the order should not be left open to such undesirable persons; and with the object of holding a General Council, he, with about five hundred followers who had subdued their passions, went to the city of Rājagaha, and apprised the king Ajātasattu of the object of their visit.

The king thereupon caused a spacious pavilion to be erected before the cave Sattapaṇṇa on the side of the mountain Vebhāra which lies close to the city of Rājagaha, and had it adorned to appear like unto a meeting hall of the gods. Its ground was strewn with various kinds of flowers, and the canopy above shone with many stars of silver and gold. In the middle of the hall was a raised seat gorgeously decorated, with a white umbrella spread over it. This was the Dhammāsana, the sacred seat of honour; and around this were five hundred ordinary seats. The five hundred seats were taken by the five hundred sanctified ones, who had reached the utmost bounds of the threefold knowledge and eight-fold knowledge, and had attained the four-fold perception, and who held in their minds the full text of the Three Piṭakas to the minutest detail. The seat of honour was taken by the Venerable Mahā Kassapa, who was chief over seven hundred thousand elders of subdued passions, who were themselves chiefs of other communities. Around the pavilion were drawn up, in close formation, the troops of the four-fold army, to wit, fighters on elephants, cavalry, charioteers, and foot-soldiers. These mounted guard.

The Council held its sittings for seven months continuously and at the end of that time the full text of the scriptures had been recited before the Council, and agreed upon. The [4] sacred canon was now divided into, and arranged in, three sections called the Piṭakas or Treasuries, the Three Piṭakas being respectively the Vinaya Piṭaka, the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, and the Sutta Piṭaka. These embraced eighty-four thousand doctrinal topics in two hundred and seventy-five thousand and two hundred and fifty sections. The following are the books of the Three Piṭakas: [For the original text of this list see my Preface].

[Vinaya Piṭaka:]
Pārājika, Pācittiya, Mahāvagga, Cullavagga, Parivāra.
[Abhidhamma Piṭaka, which is normally placed after the Sutta Piṭaka:]
Dhammasaṅgiṇī, Vibhaṅgappakaraṇa, Kathāvatthu, Puggalapaññatti, Dhātukathā, lndriya-yamaka, Mūla-yamaka [both collected under the tile Yamaka], Duka-Paṭṭhāna, Tika-Paṭṭhāna, Duka-Tika-Paṭṭhāna [collected under the title Paṭṭhāna].
[Sutta Piṭaka:]
Dīgha Nikāya, Majjhima Nikāya, Saṁyutta Nikāya, Aṅguttara Nikāya, and Khuddaka Nikāya consisting of Khuddakapāṭha, Dhammapada, Udāna, ltivuttaka, Suttanipāta, Vimānavatthu, Petavatthu, Theragāthā, Therīgāthā, Jātaka, Niddesa, Paṭisambhidāmagga, Apadāna, Buddhavaṁsa, Cariyāpiṭaka, &c.

The progress of the Great Council was throughout the cause of general rejoicing, even on the part of Nature herself: rain descended from heaven redolent of celestial perfumes; the earth danced with joy, giving rise to sonorous vibrations: the seven walls of rock encircling the world revolved in unbounded ecstacy. All the world rejoiced, and happiness was everywhere.

Owing to the work thus accomplished by the Great Council, the line of the great elders Sāriputta, Moggallāna, Mahā Kassapa, &c., was firmly established to endure for five thousand years; and to this line, which was henceforth denominated the Theravāda [Text: Theriya, here and elsewhere]. Nikāya, the care of the faith was entrusted. The following stanza commemorates the occasion:

Sādhukāraṅ dadantīva sāsanaṭṭhiti kāraṇā,
Saṅgītipariyosāne akampittha mahāmahī.

At the conclusion of the recital (of the text of the Scriptures), the great earth (overjoyed) by the establishment of the faith, oscillated, as if in applause.

After King Ajātasattu and his successors Udāyibhadda, Anuruddha, Muṇḍa, Nāgadāsaka, and Susunāga, there came to the throne at the city of Pāṭaliputta a king by the name of Kālāśoka, the seventh from Ajātasattu. Up to the tenth year of King Kālāśoka there had elapsed one hundred years from the Nirvāṇa of our Buddha.

At this time the Vajjian monks, residing at the Mahāvana monastery in the city of Vesālī, had invented, in pursuance of their own caprice, ten new indulgences, such as the indulgence of salt preserved in horns, the indulgence of the two-inch alternative, the indulgence of gold, silver, &c., and thus accepting gold, silver, &c., upset the rules of discipline, and caused schism in the religion.

[5] Then a great thera named Yasa, having heard of these things and made due inquiry concerning them, convened a meeting of about one million and two hundred thousands of the great Arahants, Sanctified monks possessing superhuman powers, such as the power of travelling through void space, &c. [In the orthodox view, however, not all Arahants possess these powers]. and in the midst of them, causing the great elder Revata to call in question the ten indulgences, and the great elder named Sabbakāmī to make answer, declared the ten indulgences to be contrary to the canon. He next started for the Mahāvana monastery in the town of Vesālī, accompanied by a retinue of great monks, with the resolution to “crush the holders of false doctrines and cause the true doctrines to flourish.”

Thereupon the Vajjian monks of ill-conduct went before the king Kālāśoka, and stating various things said to him:

“O great king! a great elder named Yasa is coming with a large body of monks to the Mahāvana monastery where we reside. We pray thee stop them all.” The king having heard those words, and being ignorant of the difference of conduct between moral monks and immoral monks, yielded to their mournful and pathetic appeal, and sent men with orders not to allow the body of monks headed by the great elder Yasa to enter his kingdom. The men having missed the proper road, went in a different direction, through the influence of the gods. On the night of that very day, the king, sleeping in his bed, dreamt that he had gone to the hell Lohakumbhi [Copper Pot hell], in his very body of flesh and bone, and was being boiled there; and having awoke, he remained without sleep till morning. On the second day he saw his elder sister, who was a sanctified nun, and told her what had happened. The nun then cited this stanza uttered by the Buddha:

Alajjīnaṁ balaṁ datvā hāpeti vinayaṁ mama,
Jīvanto yeva jātosī gambhīrā Lohakumbhiyā.

The purport of which is as follows:

Should any one in this world, whether he be a layman or a monk or any other, encourage ill-conducted and sinful monks, make my rules of discipline nugatory, and thus subvert my law, which operates throughout a hundred thousand crores [billions] of worlds, he will be positively born in hell; and even while he lives here, will be like one who has departed (this world) in his own human body and been born in the hell Lohakumbhi, which is very deep, full of molten fluid, and aglow with burning fire.

“Therefore, O great king!” said the nun, “abandon those ill-conducted Vajjian monks, encourage monks of proper conduct, and helping the religion of Buddha, which is to last five thousand years, gather funds of merit, so that you may [6] enjoy mundane and celestial happiness during the whole period of a kalpa.” A kalpa is a period of time from the full formation of the world to the commencement of its destruction. According to Hindu mythology, it is one day of Brahma, equal in the reckoning of mortals to 432 millions of years. After giving this advice, the nun departed; and on that very day King Kālāśoka went to the great city of Vesālī and expelled from the church ten thousand corrupt monks who had invented the ten indulgences in question. He then caused about seven hundred sanctified monks, including the elder Sabbakāmī and the great elder Yasa, out of about twelve lacs [A lac is 100,000, and is commonly used as a counting measure in Indian cultures, 12 lacs therefore means 1,200,000]. of sanctified monks who had assembled at that place, to sit in convocation at the monastery of Vāḷukārāma in the great city of Vesālī, and re-divide into “Piṭakas,” “Nikāyas,” &c., all the doctrines and laws of discipline named “Theravāda”. Bringing this doctrinal rehearsal to a close in eight months, he maintained the Buddhist religion. Hence was said:

Ettāvatā dasasahassa sapāpabhikkhū
Niddhūya dhūtadasavatthumalaṁ akaṁsu,
Yan-te sunimmalayasena Yasena saddhiṁ
Saṅgītim-ujjhitamalā api dassitā sā.
Quotation from the “Mahābodhivaṁsa.”

The convocation which they, who had rid themselves of impurities, held in conjunction with the elder Yasa of purest renown, after excommunicating ten thousand corrupt mendicants and exploding their ten indulgences, has thus been described.

Then the corrupt monks, about ten thousand in number, who were picked out and excommunicated by the great elders of the second convocation, getting no help from the religion, went to a bordering country in search of supporters, and having there got the adherence of a petty prince who was unable to discriminate between the true doctrines and the false ones, they, in defiance of the Theravāda, conferred among themselves, saying: “Let us also rehearse the doctrines,” and, forming themselves into a fraternity of teachers called “Mahā Sāṁghika,” reversed the true doctrines by interpolating new and strange texts, without thought of their inconsistencies with the main text, and inventing commentaries agreeable to their purposes.

Within 100 years from that time they, like a clot of gum exuded from the great victorious Bodhi-tree, gradually grew into seventeen schisms, named Mahā-Sāṁghika, Gokulika, Ekabbohārika, Prajñaptivādi, Bāhulika, Cetiyavādi, Mahiṁsāsaka, Vajjiputta, Dharmottarika, Bhadrayānika, Channāgārika, [7] Sammittika, Sarvārthavādi, Dharmaguptika, Kāśyapi, Saṅkappi, and Sūtravādi. Notwithstanding this, the doctrines of the Three Piṭakas existed without corruption for 118 years from the second rehearsal. King Kālāśoka was followed by twenty-one kings, as follows: The ten brothers Bhadrasena, Koraṇḍa, Maṅgura, Sarvañjaha, Jālika, Usabhaka, Sañjaya, Koravya, Nandivardhana, Pañcamaka; the nine princes of the Nanda dynasty, Uggasenananda, Paṇḍukananda, Paṇḍugatinanda, Bhūtapālananda, Raṭṭhapālananda, Govisāṇananda, Dasasiddhakananda, Kevaṭṭananda, Dhanapālananda; then Candagutta and Biṇḍusāra. After these, a great king arose by name Dharmāśoka, possessed of great power arising from merit and of prowess and universal command, like unto a cintāmaṇi, [Text: situmiṇa]. The situmiṇa is a miraculous gem, having the power of conferring on a person whatever he may wish for. setting up the umbrella of universal dominion over the face of Jambudvīpa of ten thousand yojanas. He was anointed in the 218th year after the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, and extending his fame and power to the ends of the earth as bounded by the seas, and for one yojana above and one yojana below the earth, and surrounding himself with 84,000 princes and a great army, he, like unto the king of the gods, was enjoying the felicity of the royal state. This king caused to be built in the capital cities of Jambudvīpa An ancient name for India. This is the name in general use in Buddhist books. [This is the name given here, but elsewhere (f.i. pg. 12) in the translation the Sinhala form Dabadiva is used. Everywhere I have standardised this to Jambudvīpa]. 84,000 grand monasteries befitting royal munificence, adorned with relic shrines, courtyards, Bodhi-trees, image houses, preaching halls, palaces, covered walks, ornamental gateways, lotus ponds, flower gardens, orchards, &c.; and, standing in the midst of ninety lacs [9 million] of nuns free from human passion and of eighty crores [billion] of monks, including the great Arahats who had assembled in Aśokārāma on the festive day when the relic shrines were crowned with pinnacles, and viewing easily the whole surface of Jambudvīpa as bounded by the seas, by the help of the great world-unfolding miracle named “Lokavivaraṇa” [Lit: the opening, or uncovering, of the worlds]. performed by those great Arahats, and seeing the manner that high festival was being held in all the monasteries, he that day tasted the sweets of great joy and delight. Then as his family-gift to the faith, he made his principal son, Prince Mahinda, twenty years old, and the princess Saṅghamittā, eighteen years old, enter the priesthood; and spending wealth to the extent of five lacs [500,000] a day, he contributed to the advancement and glorification of the faith.

At this time the infidel ascetics known as Tīrthakas had come to profess the faith for the sake of gain and honour; and they were going about making an imposture of their own [8] false creed as the right law of discipline, and extolling it greatly. These ascetics, not being admitted to the priesthood, would themselves shave themselves, and, putting on the yellow robe, they would enter the various monasteries, where taking up their abode they would introduce themselves into the assembly of monks who were performing rites relating to confession and termination of the sabbath. [Text: Pohopavuruṇu, which means the uposatha day that pavāraṇa, the invitation, is held. I.e. the termination of the rains retreat, not of the sabbath (uposatha) as translated here]. Although rebuked by the monks for non-conformity with the rules of the canon, &c., they would pay no heed to observances conformable to religion, but go about preaching false beliefs of various kinds. As a result, it came about that there was no performance of the rites of confession and of termination of the sabbath (both essential to maintain the integrity of the unity among the pious monks) for a whole period of seven years, and the religion began to decay exceedingly. The great King Dharmāśoka, having heard of this state of things, went to the great Elder Moggaliputta-Tissa who had come down from the heaven of the Brahmas, and staying in his monastery for seven days and learning all the differences of religious doctrine, caused all the great monks of the whole of Jumbudvīpa to be summoned by the help of two demons [yakkhas] and to assemble at the monastery of Aśokārāma, built in the city of Pāṭaliputta in his name. And making those who entertained similar beliefs stand separately in groups. and ascertaining the differences of the beliefs, he purified the religion by expelling from it about sixty thousand crafty, dishonest, deceitful, avaricious, and artful Tīrthakas, who lived in the garb of monks and entertained the heresies of Sassatavāda, Ekacca-sassatavāda, Antānantika, Amarāvikkhepika, Adhicca Samuppannika, Saññivāda, Asaññivada, Nevasaññināsaññivāda, Ucchedavāda, Diṭṭhadhammanibbāṇavāda, &c. He then set guards all round the monastery and caused the pious monks who professed the pure doctrine to perform religious rites of confession together; and he also caused about one thousand Arahats, chosen out of about sixty lacs [6,000,000] of sanctified monks who had assembled there, to hold under the presidency of the Elder Moggaliputta-Tissa the third rehearsal of doctrines, which was concluded in nine months; and he made the power of the well-conducted monks predominant, and kept up the Buddhist religion. Hence was said:

Yā saṭṭhititthiyasahassanisāgataṁ taṁ
Dulladdhighoratimiraṁ vinihacca sammā,
Sā Tissatheraravinā gamitā vikāsaṁ
Saṅgīticārunalinī api dassitā me.
Quotation from the “Mahābodhivaṁsa.”

[9] The convocation which did glow under the Elder Moggaliputta-Tissa, like unto a beautiful lotus pond when blown by the sun, after the horrible darkness of false belief ushered in by the night-like sixty thousand Tīrthakas had been completely dispelled, has (thus) been described by me.

Then the Tīrthakas, who had been expelled from the religion receiving no help from it, departed, and burning with rage they assembled at Nālanda near Rajagaha. There they took counsel together, saying: “We should make a breach between the doctrine and the discipline of Śākya monks, so as to make it difficult for the people to comprehend the religion. But without knowing the niceties of the religion it is not possible to do so. Therefore by some means we must again become monks.” They then returned, and not being able to secure admission to the Theravāda Nikāya, went to the members of the seventeen fraternities, the Mahā-Sāṁghika, &c., which had been rejected by it, and entering the priesthood without letting it be discovered that they were Tīrthakas, and hearing and reading the Three Piṭakas, they reversed and subverted the same. Afterwards they went to the city of Kosambī, and concerted ways and means for keeping doctrine and discipline apart. And after two hundred and thirty-five years from the Nirvāṇa of Buddha they separated into six divisions, and residing in six places formed themselves into the nine fraternities Hemavata, Rājagiri, Siddhārtha, Pūrvaśailī, Aparaśailī, Vājiri, Vaitulya, Andhaka, and Anya-Mahā-Sāṁghika. Of these fraternities, the Hemavata heretics fabricated the “Varṇapiṭaka,” giving it a semblance of true doctrine and making it appear as if preached by the Buddha. The Rājagiri heretics composed the “Aṅgulimāla Piṭaka;” the Siddhārthaka heretics the “Gūḍha Vessantara;” the Pūrvaśailī heretics the “Raṭṭhapālagarjita;” the Aparaśailī heretics the “Alavakagarjita;” and the Vajraparvata heretics the “Gūḍha Vinaya.” These last also composed the Tantras Magical and mystical works. Māyājālatantra, Samājatantra, Mahāsamayatattva, Tattvasaṁgraha, Bhūtacāmara, Vajrāmta, Cakrasaṁvara, Dvādaśacakra, Bherukādbuda, Mahāmāyā, Padaniḥkṣepa, Catuṣpiṣṭa, Parāmarda, Marīcudbhava, Sarvabuddha, Sarvaguhya, Samuccaya, &c., and the Kalpa-śāstras Works on ritual. Māyāmarīcikalpa, Herambakalpa, Trisamayakalpa, Rājakalpa, Vajragandhārakalpa, Marīciguhyakalpa, Suddhasamuccayakalpa, &c..

The Vaitulya heretics composed the “Vaitulya Piṭaka;” the Andhaka heretics the “Ratnakūṭa” and other scientific works; the Anya-Mahā-Sāṁghika heretics the “Akṣarasāri” [10] and other sūtras. Discourses. The different methods adopted in these several works are too many to permit of recital here. Although many schisms were caused in this manner, yet the religion of Buddha existed in purity for two hundred and nineteen years from the third convocation.

Out of the works thus composed at this time by the Tīrthakas in the guise of monks and made to appear like the true doctrine, the “Varṇapiṭaka” and other imitations of the dharma The law; the scriptures; the body of law; the canon. remained in Jambudvīpa alone; the Vaitulyavāda, the Vājiriyavāda [Vajrayāna], and the scientific treatises named Ratnakūṭa, &c., reached also the shores of this beauteous Island of Laṅka.

Of the kings who ruled this country, the first was King Vijaya. His reign was followed by the reigns of Upatissa, Paṇḍuvāsa, Abhaya, Paṇḍukābhaya, and Muṭasiva. After these six kings the seventh in hereditary succession was Devanampiyatissa, who became king of this Island in the eighteenth year of King Dharmāśoka of Jambudvīpa, and in the 236th year after the death of Buddha. In his reign the great priest Mahinda, son of King Dharmāśoka, came to Śrī Laṅkā under the asterism Mūla, on the middle Poya [Full Moon] day in the month of Poson [May-Jun] of the twelfth year of his ordination; and in the first year of the reign of King Devanampiyatissa established the religion in this Śrī Laṅkā. In succession to King Devanampiyatissa followed Uttiyaraja, Mahāsīva, Sūratissa, Assarariyo, Lit. captains of the cavalry. These were two South Indian usurpers named Sena and Guttika. Asela, Eḷāra, Mahānaga, Yaṭālatissa, Goḷu Abhā, Kāvantissa, Duṭṭhagāmaṇi, [Text: Duṭugæmunu, here and elsewhere]. Sædǣtissa, Tultanraja, Læmæṇitissa, Kaludunāraja, and the five Tamiḷs. Viz., Pulahattha, Bāhiya, Panayamāra, Piyalamāra, and Dāṭhiya, kings of Ceylon in succession B.C. 103–89. After these seventeen kings The seventeen kings are those already named, with the exception of Mahānāga, Yaṭālatissa, Goḷu Abhaya, and Kāvantissa, whose names in the Sinhalese text are an interpolation, and should be deleted. These were princes of Ruhuṇa, whose descendant Duṭṭhagāmaṇi became sole king of Ceylon; and the interpolation of their names is probably due to some enterprising scribe with a critical turn of mind, who doubtless thought that the name of Duṭṭhagāmaṇi ought naturally to be preceded by those of his princely ancestors. Vaṭṭagāmaṇi [Text: Vaḷagam Abhā, here and elsewhere]. succeeded to the throne 439 years 9 months and 10 days after the death of Buddha, and in the fifth month of his reign he met in battle seven Tamiḷ warriors, Seven Tamiḷ warrior-chiefs are meant. who were foreign invaders, and receiving defeat at their hands, took refuge in the forest.

At that time 500 Arahats who assembled at Alulvihāra in the country of Mātale, under the patronage of a certain chief, [11] recited, and reduced to writing the text of the Three Piṭakas, beginning with the Buddha’s first words. “In many a birth of transmigration,” which he uttered in his felicity while seated on the diamond throne at the root of the Bodhi-tree on the day he scattered the hosts of Māra and attained Buddhahood, and ending with the last words. “Oh monks, since all things are impermanent, be diligent,” spoken by him at his final emancipation all that he preached in this interval of 45 years to gods [devas], brahmas, nāgas, suparṇas, men, yakṣas, rākṣasas, siddhas, and vidyādharas for their edification, the same in the number of letters, words, granthas, Granthas, a certain number of words, being a standard for the measurement of written matter. and bhāṇavāras, The next higher standard to a grantha in the measurement of written matter. [It is equivalent to 250 x 32 syllables, the latter being the size of a standard Siloka verse]. leaving nothing, adding nothing, free from all heresy, upheld by the three convocations of monks, pure as a stream of the heavenly river, free as a crystal from all impurities, comforting the whole world like a great shower of nectar, great straight path to the three-fold knowledge, and the means for the attainment of all happiness desired by men, the same which had been brought down orally in the succession of the great monks Upāli, Dāsaka, Soṇaka, Siggava, Moggaliputta-Tissa, Mahinda, Iṭṭhiya, Uttiya, Sambala, Bhaddasāla, Ariṭṭha, Tissadatta, Kāḷasumana, Dīghanāma, Dīghasumana, Kāḷasumana, Mahānāga, Buddharakkhita, Tissa, Deva, Sumana, Cūḷanāga, Dhammapālita. Khema, Upatissa, Phussadeva, Sumana, Pupphanāma, Mahāsīva, Upāli, Mahānāga, Abhaya, Tissa, Phussanāma, Cūḷābhaya, Tissa, Cūḷadeva, and Sivasthavira.

Then after the lapse of 14 years and 7 months the great King Vaṭṭagāmaṇi, having assembled the Sinhalese hosts, destroyed the Tamiḷs and united the kingdom; and having demolished the building of the ascetic called Giri, and uniting his name Abhaya with that of Giri, he built the Vihāra called Abhayagiri, and offered it to a priest named Tissa, who had been of help to him. At this time 217 years 10 months and 10 days had elapsed since the establishment of the religion in Laṅkā.

Now it happened that the high priest Tissa, who had received the Abhayagiri Vihāra, but was living at Kegalle, was credited by general repute with living in domestic intercourse [was married]. I.e. in breach of the rules of retirement strictly enjoined upon monks. Thereupon the pious priests of the Mahā Vihāra assembled, and were interdicting him, when one of his pupils who was among the assembly, by name Mahādæliyā-Tissa, [His name must mean: Great Cockroach; it is given as Bahalamassutissa (Great Beard Tissa) in Mhv XXXIII, 96]. obstructed them, saying, “Do not act thus by our High Priest.” [12] The priests then held the obstructer guilty of mixing in misconduct, and expelled him [from] the order.

He then, burning with resentment, left with about five hundred priests, and breaking from the Theravāda Nikāya, went and lived at Abhayagiri Vihāra. There came to him the disciples of Dharmaruci Ācārya of [the] Vajjiputta Nikāya before mentioned, who had found their way into this country from Pallarārāma of Jambudvīpa; and he, accepting their doctrines, joined them and settled down under the title of Dharmaruci Ācārya. From that time those belonging to the Abhayagiri were known as the Dharmaruci Nikāya. Thus a Nikāya called Dharmaruci, of a body of men separated from the Theravāda Nikāya, was established in Bhāgiri Vihāra, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Vaṭṭagāmaṇi and 454 years after the death of Buddha.

Then followed these 29 sovereigns in succession: Mahādæliyā-Tissa, Coranāga, Kuḍātissa, Balatsiva, Vaṭuka, Bæḷatissa, Nilīyapurohita, Vāsuki, This name is omitted from the revised edition of the Sinhalese text; but the present editor doubts if the omission can be defended. It is true that the name does not appear in the Mahāvaṁsa account; but the Nikāya Saṅgrahaya is an independent work, and must rest on its own authority. Here the author mentions twenty-nine kings, and speaks to the number. With the omission, the number becomes twenty-eight. This is clearly inconsistent. The name is therefore restored in the translation. (See also the First Edition of the Sinhalese Text, p. 12.). Anuḷā, Makalantissa, Bhātiya, Mahādæḷiyā, Amaṇḍagæmuṇu, Kiṇihiridaḷa, Kuḍā Abhaya, Sīvali, Eḷunnā, Sadamuhuṇu, Yasasiḷu Subhabalatā, Væhæp, Vaknæhætissa, Gajabāhu, Mahaḷunā, Bhātiyatissa, Cūḷatissa, Kuhunnā, Kuḍānā, Kuḍāsirinā. After them the king named Vyavahāratissa, well versed in the law and religion, became king of this country 752 years 4 months and 10 days after the death of Buddha.

In the days of this king, the priests of Abhayagiri of the Dharmaruci sect adopted the Vaitulyan Piṭaka, which certain infidel Brāhmaṇas called Vaitulyas, who had assumed the garb of monks for the purpose of destroying the religion, had composed in the time of the above-named Dharmāśoka Mahārāja, and proclaimed it as the preaching of Buddha. Thereupon the priests of the Theravāda Nikāya having compared it with the authentic text, rejected the Vaitulya doctrines as being opposed to religion. On hearing this news, King Vyavahāratissa sent for the Vaitulya books, and got his minister named Kapila, a man who had exhaustively studied all branches of knowledge, to inquire into and report on them, and finding that they were not the word of Buddha, burnt them and disgraced the sinful priests who had embraced them. [13] And he caused the true religion of Buddha to shine out in splendour. As the Mahāvaṁsa says:

“Through the instrumentality of the Minister Kapila, suppressing the Vaitulya heresy and causing sin to be disgraced, he (the king) caused the religion to shine in this land.” Mahāvaṁsa, ch. 36.

Commencing from Vyavahāratissa there passed a succession of six kings, viz., Abhātissa, Sirināga, Vijayidu, Saṅghatissa, and Dæhæmi Sirisagabo. The six include Vyavahāratissa, with whom the series commenced. Then succeeded as the seventh the great King Goṭhābhaya; and in the fourth year of his reign over Śrī Laṅka, the same shameless priests of Abhayagiri of the Dharmaruci sect put forward the Vaitulya teachings again, as the doctrines of Buddha. But one of these, the Mahā Thera Ussiliyātissa, having heard how the priests who had embraced the Vaitulya doctrines in the days of King Vyavahāratissa had suffered disgrace, and thinking it inexpedient that there should be a repetition of this in the days of a judicious king, said: “Let us not unite with them;” and taking with him 300 priests, he left the Dharmaruci Nikāya, and going to Dakkhiṇagiri Vihāra settled there. A Mahā Thera named Sāgala, who was among the number, lived there propounding the religion. From that time his disciples living there were known by the name of Sāgaliyas. Thus a sect called Sāgaliya, separated from the Dharmaruci sect, was established in the Dakuṇugiri Vehera, 795 years after the death of Buddha, in the days of Goṭhakābhaya. [Text: Goḷu Abhā, here and elsewhere]. Afterward, in the reign of King Mahāsena, it overran the Jetavana Vihāra.

Now, the great King Goṭhakābhaya, having assembled the priests of the five great monasteries, Scil. Mahā Vihāra, Cetiya Vihāra, Thūpārāma, Issarasamaṇa, and Vessagiri Vihāra, founded by Devānampiyatissa. These constituted the orthodox church of Ceylon. and made inquisition into this matter, and finding that the Vaitulya doctrines were not the word of Buddha, caused sixty of the sinful priests who had adopted them to be picked out, branded with marks on the body, and expelled [from] the country. He also caused the Vaitulya books to be collected and burnt, and glorified the Buddhist religion.

Then some of the sixty exiled priests went and settled in the town of Kāveripaṭṭinaṁ. At that time a certain young infidel came to Kāveripaṭṭinaṁ from afar, and noticing the favours which the former were receiving from the citizens, received ordination at their hands for the sake of worldly advantage, and settled there and became known as Saṅghamitra. One day, while these priests according to their rules had come to bathe and were disrobing, he perceived the marks on their backs, and inquired about them. [14] They, replied: “The king called Goṭhakābhaya of Laṅkā, at the instigation of the priests of the Mahā Vihāra, caused sixty of us, of the Abhayagiri Vihāra, who had adopted the Vaitulya doctrines, to be branded on our bodies and expelled [from] the country.” He asked, “Is there anything I can do for you in the matter?” They said: “If you are clever enough, there is much to be done with our enemies.” “So be it,” said he; “I will see that either the priests of the Mahā Vihāra do adopt the Vaitulya doctrines, or that the Vihāra itself is uprooted and destroyed.” Thereupon he lost no time in coming to Laṅkā, where, having won the favour of Goṭhakābhaya, he became tutor to his sons, Prince Jeṭṭhatissa and Prince Mahāsena. But seeing that Prince Jeṭṭhatissa was already able to judge for himself, he gave up teaching him, and occupying himself with the younger, Prince Mahāsena, taught him with a view to make him further his future plans. After a righteous reign of thirteen years the Mahāraja Goṭhakābhaya departed this life.

Thereupon Saṅghamitra, through fear of Prince Jeṭṭhatissa, went to the Coḷā country, and dwelt in the town of Kāvīra. Prince Jeṭṭhatissa became king, and died after a righteous reign of ten years. Hearing of this he (Saṅghamitra) returned to Laṅkā and, taking up his abode in Abhayagiri Vihāra, did his utmost to persuade the priests of the five great Vihāras to adopt the Vaitulya doctrines; but in vain. He then approached his pupil, King Mahāsena, who had succeeded to the throne 818 years after the death of Buddha, and having after much persuasion won him over, got a royal edict proclaimed by beat of drum in the city, forbidding any one to give alms to the priests of the Mahā Vihāra, on pain of a fine of 100 pieces of money. The priests of the Mahā Vihāra coming to the town and having after three days’ begging received no alms, gathered together at Lohāmahāpāsāda and thus expressed themselves: “Even though we starve we cannot say that heresy is true doctrine. Should we say so, many others would follow us and go to perdition, and the guilt would be on us. So, even if our lives and asceticism be imperilled, we shall refuse to adopt the Vaitulya doctrines.” Thus saying the orthodox priests of all the temples in the vicinity, including the Mahā Vihāra, Mirisvata Vihāra, and Sīgiriya, left their vihāras and proceeded, some to the province of Ruhuṇa, and some to the Malaya province. Thereupon the friend of sin, Saṅghamitra, with the support of a minister named Soṇa, got the king to uproot and destroy about three hundred and sixty-four colleges and great temples, including [the] Lohāmahāpāsāda, and got their sites ploughed and sown with legumes. [Text: udu]. At the same time the Dharmaruci sect of the Abhayagiri Vihāra went and occupied Sīgiriya.

[15] To quote the Mahāvaṁsa:

After the destruction of the Mahā Vihāra by the sinful Mahāsena, the monks of the Dharmaruci sect occupied (the temple of) the Cetiya Rock.

Later on, this King Mahāsena, under the salutary influence of a trusty minister named Meghavaṇṇābhaya, built anew the Mahā Vihāra, and having sent for the priests who had gone away, supplied them with the four priestly necessaries. The lady who was the chief queen of this king, a daughter of the royal Læmæṇi race, at whose instance the Thūpārāma was being built, got a carpenter to decapitate Saṅghamitra, and having impaled his body she sent for and burnt the Vaitulya books. The citizens too in their rage invaded the house of the minister Soṇa, the supporter of Saṅghamitra, and having overpowered and killed him [they] cast his body into a dung heap. At this time, though Saṅghamitra was dead, King Mahāsena being unable to discriminate between good and bad priests, in consequence of his association with sinful men, placed his trust in the dishonest Mahā Thera Kohontissa by name, of the Dakkhiṇagiri Vihāra, and began to build for him the Jetavana Vihāra in the garden Jotiya within the grounds of the Mahā Vihāra. The priests of the Mahā Vihāra protested against the construction of vihāras for other sects within their limits. The foolish king, hearkening to the priests of Abhayagiri, ordered that in that case the boundary marks should be rooted up. But the priests resolved not to let this happen, saying that the limits should remain as long as the religion endured; and having concealed seven priests in a tunnel, left the vihāra and went away. Then the priests of Jetavana Vihāra began to root out the boundary marks. Hearing of this a sāmaṇera priest of the Situlpavu Vihāra, A well known temple in the Ruhuṇa province. possessed of supernatural powers, appeared among the crowd in the form of a rākṣasa with an iron club uplifted in his hand, and putting to flight the priests of Jetavana in various directions proceeded towards the city. Hearing of this, King Mahāsena inquired, “What should be done to appease him?” And being told that he would not cease at this point unless he saw the priests of the Mahā Vihāra, the king ordered that they be searched for and produced without delay.

Then the ministers entrusted with the order of the king brought and displayed the seven priests who had previously concealed themselves in the tunnel. At that moment the sāmaṇera priest who had come in the guise of a rākṣasa vanished and retired to Situlpavu Vihāra.

[16] Then the king, unable to uproot the boundary marks, built the Jetavana Vihāra within the limits, and granted the same to Kohontissa Mahā Thera already mentioned. Subsequently a charge was laid before the Saṅgha against this priest Tissa that he had committed the extreme offence, A priest commits the extreme offence if he commits murder, fornication, or theft, or falsely pretends to the higher grades of sanctity. and upon an inquiry into it being held by one of the king’s judicial officers, Dharmika by name, the charge was found to be true, and the Mahā Thera, although against the king’s wish, was quietly disrobed. To quote the words of the Mahāvaṁsa:

A charge involving excommunication was brought against the priest Tissa who received the vihāra. The charge which came before the Saṅgha, and was well founded, was duly investigated by a minister named Dharmika, [It appears from the Mahāvaṁsa, this was not his name, but his quality, i.e. he was a righteous elder]. who caused him to be disrobed and expelled, although against the wishes of the king. Mahāvaṁsa ch. 37.

Thereupon priests of the Sāgaliya sect came from the Dakkhiṇagiri Vihāra and settled in Jetavana Vihāra; and in the days of King Abaheraṇa Salamevan they embraced the Vaitulya doctrines. It was in this wise: After the aforesaid King Mahāsena, and after the reigns of Kītsirimevan Raja, Deṭutissa, Bujas Raja, and Upatissa, a king called Mahānāma reigned over this country. In his reign the commentator called Buddhaghosa, renowned for his great erudition, came to this country from Jambudvīpa, and wrote commentaries on the Three Piṭakas (which contained 275,250 granthas) containing 361,750 granthas, and thus glorified the doctrinal texts.

Then there reigned in succession sixteen kings, viz., Sengot Raja, Læmæṇitissa, Mitsenkaralsora, the six Tamiḷs, Paṇḍu, Pārinda, Kuḍā Pārinda, Tiritara, Dāṭhiya, and Pīṭhiya. Dāsenkeli, Sīgirikasubu, Mugalan Raja, Kumāradāsa, Kīrttisena, Mædisivu Raja, and Læmæṇi-Upatissa. After them, in the second millennium of the Buddhist era, the King Abaheraṇa Salamevan (above referred to) ascended the throne. In the twelfth year of his reign a merchant called Pūrṇa, who had gone from here to the Kāsi country, obtained a book containing the Vaitulya doctrines, and accepting it as the truth, brought it to this country, and presented it to the king. This king, not being qualified as kings of old to discriminate between true doctrines and the false, entered into concert with the priests of Abhayagiri, and placing the book of Vaitulya doctrines at Jetavana Vihāra, ordered the priests to reverence it. Then the priests of the Sāgaliya sect, who had come from Dakkhiṇagiri Vihāra and were living at Jetavana Vihāra, having heard that former kings had disgraced and exiled the priests who had embraced the Vaitulya doctrines, were backward in accepting [17] it. The priests of Abhayagiri, however, tried persuasion and won over the foolish priests of Jetavana Vihāra to observe those doctrines, just as wicked men would deceive children into eating beetles for rose-apple [Text: daba]. fruits, which they resemble in colour. But the priests of the Mahā Vihāra and a great many of the intelligent men of Anurādhapura kept them severely at a distance.

In time I.e., about 40 years later, in the reign of Aggabodhi I., whose name appears in the next enumeration of kings. – Mahāvaṁsa, ch. 42. a great priest and teacher named Jotipāla, coming from Jambudvīpa, so exposed the fallacies of the Vaitulya doctrines that in his day they fell into disrepute and died off. The Cūḷavaṁsa makes this reference:

At that time a Mahā Thera named Jotipāla had a controversy with the Vaitulya heretics, and crushed them in this Island. [Cūḷavaṁsa, 42.35].

Then, as there were no more converts to the Vaitulya doctrines, the priests of those two colleges won over a person who was residing in the king’s household, and having through his influence got an officer who was in their confidence appointed to the post of chief intelligencer, through him placed the Vaitulya books before the king. After his death the priests of the two Nikāyas Denā Nakā and Bhāgiri Naka, otherwise Jetavana Vihāra and Bhāgiri Vihāra, the seats of the two Vaitulya fraternities. dismissed pride, and lived in submission to the priests of the Mahā Vihāra.

Thus it will be seen that the Vaitulya doctrines were brought to Laṅkā on three occasions and were burnt to ashes by sincere Buddhist kings, and for a fourth time they were introduced by the merchant called Pūrṇa, 852 years after the introduction of Buddhism into this country and 1,088 years after the death of Buddha, in the days of the King Abaheraṇa Salamevan, and were observed by the ignorant people of this land.

Now, with King Abaheraṇa Salamevan, there was a succession of six kings, viz., Dapulusen Raja, Daḷamugalan, Kuḍākitsirimevan, Senevimahanā Raja, and Læmæṇisigānā. After them the king named Agrabodhi ascended the throne. In his day there flourished these twelve illustrious scholars: Sakdāmala, Asakdāmala, Dæmi, Bǣbiri, Daḷabiso, Prince Anurut, Prince Daḷagot, Prince Daḷasala, Prince Kitsiri, Prince Puravaḍu. Sūryabāhu, and Kasupkoṭa Ǣpā.

Then, commencing from Agrabodhi there followed a succession of twenty-five kings, viz.: Kuḍā Akbo Raja, Saṅghatissa, Læmæniboṇā, Asiggāhaka, Sirisagabo, Læmæṇikaṭussara, Daḷupatissa. Pæsuḷukasubu, Dāpuḷa Raja, Læmæṇidaḷupatissa, Pæsuḷudaḷupatissa, Pæsuḷu Sirisagabo, Valpiṭivasudatta, Huṇannaruriyandaḷa, Mahalǣpāṇa, Agrabodhi, Suḷukasubu, Pæsuḷu Akbo, Kuḍā Akbo, Salamevanmihidu, Udaya Raja, [18] Somahidu, Mædi Akbo, Kuḍā Dāpulu, and Pæsulu Akbo. After them, 1,126 years after the introduction of Buddhism and 1,362 years after the death of Buddha, King Matvaḷasen became ruler of this country. But he was not a man who had associated with men of learning. During his reign an ascetic of the Vajraparvata Nikāya, clad in the robes of a priest, came to this country from Jambudvīpa, and lived in the dwelling called Vīrāṅkura. Having presented fifteen kalandas of gold which he had brought, to the cook of the royal household, Girivasæ Sen by name, he got him to sound his praises to the king, who, hearing of his virtues, just as the grasshopper leaps into the fire taking it for gold, went to the ascetic, and being impressed with his secret discourse, which he called a confidential teaching, accepted the false Vājiriya [Vajrayāna] doctrines, and abandoning the true doctrines, such as the Ratanasutta, which shine forth in power extending over a 100,000 crores [billlions] of worlds, he by reason of his embracing these false doctrines fled from the place he lived in, and giving up the city to the Tamiḷs went to Polonnaruwa, and died there. It was at this time that the Ratnakūṭa teaching, &c., were introduced into Laṅkā.

After the death of King Matvaḷasen the Mahāraja Mugayinsen, who succeeded to the throne of Laṅkā, set out with a Sinhalese army and invaded the kingdom of Pāṇḍi, and having slain and routed the Tamiḷs, recovered the drums of victory and the gem-set bowl which had been captured in the days of King Matvaḷasen, and then returned to Laṅkā. He restored the Lovāmahāpāya, which had been damaged by enemies, and repaired the breaches in its walls; he settled the observances of the three Nikāyas, and made them conform to religion; and placing guards round the coast to prevent the arrival of false priests in Laṅkā, he reigned in righteousness. Thus the Cūḷavaṁsa:

Seeing the prevalence of false doctrines in the world, he placed guards round the sea coast for protection.

Nevertheless since the doctrines of Vājiriya [Vajrayāna] were clandestinely observed as a secret cult, these from the days of Matvaḷasen continued to be kept up by the foolish and the ignorant. The Nīlapaṭadarśanaya having got to be public, also remained. Its history is as follows:

In the days when the aforementioned Kumāradāsa Page 16. ruled in this country, there reigned a king named Śrīharṣa in Southern Madhura in Jambudvīpa. At that time a wicked priest of the Sammittiya Nikāya, clever but impious, went to the house of a harlot at night, covering himself with a blue garment, and having slept there, returned at daybreak to the vihāra. His pupils [19] noticing his attire, asked him if that was a proper garment. Then, as many had seen the garment he had on, he lauded it and explained its propriety. The priests who were his devoted followers gave up their robes and donned blue garments. Then this man adopting as the three incomparable gems in the three worlds, vivacious harlots, enlivening drink, and the god of love, and worshipping them, despised the other gems as if they were crystal stone, and composed a work in Grantha, called Nīlapaṭadarṣana, i.e., the exposition of the blue robe. Thus says that work:

A favouring damsel is a gem;
A gem is cheering wine.
A gem is Love. These gems I serve.
No crystal gems are mine.

When thus the Nīlapaṭadarṣana began to be promulgated, King Śrīharsa sent for it and perused it.

“Fool, why not drink? Dost thou wish to go to hell? Spirit mixed with a pinch of salt is scarce even in heaven!”

Noticing this incoherent stanza, and realizing that this in sooth is no doctrine but a breach of religion which, if treated with indifference by a ruler such as he was, would lead to the ruin of Buddhism and to the damnation of many men, he determined to protect the religion of Buddha which is to endure for 5,000 years. Pretending to be convinced, he sent for the blue-robed brethren and their books, and having got them with the books into a house, he made a fire-offering of house and all. A few who escaped on that occasion, like a disease not entirely stamped out, still continued to don the same garments.

After the death of King Mugayinsen, the following nineteen kings ruled Śrī Laṅkā, viz.: Udā Raja, Kasup Raja, Pæsuḷukasubu, Dāpuḷu Raja, Kuḍā Dāpuḷu Raja, Udaya Raja, Sen Raja, Udā Maharaja, Pæsulusen Raja, Mædisen Raja, Kuḍāmidel Raja, Salamevan Raja, Mahidu Raja, Vikramabāhu Raja, Mahāle Raja, Vikramapāṇḍi Raja, Jagatpāla, Parākramapāṇḍi, Lokeṣvarasenevi.

After them the Mahārāja named Mahalu Vijayabāhu became king over Śrī Laṅkā, and destroying great numbers of Tamiḷs, who for 88 years had over-run the villages, the towns, and the cities of the Island, brought Śrī Laṅkā under one umbrella. He commenced the ordination of priests for the propagation of religion, and seeing to his chagrin that there could not be found for convocation even five priests who rightly observed the precepts, he sent to foreign parts lacs [hundreds of thousands] of pearls and gems and got out from Aramana [Rāmañña, i.e. the Mon country in present day Myanmar] twenty pious elderly priests and books; and having secured ordination for thousands of priests in Laṅkā he disseminated the religion.

[20] Then following Mahalu Vijayabāhu and his three successors Jayabāhu, Vikramabāhu, and Gajabāhu, after the lapse of 1,696 years from the death of Buddha there became king over Śrī Laṅkā the great king Śrī Saṅghabodhi Śrī Parākramabāhu the First, of the Mahāsammata dynasty of the Royal race, [This connects him to the Buddha’s own lineage]. king of kings, his fame refulgent the wide world over, like circling rays of light. He, accustomed to the regal state and great in the guerdon of past merits, subdued some 364 Vanni districts and became Supreme Lord of the whole Island. [I.e. he reunited the whole of Śrī Laṅkā]. And in Laṅkā, once the prey to internecine conflicts, he assembled together all the available Sinhalese forces, including 24 lacs and 25 thousands [2,425,000] of mercenaries and 9 lacs and 95 thousands [995,000] of naval veterans; and selecting 10 per cent of the two forces, he sent over to foreign parts 21 lacs and 25,000 [2,125,000] Sinhalese warriors; and having subdued all the kingdoms from Soḷi and Pāṇḍi to Aramana, [I.e. South India and the Mon country in Myanmar]. established his sway alike over his own and foreign countries.

And with a view to maintain his rule without disturbance in Śrī Laṅkā, he created the following chief offices, viz.: Adhikārā, Justiciar. Senevirat, Commander-in-chief of the Forces. Ǣpā, Heir Apparent and Aide-de-camp to the King, and virtually First Viceroy. Māpā, Heir Presumptive and Second Viceroy. Mahalǣna Secretary of State. Maharætina, Minister of the Interior. Anunā, Second Minister of the Interior. Sabhāpatinā, President of the Council. Siṭunā, Director of Commerce. Siritlenā, Chief Legal Adviser. Dulena, Under Secretary and Keeper of the Rolls. Viyatnā, Chief Intelligencer. Mahavedanā, Chief Medical Officer. Mahanæketnā, Chief Officer of the Calendar. Dahampasaknā. Minister of Education. He also established the eight departments of record, the eight departments of transport, the four departments of the treasury, the eight departments of the elephant industry, and the eighteen thousand villages not included in the services to be rendered in the above departments. These villages were therefore less fortunate, as they had to serve the State by the mere payment of taxes. He ordained that all these institutions should continue uninterrupted, and was passing his days in the enjoyment of great royal state when around the city of Polonnaruwa which is thus celebrated in song:

“The glorious city of Pulatthi [i.e. Polannaruwa], with citizens prosperous and [21] happy, with princes affording protection to all, with beauty in its aspect and every sight to please, with houses tall as ranges of hills – this city great of old, the seat of mighty kings”

(Around this city) he caused to be built the following grand vihāras: Pūrvārāma, Dakṣiṇārāma, Paścimārāma, Uttarārāma, Kapilavastu, Isipatana, Kuśinārārāma, Veḷuvanārāma, Jetavanārāma, Laṅkātilaka, Trivaṅka, and Etubadalena. In these he placed in residence several thousand priests of standing.

The king also caused to be built 360 sets of cloisters, and named them after his own new titles, such as:

Śatru-Rāja Coḷa-kulāntaka, god of death to the Coḷa race of inimical kings.
Uddhata-Rāja-nirmūla, extirpator of arrogant kings.
Durlabdhi-mathana, suppresser of heresies.
Durnīti-vāraṇa, abrogator of bad laws.
Praktajña, wise with the matter in hand.
Sakala-dig-vijaya, victor of all directions.
Antaścara-śatruvijaya, vanquisher of frontier enemies.
Śaraṇāgata-vajrapañjara, adamant enclosure to those coming for refuge.
Paramantra-bheda-vikrama-pratāpa, confounder of others councils by valour and might.
Akalaṅka, flawless.
Sarva-śatru-śiromaṇi, a crest-gem for all enemies.
Prakriyā-’nukriyā-niścaya, decider of moves and, countermoves.
Para-rāja-go-dhurjati, god Sīva to other kings, who, to him, are bull-like. Sīva rides on a bull.
Nhari-kairava-rājahaṁsa, the greatest among men, as a royal swan among white lotuses. He is in the brightest company, but decidedly shines the most.
Paranārī-sahodara, a brother to the wives of other people.
Ari-rāja-veśyā-bhujaṅga, paramour of the mistresses of inimical kings.

And providing perpetual maintenance for three thousand and seven hundred ordained priests, he was living a life of health and ease, when he came to hear of the decline of religion during the one thousand to hundred and fifty-four years intervening between the fifteenth year of King Vaṭṭagāmaṇi previously mentioned and the fourth year of his own reign, on account of the sinful priests who had continued to observe as true the Vaitulya and other false doctrines, which had been started by infidels in the manner previously shown, and which, though in disrepute, were still handed down. He thought that if a ruler of such extensive sway as he, hearing of so great [22] a stain on the sublime purity of the Buddhist religion, paid no heed, the Buddhist religion would die out, and many mortals go to perdition. “It is meet,” thought he, “that I should be of service to the religion of Buddha, which is to last 5,000 years,” and with a heart influenced by mercy and directed by wisdom, he considered, “With whose help can I purify the religion thus declining, to enable it to endure without blemish?” Then he went up to the priests of the Mahā Vihāra, whose chief was the Thera Mahā Kāśyapa of the grove of Audumbaragiri, a man helpful to the three-fold faith and possessed of various virtues, such as steadiness, constancy, &c., and informing them of his desires, he sent for many hundreds of sinful, evil-practising priests of the three sects called Dharmaruci, Sāgalika, and Vaitulya, who by their evil practices stain the purity of the Buddhist religion, and having placed them in a marquee, he, standing in his place during the three watches of the whole night, expelled them all, and, purifying the Buddhist religion, brought the three colleges into conformity. On account of the merit of this good act, he was, upon his death, re-born as the god Naradeva, with a kalpa’s lifetime, on a golden peak of the Himalayan mountain range, which shines with 84,000 peaks of gold.

The purity of religion thus established at this time continued to be maintained for 36 years from the death of that king, and then again it began to decline as before. After the death of this Parākramabāhu [Text: Pærakum]. I, there followed fifteen sovereigns in succession, viz: Paṇḍita Vijayabāhu, Kilinkesdāmahidu, Kīrttiniśśaṅka, Vīrabāhu, Vikramabāhu, Coḍagaga, Līlāvatī, Sāhasamalla, Kalyāṇavatī, Dhārmāśoka, Æniyaga, Līlāvatī, Lokeśvara, Līlāvatī, Parākrama Pāṇḍi. After them the foreign king named Kāliṅga Vijayabāhu, originally known as Māgha, became king of Śrī Laṅkā. And in the great commotions which took place in the first part of his reign the priests fled from Polonnaruwa and other long established places, leaving the books and other necessaries wherever they chanced to be, and seeking for help arrived at Māyāraṭa. There the king Vijayabāhu Vat-himi supported the priests by giving them the four-fold necessaries of robes, &c. In the Mahā Vihāra which he built, called Vijayasundarārāma after his name, he assembled a great body of priests headed by the Supreme Thera Saṅgharakṣita, who was the pupil of the Supreme Thera Śāriputra and who ruled the church of the day, and the Mahā Thera Medhaṅkara, the hermit of the Dimbulāgala forest, and after much effort settled various disputes which had arisen among the priesthood, and formulated a new code of rules, and did great service to religion. The son of this great king, Kalikāla Paṇḍita Parākramabāhu, versed [23] in all knowledge, like unto the summer sun drying up the mud of enemies, living at Dabadeniya, became the Mahārāja of Śrī Laṅkā; and endowing himself with exceeding royal glory, put an end to troubles arising from enemies, such as Tamiḷs, Malalas, Jāvakas, &c., [I.e. Southern Indians, Malays and Jāvans]. who had built fortresses in different parts of the Island, viz.: Polonnaruwa, Pulacceri, Koṭasara, Gantaḷā, Kauḍāpulu, Kurudu. Padimānā, Matugoṇa, Ḍebarapaṭun; Urātoṭa, Gomuḍu, Mīpātoṭa, Maḍali, and Maṇṇāram; and bringing under his power the whole face of Laṅkā and enjoying royal prosperity, he built magnificent vihāras, in various places, such as Sriwardhanapura, &c., and settling priests in them, provided them with the four-fold requisites, robes, meals, bedding, and refreshments. And hearing of the prevalence of much misconduct, calculated to damage the religion, among men of family who had entered the priesthood and were leading careless lives, and realizing the impropriety of allowing the church, which former kings had with great exertion maintained in purity, to fall into such a condition in his day, he called together the councillors of the two sects of priests under the leadership of the Supreme Thera Aranyaka Medhaṅkara, the chief pupil of the Mahā Thera Buddhavaṁsa Vanaratana of the Dimbulāgala succession, and appearing before the assembly with kindly heart and placing before it the state of the church, he purged it by obtaining the expulsion of those who were guilty of misconduct and were unsuited to the priestly office. He advised that no room be left for those who would be careless hereafter, and got rules formulated for the observance of priests who devote themselves to study or meditation, so that the customary religious observances might be maintained in conformity with discipline, for 5,000 years. And with a view to the perpetuity of the two sects, he constructed a great building, like unto a dwelling in the Brahma world, at the place called Pūṭabhattasela (Paḷābatgala), and settled therein hermit-priests full of virtue, of little worldly desire, and able to undergo the strictest austerities; and he caused [the] Upasampadā Ordination to be given to thousands of priests. Through his younger brother Bhuvaaiekabāhu Ǣpā, he secured instruction for a large number of priests, and glorified the Buddhist religion by greatly increasing its prosperity. At this time 1809 years had elapsed since the death of Buddha.

From the time of the Mahā Thera Buddhaghosa, the commentator, who lived in the reign of King Mahānāma, to this time, there lived the following great priests, doctors of learning, viz.:

Buddhadatta, Dharmapāla, Jotipāla, Kṣema, Dharmaśrī, Nanda, Ānanda, Anuruddha, Upatiṣya, Buddharakṣita, Maudgalyāyana; as did also the following great priests from [24] the time of the Supreme Thera Śāriputra of keen intellect, who hearing but once could carry in his mind several thousands of stanzas, viz.: Saṅgharakṣita, Sumaṅgala, Vāgīśvara, Dharmakīrti, Nāgasena, Ānanda, Vedeha, Buddhapriya, Anavamadarśī. These great priests produced various commentaries and annotations and introductions to numerous doctrinal works, translations, glossaries, editions, &c., and glorified the sublime religion of Buddha,

Similarly the following priests, viz, Ślokasiddhārtha, Sāhityavilgammula, Anuruddha, Dīpaṅkara, Mayūrapāda, Dhārmasena, and the following lay scholars, viz., Śūrapāda, Dharmakīrtipada, Dhīranāgapāla, Rājamurāri, Kavirājaśekhara, Guruḷudæmi, Āgamacakravarti, Parākrama Paṇḍita, and Agra Paṇḍita, produced religious poems, explanatory translations, and glossaries, and numerous doctrinal treatises. On the foundation of those works succeeding writers have produced religious expositions in accordance with the needs of their times, and made the scriptures of the religion of Buddha resplendent.

After Paṇḍita Parākramabāhu there ruled in succession these seven kings: Bosat Vijayabāhu, Mahā Bhuvaaiekabāhu who dwelt in Yāpavu, Parākramabāhu, Vat-himi Bhuvaaiekabāhu, Paṇḍita Parākramabāhu, who dwelt at Hastiśailapura, Vaṇṇi Bhuvaaiekabāhu, and Vijayabāhu. After them Bhuvaaiekabāhu IV became king in the city of Gagasiripura Gampola. on the banks of the Mahawæli-gaga, and in the fourth year of his reign 1,894 years had elapsed since the death of Buddha. At that time a certain minister called Senālaṅkādhikāra Senevirat, born of Meheṇavaravaṁsa, sent much wealth, such as pearls and gems, &c., and got a stone image house built at Kāñcipura, a three-storied image house for a standing image (of Buddha) built at Devnuvara, and a large image house, 18 cubits square, at Akbo Vihāra. Likewise he constructed a great vihāra of royal magnificence called Abhinava Laṅkātilaka, beauteous as the Kailaśa mountain, on the top of the Parṇaśaila hill, in the city of Siduravāna, his ancestral home, and adding to himself many other meritorious deeds, lived full of faith. Hearing of the prevalence of misconduct endangering religion among men of standing who had entered the priesthood, he brought the fact to the notice of a council of priests of both sects under the leadership of the Supreme Thera Vanaratana of Amaragiri Vāsa, Devanagala. and armed with the royal authority made an inquisition into the church, and for a time restored its purity. On the death of Bhuvaaiekabāhu Mahārāja there succeeded the king Parākrama. On the latter’s death the Mahārāja Vikramabāhu [25] succeeded to the throne in the same city. And in his reign flourished a minister by name Alagakkonāra, Of the lineage of the Girivaṁsa, who became world-renowned for his influence and might.

In this fair Island of Laṅkā, which contains sacred places, such as the city of Kalyāṇī, which is thus described:

With houses, Bodhi-trees, grand promenades, pavilions, city walls, halls, image houses, relic shrines, and with attractive bazaars and most beautiful gates and porticoes, the city of Kalyāṇī shines glorious.

Which (city of Kalyāṇī) is surrounded by a rampart like unto the Cakravāla rock, A wall of rock which is supposed to surround the habitable globe. and contains rows of palatial buildings, white in their mortar and rivalling the Kailāśa rock, A peak of the Himalayas, white with perpetual snow. of one story, two stories, three stories, five stories, &c., beautiful with walls, pillars, and flights of stairs ornamented with various frescoes, which city moreover is resplendent with vihāras, beautiful in their courtyards attached to relic shrines and Bodhi-trees, and in their image houses, walks, spacious halls, and rows of gates, – which city furthermore contains a network of broad streets, and in the two main arteries fed by these, throngs of men of various climes – which city lastly is full of wealth of all sorts – in this fair Island of Laṅkā, containing places such as this sacred city of Kalyāṇī, he, the minister aforesaid, finding it expedient that enemies to the country and to the religion should be kept at a distance, selected for the site of a city the village named Dārugrāma situated not far from the harbour of Colombo, in the middle of a lake, and well protected by a surrounding body of water ever full; and, there he set to work his officers, men who looked to the good of others as much as to their own advancement, who were loyal and faithful in his service, who were efficient in discharging whatever duty was entrusted to them, who knew the right thing for the right place, who were clever, intelligent, kind to their subordinates, and obedient to their superiors. Under the supervision in these officers he caused a great moat, very broad and fearfully steep like a precipice, to be sunk round Dārugrāma, and as a solid defence he caused to be erected, bordering the moat a wall of stone. He caused the space at the top of this wall to be decorated like unto a creation of Viśvakarma, The architect of the gods. and protected it by fixing or locating in proper places idangini, Iron spikes. pulimugaṁ, Lit. tiger face. Evidently a trap for the foot, closing like the jaws of a tiger. [26] bhūmiyantaṭṭu, Lit, ground antlers; caltrops. aṭṭāla, Watch towers. and vattaveṭṭām. Secret passages, for offensive and defensive purposes. He thus caused the fortress famous as New Jayawardhanapura Present Kotte or Cotta. to be built. On the top of the great rampart of that city he caused to be built separate temples for the protection of the four quarters, dedicated to the four guardian deities Kihiræli-upulvan, Samanboksæl, Vibhīṣaṇa, Skanda-Kumāra, to whom is entrusted the welfare of Śrī Laṅkā. He ordained that constant adoration should be paid to them, accompanied by dancing and singing with beating of drums and music of various sorts; and he caused the city to overflow with abundant prosperity and a teeming population. And in the inner city be stationed himself surrounded by his great armies of Sinhalese and Tamiḷs, lions in bravery, like unto a pictorial representation of the narrative in the Umandāwa, when King Culani Brahmadatta with one hundred kings and a great army of eighteen aksauhinis See Clough [who in his Sinhala English dictionary defines it thus: a complete army consisting of 109,350 foot, 65,610 horse, 21,870 chariots and 21,870 elephants]. surrounded the city of Miyulu, and the Śrī Mahabodhisattva, Mahauṣada by name, intent on good for mankind, sat without fear or perturbation, and put to flight the hostile army and obtained triumph. And at that time, like unto Māra with his hosts who came with distorted features to the sacred seat under the Bodhi-tree, wearing various forms, tearing up both heaven and earth with various kinds of weapons, such as candra, cakra, &c., so did Āryacakravarti come with a mighty host of Tamiḷs at once by sea and land with warlike purpose, all clad in armour of various hues, bearing weapons, and with visapælali, Poisoned screens. naḍasāla, Grappling machines. and mārāsi Palisades. in support. All these he put to flight. And as if to emulate and show how great the glory of Duṭṭhagāmaṇi and other ancient kings was when they destroyed the various Tamiḷ camps at Ambatoṭa, Miyuguṇa, Deṇagama, Aturaba, Polvatta, Khāṇu, Tambunna, Kasātoṭa, Satbǣkoṭṭa, Gāmaṇigama, Vasiṭṭhagama, Hālakoḷapura, Dīghābhaya, Māgalla, Kumbhabāṇa, Kadamunna, Vijitapura, Girinilnuvara, Mahela, and Anurādhapura, he captured their encampments at Colombo, Wattala, Negombo, and Chilaw, and defeating the mighty hostile hosts who were swarming (in those places), caused his fame and glory to spread in all ten directions.

He was praised by many a poet in such strains as follows:

There flourishes that valiant lion called Alakeśvara, ever strong in breaking open the frontal knobs of elephants represented in the person of his enemies, and ever in his place on the grand beauteous golden rock of Laṅkā, the home of untold and fascinating wealth.

[27] He was admitted into the circle of the five ranks of princes known as ruler of an island, ruler of a principality, ruler of a province, ruler of a buffer state, and advisory prince; and pleasing the hearts of men with the four moral virtues, almsgiving, affability, promoting the prosperity of others, and loving others as one’s self, he caused the ordination of priests for the benefit of future lives, and spending money lavishly in many thousands, constructed mahā vihāras of royal magnificence, such as the Sidurugiri Vihāra, and established cloisters, naming them after his tribal names, such as Kāñchipurapurandara, Girivaṁśaśekhara, Niśśaṅka Alakeśvara, &c. Further he built separate vihāras for the Mahā Saṅgha living in villages and forests in the vicinity of his birthright, the city of Rājagrāma, replete with all the good things requisite in a city, and coveted by a great number of various races. He accumulated great merit by offerings of the four sacerdotal necessaries. This Niśśaṅka Alagakkonāra of Amaragiri, minister, who thus lived in faith, hearing of the misdeeds of sinful priests who lived unrestrained lives in various places, and seeking for a remedy in the manner of the cultivators of æl paddy, who protect the corn by rooting out the tares and weeds from amongst the corn blades, became aware of how in the olden days pious kings and ministers by force of their commands, with great effort, maintained the religion, and of their deeds and words at various times from beginning to end in aid of the religion, and brought these facts to the notice of our primate, Śrī Dharmakīrti by name, whose fame and glory were spread over the ten directions, possessed of great virtue and influence, the home and abiding place of a mountain of moral precepts, the lineal representative of the Vanavāsi succession of Palābatgala, and having called together the chapters of the two colleges, he, in the year 1,912 after the death of Buddha, standing in the midst of the priesthood and acting in the name of the king, empowered the pious priests to inquire into the state of religion and to disrobe a number of sinful priests, and (thus) for a time established in peace the maintenance of the religion.

The harmony of the church then established, prevailed unbroken up to the fifteenth year of Bhuvaaiekabāhu V. Up to this fifteenth year there had elapsed 1,929 years from the death of our Buddha. Afterward, in the 20th year of that Bhuvaaiekabāhu, the cousin-german The word used is suhuru-baḍu, which means the son of either mother’s brother or father’s sister. (From the Sanskrit śvaśurabandhu). of that king, the Ǣpā, named Vīrabāhu of the Mehenavara family, came to the throne. [28] True to his name in virtue, knowledge, fame, glory, majesty, prosperity, and in similar excellent qualities, as also in great physical strength and personal prowess, and master of the various kinds of strategical warfare, he overcame all rapacious hostile designs of Tamiḷs, Malalas, Moors, &c., and bringing the whole surface of Laṅkā under one umbrella, enjoyed royal prosperity. With the idea that he should not waste the abundance of wealth, which had accrued to him from the merits of his past lives, he made offerings of rice, flowers, and lamps in the name of Buddha and paid marks of respect to those versed in religion; with love he listened to preaching, and having set apart for the priesthood the revenues of wooded villages, provided them with the four-fold necessaries. To some Brāhmaṇas he gifted villages, lands, fields, and wealth; to others clothes, ornaments, and corn; to some Brāhmaṇas and bards he gifted slaves, oxen, buffaloes, horses, elephants, cows, gems, maidens; and to other mendicants he gave food, drink, and clothes, and made them happy.

Thus by the power and majesty of his arm he maintained the precepts of charity and of religion, the only certain means of securing happiness in the two worlds, and covered both this and foreign countries at one and the same time with his glory:

Like unto a mine of gems of virtue, strong as the rock Meru, subduing his enemies, as a lion subdues elephants, to poets the very same as a brilliant sun to lotus flowers, Vīrabāhu, the ādipāda, shines in glory over the whole of Laṅkā.

Endowed with a pure and abundant faith, fond of excessive almsgiving, he gave large villages, oxen, elephants, horses, wealth, and slaves to the sons of the Conqueror (of sin), to Brāhmaṇas, bards, and others, – he, well versed in all knowledge, and with a heart full of charity and kindness.

Though thus are described the special virtues which he naturally possessed, he heard the glories of former kings thus sung:

Having a consciousness of greatness not possessed by other kings, and rivalling the god of wealth in the greatness of his charities, the king, dear to his subjects and the subject of their praise, rules the three-fold Laṅkā freed from enemies.

Ever he delights the hearts of crowds of suppliants by the taste of charities, just as rutting elephants delight swarms of bees, and he delights himself by their songs of grateful praise.

Hearing these abundant praises, and desirous of emulating the example of those of whom they were sung, and with mind bent upon maintaining in conformity with the times all royal [29] customs connected with religion as they prevailed in the days of the pious potentates of Laṅkā, and constantly engaged in assisting the religion and the word, With his heart set on the Triple Gem The Buddhist religion, as consisting of the three gems. Buddha, the Law, and the Order. and delighting therein, he, with the object of ensuring the protection of the island of Śrī Laṅkā radiant with the splendour of the nine gems and of the three gems, assigned suitable salaries to brave and skilful soldiers, and made them expert with the sword, the javelin, the bow. &c., and by the very equipment of his forces with transport and arms, he struck terror into the hearts of fierce foes, scared away foreign enemies, and established the kingdom in tranquillity. Day by day advancing in happiness and increasing his virtuous desires, he built halls for almsgiving and gave alms to people of various creeds, such as the Paṇḍarangas and others of the Pāsāṇḍa sect, and other mendicants. He gifted in increasing proportions money, corn, clothes, ornaments, beds, and, conveyances to Brāhmaṇas and bards, and delighting their hearts was himself delighted by the clamour of their gratitude.

Moreover, as by nature he was of a religious disposition, he made great offerings to the priesthood of both colleges, gave them robes from the royal treasury, procured ordination to the sons of noble families, looked and searched for fit persons for the future protection of religion, and appointed them to the offices of Agatæn, Lit. “chief place.” Mahapadavi, Lit. “the great office.” &c., and enjoyed happiness and delight by seeing the priesthood on all suitable occasions, and with his innate love of religion dedicated to the order his principal son. While thus living in ever increasing faith in religion, he heard of the prevalence of misdeeds among some bad priests living in the interior, and called together an assembly of the priesthood of the two colleges under the leadership of the second Dharmakīrti Mahā Swāmi, at that time the ruler of the church, the Anujāta An Anujāta pupil is a pupil taking exactly after his master. pupil of Śrī Dharmakīrti Mahā Swāmi, far famed over all the ten directions and endowed with an abundance of worldly virtues, such as those of protection, of administration, and of observance of precepts, together with the Mahā Thera Maitreya of Galaturamula, a pillar of religion; and according to ancient custom he authorized the pious priests to inquire into and purify the religion by removing the stain of impiety; and he thus glorified the religion of Buddha. At this time there had elapsed 1,939 years since the death of Buddha.

[30] Such was the practice of purifying the religion as adopted by the kings of old, loyal to religion, impartial, and faithful, such as Dharmāśoka:

If one removes from the religion of Buddha the stain that has got into it with great and good intent, by the merit of that very act, after many lives in the worlds of the gods, he attains the great and noble bliss of Nirvāṇa.

Thus it will be seen that if a pious and wise great man, on hearing and becoming aware of a stain which has got into the religion of Buddha by reason of wicked priests who are detrimental to their own and others’ interests, will, instead of indulging in abuse, fully inquire into the matter, in consonance with doctrine and decorum, and purify the religion by establishing the authority of good and orthodox priests, who are mindful of their own and others’ interests, and become helpful to the religion of Buddha, such a person by the influence of that good act, after happiness in many re-births during a very long period in the worlds of gods, will (in the end) reach the most noble city of Nirvāṇa. Keeping in mind these words of the scriptures, it behoves men of influence and leading, with great effort and in manner befitting the times, to remove the stain of impiety which, may have got into the religion of Buddha, so that it may last for 5,000 years, and by the merit born of that good act, to attain the fulfilment of all desire, namely, the bliss of future celestial lives and of Nirvāṇa.

“What is there in this book not heard by us before, or not known to us?
All these things we know.” In this wise you should not think.
What is the use of oil when the lamp is alight?
These words of mine are in the same case.

Dispersing completely the darkness of wicked men by the thousand rays of glory overspread in many directions, and ever delighting the priesthood which contains men of virtue, like the bees and swans in a lotus pond, may great kings shine refulgent over Laṅkā for long periods like the sun in the heavens.

May the doctrines of the Great Sage long endure.
May rulers be steadfast in religion.
May rain fall in season.
May all men become happy by mutual love.

May this religious history, named “Nikāya Saṅgrahaya” which is written by the Mahā Thera Jayabāhu, surnamed Devarakṣita, for the purpose of showing how religion prospers [31] under the influence of kings and royal ministers, pious, wise, truth-seeking, and just, endure to the advantage of the religion, so long as the religion endures.

Aforetime when Bhuvaaiekabāhu was reigning in the beautiful city of Gagasiripura, a famous priest named Dharmakīrti caused to be built a vihāra called Saddharmatilaka in the village Gaḍalādeṇiya, and lived there a long time.

His pupil, the learned priest named Devarakṣita, known and renowned over the world as Jayabāhu and celebrated as the Mahā Thera Dharmakīrti, attained the rank of Saṅgharāja and glorified the religion. He wrote this brief history of religion in the native tongue with a view to the perpetuity of the religion of the Teacher.

If by writing this pleasing and useful work I have gained any merit, by the force of that merit may men attain the sorrowless Nirvāṇa to which Buddha attained.

May the devas, together with crowds of heavenly nymphs, long enjoy happiness in the celestial worlds.

May the doctrines of Buddha long prevail in the world.
May the rulers of the earth in happiness rule the earth.

End of Nikāya Saṅgrahaya