. By T.V. Antony Raj
When the brothers of Bhaddakaccānā heard of their sister’s safe landing at Gonagamaka, they, except one, urged by their mother, departed to join their sister on the island. The six brothers were Rama, Uruvela, Anuradha, Vijita, Dighayu and Rohana. The seventh brother, Gamani, stayed at home.
After their arrival they visited their brother-in-law, king Panduvāsudeva, and their sister Bhaddakaccānā. They were hospitably received by the king and they having the king’s leave, went about the island and settled in different parts of the island.
Queen Bhaddakaccānā bore Panduvāsudeva ten sons and one daughter: the eldest of all named Abhaya, and the youngest child, a daughter, named Citta. King Panduvāsudeva consecrated his eldest son Abhaya as vice-regent.
When Citta the youngest child was born wise Brahmins well-versed in sacred texts foretold that her son would kill all his uncles. So, her brothers resolved to kill her, but her eldest brother, Abhaya, restrained them and saved her.
Citta grew up into a beautiful woman. People of the kingdom added an epithet “Ummada” to her name and called her “Ummada Citta”, because the mere sight of her beauty drove men mad.
In due course of time, they lodged her in a chamber built on a single pillar, with an only entrance through the king’s bedroom. They placed a woman-attendant within, and a hundred soldiers without.
When Dighagamani, the son of prince Dighayu, heard about his beautiful cousin Ummada Citta, he travelled to Upatissagama to see her. King Panduvāsudeva appointed him, his wife’s nephew, to serve the royal court together with his son Abhaya, the vice-regent.
Citta saw Dighagamani in the place from her window, and, her heart on fire with love, she asked her serving-woman who he was.
Her attendant, who was already in a league with the prince, told her that he was prince Dighagamani, the son of her uncle Dighayu.
Citta confided to her attendant her love for the prince. That night, Dighagamani entered Citta’s bedroom by fastening a hook-ladder to the window of her heavily guarded bedroom. They had intercourse until day break. From that day onwards Dighagamani came to Citta’s bedroom covertly at night. Their affair was not discovered for many days.
After some time, Citta became pregnant, and her attendant told her mother, queen Bhaddakaccānā about the clandestine affair. After questioning her daughter, the queen told her husband. The king took counsel with his sons and said: “We must acknowledge Dighagamani as one of us, and let us give Citta in marriage to him.”
His sons, except Abhaya, said: “We accept your proposal on one condition. If it is a son that would be born to Citta, we will kill the baby.”
King Panduvāsudeva gave his daughter Citta in marriage to Dighagamani.
When the time of her delivery was getting nearer, the nine brothers of Citta killed the two attendants on Dighagamani, a herdsman named Citta and a slave named Kalavela, since these two were accomplices to the clandestine love affair and would not fall in with their design to kill the baby boy who might be born. The two attendants of Dighagamani, After being killed, were reborn as yakkas and both kept guard over the child in the mother’s womb.
Fearing the fate that would befall on her son, Citta through her attendant found a woman who, like her, was near her period of delivery.
A few days later, Citta bore a son, and that woman bore a daughter. Citta gave thousand pieces of money and her own son to that woman and laid hat woman’s infant daughter beside her.
Citta’s brothers were happy when they heard that their sister had given birth to a daughter instead of a son.
Citta and her mother, queen Bhaddakaccānā, named the new-born baby boy Pandukabhaya by joining the names of his grandfather, king Panduväsudeva, and his eldest uncle, prince Abhaya.
King Panduväsudeva died in 414 BC, after his grandson Pandukabhaya was born.
Prince Abhaya, the eldest son of King Panduväsudeva, was solemnly consecrated as king.
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Prelude (tvaraj.com)
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Part 1 – Sinhabahu (tvaraj.com)
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Part 2 – Vijaya (tvaraj.com)
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Part 3 – Kuveni (tvaraj.com)
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Part 4 – Tamil Brides from Madurai (tvaraj.com)
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Part 5 – Panduvāsudeva (tvaraj.com)
- The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Postlude (tvaraj.com)
- Mahavamsa: CHAPTER IX – THE CONSECRATING OF ABHAYA (lakdiva.org)
- The History of the Sinhalese by John M. Senaveratna (books.google.co.in)