The Sinhalese Too Migrated to Sri Lanka from India: Part 7 – Pandukabhaya


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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As commanded by queen Bhaddakaccānā, Ummada Citta’s woman-attendant placed the infant boy in a basket and carried him to Dvaramandalaka, the village situated near the Cetiya mountain (Mihintale), east of Anuradhagama.

Some brothers of Ummada Citta, on a hunting spree in the Tumbara forest, saw the woman-attendant carrying the basket.

One of them asked her: “Where are you going? What are you carrying in the basket?”

She answered: “I am going to Dvramandalaka. I am taking sweet cake for my daughter.”

The prince then said: “Take the cake out and show it to us.”

Just then, the two dead attendants of Dighagamani, Citta the herdsman and Kalavela the slave, who as yakkas were protecting the infant, caused a great boar to appear. The princes pursued the boar. The attendant immediately hastened from there with the child and hurried towards the Dvaramandalaka.

She handed over Pandukabhaya and a thousand pieces of money to a herdsman who was secretly entrusted by queen Bhaddakaccānā to take care of her grandson.

On that very day, the herdsman’s wife bore him a son, and he declared that his wife had given birth to twins. He brought up and protected Pandukabhaya along with his own son.

Pandukabhaya practised diving deep in the pond and secretively hid in the hollow of a large tree standing in the middle of it. When he had stayed long enough in the hollow of the tree completely hidden from his playmates, he would come out and be again among them. When his friends asked him where he had been, he would mislead them with evasive words.

When Pandukabhaya was seven years old, his uncles came to know that he was alive. They found out where he lived and the pond where he used to play with his friends. They ordered their men to kill him, and his playmates.

One day, Pandukabhaya seated on the edge of the pond while his friends were playing in the pond saw the enforcers approaching. He dived deep into the water with his clothes on and reached the hollow tree. The assassins unable to find out who their victim counted the number of boys in the pond and the clothes lying nearby. When the count tallied they killed all the boys. They then went to their masters and declared that they killed all the boys.

Pandukabhaya’s foster-father comforted him for the loss of his playmates.

When Pandukabhaya was twelve years old, his uncles again came to know that he was alive. Once again, they charged their assassins to kill him.

One day, a group of Dvaramandalaka herdsmen caught a deer and sent Pandukabhaya to the village to bring fire from there. He went home. Feeling tired and footsore, he sent his foster-father’s son with the fire to the herdsmen.

The assassins surrounded the herdsmen and the twelve-year-old boy with the fire who they assumed to be Pandukabhaya and killed them all. They then went to their masters and declared that they killed the boy and all the herdsmen of the Dvaramandalaka village.

Then, when Pandukabhaya was sixteen years old, his uncles once again discovered that he was still alive and plotted to kill him. On knowing this, his mother, Citta, sent him a thousand pieces of money and a squad of armed men to accompany him to a safe place.

Pandukabhaya’s foster-father told him his mother’s message, and giving him a slave and the thousand pieces of money, sent him to seek out the Brahmin named Pandula, a rich man, well-versed in the vedic lieterature, who dwelt in Pandulagamaka village, in the southern district.

Pandula honoured Pandukabhaya as his guest. He tutored him the knowledge needed by a reigning prince. With assistance from Pandula’s son Canda (or Candena cassa puttena who belonged to the sippam samapitam), Pandukabhaya mastered ‘the art’ in a short time.

Pandula then gave him a hundred thousand pieces of money and asked him to enrol soldiers. When five hundred men had been enrolled, Pandula appointed his son Canda as Pandukabhaya’s chaplain.

Before sending Pandukabhaya with his soldiers in search of his quest, Pandula gave him money and told him that he should consecrate the woman as his queen at whose touch leaves turn to gold.

By the time Pandukabhaya reached Pana, a city near the Kasa-mountain (Probably near the modern Kahagalagama ‘village of the Kaha mountain ‘, about 18 miles SE from Anuradhapura, and 10 miles WNW from the mountain Ritigala), he had gathered seven hundred more followers on the way and gathered provision for all. From there he and his one thousand two hundred soldiers marched to the mountain called Girikanda.

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← Previous: Part 6 – Abhaya and Citta

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