Tradition Concerning The Kings Of Ceylon, Etc.
( Originally Published Late 1800's )
TRADITION CONCERNING THE KINGS OF CEYLON, COMMUNICATED BY OUDAPALLEH DESSAH, AT GONNOROWEH NEAR CANDIA.
There was formerly an holy mountain on the earth, called " Odeagerree paroovatam," on which two Gods descended from Chatoorm maha rajakeh devee lokun; from thence they addressed the inhabitants of the earth, warning them of a deluge of rain, which would last seven days, and desiring them consequently to be careful of their safety : they afterwards returned to Heaven.
It is recorded in the Cingalese Bible, that during the first ages the life of the most virtuous man did not exceed 120 years; and those of inferior merit continued upon earth in proportion downwards. And it was decreed by Almighty power that, when any man should prove sufficiently sinful to cause his death after a period of ten years, there would a deluge happen upon earth.
The Virtusees, who alone had any knowledge of the supreme decision, and from a conviction of the general depravity of mankind, began to take shelter among caverns and on the summits of lofty mountains ; but the sinful, heedless of their conduct, and unmindful of the divine wrath, experienced all the horrors of the rain. In addition to the calamities brought on by the overflow of the waters, they appeared to each other as animals, and soon began to wage war among themselves ; and those which escaped the death that their own brethren inflicted, were overwhelmed by the waters.
The righteous, who escaped this almost general destruction, enacted salutary laws for their better being, and established the existence of ten sins, five of which were deemed capital, and the others less heinous, and atoned for by moderate penance. The age of the virtuous man after this was extended to innumerable years ; but vice again resuming its empire, the period became reduced to what it had originally been.
About this time was born a monarch named Sankanam Chakeravarty Rajah. He had a palace on earth, which he possessed the power of visiting at pleasure, attended by ten things, including his family and certain necessary articles. They were as follows : a wife and child, a minister, a person called Pareenaekeh Vatné, the general of his armies, and Graha-pattee ratneli, who furnished him with provisions, an elephant, a horse, a ruby by which he obtained his wishes, a holy Palmirah-tree, and a species of gold instrument termed Shuckrum.*
Soododenah Maha Rajah was born in this family, and had for his wife Maha Maya Devee; her son was named Seed'harta Komareah, who reigned as king, and his wife Yasohderah Devee, by whom he had a son called Rahoolah Komareah. The father was not at home at the birth of this son ; but having afterwards returned, and while he had one foot within and the other without the house, he discovered on the bed both mother and child; from which moment he deter-mined having nothing further to do in family affairs. A month after this he directed his minister to provide him a horse of a particular description, which he mounted and rode, until he had crossed the Anomanany Gangava (river), from whence he sent him back with his jewels, etc., to his father, and, shaving his head, turned hermit. Brahma on this occasion descended from Heaven to supply all his wants ; and on his return took with him the hair of Seed'harta Komareah, which still continues to be held sacred there. He after this retired to the wilderness, where he remained six years in constant devotion ; having returned, he wrought great miracles, which, as well as his principal actions, are recorded in three books, called Vineh peetakeh, Sootra peetakeh, and Abee d'herma peetakeh.
The son of Seed'harta Komareah had issue; and of his descendants was Vijee Rajah, the first king of Ceylon : the present king is the one hundred and fortieth in descent from him.
The present capital of the kingdom of Candia is called in Cingalese, or the common dialect, Singedda Gullah Nuareh.
In the Palee, it is called Sree vardena pooree noowereh.
TRADITION CONCERNING THE GOD BHOODDHA, COMMUNICATED BY A PRIEST AT GOUNOROWEH, NEAR CANDIA.
There was a monarch of the threefold worlds, or Universe, named Vessantara Rajah, whose daily care was to distribute charities to all. Liberality and bounty are said to have carried him so far, that he at length presented the people with his very eyes. At times he fed the insects that surrounded him with his own blood, and at others gave up his flesh to be devoured by animals; in like manner as he in the first instance gave up his wealth to the poor, so did he his wife and children to those who stood in need of them. Having at length departed this life, he ascended into heaven, where he enjoyed a blessed state for a long time, ambrosia being his food, and nectar his drink.
Four gods then in heaven, Dertahrakterreh, Veeroodha, Veeroopaakehé, and Waceshshravanah, requested this sanctified person to descend upon earth under the name and form of Bhooddha. At the saine time there was another god in heaven named Bodee Satyo, who began to consider into whose womb Bhooddha should descend, who was to become his father, who his mother, and in what country he should be born. The country's name appeared to be Dumba Deeva Madda Desé, the city Kimboolwatpooree ; the father Seedoo-dena-Maharajah; and the mother Mahamaya Deevee, who, after a lapse of ten months, was delivered of him in a flower-garden, called Lumbee Neenam. At the time of his birth, the great Brahma attended and received the infant in a golden bason ; after which, he handed him to the god Hatterah-verrang Deyo, so called from possessing four attributes, and by him given to mankind.
The infant after this seated himself down, and viewed the four luarters of the globe, thinking whether the guardians of these quarters exceeded him in greatness; also whether he was excelled therein by the sun or moon. He grew up daily until the age of twenty-one ; when all the gods appearing in his presence, desired him to assume the name of Bhooddha, having previously gone by that of Seeddaarta Komarah. After this he repaired to a river called Nerangenanang Ganga Walla, on horseback, distant 12o leagues, which he performed in one day. On the banks of this river, at a place called Anoomanantotedee, the great Brahma appeared before him, and gave him three pieces of yellow cloth, which he put on ; that instant the horse expired, and his spirit ascended to heaven. Bhooddha then journeyed to a sandy plain called Orooddanaoo, where he remained performing penance for six years, during which the Almighty provided him with food, which sometimes consisted of a tibbot-berry, and at others of a grain of ginger, upon which he subsisted ; never closing his eyes the whole time, being constantly taken up in meditation and prayer.
He afterwards left this place, and went to Senaneenam-neeangamata, where stood a negrodha-tree, under the shade of which he remained. He no sooner arrived here, than a virgin of angelic beauty, who had waited his coming for many years, presented him a golden cup containing milk and boiled rice. Having accepted this offering, he took it with him to the above-mentioned river, whither he returned, and then ate fifty-one handfuls of victuals. This done, he placed the cup on the surface of the water, where it descended to the world of serpents, called Nagabawanah ; he afterwards took shelter under a tree named Salwanee Satapilla, situated in the midst of a wilderness, where he remained the entire of that day. In the meantime, the gods were busied in clearing the country, and making roads for his future progress, which he began that evening. As he journeyed on his way, he met a Brahmannee boy% with a bundle of the grass called kussa, which he threw at his feet, and then prostrated himself before him. Bhooddha, taking up the grass, repaired with it to a tree called Bodee (this is the Palee word, Bogaha being used in the Cingalese, or low dialect), situated in the centre of an antient city in the neighbourhood of Siam, against which tree he rested his back, and holding the bundle of grass up in his hands and shaking it, a diamond throne thirteen cubits high arose out of its contents, upon which he seated himself.
About this time the god of the seventh, or empyrean heaven, became envious of the miracles of Bhooddha, and sent down an army composed of angels and evil spirits to attack him. Their numbers amounted to ten hundred thousand millions, all of which he defeated and destroyed. Bhooddha then banished love, anger, and every other jarring passion from his mind and body, and enjoyed the purest pleasures on his diamond throne for seven days ; at the expiration of which time the great Brahma and all the subordinate Gods appeared in his presence, and acknowledging his pre-eminence, prostrated themselves and adored him, calling him by the name of Bhooddha, After this, Brahma and the other gods attended him through the world, while he bestowed happiness and salvation on mankind—Brahma holding an umbrella over his head, whilst Indra blew a trumpet before him, and Vishnoo fanned him.
The Bhoodda-Warooseh, or era of Bhooddha, which dates from his ascension to heaven, stands as follows :
On the 30th of November, Anno Domini 1796, 2339 years and 17 days had elapsed. Bhooddha was eighty years of age when he died. Twenty-nine years of his life were passed with his family ; six in pilgrimage and prayer; and for forty-five years he exercised his powers as a Bhoodha.