This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa’, the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history

Prince Dhatusena
1. King Pandu's soldiers destroyed a whole lot of temples. On the pretext of looking for the prince they robbed gems, jewels, gold and all the valuables from the temples. Whoever protested against them, whether it be monk or layman, all were slaughtered. They harassed the people who stood in their way. But those brave Sinhala people of that time, did not utter a word about the prince.

2. The people silently bore up all the suffering. The prince who had been ordained, got derobed by this time. Yet, he went on studying at the Gonasadi temple. Rev. Mahanama was restless. He knew, for certain, that at any moment, the Tamil soldiers would attack this temple. He even thought of taking the prince and running away to a far off village.

3. Meanwhile the Tamil soldiers had attacked a temple, which was very close to the one where the prince was. Rev. Mahanama got quite worried. He did not go out of the temple premises the following day and was passing the time in anxiety. At one he heard a yell. A second followed. He felt as if the soldiers were coming. Rev. Mahanama was disturbed.

4. Rev. Mahanama rushed into the temple, took the prince by his hand and ran along a forest path. A moment later, the soldiers had invaded the temple. They broke open the doors, went in and looked for the prince. Meanwhile, some of the soldiers were busy collecting valuables in the form of gems and jewels. They took Buddha statues made of gold, tusks of elephants and a lot more and bundled them all up.

5. Having collected all the valuables, they set fire to the temple. The leader of the regiment, studied the surroundings. On the sand in the compound, he noticed two footprints, one of a child and the other of an adult. He followed these foot prints while the others took care of the valuables robbed. A few soldiers however followed the leader. They reached the forest, but beyond that, they had no trace of the path taken.

6. Rev. Mahanama who was proceeding on his way, along with the prince, came to a rivulet, beyond which King Pandu had no sway. He thought it best to cross this river, as soon as possible. As it was the rainy season, the river was almost overflowing. There was no boat within sight. The priest and the prince were both excited. They looked around. The entire place was very lonely. There was no human being to be seen around.

7. Rev. Mahanama got into the stream and told the prince thus, "Dear Prince, look, this stream is a big obstacle today. The day you become the king of this country, you should block this river. It should be made useful to the people". The prince agreed. "On no account can we stop our journey here", said Rev. Mahanama. He took the prince too and swam across the river. Then they entered the jungle.

8. A cave in the forest became their temple. The priest went begging for alms in the neighbouring villages. With the food he got, both the priest and the prince survived. Rev. Mahanama then managed to employ a commander who had served the Sinhala kings and got him to train the prince in the art of warfare. Prince Dhatusena then learnt the art of fighting speedily and demonstrated his skill. He then started learning archery.

Back to Top  Back to Mirror Magazine  

| Front Page | | News | | Editorial | | Columns | | Sports | | Plus | | Financial Times |
| Mirror Magazine | | TV Times |
| Funday Times |

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.