Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mahavamsa: The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka

Written in Pali language in the fifth century AD, the Sri Lankan Chronicle Mahavamsa is mainly a history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Composed by Mahanama Thera, the Buddhist Chronicle also gives reliable information on political history of India.

Mahavamsa has also great literary merit. It contains several passages of immense beauty. The passage describing the capture of Vijitanagara, the capital of the Tamil invader Elara, by the Sinhalese national hero, King Dutthagamani (161-137 BC) with aid of his favourite elephant, Kandula. is indeed one of the jewels in the crown.

Mahavamsatika or Vamsatthapakasini, a commentary on Mahavamsa, was composed in the 10th century AD.

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