KING VIJAYA

KING VIJAYA

King Vijaya is the founder of the Sinhala race.

King Vijaya: “Bring back my men, you witch, before your head starts rolling on the ground” Menacing words they were. the speaker was prince Vijaya who landed on the shores of Sri Lanka, some 2500 years ago. Kuveni, the Yakkha princes immediately released all his men whom she had lured into an underground prison.possessed of magical powers, she was the daughter of Yakkha chieftain. the island at the time was inhabited by people belonging to the Yakkha tribe.

fear gripped her. the kings Vijaya was holding her by her and the spinning wheel in her hand dropped to the ground. The sharp blade of his sword raised hight by his right hand was glittering in the morning sun. Kuveni, in spite of fear, was charmed by the manly grip of the handsome young prince the color of whose skin was golden.

“spare my life, handsome prince, I’ll not only help you to become the king of this beautiful country but be your queen,” she said.

So, Vijaya did not kill Kuveni. He got his men back and a promise of power and a beautiful young lady as his wife.

It was not a pre-planned visit to the land. He and his 700 men were brought here by accident. The arrival of Vijaya marked the founding of an Aryan kingdom and the beginning of the Sinhala race.

Vijaya was the eldest so of Sinhabahu the king of Lada, a small kingdom of India. His mother was Sinha Sivali. The parents were brother and sister. They were born to Suppa Devi, an Indian princess, whom it is said, was forcibly taken away by a lion. the lion kept Suppa Devi as his wife and they lived in a forest cave and begot children. just two, Sinhabahu and Sinha Sivali.

Vijaya’s conduct was distressing to the people of Lada.HE had overstepped the excusable limits of youthful exuberance.he had 700 followers who willingly shared with their leader the wild pleasure of causing harm and destruction, to the property as well as life. When the people could no longer tolerate, they at first, complained to Sinhabahu. The King’s advice to the prince was of no avail. The wrath of the people rose to such heights, it ultimately turned out to be an uprising.

The King took the only step opened to him and punished his son and the whole set of mischief-makers. He got them on to a ship and set it on a voyage.survival or perish was a matter left to be decided by fate.

The ship carrying Vijaya and 700 of his men with half-shaven heads was sailing on the high seas for several days. They were at the mercy of the winds. Incidentally, the ship touched at the port of Supparaka on the eastern coast of India. The people of Supparaka who seemed to know the record of the visitors were hostile and forced them back into the ship. The voyage resumed with no set destination and the ship was drifting on the water. And at last, history had its way. The winds brought them to a port on the northwestern coast island of Lanka, a place near Puttalam.frankie-dixon-oyhxi8ALjSM-unsplash

The sea was calm, the sky was clear blue above the green of the irregular line of coconut trees. The visitors were fascinated by nature’s beauty. They decided that this beautiful country had everything they needed to settle down and start a new life.

tired after long and tedious sea travel they sat on the ground resting the palms on the brown earth. They found that the color of their palms had changed. The palms looked
like copper plates and they named the country”Tamba panni”.

While, they were, thus resting a bitch appeared before them wagging its tail to show friendliness and familiarity. She sat there quite close to them looking intently with smiling eyes. It was as though she had at last found her master after months of absence. This bitch was a maidservant of Kuveni, the Yakkha princess.BY her magical powers she had transformed the maid into an animal and sent her here on a job. She had been asked to entice Vijaya and his men the purpose, she did not seem to know. Vijaya’s men concluded that where there were friendly dogs there were friendly human beings. The bitch got up to go as if she did not wish to waste her time any longer on a group of strangers. She took the lead and some men of the more adventurous type decided to follow.

The bitch stopped at a beautiful pond and disappeared. The water was clear like crystal. There were red and white lotuses rising just above the surface. Many colored fishes were swimming about in the water. The Vijaya’s men were tempted to descend into the pond. Just to get a splash of cool water. Splashes there were, not one but several. With the touch of water, they all pushed into an underground cave by an invisible hand. There they were, locked up underground. Party after party of men who were brought near the pond were thus imprisoned.

Vijaya began to become uneasy and suspicious when any of the men did not return. The bitch came back and looked at Vijaya inquiringly- “Why don’t you; Vijaya followed and came to the pond. He noticed that many footprints were leading into the pond and none in the direction of the bank.
He looked around.

A young lady was sitting on a stone under a tree.she was charming. She was so busy with a spinning wheel she did not even look up. Prince Vijaya walked straight up to the young princess and held her by her hair leaving no time for an exchange of normal greeting.

This was a decisive meeting at which a few things happened in favor of Vijaya. The captured men were released. Kuveni became the consort of Vijaya. She betrayed her people by volunteering to arrange for a mass killing of all the Yakkha chiefs. This operation was carried out at a festival at which all the chiefs had gathered. It was easy for Vijaya to massacre the yakshas by a surprise attack. The initial obstacles were thus cleared for him to become the king of Sri Lanka.

The first Aryan settlement was thus established and the country came to be known as Sinhala Dvipaya.

The King’s ministers were given the task of establishing more settlements.there were four such settlements the first of which was Anuradhgama founded by minister Anuradha in the area served by Malwatuioya. Then came Upastissgama in the neighborhood of Kanadara Oya. In the area of Kala Oya, the third settlement of Uruvela was set up by a minister called Uruvela, And Vijitha was the founder of Vijithagama.

Vijaya felt that there should be a formal coronation as the king of Sri Lanka. His ministers advised that the coronation ceremony should be held according to the laws and customs followed by his royal forefathers in India. According to custom, he should have as his queen a Kshatriya princess. Vijaya was sad that this would displace Kuveni. He explained to Kuveni that the laws and customs governing kingship demanded that he should have a Kshatriya princess as his chief consort. Kuveni’s heart sank when she heard the decision of Vijaya. Grief-stricken she at once decided to leave the palace taking her son and daughter
Jivahatta and Disala, both born to her by Vijaya. Roaming about in the forest with no set destination, she finally came to a settlement where all the Yakkhas who had escaped death were living. Still angry about the treachery of Kuveni, the yakkhas killed her. The two children ran into the forest and escaped death. It is said that the Veddas are the descendants of Jivahatta and Disala.
They were known as Pulindas.

King Vijaya ruled for 38 years but left no successors to the throne, by his marriage to a Kshatriya princess from India.

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