'Dalada Pujava' - ceremonies to worship the Tooth Relic
~This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history~
1. Mannar, Valikamam, Trincomalee, Illuppayikkadavai and Kayts, were all under Magha's rule then. Some of these towns were maintained as fortresses. He used to get down soldiers from abroad every now and then. He was constantly taking steps to stabilize his power. Therefore the northern coast was entirely under his power. Magha was able to carry on a successful rule over Rajarata as well.
2. Meanwhile, Parakramabahu II was beginning to launch an attempt to free the country from the foreign enemy. He started recruiting new soldiers to the army.
This was an easy task for him, as the families who suffered the atrocities of Magha and his men had by this time fled to Dambadeniya and the adjoining areas. They harboured an enmity and hatred towards these foreign armies. They wanted to take revenge. So, those members, very willingly joined the army.
3. The king treated them well. These men were given a good military training. As a result, some clever warriors were born. This led to the strengthening of the army of Dambadeniya. While getting ready to wage war against the enemy, he continued his services to religion. In all these aspects, he proved to be one step better than his father.
4. King Parakramabahu II held a 'Dalada Pujava.' This ceremony was held continuously for a number of days. He convened an assembly of monks and in their presence made a declaration.
It was, "I will try my best to free my country from foreign rule. That of course is not with the intention of enjoying the pleasures of a king.
5. It is to spread Buddhism all over the country, once more. May I be blessed by all the deities who are responsible for the security of Buddhism in this island. Just as kings like Asela, Dutugemunu, Valagamba, Dhatusena and Vijayabahu were blessed, may I too be blessed by them. Let them protect me."
The king kept to his resolution. He knew that the Tooth Relic was the symbol of a king's power, over the entire country. A wish made before the Tooth Relic, will definitely come true, thought the king.
6. The king's Yuvaraja, Prince Buvanekaba was a strong man. He always valued physical strength. But the king was more kind-hearted than him. Although he made plans for a great battle, he tried to solve most issues through peaceful means. He even pardoned some wrong-doers. He was able to bring quite a lot of wrong-doers to the correct path, by explaining matters and giving them advice.
7. He successfully handled even the prisoners who were in captivity during the rule of his father. Some of them were released.
Even those who were released were given money and all the necessary support to lead a good life thereafter. They were very pleased with King Parakramabahu II and began to respect him. Some of them joined the army to fight the enemy. They underwent military training.
8. Time passed. Some of them turned to be clever warriors. They were honoured as national heroes. Some took to farming and turned out to be very good farmers.
They made the country prosperous by providing enough food stuff. They were responsible in bringing up a generation that was loyal to the country and the religion.