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

The sons of Ruhuna

1. King Sena 1 welcomed and entertained the princes and princesses, who came from Ruhuna. They were provided with accommodation. They were looked after as children of his own. The three sons were given a military training. They on their part, were obedient to the king and won the hearts of everybody in the palace. Time passed peacefully.

2. The eldest of these princes, was named Kashyapa. King Sena called him and said, "Son, you should inherit the administration of Ruhuna. It's time you asserted yourself." The prince who was also thinking how he could get power in the south, was happy to hear this. This was an unexpected fortune. He made arrangements to get to his birthplace.

3. He went and met King Sena and said, "O, great King, I'm now prepared to go to the South." the king gave him permission and gave an army too. He advised the prince to defeat the aunt, take over power and rule Ruhuna well. He further advised him to treat his subjects as his children and be a father figure to them. Prince Kashyapa couldn't help shedding tears. He said, "When we came to you through fear of our lives, you treated us like children of your own. We are deeply indebted to you".

4. The king then said, "Son, do not think about these things now. I'm not alone here, as I have your sisters and brothers with me here. You think of somehow establishing your power. Go ahead now. Victory will be yours." The king wished him luck. Prince Kashyapa went to the South, accompanied by the army. The aunt who heard about his arrival got greatly disturbed and came to fight him.

5. There followed a serious battle. Prince Kashyapa won. The aunt died. Kashyapa became the ruler of the South. The he got down his two brothers from Anuradhapura. They were Sena and Udaya. They were also made provincial rulers of the South. The lived in peace and happiness.

6. Meanwhile, the sisters who were in Anuradhapura, grew up to be pretty, young ladies. The elder one was named Sangha. King Sena had given her the part of 'Rajini' and she was married to the 'Yuva-raja'. The other two princesses were named Tissa and Kitthie. The Yuvaraj's brother, Prince Mihindu took both of them as his wives.

7. King Sena did his duty by these two princesses too. He gave a lot of wealth to them. King Sena was a righteous man and loved to get engaged in meritorious deeds. When a part of the Jetavana temple was damaged by the enemy, this king renovated it. His queen was also Sangha by name and she too was very religious.


8. In 887 AD, King Sena died. It was his brother's son who succeeded him. He was Prince Sena, the son of Kashyapa who died earlier. He was holding the post of Yuvaraja, at the time of the death of King Sena. He was crowned as King Sena 11. This king appointed his brother, Prince Mihindu, as the over-all ruler of the South. He was also made the Yuvaraja.

By Halaliye Karunathilake, Edited and translated by Kamala Silva, Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila.

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