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

The Yuvaraja Mihindu

1. Mihindu, the Yuvaraja, was guilty of an offence. He was frightened that his brother King Sena 11, would come to know about it. He knew, it was the king's nature to punish any wrong-doer, irrespective of his connection to the king. So he took his wife and children and fled to Malaya-Rata. It was during this time that Queen Sangha, delivered a baby boy. He was a beautiful baby and the astrologers predicted that he was would be a very lucky one.

2. "This prince is fit enough, not only to be the king of Sri Lanka but also of neighbouring India", boasted King Sena 11. The king had the 'Naming Ceremony' of this prince, on a very grand scale. On that particular day, the king proclaimed that this prince would be the future leader of the South. He was also named the Yuvaraja. Meanwhile, Yuvaraja Mihindu, who was in hiding in the South, wanted to make friends with this brother.

3. He thought of getting his younger brother's help in this. He also sought the guidance and help of all the monks of the three sects (Nikayas). The monks were feeling sorry for Mihindu and by way of helping him, they took him to the king. The brothers got friendly once more. Meanwhile, Queen Tissa , the queen of the Yuvaraja, gave birth to a baby daughter, who was also named Sangha.

4. By this time, his other queen Kitti had four sons and a daughter. King Sena felt sorry about them and gave over the leadership to Mihindu once more. As time passed all these princes and princesses reached their youth. The king thought of uniting all of them.

5. Princess Sangha, the daughter of the Yuvaraja was married to King Sena's son, Kashyapa. They lived peacefully, leading a good family life, with children of their own. King Sena, then wanted to engage in religious work. He organized a colourful ceremony to venerate the Tooth Relic. The king noticed the vacant space in that chamber where a golden statue of the Buddha was kept earlier. He wanted to know what had happened. The ministers said that it was the work of the enemies.

6. The king wanted to know, what that enemy problem was. Then the ministers had to explain, how during the reign of his father, there was a Pandyan invasion and how the enemy armies killed people, burnt cities, plundered the wealth of the temples and ruined the entire country.

7. King Sena 11 became quite ashamed of what had happened before him. He got back to the palace and pondered for long. He thought of taking revenge for the damage and insults our country had suffered at the hands of the Pandyans. He convened the Council of Ministers and told them of his idea of invading the Pandyan kingdom. He sought the advice of the ministers in this regard. They approved of the king's decision. The king then ordered them to organize the army.

8. At this stage, King Sena 11, had an advantage. That was because the Pandyan king, had banished a prince who had a claim to the Pandyan throne and that prince had come to Sri Lanka. He harboured a grudge against the Pandyan king and entertained the wish to get back and win his rights. He was waiting for a chance to meet King Sena 11 to seek his help to invade the Pandyan kingdom. It was then that the prince got to know that the king was planning to fight the Pandyans. This was good news to him. He was very happy.


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

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