Funday Times - Mahavamsa

The death of Parakramabahu ii
This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history
By Halaliye Karunathilake, Edited and translated by Kamala Silva, Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila

1. Going by what happened in later years, Javakas were a great menace to the kings of Dambadeniya. There is evidence to show there was a Javaka kingdom in the North. Around 14th century AD, the area from Jaffna up to Mullativu was called Javagama or Javakam.

2. After the invasion of Chandrabhanu, Prince Vijayabahu went to Anuradhapura. On his way, the rulers of the Vanni districts welcomed him and showered him with gifts. Prince Vijayabahu accompanied them up to Ruwanveli Dagaba. By then the stupa was in ruins. He delegated the work of reconstruction to the Vanni rulers. In 1262 AD, the prince joined his cousin Veerabahu and went to Polonnaruwa.

3. The Polonnaruwa kingdom too was devastated. Tanks and canals were ruined. No cultivation whatsoever had been done for quite some time. Prince Vijayabahu had to act immediately. Prince Veerabahu too gave his full support. They got together and attended to the reconstruction work. They tried to establish the security of the town. The palace and the places of worship that were broken down were repaired and brought back to their
original form.

4. Once all the reconstruction work was over, Prince Vijayabahu, brought King Parakramabahu to Polonnaruwa. Amidst loud cheers and with all the pomp and glory, a coronation ceremony was held. After this ceremony, King Parakramabahu went back to Dambadeniya. Prince Vijayabahu brought the Tooth Relic that was in Dambadeniya to Polonnaruwa and deposited it in the old Temple of the Tooth there.

5. In the year 1270 AD, the 'Upasampada' (Higher Ordination) was held ceremonially. Not long after that, King Parakramabahu II passed away. The service that he rendered to the country is immeasurable. He was so special as to be honoured with the title 'Kalikala Sahitya Sarvagna Pandita.' He was a scholar engaged in writing books. His queen was Sunetra Devi – who belonged to the 'Giri' clan.

6. During the time of King Parakramabahu II, there were many writers. They too honoured the king. There is no doubt that his service to religion and literature, is remarkable. Where politics was concerned, he was not that successful. Whatever our chroniclers say, King Parakramabahu II could not be the sole ruler of the country. In this sphere his victories were not that great.

7. In short, the king could not reign over Jaffna. This kingdom was won over about 200 years later and that too was a short lived victory. 'Pihitirata', that was ruined after the rule of Magha could not be rebuilt by this king. The entire irrigation network had collapsed.

8. Prince Vijayabahu who acted as the ruler of the country all these years, came to the throne of Dambadeniya after the death of King Parakramabahu. Till then, he was only a nominal king. However, it is not determined how long this King Vijayabahu retained power in Polonnaruwa.

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