Funday Times - Mahavamsa

The Lord who hunted the Aryans
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. Fighting valiantly, Prince Sapumal was able to crush whatever force that he faced. As he advanced, the enemy soldiers who were losing were retreating to Jaffna. Prince Sapumal, went as far as Jaffna. By this time, the capital city of Aryachakravarti was defended by a huge army. They were adopting all possible strategies. Prince Sapumal, had to wage a fierce battle there, as there were some clever warriors in Aryachakravarti's army.

2. The cleverest among his warriors was a Muslim soldier, who was aiming at capturing Prince Sapumal. The prince, who was riding on a black horse, was displaying his skill, in the use of the sword and the spear, and fighting fearlessly. The 'Yonaka,' the Muslim warrior, could not bear it any more. He at once jumped on the prince and his horse, making a big din, with the idea of attacking both at once.

3. Though the Muslim warrior shouted so loud, the prince was not afraid. In a split second, he turned towards the Muslim and sent his spear piercing the body of the enemy. The prince was thrilled and he laughed aloud. The enemy soldiers were frightened while the Sinhala army was jubilant. They
continued fighting. Prince Sapumal, waited a while without pulling out the spear.

4. With the aim of creating fear and panic, among the enemy soldiers, the prince riding on his black horse, carried the dead body and went through the battle-front. By this time, the armies of Jaffna had started retreating, but they had not given up the fight. They tried their best to stop the Kotte army from advancing. They adopted guerilla tactics and were hiding and attacking. Prince Sapumal was able to overcome all these obstacles and march forward.

5. It looked as if the soldiers of Kotte were out of their senses. They attacked aimlessly. A lot of lives and property were ruined. Finally Aryachakravarti realized that this battle was far too much for him and he fled from the battle-field. Prince Sapumal was able to capture his uncle, the younger brother and the other members of his family. They were sent to Kotte, as prisoners. The flag of Kotte, was proudly hoisted in Jaffna. There-after Prince Sapumal earned a Tamil honorary name.

6. This honorary name meant, 'The Lord who hunted the Aryans.' Our 'Selalihini Sandeshaya,' describes how Prince Sapumal won Jaffna and came back to Kotte, victorious. It can be considered that this battle was fought somewhere around 1450 A.D. King Parakramabahu VI who was in Kotte, had received this prince with all honour. Celebrations were held all over the kingdom of Kotte.

7. The king made Prince Sapumal, the ruler of Jaffna. The prince went to live there. It is mentioned that this prince maintained a royal court like the one at Kotte. The legends of Jaffna tell a different story. According to them, the Sinhala people who were under the rule of Jaffna, had received help from the Vanni leaders of 'Kanakasuriyan Singai Aryan.' It is with this help that the Sinhala people fought.

8. Aryachakravarti is here identified as Kanakasuriyan Singai Aryan. When he lost in battle, he had fled to South India, along with his family. In these stories from Jaffna, there is no mention either of Parakramabahu or the Prince Sapumal. However, Aryachakravarti, who lost his kingdom tried again to regain it.

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