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Mahavamsa, The: The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka
Author Mahanama Thera, Modern Text and Historical Commentary by Douglas Bullis
ISBN 9551266099
Publisher Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2005
Pages 439
Size 17.5 x 24 x 3.4 cm, PB
Weight 750
Our Price Rs. 1,250.00
THE EPIC OF ANCIENT LANKA'S FOUNDING AND EARLY HISTORY is probably the least known of all the world's great chronicles. The Mahavamsa or "Great Chronicle" is much less familiar than its forebears, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Mahavamsa describes the introduction of Theravada Buddhism into Lanka and the development of the Buddhist nation-state that predominates in Sri Lanka today. The Mahavamsa's sweeping relation of the period from approximately 500 BCE through 301 ACE describes the origins of virtually every religious practice and social institution on the island. Some of these are: the commonwealth that developed between ruler, religion, and populace; popular Buddhism's fusion with local shamanistic beliefs and practices from Brahmanism, Hinduism, and Tantra; the dilution of the caste system by removing its religious proscriptions; the perennially mistrustful relationshop with Dravidian kingdoms in southern India; the great resevoir-based irrigation system; and the assertive yet unaggressive culture which developed from the cultivator mentality of the rice paddy and moral principles of Buddhism. Beyond these social and historical issues, the Mahavamsa possesses literary quaities which place it alongside the best of the literature emanating from the Subcontinent's civilization... The Mahavamsa and its successor the Culavamsa relate a 2,300-year span of history from the quasi-legandary arrival of an Indo-Aryan royal prince about 483 BCE to 1795, the beginning of the British colonial period. For many years Western scholars thought the fabulous stories in the few available written copies of the Mahavamsa to be a mix of apocrypha and speculative literature. Only in 1826 did a British civil servant discover a longlost commentary, called a Tika, in a cave in the south of the island. The Tika established the factural nature of much of what the Mahavamsa related. Temporary Out of Stock. Re-print under consideration



 

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