Yalpana Vaipava Malai

Yalpana Vaipava Malai or YVM (Tamil: யாழ்ப்பாண வைபவமாலை; Sinhala: යාල්පාන වෛපව මාලේයි) is a Tamil literary work written by, as stated in the book preface, a person named Mayilvakanan at the request of Dutch governor Maccara (Brito, 1879). It is considered the main source [the only work professing to be a chronicle (Paranavitana, 1961)] of information available for the history of the Arya kings in Jaffna.

The name Maccara which is mentioned in the book preface is Jan Maccara, the governor of the Dutch possessions of Ceylon in 1736 (Brito, 1879). It is believed that the author of this book lived about that time. However, the bold language used in describing the Dutch policy as well as the prophecies in YVM show some relations to the English and therefore, it has been shaped/interpolated in the 19th century (Brito, 1879, Paranavitana, 1961). 

According to the author's preface, some early works have been used in the book compilation. It begins with an account of Rakshasas followed by Singha-bahu, Vijaya-raja (King Vijaya) and other legendary and mythical matters based on Taksina-kailasa-puranam, Vaiyapatal, and the Kayilasa-malai (Paranavitana, 1961). It also contains information about how the South Indian Vellala chieftains [sent by South Indian Tamil Kings on request of Vijaya Kulangai (or Kulang-kay-ariyan)] were settled in different places in Jaffna Peninsula (Brito, 1879). The book ends with the accounts of the thirteen Ariyan kings (from Vijaya Kulangai to Cankili) and the Portuguese occupation of Jaffna (Dias et al., 2016). This final part of the book is said to be based on two early works called Racamurai and Pararacacekaran-ula, but neither of these works is available today (Paranavitana, 1961). Prominent archaeologist Senarath Paranavitana has left the following opinions regarding the content of YVM;
The Yalpana-vaipava-malai does not give the length of the reign of these rulers, but furnishes dates in the Saka era for certain outstanding events. Such of these dates are capable of being checked with other reliable evidence have been found to be quite incorrect. This circumstance, and the late date of the work, do not inspire much confidence in the Yalapana-vaipava-malai as a source for the history of North Ceylon during the three centuries before the arrival of the Portuguese, but it may have preserved confused memories of personages who actually lived and events which did, in fact, take place.
Citation: Paranavitana, S., 1961. The Arya kingdom in north Ceylon. p.177.
1) Britto, C., 1879. The Yalpana-Vaipava-Malai or The history of the Kingdom of Jaffna: Translated from the Tamil, with an appendix and a glossary by C. Britto. Colombo. pp. The author's preface, the translator's preface, 14-16.
2) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.184.
3) Paranavitana, S., 1961. The Arya kingdom in north Ceylon. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. pp.174-224.

This page was last updated on 14 April 2023

1 comment

  1. Lucky I found somebody with some interest in YVM. More I want to know. Can I discuss this with you?
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