Saturday, June 22, 2019

Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu VI

Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu
Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu VI is one of Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka. It is now on the display at the Stone Gallery of the Colombo National Museum. It records about a grant of fields in Naimmana village (in Matara District) to feed Brahmans at the alms hall near the Shrine of Devinuwara.

The slab was found from a place at Naimmana village in Matara District. Edward Muller, in his book "Ancient Inscriptions of Ceylon", says that an upright slab with a Tamil inscription was found standing in the jungle of Naimana, located about two miles north of Matara (Muller, 1984).

The inscription has been engraved on both sides of an irregularly shaped stone slab of about 3 feet tall and 1 feet broad. The top of the slab is round and outline drawings of the Sun and the Moon (on the first side) and 'Samkha' and 'Cakra' (on the second side) are found carved above the lettering. It consists of forty six lines and has been written on both sides of the slab (Pathmanathan, 2005). The epigraph is mainly in Tamil language with the Tamil scripts but it ends with two Sanskrit verses written in Grantha scripts (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The inscription is dated in the twenty first year of a king styled Sri Parakramabahu (Pathmanathan, 2005). Depending on the palaeographical considerations, S. Paranavitana has assigned this inscription to the 14-15th centuries A.D. (Paranavitana, 1953). S. Pathmanadan in the opinion that this inscription has been set up during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.), around the year 1433 A.D. (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The inscription has two parts: the Sanskrit portion and the Tamil portion. The Sanskrit portion is identified as the summary of the Tamil record but significant differences are found in the descriptions of the grant in the two languages (Pathmanathan, 2005). The Sanskrit portion records about the endowment of village of Naimmana by Parakramabahu, the king of Lanka, for the purpose of feeding twelve Brahmans daily at 'sattra' (a alms hall) of Devaraja (Pathmanathan, 2005). The Tamil portion records about the grants of fields of several villages (including Naymnanai) by the king, for the purpose of providing alms daily at the 'cattiram' of the shrine of the (god) king (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The interpretations for the Naimmana Tamil inscription by S. Pathmanathan (2005) are given below,
Naimmana Tamil SlabNaimmana Tamil Slab Inscription
Reign : Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.)
Period : 15th century A.D.
Language : Tamil, Sanskrit
Script : Tamil, Grantha
Transcript: (1) Ciri parakkirama (2) vaku tevarku ya (3) ntu 20 avatuk (4) ku etiravatu vai (5) kaci mu 5(i)l maha (6) iracavintiru .....>>
Translation : Hail Prosperity. The twenty-first anniversary of the inauguration of the reign of his majesty Parakkiramavaku tevar is on the fifth (day) of the first fortnight of (the month of) Vaikaci.....>>
Citation : Pathmanathan, 2005

1) Muller, E., 1984. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi. p.60.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1953. The Shrine of Upulvan at Devundara (Vol. 6). Ceylon Government, Archaeological Department. p.71.
3) Pathmanathan, S., 2005. Tamil inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 47. (2010). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka, pp.39-52.

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