Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI

Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI
Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI is found erected near the Bodhi-tree in the Buddhist temple, Dedigama Raja Maha Viharaya in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. It contains a grant of the amnesty given to the inhabitants of Hatara Koralaya (Four Koralas), who had recently rebelled against the authority of King Bhuvanekabahu VI (1470-1477 A.D.).

The inscription has been engraved on both sides of a stone slab of about 5 ft. tall and 1 ft. 7 in. broad (Paranavitana, 1933). It had been broken into two pieces which are now joined together. The first side of the inscription contains twenty-seven lines and the second side contains twenty-one lines (Paranavitana, 1933). Written in the Sinhalese language, the epigraph is dated in the ninth year of King Bhuvanekabahu (the sixth).

The inscription has been indited on a stone by Vikramasingha Adhikara on the orders of his majesty, King Bhuvanekabahu VI, to allay the suspicion of fear from the minds of the people of the Satara Korale who were subdued after an insurrection against the authority of King Bhuvanekabahu VI. According to the inscription, an amnesty was granted to the inhabitants of the Satara Koralaya, by the king.

The insurrection
Details on the insurrection against King Bhuvanekabahu VI are found in some chronicles such as Rajavaliya and lithic inscriptions including the Dedigama slab inscription and Pegu-Kalyani inscription of Burma [(Myanmar) Ko, 1892; Paranavitana, 1933; Suraweera, 1997].

During the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.), Sapumal Kumaraya, an adopted son of King Parakramabahu VI, attacked Jaffna (Yapa Patuna) and brought it under the control of the Kotte Kingdom. After the demise of King Parakramabahu VI, the throne of the Kotte Kingdom was given to Prince Jayabahu [coronation name: Vira Parakramabahu (1467-1468 A.D.)], the son of Ulakudaya Deviya [(the daughter of King Parakramabahu VI) Suraweera, 1997]. By hearing this coronation, Sapumal Kumaraya who was at the time at Yapa Patuna came to Kotte and usurped the throne, and became the king of Kotte under the name Bhuvanekabahu VI (Suraweera, 1997). However, this incident caused to make an insurrection among Sinhalese people in the kingdom

Simhala Peraliya (the Sinhalese insurrection)
The coronation of King Bhuvanekabahu VI was not supported by several Sinhalese territories in the country. A serious insurrection against the authority of Bhuvanekabahu VI occurred among the people of the Pasyodun Koralaya located between the Kalu Ganga river and the Walawe Ganga river under the leadership of Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Thera (Suraweera, 1997). This insurrection was also spread to Satara Koralaya, Udarata, and the southern part of the country (Paranavitana, 1933).

Meanwhile, King Bhuvanekabahu VI dispatched Prince Ambulugala, the ruler of Satara Koralaya, to subdue this insurrection (Paranavitana, 1933). Prince Ambulugala captured both Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Thera and brought them before King Bhuvanekabahu VI (Suraweera, 1997). The captives were then imprisoned by the king (Suraweera, 1997).
Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI

Reign    : 9th regnal year of Bhuvanekabahu VI
Period   : 15th century A.D.
Language   : Modern Sinhala
Script          : Modern Sinhala
Transcript: (1)   Svast(i)  Sri  Mahasa   (2)  mmata 
paramparanu (3) yata Suryya vamso  (4) tbhuta Sri 
Parakra (5)  mabahu maharajadhiraja (6) nandana 
Translation :  Hail. On  the  thirteenth  day  of  the
waxing  moon   in  (the  month  of)  Poson  in  the
year after the eighth of his majesty the illustrious
emperor .....>>

Citation : Paranavitana, 1933
Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI
1) Ko, T.S., 1892. The Kalyānī Inscriptions erected by King Dhammacetī at Pegu in 1476 AD: Text and translation. Superintendent, government printing, Burma. p.77.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wikramasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Dadigama slab-inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon :Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.278-286.
3) Suraweera, A. V., 1997. Rajavaliya: A critical edition with an introduction (In Sinhala). Educational Publications Department. pp.85-86, 90, 219-220.

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