Jetavanarama Fragmentary Slab Inscription of Mahasena

Jetavanarama Slab Inscription of King Mahasena
Jetavanarama Slab Inscription of King Mahasena (Sinhala: මහාසේන රජුගේ ජේතවනාරාම පුවරු ලිපිය) is a fragmentary slab inscription found from the premises of Jetavanaramaya, Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

The inscription was discovered from the premises of the Jetavana monastery in 1893, by the then Archaeological Commissioner H. C. P. Bell (Paranavitana, 2001; Ranawella, 2005). It has been brought to Colombo later and is presently on the display at the National Museum of Colombo.

The inscription has been engraved on seven of the eight faces of a stone fragment which is octagonal in shape. Of them, the writing on five faces is in a good state of preservation (Paranavitana, 2001; Ranawella, 2005). The stone, possibly a crossbar of a railing, is nearly 2 feet long with facets of 4 to 5 inches.

The inscription reveals its engraving date as the first year of a king whose name is not found in the preserved portion (Ranawella, 2005). However, scholars such as Senarath Paranavitana have dated this inscription to the reign of King Mahasena [(276-303 A.D.) Paranavitana, 2001; Ranawella, 2005].

Jetavanarama fragmentary slab inscription of King Mahasena
A closer viewReign: King Mahasena (276-303 A.D.)
Period: 3rd century A.D.
Script: Later Brahmi
Language: Early Sinhala
Transcript: (1)...ha  padamaka avanaka vahasi patakaya biku-sagana pa (2)... atarehi gatiya...>>
Translation: Proclaimed  in the first year of ... of the community of Bhikkus...>>
Content: The inscription has been established to regulate  the  monastic  life of monks connected  with  five  great  residences  of  the  Maha Vihara   fraternity  in  Anuradhapura
Reference  : Paranavitana, 2001.

1) Paranavitana, S. 2001. Dias, M. (Ed). Inscription of Ceylon: Volume II. Part II. Archaeological Survey Department. pp.189-192.
2) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.3-5

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023
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