Sunday, October 10, 2021

King Sena II of Anuradhapura

Sena II was the King of Anuradhapura Kingdom, Sri Lanka from 853 A.D. to 887 A.D. (Ray, 1959) Belonging to the Dynasty of Manawamma, he ruled the country from his capital at Anuradhapura until he was succeeded by Udaya II (Ray, 1959).

Reign
The king of Anuradhapura
Sena II became the ruler of the country after the death of his uncle King Sena I in 853 A.D. (Ray, 1959). He married Samgha, the eldest daughter of late Kittaggabodhi, the ruler of Rohana (Ray, 1959). He consecrated Samgha as Mahesi and conferred Yuvaraja (the second king) title to his brother Mahinda and gave him the Dhakkhinadesa as his perquisite (Ray, 1959). Later he gave the title Yuvaraja to his newborn son Kassapa and granted him certain revenues of the kingdom (Ray, 1959). At the suitable age, Kassapa married Samgha, the daughter of Mahinda, the other Yuvaraja (Ray, 1959). Mahinda couldn't succeed to the throne as he died in 885 A.D. (Ray, 1959). After his death, the next brother of Sena II, Udaya became the Uparaja (Ray, 1959).

Invasion of Pandya Kingdom
During the early part of the Sena I's reign (833-853 A.D.), South Indian Pandya King Srimara Srivallbha (835-862 A.D.) invaded the Anuradhapura Kingdom (Ray, 1959). Although Sena I managed to save his life, his second brother Adipada Kassapa, the father of Sena II was slain by Srimara (Ray, 1959). Therefore, Sena II, after gaining the throne, was on the lookout for an opportunity to avenge the death of his father.
 
Meanwhile, a son of Srimara who had rebelled his father came to Sri Lanka probably in search of background support (Ray, 1959). Sena II decided to support him to gain the throne of Pandya Kingdom by expelling his father, Srimara. He and Nrupatunga I (c.814-878 A.D.), the Pallava King who probably had an alliance with the Sri Lankan King, attacked the Pandya Kingdom simultaneously from the south and the north (Ray, 1959). Srimara's army was attacked at the north (the battle of Arisil) by Nrupatunga meanwhile Sena sent a large Sinhalese army under the Senapathi (Commander-in-Chief) Kutthaka from the port at Mahatittha (Ray, 1959). After a short siege, the Sinhalese army captured Madhura, the Pandya capital and Srimara lost his life in the battle for the city (Ray, 1959).
 
After getting control of the Pandya Kingdom, Kutthaka placed Srimara's son Varagunavarman II (862-879 A.D.) on the Pandya throne in 862 A.D. as the nominee of Sena II (Ray, 1959). Kutthaka returned with treasures that had been removed from Sri Lanka by Srimara during the reign of Sena I (Ray, 1959). He and his troops were honoured at Anuradhapura by Sena II. A few inscriptions (such as Iripinniyava, Tamarawewa and Rambewa) in Sri Lanka mention the name of the Commander-in-Chief Kutthaka (Ranawella, 2001; Ray, 1959; Wickremasinghe, 1912).
 
Death
Sena II died in 887 A.D. and  the Uparaja Udaya became the king of the country as Udaya II (Ray, 1959).

Services & monuments
Religious
As mentioned in chronicles such as Culavamsa, King Sena II has contributed to the development of Buddhist monasteries throughout the country as follows (Davis, 2013; Nicholas, 1963); 
 
1) Lovamahapaya: Restored Lohapasada and granted it a golden image and villages.
2) Thuparamaya: Developed the Stupa.
3) Jetavanarama: Added a Bodhisattva image to Manimevula Pasada. 
4) Mihintale: Established a hospital. 
5) Uttara Mula: Added a Pasada. 
6) Ratnaprasada: Restored the building ransacked by the Pandyans. 
7) Medirigiriya: Granted villages to the Viharaya.  
8) Mahiyanganaya: Donated a maintenance village to the Viharaya. 
9) Sri Maha Bodhi: Sena II restored the trench and Yuvaraja Mahinda, the brother of Sena II built a Bodhi house.
10) Abhayagiriya: Sena II restored the image house and Mahesi Samgha, the consort of Sena II placed a dark-blue diadem on the image.
 
Besides the above-mentioned places, Sena II has developed a number of religious establishments which are not identified today (Davis, 2013).
 
Social
Some of the social works carried out by King Sena II are given below (Arumugam, 1969; Nicholas, 1963); 
 
1) Minneriya Reservoir: Added a sluice.
2) Mahakanadarawa Wewa: A feeder channel was built. 
 

Inscriptions
Twenty-eight inscriptions dated in the reign of King Sena II have been found from the country (Ranawella, 2001). 
 
1) Viya-Ulpata pillar inscription (from Matale District)
This has been dated in the 1st regnal year of King Sena II (Ranawella, 2001). The name of Mahinda, the younger brother of Sena II is mentioned in this inscription as "Mihindal Mahapa" (Ranawella, 2001). The object of this inscription is to register certain immunities granted jointly by Sena II and Mahinda in respect of some lands belonging to a monastery named Saguna-pansala (Ranawella, 2001).
 
2) Gerandigala rock inscription (from Matale District)
Dated in the 3rd regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up of this record was to register the assignment of some land to a cave (to the monk who inhabited it) by Mahinda, the younger brother of Sena II (Ranawella, 2001).
 
3) Virandagoda pillar inscription (from Puttalam District)
This inscription is dated in the 3rd regnal year of Sena II (Ranawella, 2001). The object of this record was to register certain immunities granted by order of Mahinda in respect of a village and other land attached to a monastery named Salvana-vehera (Ranawella, 2001).
 
4) Panduwasnuwara pillar inscription (from Kurunegala District)
Dated in the 6th regnal year of Sena II, the object of setting up this record was to register certain immunities granted in favour of a monastery named Budatpavu-vehera (Ranawella, 2001). 
 
5) Mihintale pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 9th regnal year of Sena II, the object of this record was to register certain immunities granted by the king in respect of lands belonging to the Mihintale Monastery (Ranawella, 2001).
 
6) Mullegala pillar-slab inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
This inscription is dated in the 9th regnal year of Sena II (Ranawella, 2001). The object of this record to prohibit illegal activities around a pond (Ranawella, 2001).
 
7) Appuwewa pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
This has been dated in the 12th regnal year of Sena II and the purpose of setting up of this record was to register some immunity granted in respect of some lands in a District named Tirukkola (Ranawella, 2001).
 
8) Mihintale plinth course inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 12th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of this record was to register some regulations concerning the collection of certain dues in gold from merchants who were in residence in four Districts (Ranawella, 2001). 
 
9) Mamaduwa Wewa slab inscription (from Vavunia District)
Dated in the 13th regnal year of Sena II, this inscription has been set up to prohibit fishing (poaching or stealing) in Mamaduwa Wewa (Ranawella, 2001).
 
10) Tantirimale pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
This inscription is dated in the 13th regnal year of Sena II (Ranawella, 2001). It contains a decree with an order to supply a certain quantity of fish caught in a tank named Ud-Beliwewa annually to an institution of which name is not preserved (Ranawella, 2001).
 
11) Kehelpota pillar-slab inscription (from Badulla District)
Dated in the 17th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of this record was to register some immunities in accordance with an order issued by the Supreme Council in respect of a village named Palpusuhi-gama in Arala (Ranawella, 2001). 

12) Puggulagama pillar-slab inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 18th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register a certain land grant made in favour of a person (Ranawella, 2001).
 
13) Vehera-inna pillar inscription (from Matale District)
Dated in the 18th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record is not clear (Ranawella, 2001).
 
14) Abhaya Wewa pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
The inscription is dated in the 19th regnal year of Sena II (Ranawella, 2001). It records a decree that prohibiting illegal fishing in the Abhaya Wewa and the mayor of the city (city of Anuradhapura) was held responsible for it (Ranawella, 2005).
 
15) Kongolleva pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 17th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of this record was to register certain immunities given by the king in respect of a village named Varavaturoda-gama in Uturala and some other lands in a District called Mirisbima, which had been assigned to a monastic school named Bamanagiriya Pirivena in the Kikilgiri Group of the Abhayagiriya Monastery for the well being of its resident monks (Ranawella, 2005).
 
16) Iluppakaniya pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
As stated in the inscription, it has been set up during the reign (20th regnal year) of His Majesty Sirisambo (Sena II), the Conqueror (of the city) of Madhura (Ranawella, 2001). The object of this record was to register certain immunities granted in respect of some villages owned by a monastic establishment named Bavariya-pirivena situated in the Kukulgiri Group of the Abhayagiri Viharaya (Ranawella, 2001).
 
17) Nayindanava pillar inscription (from Kurunegala District)
Dated in the 22nd regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register certain immunities granted by the king in respect of some estates attached to a monastery named Ma-eli-arama (Ranawella, 2001).
 
18) Moragahawela pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 22nd regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of this record was to register certain immunities granted by the king in respect of a village named Hangulagama in Valpita attached to a monastery named Pubbarama (Ranawella, 2001).
 
19) Selawa-Lenagama rock inscription (from Kegalle District)
Located in a paddy field called Sila-kumbura near Selawa Raja Maha Viharaya, the inscription is dated in the 23rd regnal year of Sena II (Hettiarachchi, 1991; Ranawella, 2001). The content of it refers to the provision of two Amunas of areca nut annually to a monastery named Maliva-arama from a village named Selhogama (Ranawella, 2001).
 
20) Kidagalegama pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 24th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register certain immunities granted in respect of some land (Ranawella, 2001).
 
21) Mankadavala pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
This has been dated in the 25th regnal year of King Sena II (Ranawella, 2001). The object of this record to register certain donations made in respect of Mihintale Monastery (Ranawella, 2001).
 
22) Anuradhapura pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
This has been dated in the 26th regnal year of Sena II and the purpose of setting up of this record was to register some immunities granted in respect of an estate named Tambalapet Hivatta which had been granted as a descendible property to a royal lady named Kitamba, the queen of Yuvaraja Mahinda and the mother of King Udaya III [(935-938) Ranawella, 2001].
 
23) Kannimaduwa pillar inscription (from Vavunia District)
Dated in the 26th regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register certain immunities granted by the king in respect of a village named Hurbunugama in Nandgama (Ranawella, 2001).
 
24) Anuradhapura-Pankuliya pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
This has been dated in the 30th regnal year of Sena II and the purpose of setting up this record was to register some commands of the king concerning the administration of the city of Anuradhapura (Ranawella, 2001).
 
25) Tamarawewa pillar inscription (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 31st regnal year of Sena II, this inscription has been set up to register some immunities granted in respect of a village named Sulinnarugama attached to a monastery named Sen Senevirad Pirivena built by Senevirad Kuttha, the Commander-in-Chief who captured the capital of Pandya Kingdom Madhura under King Sena II (Ranawella, 2001).
 
26) Kibissa fragmentary pillar inscription (from Matale District)
Dated in the 32nd regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register certain immunities (Ranawella, 2001).
 
27) Nachchaduwa pillar inscription no.1 (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 32nd regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register certain immunities granted by the king in respect of some land belonging to a monastery (Ranawella, 2001).
 
28) Nachchaduwa pillar inscription no.2 (from Anuradhapura District)
Dated in the 32nd regnal year of Sena II, the purpose of setting up this record was to register certain immunities granted by the king in respect of four villages named Salgama, Tambu-subadi, Melendura, and Korana (Ranawella, 2001).
 
References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.322.
2) Davis, C.E., 2013. Early Buddhist Monasteries in Sri Lanka: A Landscape Approach (Doctoral dissertation, Durham University). p.544.
3) Hettiarachchi, A.S., 1991. Rock inscription in a paddy field at Salava (In Sinhala). Epigraphia Zeylanica being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon: Vol. VI, Part 2. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. Sri Lanka. pp.185-189.
4) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). pp.48,131-133,143, 146-147,162-166,183.
5) Ranawella, S., 2001. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume V, Part I. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-21-6. pp.13-92.
6) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.xi,10-14,15-19.
7) Ray, H.C. (Editor in chief), 1959. History of Ceylon: Vol. I: Part I. Ceylon University Press. Colombo. pp.328-330.
8) Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z., 1912. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). London. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. pp.163-171.

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