Saturday, October 23, 2021

Thisara Sandeshaya

Thisara Sandeshaya (the Swan Message) is a Sandesha Kavya from Sri Lanka containing a message from a Buddhist monk at Devinuwara to King Parakramabahu V (1348-1359 A.D.) of Gampola (Godakumbura, 1953). Belonging to the 14th century, the poet of this work is unknown (Godakumbura, 1953). 

Besides the 14th century work, there are another two Kavyas bearing the same name. The 15th-century poem known as Hamsa Sandeshaya which ends with a prayer to Vanaratana Thera of Keragala Viharaya from an anonymous author of Royal Seat of Kotte is also called Thisara Sandeshaya (Godakumbura, 1953; Wikramasinghe, 1900). Also, the work composed by the poet Midellava Korala in 1836 is again known as Thisara Sandeshaya (Godakumbura, 1953). These three works are known by the same name because the messenger/medium they have employed in their message is a swan. 

Sandesha Kavya: In Sri Lanka, Sandesha Kavyas were written to send a message from one place to another place via a messenger such as a bird (Nanayakkara, 2019).

References
1) Godakumbura, C.E, 1953. Midellava-kōrāḷa's Tisara Sandesaya. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 3(1), pp.53-67.
2) Nanayakkara, K., 2019. The importance and value of ‘Sandesha Kavya’ in Sri Lanka, International Conference on Heritage as Soft Power, Centre for Heritage Studies, University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka. p.57
3) Wikramasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1900. Catalogue of the Sinhalese Manuscripts in the British Museum: London. p.104.

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This page was last updated on 23 October 2021
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