Wednesday, October 26, 2016

peaceful transition of power ; does this land pacify ?

Meanwhile having being  consecrated, king Vijaya is looking forward to establish a royal line that will reign Srilanka forever, until the sun and moon remain in the sky, to borrow a phrase for time frame, from  the language of the rock inscriptions. But it doesn’t happen that way. King Vijaya has no children, many  superstitious people, that was the norm those days of course, like nowadays, would have thought it was a result of a curse , curse of the estranged Kuweni , who was used ,duped of her possessions and  discarded like a skin of a banana ,not because of a  fault of her, but because of the circumstances which are not under  her control even in remotest.

Now since he has no royal issues to continue his blood line, king Vijaya think of his own royal family in northern India, far away, almost 2/3rd of the peninsula away, from his wife’s people. Now a question arises in the mind of reader as to the previous decision of him and his ministers to send so much treasure at the beginning and annual tribute worth 200000 golds to king of Madura( 200 times gold that king Vijaya promised  to spend on the puja to deities on behalf of Kuweni) , in south India for his royal bride. Under these circumstances the oblivious choice would have been to send the messengers to their own people in north India, when they were looking for a bride from a royal blood line in India, but they don’t even discuss this obvious alternative.
Reason for Deciding on south India Could be
geo-political compulsions  
For  ensuring the safety of the infant nation from the attacks of the tribe which was waiting to take revenge on the most un- cavalier     night attack perpetuated on them with inside help; like buying an insurance.

On the other hand was the marriage forced upon them by king of Madura? Because such a large annual tribute, paid in pearls, the most valuable produce of the country, smacks of a relationship between an overlord and a tributary; not a usual exchange of gifts between two friendly monarchs.
Anyway when the messengers arrive in Sinhapura, in present day Bengal like Vijaya himself, his brothers have grown old. And king wishes one of his sons to go to Srilanka, he says to his sons `I am old, dear ones; one of you must depart for the greatly favoured and beauteous Lañkä belonging to my brother, and there, after his death, assume,  that fair kingdom.’probably learned from the messengers of the richness of Srilanka. His youngest son prince Panduwasdew  either because he is  more adventurous than his siblings or because he doesn’t have any chance of succession after his father to the throne of Sinhapura, volunteers.

Unlike previous emigration from South India, which was almost an exodus , this is much more sober affair ;few people moving at leisurely pace, incognito, because  of some reason that’s not explained. Mahawamsa however includes a proof that the prince who arrives is the prince who left Sinhapura by introducing a soothsayer who predicts to the minister who has been assigned by other ministers for the purpose , that the prince who is expected will arrive in Thambapanni within a week.

After arrival of Vijaya and his followers in Srilanka their behavior changes completely. We must not forgot that this is a band of brothers who have been deported for crimes against their own citizenry, crimes so grave that the citizen come to king and demand that his son, the eldest who usually inherits throne, be condemned to death. Whole group is saved from death because of the royal connection. And when their ship land in an island close to Supparaka the seaport from which they depart , this group creates more violence and thrown out from that island too.

So this is a group that has violence in their blood, but after arriving at Thambapanni they change so much, they look like a different group altogether. One glaring example is the transition of power from Vijaya to Panduwasdev , his nephew .Vijaya dies long  before the arrival of his nephew , and one of his ministers , Upathissa , rules the kingdom in interim for a period of about an year.  The way that ministers adore power, one would expect minister Upathissa to develop a strong taste for power during that period and resist handing over of the government to a total stranger, who only has a family connection to his former master.  But he doesn’t, the transition of power was carried out in total peace. Does this land pacify ?

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