Vijaya marries Kuveni, wins kingdom
In a recent issue, we told you about the princess who married a lion, and their children, Sinhabahu and Sinhasivali. We also told you about Sinhabahu becoming king. The story is continued today.
King Sinhabahu had a son named Vijaya; he and his friends were very unruly and did many violent deeds. When the people of that State could bear it no longer, they came and reported the matter to the King. The King warned Vijaya not to behave in that manner, but he kept repeating his acts.
So, King Sinhabahu boarded Vijaya and seven hundred of his friends onto a ship, and deported (sent away) them from the country.
Vijaya and his men sailed down the coast of India and at last came to Sri Lanka.
When they landed, one of Vijaya's men saw a dog. He thought that where there was a dog, there must be a town and started following the dog.
The dog led him to a pond. By the side of the pond there was a tree. Under the tree there was a woman spinning. This woman was really a princess. Her name was Kuveni and she had magical powers. The dog was really one of her servants.
The man drank and bathed in the pond, and then wanted to come out again. But Kuveni said, "Stay! you are in my power now".
The man found that he couldn't move. Then Kuveni took him through the air and shut him in a cave.
The dog went back to Vijaya's men. Another man followed it and the same thing happened to him. The dog went back again and again till all of Vijaya's men were shut in the cave.
At last, Vijaya himself followed the dog. When Vijaya came to the pond, he saw the footsteps going into the pond, but none coming out.
Then Vijaya saw Kuveni and guessed what may have happened. So he seized Kuveni by her hair, raised his sword and said, "Give me back my men or I will kill you".
Then Kuveni said, "Spare my life and I will give your men. I will also help you to win this kingdom".
Kuveni brought the men from the cave and gave them food. Later, she became Vijaya's wife and helped him to win the kingdom from her own people, who till then were ruling the country.
Many years later, Vijaya wished to have a wife of his own race from India. So he sent to India for another princess to be his wife. He also sent for other wives for his men.
Now Vijaya and Kuveni had one son and one daughter. When Vijaya heard that the Indian princess had landed, he said to Kuveni, "Leave the two children and go away".
But Kuveni wanted to stay. She wept and pleaded, but in vain. Vijaya wouldn't let her stay in the palace and threw her out.
Kuveni went to a city which still belonged to her own people. Leaving the children outside, she entered the city. But because she had helped Vijaya against her own relations, the people killed Kuveni. The children escaped to the hill country. It is said that the Veddas (Adi Vasies) are the descendants of Kuveni's children.
The Sinhalese are the descendants of Vijaya and his men.