King Mutasiva

This article is part of a continuing series on the 'Mahavamsa', the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history.


King Mutasiva


King Pandukabhaya was grateful to all those who helped him, in his struggle for kingship. To the east of the city, he built a shrine for the 'Yakkha' Kalavela. A shrine for Chittaraja was built near the Abhaya tank. He conducted religious rites to respect both these 'Yakkhas'. The day Pandukabahaya celebrated his victory, he had bathed in a pond. He enlarged that pond, converted it to a tank and named it the tank 'Jaya'. Abhaya tank built by Pandukabhaya, is known as Basavakkulama today. He built a number of shrines to respect various religious figures.


King Pandukabhaya is famous for building the city of Anuradhapura. It is believed that his town planning was as advanced as the modern day town planning. He was deeply concerned about the cleanliness of the city. He had employed 500 men to clean the streets, another 200 for cleaning sewers and yet another 150 for bearing the dead bodies. All these workers belonged to the 'Chandala' caste. To the north west of the cemetery, houses were erected for all these categories of workers. They were paid regular wages too. To the east of the cemetery, a house was built for 'Nigantha' Jotiya. (A monastery of a religious sect)

In the 10th year of his coronation, King Pandukabhaya demarcated all the villages. He succeeded in changing the lineage of King Vijaya. King Pandukabhaya supported the 'Yakkhas', who are believed to be the earliest settlers of this country. It was they who looked after Pandukabhaya, from his early childhood. As such, he was very generous in giving them whatever conveniences they needed. Some believe that the majority of soldiers in his army came from the tribe of 'Yakkhas'.



King Pandukabhaya, who was 37 years old, when he ascended the throne, is believed to have ruled for 70 long years. According to the 'Mahavamsa', it was his son Mutasiva, who succeeded him. But the 'Rajavaliya differs here, mentioning another son, who is said to have ruled before Mutasiva.

Mutasiva has ruled the country peacefully. He is responsible for developing the park - 'Mahamevna'. The day the king demarcated the boundaries of this park, an untimely, heavy downpour was experienced. Hence the name 'Mahamegha Vana'- which later was simplified to Mahamevna. King Mutasiva ruled from 367 BC to 307 BC.

King Mutasiva had 10 sons and two daughters. Devanampiyatissa was the second son. His virtue and intelligence made him popular among his subjects. When King Mutasiva passed away, Devanampiyatissa ascended the throne. Even the Mahavamsa mentions that several miracles occurred on the day of his consecration ceremony.

Treasures and jewels that had been buried deep down had risen to the surface of the earth. Jewels were seen upon the earth. All this is believed to have taken place, due to the merit of Devanampiyatissa. The king was glad to notice all this. He thought of sending some of these jewels to his unseen friend Dharmashoka of India. The king thought only he was worthy to receive a share of this priceless treasure.

The Chief Envoy appointed to take the treasure to India was his nephew, Arittha. There were a few others to accompany him. Among them were his chief Chaplain, a minister and a treasurer. They had embarked at 'Jambukola' and in seven days, he had reached the city of Pataliputra in India.





The story of the Sinhalese-By John M. Senaveratna