The Mahavamsa  - The Great Chronicle

The Mahavamsa - The Great Chronicle

Product ID: 24454

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Author: Mahanama
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Ananda W P Guruge
Publisher: M P Birla Foundation
Year: 1990
Language: English
Pages: 260
ISBN/UPC (if available): 818529903X


The Mahavamsa is the epic poem par excellence of Sri Lanka. It was written in Pali - the lingua franca of the Theravada Buddhist world by a scholar-monk named Mahanama in the sixth century AC. It is basically a historical work relating the story of the Sinhala Kingdom of the island from its foundation in the sixth or firth century BC to the reign of King Mahasena.

The Mahavamsa has proved to be an indispensable source for the reconstruction of the ancient history of not only Sri Lanka but also India. Without the comprehensive account of Emperor Asoka in this chronicle, the identification of Devanampiya Piyadasi of the edicts and the pillar inscriptions could have been delayed by at least a century.

Classics of the East attempts to present, in readable and dependable English versions, a library of time-tested Asian literary works in elegantly produced editions. As far as possible, each text will be published unexpurgated, each text critical insights by established scholars to enable the serious reader to appreciate its complex richness.

The project is inspired by the beliefs that the best education consists in the spread of noble, liberal ideals which are enshrined in the literary philosophical and religious expressions of the humanist spirit. The list of classics has been complied after consultation with India and Asian scholars and creative writers. For convenience, the Editors have restricted their choice of classics to cultural contribution whose extensiveness requires separate research and dissemination.

As a rule, the classics have been selected on the basis of criteria that transcend national and political limitations, and a conscious attempt has been made to see the multiplicity of Asian literature as the product of an interplay of mutually and collectively beneficial influences. For historical and other reasons, the major literature of the East have remained for the most part neglected. By making a library of well-edited Asian works available, Classics of the East hopes to bring the cultural wealth of more than half the globe into the hospitable privacy of every cultured English knowing home wishing to enlarge its humanist horizons.



The Visit the Tathagata

The Dynasty of Mahasammata

The first Council

The Second Council

The Third Council

The Coming of Vijaya

The Consecration of Panduvasudeva

The Consecration of Abhaya

The Consecration of Pandukabhya

The Consecration of Devanampiyatissa

The Consecration of Different Countries

The Coming of Mahinda

The Entry to the City

The Acceptance of the Mahavihara

The Acceptance of the Cetiyapabbata Vihara

The Arrival of the Relics

The Acquisition of the Great Bodhi Tree

The Coming of the Bodhi-Tree

The Nibbana of the Thera

Five Kings

The Birth of Prince Gamani

The Levying of Warriors

The War of the Two Brothers

The Victory of Dutthagamani

The Dedication of the Maricavatti Monastery

The Dedication of the Lohapasada

The Acqisition of the Material for the Mahathupa

The Beginning of the Mahathupa

The Making of the Relic Chamber

The Enshrining of the Relics

Going to Tusita Heaven

The Ten Kings

The Eleven Kings

The Twelve Kings

The Thirteen Kings

Kings Mahasena

Place Names

Glossary of Pali Words and Names Buddhist Concepts etc.

Chronological Table