Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Ananda W P Guruge
Publisher: M P Birla Foundation
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
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
Glossary of Pali Words and Names Buddhist Concepts etc.