Dutthagamani Abhaya, Dutthagāmanī-abhaya: 1 definition


Dutthagamani Abhaya means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (D) next»] — Dutthagamani Abhaya in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

King of Ceylon (101-77 B.C.) He was the son of Kakavannatissa (ruler of Mahagama) and of Viharadevi, and was called Gamani Abhaya. The antenatal cravings of his mother showed that he would be a great warrior, and his father gathered at his court the most famous warriors of the land skilled in various ways. Chief among them were Nandhimitta, Suranimila, Mahasona, Gothaimbara, Theraputtabhaya, Bharana, Velusumana, Khanjadeva, Phussadeva and Labhiyavasabha. Abhaya early showed signs of an adventurous disposition, and resented the confined limits of his fathers kingdom, bounded on the north by the Mahavaluka nadi, on the further bank of which lay the Sinhalese country ruled by the Damilas. Abhaya was constantly refused permission by his father to fight the Damilas and fled in anger to the hills, whence he sent his royal father a womans garment, to indicate that he was no man. This earned for him the nickname of Duttha, which always stuck to him. At his fathers death he had to fight with his brother Tissa (afterwards Saddha Tissa) for the possession of the throne. He was first defeated at Culanganiyapitthi, but later he was victorious, and the Sangha brought about a reconciliation between the brothers. When fully prepared, Dutthagamani marched against the Damila king, Elara. He rode his state elephant, Kandula, born on the same day as himself. He commenced operations at Mahlyangana, capturing fort after fort, manned by Elaras followers, and fought his way down to Mahavaluka nadi, where he pitched his camp at Kandhavarapitthi, near Vijitapura, where were concentrated the Damilas. After a siege of four months Vijitapura fell, and Dutthagamani advanced through Girilaka and Mahelanagara to Kasapabbata near Anuradhapura, the capital. (Mhv.xxv.75. It is said that in the course of his journey from Mahagama to Anuradhapura he captured thirty two fortresses manned by the Damilas). There he waited for the onset of Elara and, in the battle that ensued, Elara was defeated and fled towards the capital, but he was pursued by Dutthagamani and slain by him in single combat close to the southern gate of the city. Elaras body was burnt with royal honours, and Dutthagamani built a tomb over the ashes and decreed that no music should be played by people passing it, a decree that was for long honoured. This act of chivalry, so much in contrast with the usual conduct of victors, earned for Dutthagamani great honour. Later, he defeated reinforcements from India under Bhalluka, nephew of Elara, and thus became sole monarch of Lanka.

On the seventh day after his final victory, he celebrated a water festival at the Tissavapi and, at its conclusion, built the Maricavatthi thupa (q.v.) on the spot where his spear, containing the relic of the Buddha, given by the monks at Tissamaharama, remained firmly embedded,

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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