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The character of the Yakhos thus ascertained, we turn next to inquire
* 2ndly, Whether they became totally extinct upon Wijeyo's arrival?
“Wijeyo left the Yakho city, and after the arrival of a Princess, Kuani is said to bave exclaimed, ‘On thy account, having murdered Yakhos, I dread these Yakhos: now I am discarded by both parties, whither can I betake myself!' She, in the character of an inhuman being wandered to that very city Lankapura, of inhuman inhabitants.” We next read of the existence of an uncle of this being, who assumed an inhuman character; of her murder by a Yakho; and generally of the existence of Yakhos:—“Your mother is murdered: if ye should be seen here they would murder you also; fly quickly.”—Mahawanso. At page
63 of the same work occurs the following passage—“A certain Yakinni named Chetiya (the widow of Jutindharo, a Yakho, who was killed in a battle at
a Siriwattupura), having the form and countenance of a mare, dwelt near the marsh of Tumbaringoinna, at the Dhumarakkho mountain." 442 B. C.
Again at p. 106, “A thero repairing in the direction of the Thuparamo Chetiyo to an edifice of many apartments (built for the Yakho Pamojjo,) halted at the spot where the branch of the Bộ tree was afterward planted.” 307. B. C.
The latest mention made of these aborigines is in the Sooloo Raja-Ratna-Cara, where it is stated, that in the reign of Maha Sen, A. D. 275, “A certain tank called Mini
805 ed equivalent to Eca 2, Sanscrit, is also a term for Yaksha. Hence the language Paisachi, said to have been' spoken by wicked demons' Mr. Turnour, in his Glossary appended to the Mahawanso, says under the head of “ Yak hothe worshippers of these demons are also called Yakkhos and Yakkhinis.” If there be for this assertion a more solid foundation than probability, we shall not want much reasoning to convince the Budhist schoolmen of the error of their beliel.
giri wewa was formed by the instrumentality of Yakkos and men."
Major Forbes upon similar, but weaker evidence, and immediately after alluding to Pandukabayo, who, 437 B. C. permitted his confederates the Yakho chiefs Kalawelo and Chitto to exercise great authority—the latter of whom, on days of public festivity sat on a throne of equal height with the monarch's, says,
“ This fact is sufficient evidence that it was necessary to conciliate the Yakho chiefs; that they were still powerful ; their followers numerous; and that the race then retained its separate character, although it appears to have merged soon after in a general appellation derived from the Singha conquerors.”
Hence it is by no means improbable, nor therefore unreasonable, to suppose that the limited number of Wijeyo's followers, by intermarriage with the more favoured (Yakho) natives, became united into one nation, whilst the less favoured betook themselves to the utmost recesses of the jungle, where they settled themselves as a distinct tribe of the Singhalese, now known as the Veddas.* For without tracing the Veddas to the descendants of the natural children of Wijeyo, or to a very small portion of the Yakho aborigines of this Island, it is difficult to assign them an origin common with the amalgamated race of the Singhalese. History sufficiently proves the comparative civilization which the Yakhos had attained before the general confusion of the Sinha conquerors with the Yakhos, in one common appellation of the Singhalese ; and the monuments of a very remote date alike testify to the early greatness of the Singhalese. If therefore the Veddas were the entire nation which
êu l'eddu means Archer, Irom •to shoot with an arrow.' The proper form of the word seems to be ar&
-see Grammar, $ 57 b. It is however, not to be forgotten, that some trace this word to Quéę Jungle, thence Ques, or si és one of the Jungle'; and think that the difference in the sound of the first letter has arisen from the weakening and abrasion of the sound a into 2.
we may denominate the Yakhos, or a portion of the Sinha conquerors, we should indeed believe-what is contrary to the comnion course of events in the world, and the experience of ages—that a nation, revelling in the luxuries of comparative civilization, chose by preference a savage life; or that the feelings of an Oriental nation, too much attached to self, were suddenly estranged from their brethren; or that they were altogether cut off from the privileges of an infant state, to the safety of which we have already seen Pandukabayo had deemed it right and politic to‘conciliate them.'* If it be inquired, Wherefore a portion only of the aborigines is traced to the Veddas, and not the whole èn masse? our answer is, Because such a supposition will place us in this difficulty, that we must without adequate reason assign falsehood to‘the most authentic native historian,' who represents Yakhos as enjoying in common with the followers of Wijeyo, and at comparatively a later period of time, the comforts of civilized life; a state of things inconsistent with the belief that all the aborigines were turned out by the conquerors into the woods of Ceylon. Again, to suppose that the Singhalese forms no portion of the aboriginal Yakho inhabitants of Ceylon, is to suppose, first, that our language, the Singhalese, had its origin from the Sinba conquerors, a supposition without foundation, as we shall hereafter see; and secondly, that the conquerors without necessity (for there was none, if they did not amalgamate themselves with the aborogines) abandoned their own, and adopted a foreign tongue, the language of the Veddas. For we learn, upon the authority of the Rev. R. Stott of the Wesleyan Mission, a gentleman who has devoted no small degree of pains to bring a portion of these wild people under the influence of Christian instruction—“that their language
• Vide an'e p. xvii. and Mahawanso. p. 66.
is Singhalese, varying but little from that which is spoken in the more civilized districts."*
We shall therefore now turn our attention to the other inquiry:
3dly, If the language of the conquerors be either purely or in part the basis of the present Singhalese ?
If we suppose that Wijeyo brought with him the Singhalese language into · Ceylon, it is very probable that he brought over his own language. It is then also reasonable to suppose, that remnants of the Singhalese (even if it has since become a dead language in India) must be met with in some parts of the Peninsula; since, almost from the arrival of Wijeyo, frequent intercours ewas carried on by the Singhalese kings with the mother country. But such a supposition is without foundation, because there are no traces wbatever left of the former existence of the Singbalese language in continental India; and because also, the record of the correspondence between the Singhalese and Indian kings appears to be in the Pali language. † Again, Wijeya, a prince of Lala (a subdivision of Magadhi), and a relation of Gow'tama Budha, it is but too probable spoke the Maghadhi or Pali. † This is also further attested by the fact, that the Pali language was cultivated in this Island at a very early period of its known history, and that Budhism was originally introduced into it by means of doctrines embodied in that language. And although this last hypothesis
Vide Journal C. B. R. A. Society, p. 100. + See several instances of this in Mahawanso. The European reader is referred to the“ Epitome of the History of Ceylon,” published by Mr. Turnour in the Ceylon Almanac for 1833, p. 255.
1 " Their son Sinhabahu put his own father to death, and established himself in Lanka, a subdivision of Magadha, the capital of which was Sinhapura, prubably the modern Singhaya on the Gupduck river; (in the vicinity of which the remains of Budhistical edifices are still 10 be found); and that his son Wijeyo with seven hundred followers landed in Lanka." - Turnour's Introduction to the Mahawanso, p. xliii.
is apparently inconsistent with the fact, that the Singhalese was the medium of regal and official intercourse shortly after the Wijeyan æra, yet, considering the facility with which languages from the same source and of the same genius may be acquired, there seems to be no radical objection to our con clusion, that the language of Wijeya was the Pali; for, on reference to the Mahawanso and other historical records, we frequently find that Brahmins from India, after a short stay in Ceylon, became masters of the Singhalese language. Thus, Mahinda, who propounded the doctrines of Budhism in the language of the land, 306 B. C., and a Kalidasha, who wrote beautiful Singhalese rhymes, 515 A. D., are instances of this facility. In farther support of this subject, we may also allude to the facility with which the natives have always learned the Sanscrit and Pali, even after the Singhalese had become the universal language of the land. Of this the Mahawanso of Mahanama, the Sarasangraha of Budha Dasa, and the works of Totagamuwa and a host of others, are sufficient proof.
If then Pali was the language of the conquerors, it may be inquired, Whether that was not, in fact, the basis of the Singhalese? If it were, it would follow that the latter was a dialect of the former; but that this was not the case we propose to shew hereafter (vide post, Essay on the Elu language). It may, however, be stated here, that considering the antiquity of the Hindu nation that inhabited Lanka; the affinity which the Singhalese bears to the Sanscrit and Pali, themselves two kindred languages; the impossibility involved in the conjecture, that in the brief space of 237 years * the conquer
* This is the period of time which elapsed between the arrival of Wijeya, 543 B. C., and the propounding of the doctrines of Budhism by Mibindo in Singhalese, 307 B. C. Vide Mahawanso, p. xxix. And if, according to another passage, the Singhalese was the "language of the land” at this time, there remains but little doubt that the Siughalese had been in progress for a considerable time before that date. In fact Maha