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Historical important of Mahavamsa

Mahvamsa is the most important chronicle of Sri Lanka. The term Mahvamsa denotes the
great dynasty of Sinhalese king. It explains the rule of various kings ho ere responsi!le to
develop the country. The author of Mahvamsa as a Thera called Mahnma. "e served
Theravda #uddhism. Therefore hatever fact he included in the chronicle !elong to Theravda
#uddhism. The author as very ell$versed in %li language. Therefore his ork as ritten in a
very lucid language. "e can !e called a poet ith very good skill. Therefore e accepted
Mahvamsa as an epic &Mahkavya'.
(lthough he sometimes !orroed material from )*pavamsa+ he deals ith them critically. "e
sa a short coming of )*pavamsa and critically deal ith them. Mahnma did a split ork
including various facts. Therefore e can compare Mahvamsa to a garland ith variety of floers
rich in colour taste and scent.
The content of Mahvamsa
The Mahvamsa !egin ith the story of ,otama #uddha. It deals ith the three legends a!out
the #uddhas visit to Sri Lanka+ hile riting a!out these three visits he mentioned a!out the
people ho lived at that time. The country as inha!ited !y -akasasas+ .akkhas+ #isacas+ and
The Mahvamsa descri!e a!out the #uddha three visits to Sri Lanka. This first visited to
Mahiyangana+ second visited as to /gad*pa+ and his third visited as to 0elaniya. It is stated in
the Mahvamsa+ after his visited many tri!es ho existed at that time ere converted to #uddhism.
The Mahvamsa then mentioned the history of #uddhism in India. It refers to a long list of
0ings+ hich !egins Mahsammada+ thereafter continuing this dynasty he referred to Suddhodana
and My+ then he mentioned a!out #haddakaccna+ Siddhattha+ and -hula. In this manner+ e
o!served that Mahvamsa deal ith the political condition of India during the period of the #uddha.
(nother outstanding description given !y Mahvamsa is a!out the Three #uddhist 1ouncils.
The first Buddhist council as held in Sattapanni 1ave at -2agaha. (fter three months of the
passing aay of #uddha. 3pli Thera and 4nanda Thera took chant of 5inaya and )hamma.
Mahkassapa Thera as presided this council and (2tasattu as patroni6ed.
The second Buddhist council as held during the reign of 0lsoka a!out a century after the
Mahparini!!na of #uddha. The .asi #hikkhus &5a22iputtaka' anted to introduce the ten
unlaful rules. Then the elder Thera held this council assem!les at 5esl* to discuss them and they
re2ected them. (s a result of this council they arose to schools of #uddhism namely7 Theravda
and Mahsanghika.
The third Buddhist council as held during the reign of (soka at (sokrma in %taliputta.
The president as Moggaliputtatissa Thera. )uring this council a purification of the Ssan
occurred. The most important result of this council as sending #uddhist mission to nine different
countries. It as during this council #uddhism as !rought to Sri Lanka !y Mahinda Thera.
Thereafter the Mahvamsa deal ith the political of Sri Lanka. The coloni6ation of Sri Lanka
!y 0ing 5i2aya+ the introduction of #uddhism to the island !y Mahinda Thera during the reign of
0ing %anduk!haya and also the reign of )evnampiyatissa and )utthagmini. #uddhism as
!rought to 1eylon during the reign of )evnampiyatissa+ the king !uilt the Mahvihra for Mahinda
Thera. "e also made his kingdom very prominent !y putting up religious institution. It as during
his reign Sanghamitt Ther* !rought the #odhi$tree. Thereafter his ork continued !y king
)utthagmini ho !uilt the Mahth8pa and deposited relic in it. The king could not live to see the
completion of the Mahth8pa after he passing aay his !rother Saddhtissa completed it.
The author of Mahvamsa had ritten many chapters descri!ing a!out )utthagmini he had
supported+ this king especially !ecause he favored Theravda #uddhism.

Mahnma also descri!es a!out 0ing Mahsena+ this king did not favor Theravda #uddhism.
"e told his peoples not to give any food to any monk of the Mahvihra. The monks ere in
trou!les and they left the 5ihra. There as not a single monk in the Mahvihra for nine years.
0ing Mahsena as a folloer of the (!hayagirivihra. The king did many rong actions. "is
minister Meghavanna!haya !ecame angry and anted to fight against it. )uring Mahsenas reign
Mahvihra as poerless. There ere a lot of trou!les in the country. The king finally met his
minister and had a discussion. Then he understood his rong doing. "e re!uilt the Mahvihra and
thereafter he supported the Theravda #uddhism.
This chronicle gives a description a!out the political condition and historical condition of Sri
Lanka and India. It gives the introduction the esta!lishment and development of #uddhism in Sri
This chronicle gives an arrangement of facts ell. It has a high literally standard. It is a master
pieces produced !y Mahnma Thero ho is poetically gifted. Mahvamsa gives the facts in a
logical manner. There no repetition+ all the facts are given in a concise &short' manner. The diction
is very good. (lthough there are mythological and legendary stories+ there are many useful political
and religious facts. They are very useful to trace the history of Sri Lanka. Thus+ in order to
understand the history of Sri Lanka+ this chronicle is very important.