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Myth of Prince Diyasena

Myth of Prince Diyasena

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From yetis to unicorns, man’s enthusiasm for myths is undying:

by Sajitha Prematunge

sajitha@sundayobserver.lk


Statue of Prince Diyasena

‘Apage Diyasen Kumara wenuwen meduru thenewa….’ went on one of my favourite commercials – although I wouldn’t call it a ‘commercial’ – when my mother and father got in to a conversation about Diyasena Kumaraya. Although I knew nothing about this Prince Diyasena, as myths have had an affect on humans from time immemorial, it struck a cord.

Man’s enthusiasm about myths is undying. From yetis, bigfoot, unicorns to Nittaewo, some have in fact proven not so mythical. The myth of Prince Diyasena or more widely known as Diyasena Kumaraya, is believed to have originated in the Kotte era. One of the earliest known records of Prince Diyasena comes in the Parakumba Siritha of the Kotte era.

Kiyaga magiya, enu kohe sita, dada Samanala gosina
Noyathi yameku ediga? bamuna, Sumana surindu wisina
Giyakala dedahaspansiya rajeku ethei Diyana
Kiyawina thath wesiya, enam Parakum raja medina…..
Diya, here means the world and na means a King

This eulogy foretells – if I may still refer to it as that – that a great King will be born in Sri Lanka after a lapse of 2500 years from the birth of Lord Buddha, to preserve the culture and Buddhism of our country.

The foretelling by God Sumana, to an ascetic – of the reincarnation of King Parakumba, as a great King whose birth is to usher in all possible wealth, prosperity and good health to Sri Lanka – marks the origin of this folk lore.

After the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi, since no such saviours turned up, the concept of a Prince Diyasena seemed to ebb. However it was not allowed to totally erase from the minds of the people because of a certain ola leaf that has provided vital evidence to support this theory, that exists in the National Museum to this day. This ola leaf containing the Sumana sutta was found from a temple in Algamuwa.

The ola leaf contains a history spanning from the arrival of the Lord Buddha to the Dutch invasion.

The Sumana sutta, containing many folklore, was said to have been preached by the Lord Buddha, when he came to Divaguha. But nowhere in the Tripitaka is such a sutta mentioned. It’s believed to have been written during the Dutch invasion, when Buddhism and the country itself was in decay.

Kotagama Wachissara Thero, in his book about the Saranankara Sangharaja Era, states that the intension of the monk in proclaiming that the Sumana Sutta was preached by the Lord Buddha himself, may have been to pacify the lay and the ordained alike, at a time when Buddhism as well as state affairs were subject to great deterioration.

The myth about Prince Diyasena surfaces and subsides with the times. Whenever political instability effected the wellbeing of the people, they start praying for a Prince Diyasena to deliver them.

Whenever a great change took place people tend to refer to the trend setter as Prince Diyasena. Several politicians such as D.S. Senanayake, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike as well as Phillip Gunawardhane were referred to as Prince Diyasena.

But the latest addition to this list are the three forces. Some believe that the concept of Prince Diyasena is just wistful thinking, that one day this reign of terrorism will be terminated by a saviour and Sri Lanka will again be turned into a “Dhamma Deepa”.

Even though the prediction is long overdue people still seem to hang on to this myth that has a history of more than several hundred years as people the world over hang on to their own versions.

****

Myth, legend, or fiction?

Myth is derived from the Greek word mythos, which means “story.” In the academic fields of mythology, mythography or folkloristics a myth is a sacred story concerning the origins of the world or how the world and the creatures in it came to be in their present form. The active beings in myths are generally gods and heroes.

Myths often are said to take place before recorded history begins. In saying that a myth is a sacred narrative, what is meant is that a myth is believed to be true by people who attach religious or spiritual significance to it. Use of the term by scholars does not imply that the narrative is either true or false.

A myth in popular use is something that is widely thought to be false. This usage, which is often pejorative, arose from labelling the religious myths and beliefs of other cultures as being incorrect, but it has spread to cover non-religious beliefs as well.

Because of this usage, many people take offense when the religious narratives they believe to be true are called myths. This usage is frequently confused with legend, fiction, fairy tale, folklore, fable and urban legend each of which has a distinct meaning in academia.

A myth is something that is born from truth, but not necessarily 100% true. Ancient peoples used myths to explain things usually in nature that they could not understand.

 

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About ජාතික බෞද්ධ බලවේගය

Ayubowan! The National Buddhist Authority (NBA) a well developed organizations which were officially battle against the Rascals who are in local society and who were engage as an international persons for poverty alleviation as a cover for proselytizing activity. We may put our advanced heritage presser which our ancestor did upon the peoples who dealing with converting our peoples for any other faith and Abuse (Insulting Speech) of our culture and the moral of Buddhist main concepts. We are secretly finding the necessary static data and also exploring entrench area and giving an “ON THE SPOT” action without thinking difficulty or danger that must be rise within sound of whom think that converting to their faith is fundamental right in our “Dhrama Dveepa”. Regarding need ness of the case we will report in writing with dates, place name or persons involved and all cases of abuse or illegal activities in the name of a religion or faith and first and last attempted to convert persons in Sri-Lanka to Buddhist organizations, temple, nearest Police Station, Grama Niladari and other local authority as well as presidency level. National Buddhist Authority eager to call upon all Sinhalese Buddhist organizations(International too) to join hands in a Endeavour to defeat the proselytizing efforts of sponsored evangelical and other NGO organizations and thereby to guard the Sinhalese Buddhist culture and tradition for posterity, Relating to their fantasy book,Fantasy Story David did killed the philistine champion who named as Goliath, then all of us too cannot fail. NOTE: This cite is not aimed at or against Christians Or Muslims or Any Other faith Holders.This site is aimed against Christians,Muslim or who ever seek or want to convert Buddhist to Christianity or Muslim or other goodish doctrine. We Buddhist refer to them as "missionaries." We Buddhist respect Christians or Muslim or other followers who maintain the doctrines of their belief, but we do not accept anyone's "right" to proselytize.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Myth of Prince Diyasena

  1. Truth is better than the real
    Likewise myth is better than a drama

    Posted by Krish | May 28, 2012, 10:20 am
  2. It seems like nobody care much about p.Diyasena.i did a big research in the web regarding of the name Diyana.so I found the correct spelling of Diyana should be deayenaa.because Diana is like princes Diana or it is a girl name.so I suggest that correct spelling is “DEAYENAA”
    This name is world’s popular name with other spellings. I have a strong belief that in future (20-30 years) this leader saves the world. But according to the present environment is Sri Lanka we cannot expect a leader like that.most of leaders cam e to the Sri Lanka such as bandaranayaka.ds senanayaka they are studied in UK and they are British followers of course. What they did is imitation. But what we want tis absorbance
    English culture is updating in every second because those leaders absorbed the qualities of other cultures to b dominant not in the world but also in the universe. All the scientific stories English is spoken by other beings in the universe. But this is not thecase.the language of universal is PALI.
    Because pali language has not letters or bad words.it was the Buddha language and all other beings undertood.so Sinhala is closest to the pali.so prince deayenaa should master English.sinhala.and pali.to absorb the qualities of t other cultures an make Sinhala dominant
    This is what mahavihara did for us. But with the invasion of emperors our absorbance techniques demolishes an instead of that people try to imitate westerners.
    Today in Sri Lanka every area is an imitation. All the radio channels, TV channels, games, schools, universities are such things for few to noted.so if a leader like p.Deayenaa.come to sri lanka he should be a wiser to re install old absorbance.
    It is believed this prince is the incarnation of parakum.parakum is a well-educated king and i remember his great saying “every drop of rain without use of people we should not allowed to go to the sea.so he knew water management and he made world’s amazing parakrama samudraya.and never forget to increase total production of grain export to the to other countries .but today what happened we waiting other countries to give the food for us.so this is the tragic .so we need a magic now.
    There is no argument that sri lanka is the most advisable country from early morning to the evening by ven monks. But it doesnt seem like no one follow the guidance’s of our ven monks
    We should understand that we had an education system to a high degrease in an old days specially mahavihara was a great university.
    so now we have to turn the direction to following ways.AS you well know that especially british has introduced us an education system which is contented with different levels as follow
    1.primary school
    2.secondary school
    3.tertiary school i
    tertiary schooling folded into the
    bachelor degree
    masterd egree
    phd
    So every educated person is known educated from above avenue.this is awhere we should change.
    the Buddha our saver introduce us eight levels of schooling(attaintmrnts)they are as foloow
    1.sovan margashtha

    2sovan

    3.sakurdagami margastha

    4 sakudragami

    5 Anagam i margastha

    6Anagami

    7.Arahath margastha

    8.Arahath
    we should remember this 8 attaintment can not be equalise or compare with britsh schooling.but if sri lankans follow the Buddha’s way not only an one deayenaa but also heaps world but also heaps of leaders.will come to existence
    so why our educated people not try this buddaa teaching as it is more closer to us than English culture
    so I wouldntwrite much but if we want to come true the reincarnation of parakum the environment of sri lanka should b echanged to the above avenue.it is open to any one no need pre education level just the “samsara puruddha”
    s
    .

    Posted by krishan gangodawilage | September 29, 2013, 11:47 am

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