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Paṇḍukābhaya

King of Sri Lanka (377‑307 B.C.), the son of Dīghagāmaṇī and Ummāda-Cittā. He was protected from death in infancy by Citta and Kāḷavela, who afterwards became yakkhas. He was brought up by a man in Dvāramaṇḍala, but several times his uncles, discovering his whereabouts, tried to kill him, for it had been foretold that he would slay his uncles in order to obtain possession of the kingdom. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to the brahmin Paṇḍula, who taught him various arts and provided him later with the necessary money for an army. Paṇḍula’s son, Caṇḍa, was given as friend and counsellor to Paṇḍukābhaya. Paṇḍukābhaya married, by force, a maiden named Suvaṇṇapālī, and declared war upon his uncles, all of whom, except the eldest, Abhaya, had determined to slay him. With the help of the yakkhiṇī Cetiyā, who dwelt in Dhūmarakkhapabbata, Paṇḍukābhaya made all preparations for a final campaign against his uncles. For four years he lived in Dhūmarakkha, and then for seven in Ariṭṭhapabbata. Following the counsel of Cetiyā, he enticed his uncles into a trap, and slew them and their followers at Lābugāmaka. He then proceeded to Anurādhagāma, where he set up his capital, which, thenceforward, came to be called Anurādhapura. His uncle, Abhaya, was made Nagaraguttika, and to him was given over the government of the city by night.

After establishing peace in the land, Paṇḍukābhaya proceeded to lay out his capital as a city, and among the buildings which he erected were hermitages for the Nigaṇṭhā — Jotiya, Giri and Kumbhaṇḍa, and dwellings for the Ājīvakā, the brahmins, etc. He also marked out the boundaries of the villages throughout the island. He ruled for seventy years, and died at the age of 107. He was succeeded by his son Muṭasīva. Mhv.ix.28; x.1 ff; xi.1; Dpv.v.69, 81; x.9; xi.1‑12.

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