SILHALA

“1. THE ‘LION’ MYTH
(History and Myths)
Many modern myths have been spun around the Lion flag which was adopted in 1950 as the National flag of Sri Lanka.

Myth #1
The first myth is that Vijaya, the first King of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka in 486 BCE, with a lion flag and that since then the Lion symbol played a significant role in the history of Sri Lanka. It is also claimed that the lion flag was used extensively by monarchs who followed Vijaya and it became a symbol of freedom and hope.

There is absolutely no historical evidence to justify such claims. On the contrary, none of the Kings and Queens of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa have ever claimed to be Sinhalese. But they have consistently claimed in their inscriptions to be from the Kshatriya race and the Indian Sun Dynasty and Lunar Dynasty ( proven by ancient Sri Lankan stone inscriptions in Sun & Moon symbols). The ancient Mahavamsa chronicle of Sri Lanka too refers to the ancient kings and queens of Sri Lanka, not as Sinhalese, but as Kshatriyas from the Solar and Lunar dynasties.

Accordingly their royal symbols were the Sun and the Moon. The Lion was not a royal symbol for these ancient monarchs and they used the lion image on foot-stones at entrances to buildings and on urinal-stones. The lion appears to have been an important symbol only for the Indian born Kalinga kings of Sri Lanka, particularly king Nissankamalla (1187-1196 ) who claimed to hail from Sinhapura (lion city). Nissankamalla and other Kalinga monarchs used the lion symbol extensively and popularized it’s use during their reigns.

The Karava Singhe dynasty of Jaffna (which succeeded the Kalinga dynasty rulers of Jaffna) too appear to have used the lion symbol as evidenced by the name of the dynasty and the crest of their Karava descendants. Intermarriage with the Kalinga royal families could explain the transfer of their symbolism to the Karavas and explain the existence of ancient Karava Lion flags in Sri Lanka.

The lion was also the symbol of the south Indan Pallava kings. Pallava coins with the Pallava lion emblem are found in Sri Lanka too and these coins are knowingly or unknowingly mistaken by some as Sinhalese lion coins.

The Sinhalese word for “Throne’ , Sinhasana is probably derived from Tamil Singasanam and could have been popularised by the Singha dynasty of Jaffna and the connected Karava Raja-Singhe kings of Kandy. It is interesting to note that Dona Catherina the sole heiress to the Kandyan kingdom is referred to in Sinhalese as Kusumasana Devi (ie queen of the Flower throne)

 

Lets examine  Myth #1
The first myth is that Vijaya, the first King of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka in 486 BCE, with a lion flag and that since then the Lion symbol played a significant role in the history of Sri Lanka. It is also claimed that the lion flag was used extensively by monarchs who followed Vijaya and it became a symbol of freedom and hope.

This is a half true, I read Mahavansa often, but I see less dragons, sea monsters or Gods from heaven , interfering with the stories of kings and common folks in it.

Read Mahavansa Chapter VII , verse  40-42

When those who were commanded by VIJAYA[ the Indian born Kalinga kings of Sri Lanka and the long line that followed Vijeya see attached family tree,] landed from their ship, they-sat down wearied, resting their hands upon the ground and since their hands were reddened by touching the dust of the red earth that region and also the island were (named) Tambapanni. But the king Sihabähu, since he had slain the lion (was called) Sihala and, by reason of the ties between him and them, all those (followers of VIJAYA) were also (called) Sihala.

Mahasamata queens

There is absolutely no historical evidence to justify such claims. On the contrary, none of the Kings and Queens of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa have ever claimed to be Sinhalese[ this is an English term?]. But they have consistently claimed in their inscriptions to be from the Kshatriya race and the Indian Sun Dynasty and Lunar Dynasty ( proven by ancient Sri Lankan stone inscriptions in Sun & Moon symbols). The ancient Mahavamsa chronicle of Sri Lanka too refers to the ancient kings and queens of Sri Lanka, not as Sinhalese, but as Kshatriyas from the Solar and Lunar dynasties.

THE KINGS CLAIMED BLOOD RELATIONSHIPS TO BOTH DYNASTIES OF THE KALINGA AND SKAYAS[ on the mothers side, Sujatha Putra], FROM THE BUDDHA FAMILY. THE LION REPRESENT THE KALINGA SINHAPURA AND THE FISH THE SYMBOL OF THE MATSA CLAN OF KASTRIYA . Also had a Sun and Moon.

lION OVER FISH

We have a Fish over Lion  Single Struck Coins found in both Sri Lanka and the ancient Surasena janapadaya .

Railed Swastika _Royal symbol

LION USED ON URINAL-STONES

Urinal stones

 

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