Mahawansa, was recited and then written down for the reading of all Sinhala people, it gives many example of statecraft, the Good and bad of it[ Pasada and Samvega].

This an example of collecting intelligence prior to implementing  a plan or strategy, THIS IS WHAT IS WRITTEN IN CHAPTER , THE STROPE NUMBERS ARE SHWON AS UNDERSCORE. I have added the heading

Thereupon King Gajabahu advanced to meet him at the [126]head of a great army, ‘showed him in joyful zeal many favours, let the Prince mount the elephant on which he him- [127] self was riding, showed him the beauty of the town and betook himself (with him) to the royal palace.

The Prince Parakramabahu128 made known his joy called forth by the seeing Gajabahu and after spending some days there he in order to become – [129]

acquainted with those of the King’s people dwelling in the outlying districts who were for him and against him1,


  1. ……sought 130 out such as understood all kinds of tricks and knew the dialect of the various regions and who were distinguished by devotion to their Lord.
  2. Of these he being versed in the 131 methods to be applied, made those who understood the mixing of poisons2, adopt the garb of the snake charmer.
  3. Others skilled in telling of the lines of the hand and other marks on the body3. He had disguised as wandering musicians, as 133 Candalas and as Brahmanas.

4.Amongst the many Damilas and others he made such as were practiced in dance and song4,appear as people who played with leather dolls and the like. 134

5.Others again after they had laid aside their own garb, he ordered to go round5 selling goods such as rings and bracelets of glass and 135 the like.

6.Others again he sent forth with the command that they should go in the garb of ascetics6, with the equipment of such, 136 the umbrella, the beggars staff and the like, wandering like unto pious pilgrims from village to village and thereby 137 performing their devotions in front of the Cetiyas.

7.People versed in the art of healing he commanded to seek out villages and market towns and there to practice the healing 138 art7.

8.Such as understood the instruction of boys in the art of writing and in the handling of weapons,

9.who were skilled in the preparation of magic potions and versed in spirit in139 cantation [ begger’s whinning song] as well Craftsmen possessed of skill in the working of gold and the like he ordered to move from place to 140 place, practicing their profession.


In order to find out himself the actual conditions as these existed amongst the inhabitants of the inner district (of the town), he by showing a 141 great innocence founded on his youth, learned amongst the people who came to him under the pretext of entertainment 142 and who dwelt on the weakness of the King, to distinguish the  HIGHEST OFFICIALS, OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS,8

  1. Those who were ambitious,
  2. Those who nursed a grudge,
  3. Those who were afraid and
  4. Those who were avaricious5 [ extreme greedy].

He took care too, that 143 spies who were versed in the divers rites and ceremonies7 in use in the various schools and who knew the tales from the Itihasas, Puranas and many other books, should visit the different 144  houses in the assumed  garb of  Samanas. As soon then as confidence in them bad been established, and when they had found trust and reverence, they came forward as (spiritual) 145  advisers, estranged the people and brought them under their influence.


Believing that if the King were made unsuspicious146, he could then move about as he would, and easily learn the actual conditions in the interior of the country, he 147 sent a letter to his mother who was dwelling in Rohana, fetched thence his younger sister, the charming Princess Bhaddavati, as well as abundant money, under the pretext that 148 it was her property. The money he took to himself but the 149 Princess he wedded to the Lord of men Grajabahu and so managed matters that the Euler completely trusted him even as 150 also the royal family9.

He used also under the pretence of sport, to go about the streets with a rutting elephant that 151 had rut discharge, and when he was pursued by it would quickly flee under the pretext that refuge was difficult to find, into the house of people who were to be brought under his in fluence152.

He then gave them fitting money reward, costly ornaments and the like and brought them thus imperceptibly 153 under his influence.

All the people down to the lowest grades, and the soldiers who dwelt in the town, thought, each for 154 himself that this courtesy was paid to him.


Thereupon he ordered his skilled scribes to make an estimate of the King’s revenues, of his stocks of grain, of his troops, of his various 155 war material and so on, with the charge: record these by stealing into the various departments of the administration1.


156 Others he appointed to find out the inmost thoughts of the people entrusted with the guarding of the town and (of those) 157 of the leaders of the army.

He himself under the pretest of youthful pastimes, roamed about everywhere and thus, avoiding every peril, explored the conditions in both spheres2. 158 When the wise man realises how all enterprises under-taken by beings equipped with a great fullness of meritorious deeds accumulated in previous existences, have a successful issue, not meeting with any hindering cause, he will certainly do good.

Here ends the sixty-sixth chapter, called “The Spying out of the Conditions in the other Country”, in the Mahavamsa, compiled for the serene joy and emotion of the pious.

1 The work of espionage now begins. That the compiler was influenced by the reading of text books on Niti, as for instance, Kautalya’s Arthasastra (I. 11, 7 ff.) is unmistakable. The sanuraga and saparaga of our passage correspond to the akrtya and “kriya of K. I. 13-15, the faithful who cannot be influenced and the unfaithful whom one can win over to oneself. Of Arthasastra of Kautilya, ed. R. SHAMA SASTRI, p. 22fif.; Kautilya’s Arthasastra trsl. by R. SHAMASASTEY p. 26 ff.; Das altindische Buch vom Welt- und Staatsleben, das Arthaaastra des Kautilya, libers,, von J. J. Meyer, p. 2

2 P. Visavijja kovide  corresponding to the rasaddh of Kautalya L 11. Of. also with this the rasakriyabhinna below in v. 158

3 According to the Kautaliya L 12, the knowledge of the  laksana of the angavidya belongs to the equipment of a particular kind of Spy. These are the so-called sattrinah samsargavidyah. –

4.The nata-nartaka-gayana-vadaka-vagivana-kuilavh of  the Kautiliya (I, 12).

  1. In the Kautaliya (I. 11) the vaidehakavyajanah, the spy disguised trader. Peddling with bracelets of glass and similar trinkets is common in the villages of Ceylon at the present day.

6.Kautaliya I. 11 deals with, the tapasa as spy (mundo va jatilo vas

  1. The strolling quack is missing in the Kautaliya, as well as the strolling craftsman.
  2. The Kautallya I. 14 distinguishes in exactly the same way, four groups amongst those who can be manipulated and won over for one’s own schemes. The close relation of our passage to the Arthasastra and the allied literature is shown by the fact that the terms are the same , in Sanskrit and in Pali: 1) the kruddhavargah = P. samkuddha, the group of the indignant, 2) the bhitavargah = P. bhita the group of the fearful, S) the lubdhavargah = P. luddha, the group of the avaricious and, 4) the maniwargda = P. abhimanino, the group of the ambitious. The last group is placed first by the Culavamsa. For the whole subject cf. W. GEIGER, Kenntnis der Indischen NTtiliteratur in Ceylon, Festschrift fur H. Jacob! (Beitrage zur Literaturwissenechaft und Geistesgeschichte Indiens), p. 418 ff.