Glimpses Into Intrigues Past

Monks, Nobles, Children, Servants, and Tribes

Authored by: Sunethra Rajakarunanayake

The Routledge Companion to Sinhala Fiction from Post-War Sri Lanka

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367554682
eBook ISBN: 9781003094708
Adobe ISBN:


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This is an excerpt from a historical novel set in the time of the Anuradhapura Kingdom , following the fate of a girl named Buddhadasi, who was to be given in marriage to the Prince who later became Mahinda V , but who refused it and all the politics involved in it, to give up lay life and spend her time in meditation. Mahinda V is believed to have been a weak king who refused to fight, and was shipped abroad to die, but this novel takes a sympathetic look at his life and the very complicated politics among the power-hungry Sinhala and the “foreign” forces . The role of the Buddhist clergy in politics is very clearly depicted here. This excerpt brings to life that ancient kingdom, its power struggles , espionage, beliefs, and lifestyles touching different levels of that society: the monks – both forest dwellers, who follow a more spiritual path and the village dwellers, who involve themselves in the life of the people - and, in this case, the politics of the Royal Court; the nobleman, the servants, and those from other tribes or beings that are believed to have existed in ancient Sri Lanka.

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