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James Emerson Tennent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 712 pages of information about Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and.
156.  Raja Singha 1st, son of Mayadunnai Setawacca 1581
     Jaya Suriya Setawacca
     Widiye Raja’s queen ditto
157.  Wimala Dharma, original royal family Khandy 1592
158.  Senaraana or Senarat, brother ditto 1604
159.  Raja-singha 2nd, son ditto 1637
     Kumara-singa, brother Ouvah
     Wejaya Pala, brother Matelle
160.  Wimala Dharma Suriya 2nd, son of
       Rajasingha Khandy 1687
161.  Sriwira Prakrama Narendrasingha or
       Kundasala ditto 1707
162.  Sriwejaya Raja Singha or Hanguranketta,
       brother-in-law ditto 1739
163.  Kirtisri Raja Singha, brother-in-law ditto 1747
164.  Rajadhi Raja Singha, brother ditto 1781
165.  Sri Wikrema Raja Singha, son of the late
       king’s wife’s sister, deposed by the
       English in 1815, and died in captivity
       in 1832 ditto 1798

NOTE.—­The Singhalese vowels a, e, i, o, u are to be pronounced as in French or Italian.

CHAP.  II.

THE ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF CEYLON.

Divested of the insipid details which overlay them, the annals of Ceylon present comparatively few stirring incidents, and still fewer events of historic importance to repay the toil of their perusal.  They profess to record no occurrence anterior to the advent of the last Buddha, the great founder of the national faith, who was born on the borders of Nepaul in the seventh century before Christ.

In the theoretic doctrines of Buddhism “Buddhas"[1] are beings who appear after intervals of inconceivable extent; they undergo transmigrations extending over vast spaces of time, accumulating in each stage of existence an increased degree of merit, till, in their last incarnation as men, they attain to a degree of purity so immaculate as to entitle them to the final exaltation of “Buddha-hood,” a state approaching to incarnate divinity, in which they are endowed with wisdom so supreme as to be competent to teach mankind the path to ultimate bliss.

[Footnote 1:  A sketch of the Buddhist religion may be seen in Sir J. EMERSON TENNENT’S History of Christianity in Ceylon, ch. v.  London, 1850.  But the most profound and learned dissertations on Buddhism as it exists in Ceylon, will be found in the works of the Rev. R. SPENCE HARDY, Eastern Monachism, Lond. 1850, and A Manual of Buddhism, Lond. 1853.]

Their precepts, preserved orally or committed to writing, are cherished as bana or the “word;” their doctrines are incorporated in the system of dharma or “truth;” and, at their death, instead of entering on a new form of being, either corporeal or spiritual, they are absorbed into Nirwana, that state of blissful unconsciousness akin to annihilation which is regarded by Buddhists as the consummation of eternal felicity.

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