Saliya – Asokamala

King Dutugamunu had a son named Saliya Raja Kumara. He was an intelligent Prince and conducted many meritorious deeds. This young Prince, fell in love with a beautiful Chandala girl named Asokamala. Prince Saliya was told that he would not be able to become the King, if he continues his love affair with Asokamala. Prince Saliya’s love for Asokamala was greater than his desire for the kingdom. Against the wishes of the country, he married Asokamala without any regard to the throne.

(Author’s Note: Mahavamsa Tika gives a greater description of Saliya-Asokamala love story. According to Tika, Saliya and Asokamala were husband and wife in a previous life. During King Dutugamunu’s time, Saliya was born as son of King Dutugamunu while Asokamala was born as a Chandala girl in the city. One day while Prince Saliya was walking in a forest of Asoka trees, he heard a song sung by a beautiful voice. When he followed the voice, he saw a pretty damsel plucking Asoka flowers. Saliya Raja Kumara fell in love with the girl immediately, [not knowing that she was her wife in a previous life] and they got married. Some consider the rock statue in Isurumuniya depicting lovers, known as “Isurumuni lovers” to be of Saliya Raja Kumara and Asokamala). Author’s Note: Mahavamsa account of Saliya-Asokamala story was extremely brief, probably was a distraction for Mahathera Mahanama. (Author of this portion of Mahavamsa).

Saddhatissa: (140 BC – 122 BC)

Since Prince Saliya, married a Chandala girl, King Dutugamunu’s younger brother, Saddhatissa was consecrated as King. King Saddhatissa continued the remaining work in Mahathupa.

Major Fire in Lowa Maha Paaya: During his time, there was a fire in the Lowa Maha Paaya. King reconstructed the Lowa Maha Paaya with seven stories. (Initially there were nine stories).

King Saddhatissa built Dighavapi vihara and Duratissa reservoir.

Duratissa Reservoir: Duratissa reservoir has an embankment of 3,400 ft long and 14 feet high. Top of the bank is 15 feet wide. The reservoir has a capacity of 336 million Cu. ft and a surface area of 1,230 acres.
After King Saddhatissa’s death, Mahasangha supported the second son of the King, “Thulathana”.

Thulathana: (122 BC – 122 BC)

Thulathana, second son of King Saddhatissa, became the ruler of the country after King Saddhatissa. This angered the first son, Lajjitissa. When Thulathana was consecrated, Lajjitissa was out of town. Hearing the news, Lajjitissa was furious. Lajjitissa gathered an army and fought with Thulathana.

Lajjitissa: (122 BC – 112 BC)

Lajjitissa, over powered Thulathana and became the ruler of the country. After been consecrated as King, Lajjitissa ignored Mahasangha and Buddhism. He was angered that Mahasangha supported his brother Thulathana over him for the throne.

(Author’s Note: King Lajjitissa was the first King to ignore Buddhism. Later there were many Kings who ignored or even tried to destroy Buddhism. One of them [Seethawaka Rajasinghe] dangerously came close to destroying Buddhism completely).

With time, King Lajjitissa, became friendly with Mahavihara bhikkus and started to build Viharas. King Lajjitissa built Aritta Vihara in Ritigala.

Kallata Naga: (112 BC – 104 BC)

After the death of King Lajjitissa, his younger brother Kallata Naga became the ruler. Kallata Naga built thirty two dwellings for bhikkus. Kallata Naga was killed by the commander of his army, Kammaharattaka. The rebellious commander was overpowered by Khallata Naga’s younger brother, Vatthagamini. (or Walagambahu).

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Bibliographic Citations: Resources and Credit

11 Responses to “Saliya – Asokamala”

  1. asirinion 22 Feb 2012 at 12:45 pm

    this website is really helpful.

    thanks for the help

  2. paramithaon 25 Jan 2013 at 8:43 am

    Great lovers…………

  3. paramitha senarathnaon 25 Jan 2013 at 8:48 am

    when i read this saliya and asokamala’s story i could remember one special person in my life……….

  4. pradeepon 08 Oct 2013 at 3:27 pm

    great full love story

  5. tony saldinon 31 Jan 2015 at 7:34 am

    Very good info. Dcided to check details after seeing the movie “Maharaja Gemunu”.

  6. samadion 15 Aug 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Very interesting.. some of my doubts were clear.. thanks for this!

  7. anuon 09 Apr 2016 at 5:23 am

    I love this love story.

  8. tuanz jamionon 19 Jun 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I wonder what happens to the Lovers Do they simply vanish away from the face of history? What was their destiny?

  9. Salion 05 Jan 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Ashokamala was never the reason as to why prince saliya lost the throne. He was the son of the most powerful person at the time, the great king Gemunu, so It’s definitely a fact that they would have found a way to consecrate him as king. Even if such a custom actually existed, the prince would have brought a suitable person from an accepted cast just for the day of the coronation. He was more than worthy of the throne, rather than the people who masterminded the entire plot through betrayal and lust for power. But the soft hearted prince , taking the advice of the arahants during the time, did not wage war in the quest to capture the throne which was rightfully his. Instead he, along with his retinue which included even some of the Giants and people who were closest to king Gemunu , went to tantirimale and practiced meditation and lived a peaceful life.
    The prince had his father’s blood running inside him so it’s no question that he would have made a great leader himself.
    It’s disappointing that the real story king Gemunu’s Loving son isn’t among the people of this beautiful country. But maybe, just maybe, one day it will .

  10. chanakaon 11 Jan 2018 at 7:34 am

    If I can travel back time, i would love to check on this. i am curious too.

  11. ireshon 09 Mar 2018 at 4:39 pm

    great site get lot of knowledge from this site thanks

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