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Title: The state of society in Ceylon as depicted in the 'Saddharma-Ratnavaliya' and other Sinhalese literature of the thirteenth century
Author: Ariyapala, M. B.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1949
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This thesis is an attempt to reconstruct the state of society in Ceylon depicted by the Saddharma-ratnavaliya and other contemporary Sinhalese literature - that is, the society of roughly the thirteenth century A.D. Though piecemeal studies have been undertaken by different scholars at different times, hardly any attempts have been made to study, as a whole, the life and institutions of Ceylon. Thus our task is all the more difficult. Many points had to be left undecided owing to lack of evidence, and will have to remain so until further light is shed by future research. In making a study of this period one is made aware of the beginnings of the decline of Sinhalese culture. Whatever the field, whether art, architecture, or sculpture, little development can be seen. Perhaps Ceylon never recovered from the destruction and ruin caused by the alien foe during this period. The Saddharma-ratnavaliya, Pujavaliya, Vi?uddhi- marga-sannaya and Kav-silumina are the sources of our study. Other works of the preceding and succeeding periods have also been examined whenever it was necessary to find corroborative evidence. In this respect, the Maha-vamsa, Cula-vamsa, Saddharmalamkaraya and the inscriptions have proved of immense value and have been liberally quoted in support of our views. The material has been dealt with under different heads for convenience of treatment and the whole thesis is divided into three sections - Political, Religious and Social. It is needless to say that, though the material has been thus presented, in real life there was no such hard and fast compartmentalisation. All spheres of activity were vitally connected with each other and were deeply influenced by religious thought. We cannot speak of an ancient Sinhalese culture without realising how vitally Buddhistic it was. It is our hope that this thesis will prove some contribution to the understanding of the life and institutions of our ancient people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Society in literature ; Social conditions ; Social life ; Customs ; History ; Sri Lanka