ISBN 9788170690009,The Legend Of The Topes (Thupavamsa)

The Legend Of The Topes (Thupavamsa)

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Publisher

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd

Publication Year 1986
ISBN-13

ISBN 9788170690009

ISBN-10 8170690005
Binding

Hard Back

Edition 2nd
Number of Pages 111 Pages
Language (English)
Subject

Buddhism

The Legend of the Topes is a translation of Thupavamsa written by Vacissara Thera, the librarian of King Parakkamabahu (AD 1153-86) of Ceylon. The author sums up the life of the Buddha in a masterly way and gives a detailed account of the topes which were erected over the bodily relics of the Buddha with their later history. The word 'tope' is derived from the Sanskrit stupa which denotes the dome-shaped shrine of the Buddhists. Thupavamsa is divided into two books, the first one dealing with the topes in India and the second with those in Ceylon. The first book tells the story of the Buddha's life, his passing away, the division and distribution of his moral remains and the construction of eighty-four thousand topes during Asoka's reign. According to the author, the tope or stupa represents the bowl, the dress and other articles used by the Great Teacher. The second book takes up the history of Ceylon from the rule of Devanampiyatissa to that of Duttahagamini, who brought the whole of the island under his sway. The author gives a detailed account of how Duttahagamini built the Mahathupa on the great tope without burdening his subjects for special levies for this purpose. As the Mahathupa was nearing completion, Duttahagamini fell seriously ill and entrusted the work of completion of the tope to his younger brother, who resorted to a stratagem, and saw to it that Duttahagamini died with the satisfaction of seeing the Mahathupa in all its splendour. The present work, The Legend of the Topes, translation of Thupavamsa will help the readers to understand and appreciate a Pali traditional work of the late medieval period. This will prove as an invaluable sourcebook of Buddhism and early history of India and Ceylon.
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