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Sandesa is a main character in Eastern is very difficult to find out

Pli Sandesa and details because those are really written in Pli language. Whether
Pli Sandesas is not ornamental as Sanskrit Sandesa, some of them have been used as
really letters to convey messages. Then not only Pli Sandesas were part of literature
but also instrumental of Day toddy life.
This endeavour is to give brief introduction about Pli Sandesa as an
assignment which, Pli special 2nd year student should follow as compulsory for
subject of Pli literature study, in university of kelaniya. This is included with
introduction for three main Pli Sandesas and other Sandesas briefly.

G.L.U. kumarasinha
Department of Pli and Buddhist
University of kelaniya
Sri Lanka



Meaning of Sandesa
Characteristics and manner of Sandesa


Pli Sandesa literature


Mhngakula Sandesa


uttaml sataka
Siri Rma Sandesa

Meaning of Sandesa
The word Sandesa is meant a message, a notice, a letter, news and
information. When it is given various meaning, it is used as a part of literature.
Sandesa are written to convey the message to another one who is in far away.
Whether it has separate meaning, generally the Sandesa is used with conveying of
massage. The Sandesa which a exchanging of message or a communication method, is
used as a lineage of literature in south Asian languages such as Sanskrit, Pli, Sinhala
,Tamil etc.. As well as it can be seen in some canon of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism.

Characteristics and manner of Sandesa

Messenger is the main character of the Sandesa who conveys the massage to
the receiver, because of it is the compulsive feature of the message. In the Sanskrit
literature, the messenger is called as Dta. Therefore, there is another name for
Sandesa as Dta Kvya. According to the historical chronicle the oldest instance
which message is conveyed is the Sarm story in Rig Vedic. The god Indra had used a
bitch named Sarm to convey a message as a messenger to get free gods cow from
Pi and other Asurs. After that in Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Jtaka stories,
Sandesa have appeared. The first literary valuable Sandesa is the Meghadta Kvya
was written by Klidsa the Meghadta poetry, Kalidsa have used the cloud
as the messenger. It is a very attractive creation.
Kascit knt viraha gurun swdikrat pramtt
pensta gamitamahim vara bogyena bhartu
yakaacakre janakatanysnna puyodakeu

(megadta kvya)

It is a tragedy story. A young demon which just had married nearest day, had
stood over from her fiance and got punish as a prisoner. The prisoner said to him
devoid of fiance that dont be worry and wait for him until he comes.
According to the Sanskrit literature, there are four characteristics of Sandesa. Those

Pesaka (sender)
Hraka (messenger)
Grhaka (receiver)
Sandesa (message)

Sandesa Kvya should be written in poetic language (in verse) and it has
particular features with acceptable theories of literature. Sanskrit scholars explain it in
their poem.

Prasiddha nyaki kuttya

Purua vtha yosit
Sandeam preayet vidvn
dtair vandibhi ubhaik .
(ghananda kvya)
According to above one and other sloks of ghananda kvya in Sanskrit, there are 8

The hero of the Sandesa should be a famous man or woman.

The messenger should be an aristocratic one.
Sandesa should be started with a chronicle or a wishing.
The messenger should be asked health and misfortune and should be praised.
The receiving place, ways of the journey and countries should be described.
Provinces of the way and mayor should be praised.
The object of the Sandesa should be explained.
The messenger should be wished.

Pli Sandesa literature

In the pli language can be seen only few details about Sandesa kvya because of
the pli language is not familiar with mundane literature. Its not wide than Sanskrit
or Sinhala Sandesa kvya. And it hasnt more than history which appears in present.
Although in chronicle books and Jtaka kat show historical instances of Sandesa
most of those are not familiar with features which are above mentioned, there are only
few visubal Sandess with acceptable features. Among them three sandesas are very
important. Those are,
1. Mhngakula Sandesa
2. Vuttaml sataka
3. Siri Rma Sandesa
Meanwhile we could find out some details about few another Sandesas which
some of scholars dont like accept as real Sandesas but those familiar with features of

Sandesa kat - Ven. nbhivasadhamma thera

Upasampaddpini Ven. Mynmaran medanandadhaja rjaguru thera
Kesarattera sandesa - Ven. Mynmaran kesara thera
Sangarja sandesa Ven. Mynmaran nbhivasa thera
Sandesa katva - Ven. Hikkaduwe sumangala thera
Vanaratana sandesa - Ven. Bentara Attadassi thera
Vajirana sangarj sandesa Ven. Thailand Vajirana sangarj thera
eyyadhamma sandesa Ven. Lankgoda dhrnanda thera

Ven. Polwatte Buddhadatta thera would like to accept above poetic book as
Sandesa, but also didnt like accept to other books named Sandesa which are not
mention here. The first three books are completely acceptable Sandesas in Pli
literature. Generally pli Sandesas have been used with Buddhists necessities in
political back ground.

Mhngakula Sandesa
Mhngakula is a Sinhala name. Manaulu is Pli word. But various editors have
used called it Mhngakula Sandesa.thre is nouther name called Rma Sandesa.
Mhngakula Sandesa which was written in mh parakum period in Polonnaru era, is
the first pli Sandesa kvya which appears in today. It is a real letter that had been
sent from Mahnga pura to Arimaddana in Myanmar in polonaruwa era. And it was
written in Ramb temple at Ambilpitiya. The author is not identified who he was.
According to 52nd stanza in Mahangakula Sandesa, it has been sent by Ven.
Ngasena mahthera.

Ta kassapa mah tera - Bhavti guasekarao

Ngasena mah tero sinsanaprassara
Although it is mentioned the author was Ven. Ngasena mahthera, there are various
ideas about the author,

The author obviously is not Nagasena himself, but is probably a monk of

his school - Lionel D. Barnet 1905
Ven. Ngasena mahthera have got written this Sandesa by another monk
who was in Mahngakula temple and sent himself. Madovita
nnanda threra.1925

However this was written by Ven. Ngasena mahthera or a monk who was in
Mahngakula temple. On this time there were three famous Ngasena theras.
Ngasena thera was wise and virtuous monk.
Naati sirasi reu Buddha pdravinde
naati sugatavni vini kaah ramge
naati hadayarage bhvan nalithi
naati caraarage loka molnamli
Mahngakula is specially poem because of it was written with various
metres. And it is the very beautiful Sandesa in Pli language.

Vuttaml sataka
Vuttaml sataka is the second sadesa in pli. It was also written in
pollonnaruwa era. But the time is not identified with particular period. Some scholars
believe that it was 5th parakum period. And others believe that it should belong to 6th
parakum period. Uttaml sataka was written asked God Vibhsana to wish a king was
detigampra named Parakum. This was written in various metres. Therefor it is called
Uttaml. Sataka means 100. In Sanskrit literature name Sataka is used for poem
which equal or over 100 stanzas belong one. Then Vuttaml sataka means a poem
which over 100 stanzas included in various metres. A monk named Gatre Upatapasi
was in Dadiama temple that was nephew of Vilgammula thera, has written this one. In
end of Sandesa it is mentioned,
Sarasigmula mahsmino bgineyya butena gatrbhidhna upatapassin
racitam uttaml Sandesa sataka samatta
The Uttaml sataka reveal more information about on that time. Especially about
Budhist monks, their education services, virtuous workings etc.

Guaratana samuddo dpa dpyamno

Janayana manuo vdimattena siho
Jinagadita tisikkh rakkhene satta citto
Vanaratana mahditterehi virje
This is a stanza which is praised vev. Vanarthana thera. Vanratha thera is a
virtuous monk who talented speaker, he has many good qualities. It is explain the
famous eight schools of thought (Ahyatana) in Sri Lanka. Those eight schools of


Siri Rma Sandesa

Siri Rma Sandesa which was written in Mah nuvara (kandy) era, was sent
for God Vibhsana in Haguranketa to wish the king Sri Vikama Rjasinhawho was
final Sinhalese king. This was written by kunkunve sumangala thera who was in Sri
Vardanapura devale. It is mention in Siri Rma Sandesa
Kukumaggma sanjta sumagala jinatrajo
Aksi pavara etam rmasandesa muttama
On this time, Sri Lanka was being a colonial of England. King was being
continued very bad rulings and people also want to remove the king. But this author
had wanted to free this country from colonial. Therefore he wanted to whatever
Sinhala king. The writers opinion can be seen in the first stanza that is described the
Sotthippassatha suvisuddha nardhipamh
Lamkagan tilakabhta manoramamh
Vittappabhta naranri gakulamh
Sekhaasela sirisra purpuramh
The senkhandagala pura which famous kings and sub- kings, wealthy and honourable
people live in, is a treasure of Sri Lanka.

Pli Sandesa literature is not successful than Sanskrit literature. As a canonical
language pli is more powerful. According to Buddhist vinaya rules that Mah vihra
theras conducted, no one get permission to use the Pli language for mundane
creation. Therefore these Sandesa are perfected writings. Whether it is not
ornamentally perfect, language usage is attractive. Pli Sandesa is fed from Sanskrit
poem and Sandesa. Sometime Pli writers have used similar pattern to ornament.


o Hikkaduwe sumangala nyaka thera, sandesa kat, samayawardana

o Polwatte Buddhadattatera, Pli sandesvali,
o Sri sumangala sinhala encyclopedia
o Buddadatta thera, polwatte Concise Pli-English Dictionary, internet. 1958
o Tilakasiri Jaydewa, Sanskrit kvya shittya, 2009,S.Godage
o Ananda wardana, Dyannrloka
o Sri Ghannanda kvya
o Prof. Tripati R.W. Rastriya, Sahitya darpana, Dilli University.
o Klidasa, meghadutaya
o Aruna K. Gamage, Mahangkula Sandesa, 2012 editing
o Lionel D. Barnet, Mahangakula Sandesa, 1905 editing
o Madovita Ganannanda thera, Mahangakula Sandesa, 1921 editing
o Dr. Aberatna, Uttaml sataka, Hariscandra 2013 editing
o Pandith Dammloka thera, welivita 2009 editing