Moggallana The Brother of Kasyapa of Sigiriya


Moggallana I (ruled 497–515) was the son of King Dhatusena and the younger brother of King Kasyapa I who built Sigiriya. He was the third monarch of the Moriyan Dynasty of the Anuradhapura Kingdom.

Moggallana was born of a royal lineage and, as was custom, the heir-apparent to the throne in preference to his older brother Kasyapa who was born as a result of a liaison between Dhatusena and woman of a lower caste.

Moggallana was much younger than Kasyapa when Kasyapa usurped the throne from their father Dhatusena. Fearing for his life Moggallana fled to India where he lived a rather uneventful life. In about the eighteenth year of his exile, while languishing in India, he received news that Migara, the chief of Kasyapa's army, was willing to defect to his side and support him in his quest to claim the throne.

Moggallana returned to Si Lanka with motley collection of friend and hangabouts and set up camp a fair distance away from Sigiriya. There he started to assemble a militia. Kasyapa on hearing of this decided to confront his brother. In the ensuring battle Migara defected to Moggallana together with the army. Abandoned, Kasyapa committed suicide.

Moggallana cremated his brother with due respect and then striped Sigiriya of all its treasures, handed it over to the Buddhist clergy for use as a monastery and returned his capital to Anuradhapura. He severely punished those who had supported Kasyapa, killing in excess of a thousand and having the noses and ears of lesser offenders cut off before banishing them from the capital.

Moggallana ingratiated himself with the Buddhist clergy by carrying out many meritorious acts such as he repair and refurbishment of many monasteries.

He ruled for 18 years.


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