Thursday, November 21, 2013

'The lovers', Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Isurumuni Lovers

'6th Century Gupta style carving. The woman, seated on the man's lap, lifts a warning finger, probably as a manifestation of her coyness; but the man carries on regardless. The figures may represent Dutugemunu's son Saliya and the low caste (Sadol Kula) maiden Asokamala whom he loved. It's known that he gave up the throne for her.
‘Siddha mahayaha kuni – maha (la) ka Asala yaha (di) ni’ [Hail! The cell of Mahaya is given to Venerable Asalaya]
The above Brahmi inscription was inscribed at the original place where the Isurumuniya Lovers were originally sculptured and placed. It is a special one as a letters in this inscription is 3 inches x 4 inches in size. After donating Vessagiriya to Maha Sangha this sculpture would have been removed and placed at its present place. The Lovers in the sculptured plaque are King Kuvera Vaisrawana and his Queen Kuni. Ramayana states that Vaisrawana who lived in Vessagiriya ruled Sri Lanka from Lankapura before Rawana'. (Refer Sri Lanka Rawana Rajadhaniya – Ariyadasa Seneviratna Chapter 9)

IIt has been claimed  by some that the 'mudra' of the right hand of the female figure, indicates a
a'desire for sexual congress'. If it is so, it indicates a high degree of sophistication in the era of this stone-cutting (PGV).

The 'Lovers' in their original site in the 1950s. Photo of Mr.Jayaratne, Puwakpitiya, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.