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How Guththila Kavya Sinhala PDF Free Reflects the History and Culture of the Kingdom of Kotte


Guththila Kavya: A Classic Sinhala Poem Based on a Jataka Tale




Guththila Kavya (Sinhala: ගුත්තිල කව්ය) is a book of poetry written in the period of the Kingdom of Kotte (1412-1597) by Weththewe Thero (Sinhala: වත්තව හිමි). It is based on a story of a previous life of Gautama Buddha mentioned in Guththila Jataka (Sinhala: ගුත්තිල ජතකය), one of the 550 Jataka tales that narrate the past lives of the Buddha. Guththila Kavya contains over 511 poems that describe a musical contest between two musicians, Guththila and Musila, who were rivals in their art as well as in their love for a woman named Maddi. In this article, we will explore the historical and cultural context, the structure and style, and the significance and impact of this classic Sinhala poem.




guththila kavya sinhala pdf free


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The Historical and Cultural Context of Guththila Kavya




Guththila Kavya was written by Weththewe Thero as an invitation and praise for a minister named Salawatha Jayapala (Sinhala: සලවත ජයපල), who was a member of the royal council of King VI Parakumba (Sinhala: වී පරකුම්බ) of the Kingdom of Kotte. The Kingdom of Kotte was a prosperous and powerful kingdom that ruled most parts of Sri Lanka from the 15th to the 16th centuries. It was known for its patronage of Buddhism, arts, literature, education and trade. It also faced many challenges from internal rebellions, foreign invasions and colonial ambitions. Guththila Kavya reflects both the glory and the turmoil of this period in Sinhala history.


Guththila Kavya also draws from the rich Buddhist tradition that has shaped Sinhala literature and culture for centuries. The Jataka tales are stories that illustrate the virtues and wisdom that the Buddha acquired in his previous lives as various animals or humans. They are popular sources of inspiration and moral guidance for Buddhists all over the world. Guththila Jataka is one such story that shows how the Buddha cultivated his skill in music as well as his compassion for his enemies. By adapting this story into a poem, Weththewe Thero not only entertained his audience but also taught them valuable lessons about life.


Guththila Kavya is written in Sinhala, which is one of the oldest and most diverse languages in South Asia. Sinhala belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family, but it also has influences from Dravidian, Pali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Portuguese, Dutch and English languages. Sinhala has evolved over time into different dialects, registers and styles depending on the region, class, religion and purpose of communication. Sinhala literature has also developed various genres such as prose, poetry, drama, folklore, chronicles, essays and novels. Guththila Kavya is an example of kavya (Sinhala: කව්ය), which is a form of classical poetry that follows strict rules of metre, rhyme, alliteration and genre.


The Structure and Style of Guththila Kavya




Guththila Kavya has a simple but elegant structure that consists of four main parts: an introduction (Sinhala: උපදශ), a summary (Sinhala: සක්ෂප), an analysis (Sinhala: විවරණ) and a conclusion (Sinhala: අනුමද). The introduction gives the background information about the author, the audience, the occasion and the purpose of writing the poem. The summary gives a brief overview of the plot of Guththila Jataka and its connection to Gautama Buddha. The analysis gives a detailed description of the characters, events, settings and themes of Guththila Jataka as well as their literary significance. The conclusion gives a final remark on the moral and artistic value of Guththila Kavya.


Guththila Kavya has a sophisticated but lively style that uses different poetic techniques to create interest and impact for the reader. The poem uses five different metres (Sinhala: විරිත) that vary in length, rhythm and mood. They are Mahamegha Viritha (Sinhala: මහමඝ විරිත), Savisimath Viritha (Sinhala: සවිසිම විරිත), Solosmath Viritha (Sinhala: සලස්ම විරිත), Dolosmath Viritha (Sinhala: දලස (Sinhala: Here is the continuation of the article. Summary: What is the story of Guththila Jataka and how does it relate to Gautama Buddha?




Guththila Jataka is one of the 550 Jataka tales that narrate the past lives of Gautama Buddha, who was born as a human prince named Siddhartha Gautama in the 6th century BCE and attained enlightenment and became the Buddha, the Awakened One. The Jataka tales illustrate the virtues and wisdom that the Buddha acquired in his previous lives as various animals or humans. They are popular sources of inspiration and moral guidance for Buddhists all over the world.


Guththila Jataka tells the story of a musical contest between two musicians, Guththila and Musila, who were rivals in their art as well as in their love for a woman named Maddi. Guththila was a master of the lute (Sinhala: වීන), a stringed instrument, while Musila was a master of the flute (Sinhala: වශිය), a wind instrument. They both lived in Benares (Sinhala: මිතිල), a city in northern India. Guththila was the Bodhisattva, a being who was destined to become the Buddha in a future life, while Musila was his jealous and cunning enemy.


One day, Musila challenged Guththila to a musical duel in front of the king and the people of Benares. He secretly planned to kill Guththila by poisoning his lute strings. Guththila accepted the challenge and played his lute with such skill and grace that he won the admiration of everyone. Musila then played his flute with equal skill and grace, but he could not surpass Guththila. He then asked Guththila to exchange their instruments and play again. Guththila agreed, but he noticed that Musila's flute was wet with saliva. He wiped it with his robe and played it without touching it with his lips. Musila then took Guththila's lute and played it with his fingers, hoping to kill him with the poison. However, he failed to notice that Guththila had removed the poisoned strings and replaced them with new ones. He played the lute without harming himself, but he still could not match Guththila's performance.


The king and the people declared Guththila as the winner and praised him for his musical talent and his generosity in lending his lute to Musila. They also condemned Musila for his treachery and his ingratitude in trying to kill Guththila. Maddi, who was watching the contest, also chose Guththila as her lover and rejected Musila. Musila felt ashamed and humiliated by his defeat and his loss of Maddi. He ran away from Benares and never returned.


The story of Guththila Jataka shows how the Bodhisattva cultivated his skill in music as well as his compassion for his enemies. It also teaches us about the importance of honesty, kindness, generosity and humility in life.


Analysis: What are the main themes, messages and literary features of Guththila Kavya?




Guththila Kavya is not a mere translation or adaptation of Guththila Jataka, but a creative and original work of poetry that adds depth, detail and beauty to the original story. Weththewe Thero uses various themes, messages and literary features to enhance his poem and make it appealing to his audience.


One of the main themes of Guththila Kavya is music as an expression of art, emotion and spirituality. Music is not only a skill or a hobby for Guththila and Musila, but also a way of life and a path to enlightenment. Music reflects their personalities, their feelings and their aspirations. Music also connects them with other people, such as Maddi, the king and the people of Benares. Music also represents their relationship with Buddhism, as they both play instruments that are associated with Buddhist symbols. The lute represents Here is the continuation of the article. the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, while the flute represents the emptiness and impermanence of all phenomena. Music also serves as a metaphor for harmony, balance and beauty in life.


Another theme of Guththila Kavya is the contrast between good and evil, or virtue and vice, as embodied by the two protagonists, Guththila and Musila. Guththila represents the ideal qualities of a Bodhisattva, such as honesty, kindness, generosity, humility, courage and wisdom. Musila represents the opposite qualities of a wicked person, such as dishonesty, cruelty, greed, pride, cowardice and ignorance. The poem shows how their actions and attitudes lead to different consequences and destinies. Guththila wins the musical contest, the love of Maddi and the respect of everyone. Musila loses everything and runs away in shame. The poem also implies that Guththila will eventually become the Buddha and attain enlightenment, while Musila will suffer in samsara (the cycle of rebirth) for a long time.


A third theme of Guththila Kavya is the importance of learning and teaching as a way of preserving and spreading the Buddhist tradition. Weththewe Thero wrote this poem not only to entertain his audience but also to educate them about the life and teachings of the Buddha. He used a familiar and popular story from the Jataka tales to convey his message in an engaging and memorable way. He also used various literary features to enhance his style and expression. For example, he used different metres (Sinhala: විරිත) to create different rhythms and moods for different parts of the poem. He used rhymes (Sinhala: එළිසමය) and alliterations (Sinhala: අනුප්රසය) to create musical effects and to emphasize certain words or phrases. He used different genres (Sinhala: විද) to suit different purposes and audiences. For instance, he used gee viritha (Sinhala: ගී විරිත), which is a form of lyrical poetry that expresses emotions and sentiments, to describe the love between Guththila and Maddi. He used kavi viritha (Sinhala: කවි විරිත), which is a form of didactic poetry that teaches morals and ethics, to explain the Buddhist principles and values. He used katha viritha (Sinhala: කථ විරිත), which is a form of narrative poetry that tells stories and events, to narrate the plot of Guththila Jataka.


He also used various literary devices (Sinhala: අලකර) to create interest and impact for his readers. For example, he used exaggeration (Sinhala: අතිශය කිරීම) to make his characters and scenes more vivid and dramatic. He used dialogue (Sinhala: ස Here is the continuation of the article. වර්ත) to create realistic and dramatic effects. He used description (Sinhala: වර්ණන) to create vivid and detailed images. He used imagery (Sinhala: රූපකල්පන) to appeal to the senses and emotions of the readers. He used similes (Sinhala: උපම) and metaphors (Sinhala: රූපක) to make comparisons and connections between different things. He used personification (Sinhala: පුද්ගලීකරණ) and symbolism (Sinhala: ලක්ෂණ) to give meanings and messages to objects and animals.


The Significance and Impact of Guththila Kavya




Guththila Kavya is not only a masterpiece of Sinhala literature but also a valuable source of historical and cultural information. It has significance and impact on various levels.


On the educational level, Guththila Kavya teaches moral and spiritual lessons that are relevant and useful for anyone who wants to live a good and happy life. It shows how to cultivate virtues such as honesty, kindness, generosity, humility, courage and wisdom. It also shows how to avoid vices such as dishonesty, cruelty, greed, pride, cowardice and ignorance. It demonstrates how to deal with challenges and conflicts in life with skill and grace. It also explains the basic principles and values of Buddhism, such as karma (the law of cause and effect), samsara (the cycle of rebirth), nirvana (the state of liberation), dhamma (the truth or the teaching), sangha (the community of monks or followers), sila (the moral conduct), samadhi (the concentration or meditation) and panna (the wisdom or insight).


On the artistic level, Guththila Kavya showcases the beauty and creativity of Sinhala poetry. It displays the mastery and diversity of Sinhala language, literature and culture. It uses various poetic techniques and devices to create interest and impact for the readers. It also uses various musical elements to enhance the expression and enjoyment of the poem. It has inspired many other poets, musicians, artists and performers to create their own works based on Guththila Kavya.


On the cultural level, Guththila Kavya contributes to the preservation and promotion of Sinhala heritage and identity. It reflects the historical and cultural context of the Kingdom of Kotte, which was a golden age of Sinhala civilization. It also draws from the rich Buddhist tradition that has shaped Sinhala literature and culture for centuries. It also connects with other cultures that have influenced or been influenced by Sinhala culture, such as Indian, Greek, Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English cultures. It has become a part of the collective memory and pride of Sinhala people.


Conclusion




Guththila Kavya is a classic Sinhala poem based on a Jataka tale that narrates a previous life of Gautama Buddha as a master musician named Guththila who competed with his rival Musila in a musical contest in front of the king and the people of Benares. The poem was written by Weththewe Thero in the 15th or 16th century as an invitation and praise for a minister named Salawatha Jayapala who was a member of the royal council of King VI Parakumba of the Kingdom of Kotte. The poem contains over 511 poems that describe the characters, events, settings Here is the continuation of the article. and themes of Guththila Jataka as well as their literary significance. The book has been written by Weththewe Thero in the 15th or 16th century as an invitation and praise for a minister named Salawatha Jayapala who was a member of the royal council of King VI Parakumba of the Kingdom of Kotte.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Guththila Kavya and their answers.


  • Who wrote Guththila Kavya and when?



Guththila Kavya was written by Weththewe Thero, a Buddhist monk and poet, in the 15th or 16th century during the period of the Kingdom of Kotte.


  • What is the source of Guththila Kavya?



Guththila Kavya is based on a story of a previous life of Gautama Buddha mentioned in Guththila Jataka, one of the 550 Jataka tales that narrate the past lives of the Buddha.


  • What is the plot of Guththila Kavya?



Guththila Kavya tells the story of a musical contest between two musicians, Guththila and Musila, who were rivals in their art as well as in their love for a woman named Maddi. Guththila was the Bodhisattva, a being who was destined to become the Buddha in a future life, while Musila was his jealous and cunning enemy.


  • What are the main themes of Guththila Kavya?



Guththila Kavya has various themes such as music as an expression of art, emotion and spirituality; the contrast between good and evil, or virtue and vice; and the importance of learning and teaching as a way of preserving and spreading the Buddhist tradition.


  • What are the main literary features of Guththila Kavya?



Guththila Kavya has various literary features such as different metres, rhymes, alliterations and genres; different narrative techniques such as exaggeration, dialogue, description and imagery; and different literary devices such as similes, metaphors, personification and symbolism.





This is the end of my article on Guththila Kavya. I hope you enjoyed reading it and learned something new. Thank you for your attention and feedback.


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