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Guththila Kavya Sinhala Pdf 169




Guththila Kavya: A Sinhala Poetic Masterpiece


Guththila Kavya: A Sinhala Poetic Masterpiece




Guththila Kavya (Sinhala: ගුත්තිල කව්ය, Anglicized: Guttila Kāvya) is a book of poetry written in the period of the Kingdom of Kotte (1412-1597) by Weththewe Thero (Sinhala: වත්තව හිමි). The book is based on a story of a previous life of Gautama Buddha mentioned in Guththila Jataka (Sinhala: ගුත්තිල ජතකය), one of the Jataka tales of Gautama Buddha. Guththila Kavya contains over 511 poems that narrate the musical contest between Guttila, a virtuoso veena player who was the Bodhisattva, and Musila, his jealous rival who challenged him to a duel. The book is considered as one of the finest examples of Sinhala classical literature and showcases the poetic skills, cultural values, and musical knowledge of the author.


The Historical Context of Guththila Kavya




Guththila Kavya was written by Weththewe Thero, a Buddhist monk who lived in the 16th century during the reign of King VI Parakumba (Sinhala: වී පරකුම්බ) of the Kingdom of Kotte. The Kingdom of Kotte was a prosperous and powerful Sinhalese kingdom that ruled most parts of Sri Lanka from 1412 to 1597. The kingdom was known for its patronage of arts, literature, and education, and produced many eminent scholars, poets, and artists. Weththewe Thero was one of them, and he wrote Guththila Kavya as an invitation and praise for a minister named Salawatha Jayapala (Sinhala: සලවත ජයපල), who was a member of the royal council and a patron of literature. Weththewe Thero dedicated his work to Salawatha Jayapala and expressed his admiration and gratitude for his support and encouragement.


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The Literary Features of Guththila Kavya




Guththila Kavya is a remarkable work of poetry that demonstrates the mastery of Weththewe Thero in various aspects of Sinhala poetics. The book has been written in elegant and refined Sinhala language that follows the rules of grammar, syntax, and prosody. The poems are composed in different meters (Sinhala: විරිත) that suit the mood, tone, and theme of each section. The book has five main meters: Mahamegha Viritha (Sinhala: මහමඝ විරිත), Savisimath Viritha (Sinhala: සවිසිමත් විරිත), Solosmath Viritha (Sinhala: සලස්මත් විරිත), Dolosmath Viritha (Sinhala: දලස්මත් විරිත), and Mahapiyum Viritha (Sinhala: මහ පි විරිත). The poems also employ various literary devices such as rhymes (Sinhala: එළිසමය), alliterations (Sinhala: අනුප්රසය), similes (Sinhala: උපමන), metaphors (Sinhala: රූපක), and hyperboles (Sinhala: අතිශය) to enhance the beauty and expressiveness of the verses.


Guththila Kavya is not only a poetic masterpiece, but also a rich source of information about the culture, society, and music of the Sinhala people in the 16th century. The book depicts the customs, traditions, beliefs, values, and lifestyles of the people of that era, as well as their knowledge and appreciation of music and musical instruments. The book also contains references to historical events, places, and personalities that provide insights into the political and historical context of the Kingdom of Kotte. The book is therefore a valuable document that preserves and transmits the heritage and legacy of the Sinhala civilization.


The Summary of Guththila Kavya




Guththila Kavya is based on the story of Guththila Jataka, one of the Jataka tales that narrate the previous lives of Gautama Buddha. The story is about a musical contest between Guttila, a virtuoso veena player who was the Bodhisattva, and Musila, his jealous rival who challenged him to a duel. The story has four main characters: Guttila, Musila, Sujata, and King Brahmadatta.



  • Guttila: He was the Bodhisattva in this life. He was born in a Brahmin family and was gifted with extraordinary musical talent. He learned to play the veena (Sinhala: වීණ), a stringed instrument, from his father and became a master musician. He was famous for his skill and fame throughout the kingdom. He was also virtuous, humble, generous, and compassionate. He had a loyal disciple named Sujata, who was his best friend and admirer.



  • Musila: He was Guttila's rival and enemy. He was also a Brahmin and a veena player, but he was inferior to Guttila in every aspect. He was arrogant, greedy, envious, and malicious. He hated Guttila for his superiority and popularity and wanted to defeat him and take his place as the best musician in the kingdom. He plotted to challenge Guttila to a musical duel and humiliate him in front of everyone.



  • Sujata: He was Guttila's disciple and friend. He was a young Brahmin who loved music and learned to play the veena from Guttila. He was devoted to his teacher and respected him as his guru. He was loyal, faithful, grateful, and courageous. He supported Guttila in his contest with Musila and helped him to overcome his difficulties.



  • King Brahmadatta: He was the king of Benares (Sinhala: බනරස්), the capital city of the kingdom where Guttila and Musila lived. He was a wise, just, and benevolent ruler who loved music and patronized musicians. He invited Guttila and Musila to his palace to perform their musical duel and decided to award the winner with a golden veena and a thousand gold coins.




The story begins with Musila challenging Guttila to a musical contest after hearing about his fame and skill. Guttila accepts the challenge out of compassion for Musila's ignorance and pride. They agree to meet at King Brahmadatta's palace on a full moon day and play their veenas in front of a large audience. The king hears about their contest and invites them to his palace with great honor.


On the day of the The article continues as follows: On the day of the contest, Guttila and Musila arrive at the palace with their veenas and are welcomed by the king and the people. The king announces the rules of the contest: each contestant will play his veena for one hour and the audience will judge their performance by their applause. The one who receives more applause will be declared the winner and receive the prize. The king also appoints a panel of judges, consisting of five eminent musicians, to oversee the contest and ensure fairness.


The contest begins with Musila playing his veena first. He plays with skill and confidence, displaying his knowledge of various ragas (Sinhala: රග), talas (Sinhala: තල), and alankaras (Sinhala: අලකර). He impresses the audience with his speed, accuracy, and versatility. He plays for an hour without any mistake or pause and finishes with a flourish. The audience applauds him warmly and praises his performance.


Then, it is Guttila's turn to play his veena. He plays with grace and elegance, expressing his emotions and feelings through his music. He captivates the audience with his melody, harmony, and creativity. He plays for an hour with ease and joy and ends with a sublime note. The audience applauds him thunderously and admires his performance.


The king then asks the audience to vote for their favorite musician by raising their hands. The majority of the audience votes for Guttila, indicating that he is the winner of the contest. The king also asks the judges to give their verdict. The judges unanimously agree that Guttila is the superior musician and deserves the prize. The king then declares Guttila as the winner and awards him with a golden veena and a thousand gold coins. He also praises Guttila for his musical excellence and moral virtue.


Musila, however, is not satisfied with the result. He feels humiliated and enraged by his defeat. He accuses Guttila of cheating and bribing the audience and the judges. He challenges Guttila to another contest, this time with a different rule: each contestant will play his veena until it breaks. The one whose veena lasts longer will be declared the winner and receive the prize. Guttila accepts the challenge out of compassion for Musila's folly and pride.


The second contest begins with Musila playing his veena again. He plays with force and fury, trying to break his veena as soon as possible. He plays harshly and violently, producing unpleasant and discordant sounds. He plays for a while until his veena snaps in half. He throws away his broken veena and laughs triumphantly.


Then, it is Guttila's turn to play his veena again. He plays with love and care, trying to preserve his veena as long as possible. He plays softly and gently, producing sweet and soothing sounds. He plays for a long time until his veena remains intact. He puts down his unbroken veena and smiles peacefully.


The king then asks the audience to vote for their favorite musician by raising their hands. The majority of the audience votes for Guttila again, indicating that he is the winner of the second contest as well. The king also asks the judges to give their verdict again. The judges unanimously agree that Guttila is the superior musician again and deserves the prize again. The king then declares Guttila as the winner again and awards him with another golden veena and another thousand gold coins. He also praises Guttila for his musical skill and spiritual wisdom.


Musila, however, is still not satisfied with the result. He feels more humiliated and enraged by his defeat. He accuses Guttila of using magic and sorcery to protect his veena from breaking. He challenges Guttila to a final contest, this time with a different rule: each contestant will play his veena in front of a sacred fire (Sinhala: දහම් ගිණි). The one whose veena does not burn will be declared the winner


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