Dasa Maha Yodayo | Sunday Observer

Dasa Maha Yodayo


We have so far brought you the stories of five of the Dasa Maha Yodhayas or the Warrior Giants who joined the army of King Kavantissa and subsequently were with King Dutugamunu’s army. Today, we bring you the story of another one of these mighty warrior giants, Velusumana.

Velusumana was born in a village called Kutumbiyangana ( presently known as Maluwa)in a settlement named Giri in the Girinil Danawwa in Magama, Ruhuna, the Kingdom of King Kavantissa, the father of King Dutugemunu.

His father was a village Chieftain named Wasabha.

Veluwana and Sumana were Wasabha’s two great friends and when they heard a son was born to Wasabha and his wife, they came to see the new born baby laden with gifts and also attended the naming ceremony of the baby and again gave the baby many valuable gifts. Wasabha was very fond of these two friends and he decided to name his new born son after them. Wasabha joined Velu and Sumana and named his son Velusumana.

Velu and Sumana loved the child who was named after them and as he grew tall and strong took him to live with them. Velu loved Velusumana so dearly that the boy lived with him most of the time. Velu owned a large stable with many superb horses. During these times ‘Saindhawa’ was an excellent breed of horses. There was a very high bred young horse belonging to the Saindhawa breed there and untamable horse.

By this time, Velusumana had grown to be a very handsome and strong young man. One day, when Velusumana was passing the stable he noticed Saindhawa looking at him with great interest and then the horse neighed as if asking Velusumana to ride him. Velu who had been watching explained to Velusumana as to what the horse wanted him to do. He was very happy with the horse wanting Velusumana to ride him. Young Velusumana was just waiting for such an opportunity and he just leapt at this chance to ride the high bred Saindhawa horse. The moment Velusumana mounted the magnificent horse he ran as fast as the wind. The horse raced to a nearby ground to the amazement of all who saw this superb horse and the handsome warrior giant, Velusumana. Why the spectators were so amzed was because the horse was turning like a ring, in other words in circles. People rushed to see this wondrous sight.

Velusumana at times stood up on the horse’s back , took off his turban and swirled it round his head. He also took off some of his garments and wore them again all the while riding the spirited Saindhwa horse. The people cheered and clapped and threw their turbans, shawls and other items of clothing into the air so thrilled were they at Velusumana’s heroics.

The people discussed among themselves and decided Velusumana was ideal for King Kavantissa’s army. (The King was engaged in battle with the Soli enemy. They gave Velusumana one thousand Kahawanu (money in use at that time) and sent him to King Kavantissa.

The King was delighted with this warrior giant and gladly drafted Velusumana to his army. Like the other warrior giants he too was given a grand house, servants and wealth. Before long, King Kavantissa and Queen Viharamahadevi realised that Velusumana was not only a warrior giant but that he was also good at handling secret affairs of the State and that he was very loyal to them. Velusumana was employed by King Kavantissa and Queen Viharamahadevi. The Dekundara wewa Brahmi Len Lipi (stone inscriptions) mentions Velusumana by name.

In these inscriptions his name is given as Parumukha Velusumnaa.

This shows that he was of Royal lineage. It is most likely tha the King and Queen chose him to handle secret state matters as he was also of royal lineage.

When Queen Viharamahadevi was pregnant with Prince Dutugemunu she wanted many things. Among them was bathing with the waters of the Tisa Wewa and wearing a garland of fresh Nil Manel flowers from the Tisa Wewa were among these.

It was Velusumana who disguised himself, went to Anuradhapura and got both the flowers and water for the Queen. He also helped her fulfil some of her other desires by getting for her what she wanted.

Velusumana played a heroic part in the battle to create a united Buddhist Kingdom in Rajarata. He also took part in many religious and charitable activities performed by King Dutugemunu.



During the reign of King Kavantissa there was a village named Kapkaduru near the Menik Ganga. According to Professor Senarath Paranavitana, Kapkaduru is the present day Kataragama. The Detagamauwa stone inscription (in the reign of King Dappula the fourth) refers to the village of Kapkaduru. The Menik Ganga was also referred to as Kapkaduru. It is, therefore, believed that the birthplace of Mahabharana is present day Kataragama.

Mahabharana’s father was Kumara , a village chieftain.According to the ancient Sinhala book Rasavahiniya, the day Bharana was born his parents amassed great wealth. It was a totally unexpected boon to the parents and family and the wealth was enough for the parents to live in comfort all their lives. The happy parents named their son Bharana.

By the time Bharana reached the age of twelve he had become a very energetic and strong boy. He used to enter the jungle with his friends and outpace them in running to catch animals such as hares. He would catch them before his friends. By the time he was 16 he with the villagers and the youth would go into the jungle without any fear and hunt. He could catch animals and throw them to a certain distance. According to the Mahavamsa Mahabharana could beat all others in hunting and other deeds. All these deeds earned him the name Mahabharana. This is written in both the Saddharmalankaraya and and the Thupavamshaya.

King Kavantissa heard about Mahabharana’s valiant deeds through his courtiers and spies. He promptly sent for the lad and drafted him to the Army. In the battle against King Elara Mahabharana acted very bravely and along with the other warrior giants played a heroic and major part in battle enabling King Dutugamunu to win the war. Mahabharana helped King Dutugamunu to overcome and win 24 forts in this war against King Elara. In recognition of Mahabharana’s bravery King Dutugamunu made him a General in the Army.