Kumaratunga Munidasa

Kumaratunga Munidasa (Sinhala: කුමාරතුංග මුනිදාස; 25 July 1887 – 2 March 1944) was a pioneer Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) linguist, grammarian, commentator, and writer. He founded the Hela Havula movement, which sought to remove Sanskrit influences from the Sinhala language. Considered one of Sri Lanka’s most historically significant scholars, he is remembered for his profound knowledge of the Sinhala language and its literary works.

Kumarathunga Munidasa
Kumaratunga Munidasa (1887-1944).jpg
Born(1887-07-25)25 July 1887
Idigasaara, Dickwella, Matara,
Sri Lanka
Died2 March 1944(1944-03-02) (aged 56)
Panadura, Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lanka
Alma materDikwella Buddhist School, St.Thomas' College, Matara, Dikwella Watarukanna Pirivena (Wewurukannala Pirivena)
OccupationWriter, poet, journalist
Known forHela Havula
Notable work
Hela Havula, Magul kama, hathpana, Kiyawana Nuwana
Spouse(s)Lilly Laviniya Peiris
Children2 Daughters & 4 Sons
Parent(s)Palavinnage Dona Gimara Muthukumarana (Mother), Abious (or Abiyes) Cumaranatunga (Father)

Early lifeEdit

The 11th of 12 siblings, Munidasa was born on July 25, 1887, in Idigasaara, Dickwella, Matara, Sri Lanka.[1] His mother was Palavinnage Dona Gimara Muthukumarana (or Dona Baba Nona Muthukumarana) and his father was Abious (or Abiyes) Kumaranatunga. His father, a physician who practiced indigenous medicine, kept Pali and Sanskrit manuscripts on Ayurveda medicine, Astrology, and Buddhism.[2]

EducationEdit

Munidasa originally attended Wewurukannala Pirivena to learn Pali and Sanskrit in order to become a Buddhist monk, but his family disapproved. He then switched to the government teacher's college in Colombo, graduating in 1907 after two years of training.[1]

CareerEdit

Teaching careerEdit

His first appointment was as a government teacher in the Bilingual School of Bomiriya. He was later promoted to the position of principal of the Kadugannawa Bilingual School. After 11 years, he was promoted again to the position of inspector of schools. He remained in that role for four years.[3]

Literary/Scholarly CareerEdit

His first book, Nikaya Sangraha Vivaranaya, was an analysis for a Scripture on the Buddhist Monastic Orders.

Munidasa was a member of the Sinhala Maha Sabha of the Swabhasha movement, which started as a protest against the English-educated elites.[3]

Hela HavulaEdit

Munidasa spoke of language, nation, and the country as a Triple Gem, linking these entities to the Buddhist concept of refuge. To pursue these sources of refuge, he founded the Hela Havula, which consisted of people who shared his views on Sinhala language and literary interest. Members of the group often engaged in debates and discussion of recommended literature. It was the starting point for many Sri Lankan scholars and artists and the organiz

JournalismEdit

Munidasa revived the Lakminipahana newspaper and started the Subasa and Helio magazines to teach and promote the correct use of Sinhala.[4]

FamilyEdit

In 1921, Munidasa married Lilly Laviniya

DeathEdit

Kumarathunga Munidasa died on july 10 , 1944,at the age of 65

Novels Written By Munidasa Kumaratunga[5]Edit

  • Hathpana
  • Heenseraya
  • Kiyawana Nuwana
  • Magul Keema

Poems Written By Munidasa KumaratungaEdit

  • Kriya Wiwaranaya
  • Kumara Gee
  • Kumara Rodaya
  • Nelawilla
  • Piya Samara
  • Virith Vekiya
  • Vyakarana Vivaranaya

See alsoEdit

  • Hela Havula
  • Shiksha Margaya
  • Hela Mieasiya
  • Tharu akuru wela (A comprehensive alphabet)
  • Kavi shikshawa

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ahubudu, Arisen (1989). පුජිත ජිවිත (in Sinhala). Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs. pp. 139–153.
  2. ^ Coperahewa, Sandagomi (1 July 2011). "1. Purifying the Sinhala Language: The Hela Movement of Munidasa Cumaratunga (1930s-1940s)". Modern Asian Studies. 46. doi:10.1017/S0026749X11000291.
  3. ^ a b Coperahewa, Sandagomi (July 2012). "Purifying the Sinhala Language: The Hela Movement of Munidasa Cumaratunga (1930s–1940s)*". Modern Asian Studies. 46 (4): 857–891. doi:10.1017/S0026749X11000291. ISSN 1469-8099.
  4. ^ Sahdasomi Coperahewa (1998), "Cumaratunga as a Language Planner". The Sunday Times.
  5. ^ "Kumaratunga Munidasa". Sri Lanka Poems. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2020.

External linksEdit