Arisen Ahubudu recommends Cumaratunga's works to posterity
A large distinguished gathering of scholars, authors, poets,
lyricists, musicians and journalists felicitated Lanka's eminent poet
and scholar, Arisen Ahubudu at the Mahaveli Centre Auditorium last
Friday. A felicitation volume titled 'Ahubudu Siritha' by Nuwansiri
Jayakuru was launched. Advocate, Dr. Harischandra Wijetunga was the
chief speaker and Ven. Agalakada Sirisumana Thera, Senior Lecturer
Colombo University presided.
In his address Dr. Wijetunga said that he has associated Arisen
Ahubdu for well over four decades. For two long periods they were
staying under the same roof. First at scholar Jayantha Weerasekera's
house at Driebers Avenue, now Jayantha Weerasekera Mawatha and next at a
large mansion on Fairline Road, Dehiwala.
He could speak volumes about Ahubudu which would take a very long,
long time. Hence he would confine himself to only six points. Ahubdu
entertained a wide circle of friends, among whom were leading scholars
and authors of the day. As a peerless teacher he had instructed a galaxy
of men who hold high positions in various fields of activity.
Wijetunga and others at Ahubudu's place were accustomed to engage in
discussions on numerous issues and subjects. There were debates and
heated arguments. Works and views of some scholars of the time were torn
to bits mercilessly. But Ahubudu listened to all this without a hum. He
would only make a same comment, without any ill-will towards any.
Ahubudu then was only a trained teacher. But he would teach M.A.
students to pass an examination.
Once an M.A. student, after sitting his examination came to Ahubudu
and complained that there was a word, 'Abaduva' in the examination paper
he failed to comprehend. Ahubudu just replied, 'Aba Etaya'. This only
registered his deep learning.
Ahubudu's lasting contribution to scholarship was his discovery of
Sinhala derivations for existing Sinhala words. He never relied on
Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil or any such language for this exercise. He
maintained that 'Colomba' is a pure Sinhala term. His monumental work, 'Gam
Num', the Sinhala names to children and the numerous modern terms he has
coined are enduring contributions to scholarship, said the speaker.
Nuwansiri Jayakuru introducing his biography of Arisen Ahubudu said
that he has only highlighted some aspects of his character as a teacher.
He has made his mark as one of the most successful teachers of the
modern era. He has taught several generations of students at Mahinda
College, Galle and St. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia. It is to his credit
that most of his pupils have attained eminence here and abroad.
Arisen Ahubdu responded the felicitation with a brief speech, where
he requested the members of the audience to encourage their children and
grandchildren to read and study Munidasa Cumaratunga's works Shiksha
Margaya, Kiyavana Nuvana series, Hath Pana, Magul Kema, Heen Seraya,
Prabandha Sangrahaya, Pahan Katuveki and Kavi Shikshava at least to
acquire effective expression and to gain efficiency in modern creative