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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Mahameghavanarama (महामेघवनाराम) was the great monastery at Anuradhapura, for many centuries the chief seat of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was founded by Devanampiyatissa, on the counsel of Mahinda, son of Ashoka.




The great monastery at Anuradhapura, for many centuries the chief seat of Buddhism in Ceylon. It was founded by Devanampiyatissa, on the counsel of Mahinda, and included the Mahameghavana. The Mahameghavanarama henceforth came to be included in the Mahavihara. The boundary of the vihara was marked out by the king ploughing a circular furrow starting from near the Gangalatittha on the Kadambanadi and ending again at the river (Mhv.xv.188ff.; MT.361; Mbv. 135, 136 says that the ford on the Kadambanadi was Pasanatittha).

A list is given in the Mahabodhivamsa (pp. 135f) of the places through which the sima (boundary) of the Mahavihara passed- Pasanatittha, Kuddavatakapasana, Kumbhakaraavata, the Mahanipa tree, Kakudhapali, Mahaangana tree, Khujjamatula tree, Marutta pokkharani, the northern gate of the Vijayarama park, Gajakumbhakapasana, then passing Avattimajjha, Balakapasana on the Abhayavapi, Mahasusana, Dighapasana, the left side of Candalagama, the Nicasusana to the left of Kammaradeva Simanigrodha, Veluvangana, round the hermitages of the Niganthas Jotiya Giri and Kumbhanda, to the right of the various hermitages of the Paribbajakas, by Hiyagalla, along the shrine of the brahmin Diyavasa, through Telumapali, Talacatukka, to the right of the stables (assamandala), on to Sasakapasana and Marumbatittha. It then proceeded up the river to Sihasinanatittha, on to Pasanatittha, ending at Kuddavatakapasana.

The Mahavihara contained thirty two Malakas (Mhv.xv.214) and had numerous buildings attached to it, apart from sacred shrines, such as the Mahabodhi tree, Thuparama, Maha Thupa, etc. In its early period, the precincts of the Mahavihara contained other buildings besides those dedicated to the service of Buddhism e.g., the hermitages of the Niganthas and the Paribbajakas (as mentioned above) and the shrine of the guardian deity of Anuradhapura (Mhv.xxv.87). In the time of Vattagamani, the Mahavihara monks divided into two factions, and one party occupied Abhayagiri, built by the king (Mhv.xxxiii.97f). At first the differences between these two factions were trivial, but, as time went on, Abhayagiri grew in power and riches and proved a formidable rival to the older monastery.

From time to time various kings and nobles made additions and restorations to the Mahavihara. Thus Vasabha (Mhv.xxxxv.88) built a row of cells, and Bhatikatissa erected a boundary wall (Mhv.xxxvi.2), while Kanitthatissa removed the boundary wall and constructed the Kukkutagiri parivena, twelve large pasadas, a refectory, and a road leading from Mahavihara to Dakkhinavihara (Mhv.xxxvi.10f). Voharikatissa appointed a monthly gift of a thousand to the monks of Mahavihara (Mhv.xxxvi.32), while Sirisanghabodhi built a salaka house (Mhv.xxxvi.74).

Source: 1. Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names - Mahavihara in Theravada glossary, 2.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[1] ने लेख किया है ... महामेघवनाराम, लंका AS, p.725): महावंश 1,80,15-24-25 में उल्लिखित यह स्थान जो एक उद्यान के रूप में प्रसिद्ध था, लंका की प्राचीन राजधानी अनुराधपुर के पूर्वी द्वार के निकट था. इसे देवानामंप्रिय तिष्य (सिंघलनरेश) ने बौद्धसंघ को समर्पित कर दिया था. यह 'नगर न बहुत दूर और न बहुत समीप था और रमणीय छाया और सुंदर जल से युक्त था'. यहीं अशोक के पुत्र स्थविर महेंद्र को सिंहलनरेश तिष्य ने ठहराया था.

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