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Araññavāsī Nikāya

A group of monks in Sri Lanka who seem to have spent most of their time in solitary spots engaged in meditation. They owed allegiance to the Mahāvihāra. They are first heard of in the sixth century when, in the reign of Aggabodhi II, the King of Kaliṅga came over to Sri Lanka and joined the Order under the famous elder Jotipāla. This fraternity seems to have been closely associated with the Buddhists of Kāliṅga. Among famous scholars belonging to it were: Ānanda Vanaratana Tissa, Vedeha, Coḷa Buddhappiya, Cūḷa Dhammapāla, Medhaṅkara, his pupil Ānanda and Siddhattha.

The Araññavāsins were specially esteemed by Parakkamabāhu of Dambadeniya. For details about them see P.L.C. 210‑13, 226, 229.

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