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Mahāmeghavana

1. Mahāmeghavana.– A park to the south of Anurādhapura. Between the park and the city lay Nandana or Jotivana. The park was laid out by Muṭasīva, and was so called because at the time the spot was chosen for a garden, a great cloud, gathering at an unusual time, poured forth rain (Mhv.xi.2 f). Devānampiyatissa gave the park to Mahinda for the use of the Order (Mhv.xv.8, 24; Dpv.xviii.18; Sp.i.81) and within its boundaries there came into being later the Mahā-Vihāra and its surrounding buildings. The fifteenth chapter of the Mahāvaṃsa (Mhv.xv.27 ff) gives a list of the chief spots associated with the religion, which came into existence there. Chief among these are the sites of the Bodhi tree, the thirty-two mālakas, the Catussālā, the Mahā Thūpa, the Thūpārāma, the Lohapāsāda, and various pariveṇas connected with Mahinda: Sunhāta, Dīghacaṅkamana, Phalagga, Therāpassaya, Marugana and Dīghasandasenāpati. Later, the Abhayagiri-vihāra and the Jetavanārāma were also erected there.

The Mahāmeghavana was visited by Gotama Buddha (Mhv.i.80; Dpv.ii.61, 64), and also by the three Buddhas previous to him. In the time of Kakusandha it was known as Mahātittha, in that of Koṇāgamana as Mahānoma, and in that of Kassapa as Mahāsāgara (Mhv.xv.58, 92, 126).

The Mahāmeghavana was also called the Tissārāma, and on the day it was gifted to the Saṅgha, Mahinda scattered flowers on eight spots contained in it, destined for future buildings, and the earth quaked eight times (Mhv.xv.174). This was on the day of Mahinda’s arrival in Anurādhapura. The first building to be erected in the Mahāmeghavana was the Kāḷapāsāda pariveṇa (q.v.) for the use of Mahinda. In order to hurry on the work, bricks used in the building were dried with torches (Mhv.xv.203). The boundary of the Mahāmeghavana probably coincided with the boundary (sīmā) of the Mahāvihāra, but it was later altered by Kaniṭṭha-Tissa, when he built the Dakkhiṇa-vihāra. Mhv.xxxvi.12. For a deposition of the various spots of the Mahāmeghavana see Mbv.137.

2. Mahāmeghavana.– A park laid out by Parakkamabāhu I. Cv.lxxix. 7, 41.

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