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Mahāsīva

1. Mahāsīva.– King of Sri Lanka; he was the son of Muṭasīva and the younger brother of Uttiya, whom he succeeded. He reigned for ten years (197‑187 B.C.) and built the Nagaraṅgana-vihāra for Bhaddasāla Thera. He was succeeded by Sūratissa. Mhv.xxi.1 ff.

2. Mahāsīva Thera.– A resident of Vāmantapabbhāra. He was among the last of the Arahants, and had taken part in various assemblies led by the Bodhisatta (J.iv.490; vi. 30). It is probably this Thera who is referred to as Gāmantapabbhāravāsī Mahāsīva in the Aṅguttaranikāya Commentary (AA.i.24, 29). He lived in Tissamahārāma at Mahāgāma, and was the teacher of eighteen groups of monks. One of his pupils became an Arahant, and, being aware that his teacher was yet a worldling, went to him and asked his leave to be taught a stanza. However, Mahāsīva said his pupils were so numerous that he had no time to give him a stanza. The pupil waited for a whole day and night, and then getting no chance of learning, said, “If you are so busy now how will you find time to die?” Mahāsīva heard and understood, and exerted himself strenuously for thirty long years, at the end of which time he became an Arahant.

3. Mahāsīva.– A famous Commentator, sometimes called Dīghabhāṇaka Mahāsīva. His interpretations are quoted, with respect, in the Commentaries. e.g., DA.ii.430, 511, 543, 554, 805, 881, 883; SA.iii.171, 198; Sp.iii.711; DhSA. 405; PSA. 80; AA.ii.490.

4. Mahāsīva Thera.– An incumbent of Bhātiyavaṅka, during the reign of Duṭṭhagāmaṇī. One day he went to worship at the Mahā Thūpa, and there he saw two devatās offering flowers. In their previous lives they were two women who had worked for hire on the Mahā Thūpa. Mhv.xxx.46 ff.

5. Mahāsīva Thera.– Incumbent of Nigrodhapiṭṭhi and expert in the Tipiṭaka. Once, while teaching the Sīhanāda Sutta in King Vasabha’s palace, he described the splendours of the Relic Chamber in the Mahā Thūpa and the king expressed some difficulty in believing the report, but the elder was able to convince the king that nothing was impossible where there was a combination of the power of kings (rājiddhi), deities (deviddhi), and the Noble Ones (ariyiddhi). The king was pleased, conveyed the elder under the white umbrella to the Mahā-vihāra and made great offerings, lasting for seven days, to the Mahā Thūpa. MT. 555.

6. Mahāsīva Thera.– Mentioned as an eminent teacher of the Vinaya (Vin.v.3; Sp.i.63). He is probably identical with one of the foregoing.

7. Mahāsīva Thera.– It was for him that Aggabodhi I built a pariveṇa and also the Kurunda-vihāra with a reservoir and a grove of coco palms. Cv.xlii.11, 16.

8. Mahāsīva.– A monk of Piyaṅgudīpa. See Mahāsena (5).

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