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Mahinda

1. Mahinda Thera.– Son of Asoka and brother of Saṅghamittā. He was fourteen at the time of the coronation of his father and was ordained at the age of twenty, his preceptor being Moggaliputtatissa. The ordination was performed by Mahādeva, while Majjhantika recited the kammavācā. Mahinda became an Arahant on the day of his ordination.¹ He spent three years in study of the Doctrine under his preceptor, and, later, when the latter retired to Ahogaṅgā, he left his one thousand disciples for seven years under the care of Mahinda.² When the Third Council was held, Mahinda had been a monk for twelve years and was charged with the mission of converting Sri Lanka. However, he delayed for six months, until Devānampiyatissa became king. He then went to Dakkhiṇāgiri and from there to his birthplace, Vedisagiri, staying in Vedisagiri-vihāra and visiting his mother, the queen Devī. Still one more month he tarried, teaching the Doctrine to Bhaṇḍuka, and then, on the full-moon day of Jeṭṭha, at the request of Sakka, he went, in company with Iṭṭhiya, Uttiya, Sambala, Bhaddasāla, Sumanasāmaṇera and Bhaṇḍuka, to Sri Lanka, where he converted Devānampiyatissa by teaching him the Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta. Later, on the same day, he taught the Samacitta Sutta. The next day, at the request of the king, he visited Anurādhapura, travelling through the air and alighting on the site of the (later) Paṭhamacetiya. After a meal at the palace he taught the Petavatthu, the Vimānavatthu and the Sacca Saṃyutta, after listening to which, Anulā and her five hundred companions became Stream-winners. Later, in the elephant stables, he taught the Devadūta Sutta to the assembled people, and, in the evening, the Bālapaṇḍita Sutta, in Nandanavana. The night he spent in Mahāmeghavana, and on the next day the king gave the park to Mahinda, on behalf of the Order.

Mahinda pointed out to the king various spots destined to be connected with the growth of the Buddha’s religion (sāsana) in Sri Lanka, offering flowers at the same, and at the site of the (later) Mahā Thūpa, he described the visits of the Four Buddhas of this world-cycle to Sri Lanka. On the fourth day he taught the Anamatagga Saṃyutta in the Nandanavana and helped the king in defining the boundaries of what later became the Mahāvihāra. On the fifth day he taught the Khajjanīya Sutta, on the sixth the Gomayapiṇḍī Sutta, and on the seventh the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

The pāsāda first built for the residence of Mahinda was called Kāḷapāsāda pariveṇa. Other buildings associated with him were the Suṇhāta pariveṇa, the Dīghacaṅka pariveṇa, the Phalagga pariveṇa, the Therāpassaya pariveṇa, the Marugaṇa-pariveṇa, and the Dīghasandasenāpati-pariveṇa.

Mahinda stayed in Mahāmeghavana for twenty-six days, and on the thirteenth day of the bright half of Āsāḷha, after having taught the Mahāppamāda Sutta, he went to Missakapabbata, to spend the Rains Retreat (vassa). The king had sixty-eight rock-cells built in the mountain and gave them to the theras on the full-moon day. On the same day Mahinda ordained sixty-two monks, who attained Arahantship, at Tumbarumālaka. After the full-moon day of Kaṭṭikā, at the conclusion of the pavāraṇa ceremony, Mahinda held a consultation with Devānampiyatissa and sent Sumanasāmaṇera to Pāṭaliputta to bring the relics of the Buddha from Dhammāsoka and other relics from Sakka. These relics were brought and placed on the Missakapabbata, which from then onwards was called Cetiyagiri. The collar bone from among the relics was deposited in the Thūpārāma (q.v.), which was built for the purpose. It was at Mahinda’s suggestion that Devānampiyatissa sent an embassy headed by Mahā-Ariṭṭha to Asoka, with a request that Saṅghamittā should come to Sri Lanka with a branch of the Bodhi tree. The request was granted, and Saṅghamittā arrived in Sri Lanka with the branch. Devānampiyatissa, during the later part of his reign, acting on the advice of Mahinda, built numerous vihāras, each one league from the other; among them were Issarasamaṇaka and Vessagiri.

Mahinda is said to have taught the Commentaries to the Tipiṭaka in the Singhalese language, after translating them from the Pāḷi

The Samantapāsādikā mentions a recital held by Mahinda under the presidency of Mahā-Ariṭṭha.

Mahinda continued to live for the first eight years of the reign of Uttiya, who succeeded Devānampiyatissa. Then, at the age of sixty, he died on the eighth day of the bright half of Assayuja, in Cetiyagiri, where he was spending the rainy season. His body was brought in procession, with every splendor and honour, to the Mahāvihāra and placed in the Pañhambamālaka, where homage was paid to it for a whole week. It was then burnt on a pyre of fragrant wood on the east of the Therānambandhamālaka, to the left of the site of the Mahā Thūpa. A cetiya was erected on that spot over half the remains, the other half being distributed in thūpas built on Cetiyagiri and elsewhere. The place of cremation was called Isibhūmaṅgana, and for many centuries the remains of holy men who lived within a distance of three leagues were cremated there.⁵

Later, King Sirimeghavaṇṇa had a life size image of Mahinda made of gold; this he took to the Ambatthala-cetiya. For eight days a festival was held in its honour; on the ninth day the image was taken from Ambatthala, carried by the king himself at the head of a large and splendid procession, and placed for three days in Sotthiyākara-vihāra. On the twelfth day it was taken with all splendours to Anurādhapura, to the Mahāvihāra, where it was left for three months in the courtyard of the Bodhi tree. From there it was removed to the inner city and deposited in a magnificent image house to the south east of the palace. An endowment was set up for the annual performance of ceremonies in honour of the image, and this custom was continued for many centuries. The image was brought from the inner town to the Mahāvihāra on the pavāraṇā day, and every year an offering was made on the thirteenth day.⁶

Dhātusena had the image brought to the place where Mahinda’s body was cremated and there held a great festival,⁷ while Aggabodhi I set up the image on the banks of the reservoir called Mahindataṭa, and ensured that the special task of carrying the image to the dyke of the reservoir was the task of the Taracchas.⁸

¹ Mhv.v.204 ff; Dpv.v.24 f ; Sp.i.51. ² Mhv.v.233; Sp.i.52.

³ Cv.xxxvii.228 ff. pp.102 ff.

For details of Mahinda see Mhv.xiii. xx; Dpv.vii.57 f., xii., xiii., iv.: xv; Sp.i.61, 69 ff., 79 ff., 83 ff., 90 ff., 103, etc.

Cv.xxxvii.66 ff. Cv.xxxviii.58. Cv.xlii.30.

2. Mahinda.– See Inda (= Indra, Sakka).

3. Mahinda.– King, father of Phussa Buddha (q.v.) (AA.i.165; SA.iii.4; DhA.i.84). Elsewhere he is called Jayasena.

4. Mahinda.– A king of old, descendant of Mahāsammata, and last of a dynasty that ruled at Rojanagara. Twelve of his sons and grandsons ruled in Campā. Dpv.iii.28.

5. Mahinda I.– Brother of Kassapa III and king of Sri Lanka (724‑27 A.C.). He refused to be crowned, out of sorrow for the death of his friend Nīla, and administered the government as Ādipāda. He thus came to be known as Ādipāda Mahinda. His brother’s son, Aggabodhi, was his viceroy, while his own son was made ruler of Dakkhiṇadesa.

He gave ten cartloads of food to the Mahāpāli and would eat nothing without first giving of it to beggars. He built a nunnery for the bhikkhuṇīs (called Mahinda-Upassaya) and gave to it the village of Nagaragalla. He also built the Mahindataṭa-vihāra. Cv.xiviii.26 ff.

6. Mahinda.– Son of Aggabodhi VII. He was made viceroy, but died young. Cv.xlviii.69, 75.

7. Mahinda.– Son of Silāmegha (Aggabodhi VI) (Cv.xlviii.42, 76). Aggabodhi made him a general (senāpati) and gave over the government to him. However, when Aggabodhi VI died and Aggabodhi VII came to the throne, Mahinda went to Mahātittha. Later, on the death of Aggabodhi VII, Mahinda quelled all disturbances and put the queen in chains because she conspired to kill him. His cousin Dappula rose against him, but was defeated after much fighting. Mahinda then married the queen of Aggabodhi VI and became king as Mahinda II, when a son was born to him. Dappula again rose in revolt, but Mahinda made a treaty with him and gave him part of Rohaṇa with the Gāḷhagaṅgā as boundary.

Among Mahinda’s benefactions was the erection of the Dāmavihāra-pariveṇa and the Sannīratittha-vihāra in Pulatthipura, also the costly Ratanapāsāda, containing a golden image of the Buddha. To the Silāmegha nunnery Mahinda gave a silver Bodhisatta statue. He had the Abhidhamma recited by the monks of Hemasāli-vihāra, and built many shrines and helped those who were poor or in trouble. To the lame he gave bulls and to the Damiḷā, horses. He strengthened the weir of the Kālavāpi. He reigned for twenty years (772‑92 A.C.) and was succeeded by his son Udaya I. (Cv.xlviii.83 ff).

8. Mahinda.– Son of the Ādipāda Dāṭhāsīva of Rohaṇa. He quarreled with his father, took service under Udaya I and married his daughter Devā. He was later sent to Rohaṇa, where he drove out his father. His two sons revolted against him, and, with Udaya’s help, led an army against him. Mahinda defeated them, but was killed in a fight with another kinsman. Cv.xlix.10 ff. 66 ff.

9. Mahinda.– Son of Udaya I. He was, however, known by the name of Dhammikasilāmegha and was a very pious man. He gave the income from the Geṭṭhumba Canal to be used in repairs of the Ratanapāsāda. He became king as Mahinda III and reigned for four years (797‑801 A.C.). Cv.xlix.38 ff.

10. Mahinda.– Son of Mahinda III. When Aggabodhi IX came to the throne, contrary to the laws of succession, Mahinda fled to India (Cv.xlix.84 f). He was afterwards slain by Sena I. (Cv.l.4).

11. Mahinda.– Younger brother of Sena I and his viceroy. He quelled the rising of Udaya against the king, his brother. When the Paṇḍu king invaded Sri Lanka, Mahinda led an army against him, and, on the defeat of his forces, he cut his own throat. Cv.l. 6, 10, 21 ff.

12. Mahinda.– Eldest son of Kittaggabodhi, ruler of Rohaṇa. He was killed by Kittaggabodhi’s sister. Cv.l.51.

13. Mahinda.– Son of the Ādipāda Kassapa and brother of Sena II. He married Tissā and Kitti. He became viceroy under Sena II and ruled in Dakkhiṇadesa. Later he was discovered guilty of an intrigue in the king’s harem, and fled, unrecognised, with his family, to Malaya. Afterwards, however, he regained his honours and continued as viceroy, his daughter Saṅghā being married to Kassapa, son of Sena II. Mahinda built a temple under the Bodhi tree, and, in the course of its construction, a workman discovered that one of the beams would harm a branch of the tree. Mahinda, on being informed of this, came and made a vow of truth (saccakiriyā), as a result of which the branch of the tree straightened itself during the night, leaving the building free. Mahinda also built the Mahindasena pariveṇa, and died in the twenty-third year of Sena’s reign (Cv.l.59; li.7, 13, 15 ff., 53 ff). Ādipāda Kittaggabodhi was his Son. Cv. 94.

14. Mahinda.– Son of Kassapa V, and brother of Sena II and Saṅghā. When the Ādipāda Kittaggabodhi raised a rebellion in Rohaṇa against Udaya II, the latter sent Mahinda to quell it with the help of the general Vajiragga. The expedition was completely successful and Kittaggabodhi taken prisoner. Mahinda stayed in Mahāgāma and ruled over Rohaṇa justly and well. Among his works was the construction of a dam across the Mahānadī (Cv.li.99 ff). When Kassapa IV became king, Mahinda revolted against him, but the king, through the influence of Mahinda’s father, persuaded him to desist. Later, Mahinda returned to Anurādhapura at the request of the monks, and, after having married the king’s daughter, went back to Rohaṇa, where, evidently, he died. Cv.lii.4 ff.

15. Mahinda.– Viceroy of Sena IV and probably his brother. He afterwards became king as Mahinda IV. (956‑72 A.C.). He married a Kāliṅga princess. During his reign, the Vallabha king invaded Sri Lanka, but was defeated by the general Sena and entered into a treaty with Mahinda. Mahinda showed great favour to the Paṃsukulikas and the Lābhavāsins and decreed that the incomes derived from vihāras should not be taxed. His good acts were many. He had a Commentary to the Abhidhamma written by the Thera Dhammamitta in the Sitthagāma-pariveṇa and the Abhidhamma recited by the Thera Dāṭhānāga.

He made great offerings at the Mahā Thūpa and started to build the Candanapāsāda, where he had preserved the Hair Relic of the Buddha. He restored the temple of the four cetiyas in Padalañchana as well as the Temple of the Tooth, the Dhammasaṅganigeha and the Mahāpāli. He built the Mahāmallaka for the Theravāda nuns and completed the Maṇipāsāda. Mahinda’s wife was Kittī (q.v), who, herself, engaged in various works. Their son was Sena (Sena V). Cv.liv.1 ff; Cv. Trs.i.178, n. 2; 179, n. 2; 183, n. 2.

16. Mahinda.– Younger brother of Sena V. He succeeded Sena as Mahinda V and ruled for ten years at Anurādhapura under great difficulties. He was weak and powerless, and the Kerala soldiers in his employ mutinied for better salaries. Mahinda escaped to Rohaṇa by means of an underground passage, and lived at Sīdupabbatagāma with his brother’s wife as queen, later marrying his brother’s daughter. Their son was Kassapa, and afterwards they lived in Kappagallaka. In the thirty-sixth year of Mahinda’s reign, the Coḷā, taking advantage of the discontent in Sri Lanka, invaded the country, capturing the king, the queen, and all the royal regalia. They ruled for many years with Pulatthinagara as base, and Mahinda died in Coḷa after a captivity lasting for twelve years (Cv.iv.1 ff). Lokitā and Devalā were his maternal cousins. Cv.lvii.27.

17. Mahinda.– Son of Moggallāna and Lokitā and brother of Kitti (afterwards Vijayabāhu I). Cv.lvii.42.

18. Mahinda.– Son of Vikkamabāhu II and brother of Gajabahu. He fought against Deva, general of Parakkamabāhu I, at Hedillakhaṇḍagāma, but was defeated, and fled to Billagāma. From there he went to Vallitittha, and was again defeated. Later he joined Mānābharaṇa, and was sent by him to Moravāpi, thence to Anurādhapura, where he defeated Mahālekha Rakkha and Bhaṇḍārapotthakī, who marched against him. From Anurādhapura, Mahinda proceeded to Kālavāpi where, for three months, he fought against Bhaṇḍārapotthakī Bhūta, and was finally defeated by him. This is the last we hear of him. Cv.lxii.59; lxxii.46, 82, 123 ff., 176 ff., 191 f., 198 ff.

19. Mahinda.– An officer of Kittisirimegha, sent by him to fetch the young Parakkamabāhu. Cv.lxvi. 66.

20. Mahinda.– A Lambakaṇṇā in the Moriya district, an officer of Parakkamabāhu I. He was a Nagaragiri, and was sent by Parakkamabāhu to Mallavāḷāna, where he conducted a victorious campaign against Uttararaṭṭha. Later he took Anurādhapura, and was one of those responsible for the capture of Gajabāhu at Pulatthipura. Cv.lxix. 13; lxx. 89, 146 ff; 158, 199 ff.

21. Mahinda Mahālekha.– An officer of Mānābharaṇa. He was defeated by the Kesadhātu Rakkha at Sarogāmatittha and again by the troops of Parakkamabāhu I at Janapada. Cv.lxxii.Iff., 166.

22. Mahinda.– A minister and kinsman of Parakkamabāhu I. He lived in the palace and erected at Pulatthipura a pāsāda for the Tooth Relic. Cv.lxxiii.124 ff.

23. Mahinda.– A man of the Kuliṅga clan, whose wife was a cowherd’s daughter called Dīpanī. He killed Vijayabāhu II and reigned for five days, but was slain by Kittinissaṅka. Cv.lxxx.15 ff.

24. Mahinda.– Son of Sumanadevī and Bodhigutta. He came among the escort of the Bodhi tree. Devānampiyatissa conferred on him the rank of Cullajayamahālekhaka. Mbv.169.

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