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Saraṇaṅkara Thera

An eminent monk of Sri Lanka. Narindasīha, attracted by his piety and learning, gave him, while yet a novice (sāmaṇera), a reliquary studded with seven hundred jewels and numerous books, and also made provision for his maintenance. At the instance of the king, Saraṇaṅkara composed the Sāratthasaṅgraha and Singhalese Commentaries on the Mahābodhivaṃsa and the Bhessajjamañjūsā (Cv.xcvii.48 ff).

When Vijayarājasīha came to the throne, Saraṇaṅkara lived in the Uposathārāma and composed, at the king’s request, a Singhalese Commentary on the Catubhāṇavāra (Cv.xcviii.23 f). In the reign of Kittisirirājasīha he carried out, with the king’s help, many reforms among the monks, adopting strong measures against delinquents. He was also instrumental in persuading the king to send an embassy to King Dhammika of Thailand (Sāminda) in order to obtain from there a chapter of monks for the re establishment of the higher ordination (upasampadā) in Sri Lanka. When this had been done, the king invested Saraṇaṅkara with the dignity of Saṅgharāja over Sri Lanka. Cv.c.49 ff; 101 ff.

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