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Uttaramūla Nikāya

One of the fraternities of monks in Sri Lanka, an off-shoot of the Abhayagiri sect. Their headquarters were probably at the Uttarola-vihāra, built by King Mānavamma, and given to the monks of the Abhayagiri-vihāra, for having consented to take into the Order his elder brother, in spite of the fact that he had lost one eye as the result of some yoga practices.

The first chief of Uttarola was the king’s brother himself and he was in charge of six hundred monks. He was granted great honours and privileges together with five classes of servants to minister to him. He was also appointed to supervise the guardians of the Tooth Relic (Cv.lvii.7‑11, and 16‑26; also Geiger’s Trs.i.194, n.2 and 3).

From a Tamil inscription of Mānavamma we find that he kept up his patronage of the Uttaramūla Nikāya, and it is recorded that he gave over the custodianship of the Tooth Relic to a monk of this fraternity, named Moggallāna (Epi. Zey., vol.ii., pt. vi., pp.250 ff).

Anuruddha, author of the Anuruddha Śataka and the Abhidhammattha­saṅgaha, describes himself in the colophon to the former work as an “Upasthavira” of the Uttaramūla Nikāya.

In later years this Nikāya produced many an illustrious star in Sri Lanka’s literary firmament, among them the grammarian Moggallāna, Vilgammūla, Mahā Thera and Sri Rāhula. For details about them see P.L.C., passim.

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