Lambakanna, Lambakaṇṇā: 1 definition


Lambakanna means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Lambakanna in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A gotta, mentioned in the Chronicles as being among the inhabitants of Ceylon. The Lambakannas had, probably, certain duties to perform in connection with the consecration of a king. This was perhaps the reason why Parakkamabahu I. gave them a prominent place in the ceremonies held in honour of the Tooth Relic (Cv.lxxiv.213); see also below, in the text.

We find that Ilanaga, when be went to take his ceremonial bath in Tissavapi, was enraged on finding that the Lambakanna were not there. As a punishment, he ordered them to work at the remaking of a road along the bank of the tank, leading to the Maha Thupa, and set candalas to supervise them. Full of anger, the Lambakannas rose in revolt and seized the throne. Three years later the king returned from exile, and, having defeated the Lambakannas, made them drag his chariot in triumphal procession. When he proposed to behead them his mother intervened, and he contented himself with having their noses and toes cut off (Mhv.xxxv.18ff).

The Lambakannas were evidently a powerful clan, and several members of the clan ruled as kings of Ceylon - e.g., Vasabha, Sanghatissa, Sanghabodhi and Gothabhaya, the last three of whom came from Mahiyangana and seized the throne from Vijayakumara (Mhv.xxxvi.58ff). Between the reign of Kittisirimegha and the Coliyan conquest in 1017 A.C. i.e., between the third and the eleventh centuries out of thirty six kings who occupied the throne of Ceylon the majority belonged to either the Moriya or the Lambakanna. A clan of Lambakannas lived also in South India in the twelfth century. When Lankapura, acting under the orders of Parakkamabahu I., crowned Virapandu as king of Pandu, three Lambakanna chiefs were asked to carry out the duties of the Lambakannas (Lambakannadhuram) (Cv.lxxvii.27f).

The name may have had a totemistic origin, but according to some Singhalese Chronicles (E.g., the Saddharmaratnakara and the Parakumba Sirita) the Lambakannas of Ceylon were a branch of the Moriyas. They claimed descent from Sumitta - a prince of the Moriyan clan, who formed one of the escort that brought the Bodhi tree from India - and Sumana, a princess of the same race, who was at one time a nun, ordained under Sanghamitta. According to these Chronicles most of the kings of Ceylon down to the time of Parakkamabahu VI. were scions of this clan.

In Ceylon, the Lambakannas had settlements in Rohana. See, e.g., AA.i.262.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Discover the meaning of lambakanna in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: