Mahapali, Mahāpāli: 2 definitions


Mahapali means something in Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India. 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)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Mahapali 1 1. Mahapali.

1. Mahapali. A refectory built by Devanampiyatissa Anuradhapura, for the use of the monks (Mhv.xx.23). Various kings provided special food to be distributed there - e.g., Upatissa II., who sent food prepared for him in the palace (Cv.xxxvii.181; so did King Silakala, Cv.xli.28), and himself ate of the food left over after the distribution (Cv.xxxvii.203).

Mahanama enlarged the building (Cv.xxxvii.211), as did Silameghavana (Cv.xliv.65) and Udaya II (

Dhatusena instituted distribution of rice (Cv.xxxviii.41), while Aggabodhi II. added to the hall and set up a stone canoe (bhattanavam) for the distribution of rice (Cv.xlii.67; Aggabodhi I. had already given a canoe of bronze, Cv.xlii.33).

After his victory, Kassapa II., by way of celebration, held a special almsgiving at the Mahapali (Cv.xlv.1). Dathopatissa II. distributed there clothing, rice, sour milk, milk and milk rice on uposatha days (Cv.xlv.25). Mahinda I. gave ten cartloads of food (Cv.xlviii.34), and Aggabodhi IX. distributed daily an amount of rice equal in weight to his own body (Cv.lxix.78). The Coliyans burnt down the building, and the last we hear of it is its restoration by Mahinda IV. (Cv.liv.45).

2. Mahapali. A monastic building, probably a refectory, built by Aggabodhi, son of Mahatissa, at Mahagama. Cv.xlv.42.

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 mahapali in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geogprahy

Source: Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1963

Mahāpāli refers to a “royal alms hall”: a building present within the Citadel (inner city) of Anurādhapura.—The Mahāpāli was adjacent to the palace and here alms were distributed daily at the king's expense. Devānaṃpiya Tissa (B.C. 247-207) built the first Mahāpāli. It was enlarged, restored or rebuilt by later kings, namely, Upatissa I (365-406); Mahānāga (406-428); Aggabodhi I (571-604) who installed a “boat” of bronze; Aggabodhi II (604-614) who also set up a “boat” for gifts of rice; Silāmeghavaṇṇa (619-628); Aggabodhi IV (667-683); Dappula II (815-831); Udaya II (887-898); and Mahinda IV (956-972) who rebuilt it after its destruction by the Colas.

The cital (inner city) was included in Paṇḍukābhaya’s 4th-century layout of the town Anurādhapura and featured gates on the cardinal faces. The town also included buildings such as the Mahāpāli.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Discover the meaning of mahapali in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: