Sanghamitta Theri, Saṅghamittā-therī: 1 definition



Sanghamitta Theri 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»] — Sanghamitta Theri in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Daughter of Asoka and sister of Mahinda.

She was born in Ujjeni and was married to Aggibrahma- who later joined the Order- and had by him a son, Sumana. She was ordained in her eighteenth year together with Mahinda, her preceptor being Dhammapala and her teacher Ayupala. (Mhv.v.190 208; xiii.4, 11;; vii.18, 19; xv.77, 90; xvii.20; xviii.11, 25; Sp.i.51).

After her ordination and attainment of arahantship she lived in Pataliputta, and, when Anula and other women of Devanampiyatissas court at Anuradhapura wished to enter the Order, Devanampiyatissa, at Mahindas suggestion, sent an embassy, led by Arittha, to Asoka, asking that Sanghamitta might be sent to Ceylon, and with her a branch of the Bodhi tree for Anuradhapura. Asoka granted the request, and sent Sanghamitta, by sea, with eleven other nuns, carrying a branch of the Bodhi tree. On the way, when Nagas surrounded the Bodhi tree, Sanghamitta frightened them away by assuming the form of a Garuda. She landed at Jambukola, and, after her arrival at Anuradhapura, ordained Anula and her companions. She lived at the Upasika vihara, and had twelve buildings erected there for the use of the nuns. Later, the king built for her the Hatthalhaka vihara.

She died at the age of fifty nine, in the ninth year of the reign of King Uttiya, and celebrations, lasting one whole week, were held in her honour throughout Ceylon. Her body was cremated to the east of the Thuparama near the (later) Cittasala, in sight of the Bodhi tree, on a spot indicated by the Theri herself before her death. Uttiya had a thupa erected over her ashes. Mhv.xviii.13f.; xix.5, 20, 53, 65, 68ff., 83f.; xx.48ff.; Sp.i.90f.

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).

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