Arahat Sanghamitta

Yesterday’s Full Moon day is known as Sanghamitta Day in Sri Lanka. Here is an extract from an article based on the entry for Sanghamitta in the Wikipedia (retrieved (11-12-2011):

Sanghamittā was the daughter of Emperor Ashoka and his Buddhist queen Devī. Together with Venerable Mahinda, her brother, she entered the order of Buddhist monastics. The two siblings later went to Sri Lanka to spread the teachings of the Buddha at the request of King Devānampiya Tissa (250 BC – 210 BC) who was a contemporary of Emperor Ashoka (304 BC – 232 BC) of India.

Ashoka was initially reluctant to send his daughter on an overseas mission. However, because of the insistence of Sanghamittā herself, he finally agreed. She was sent to Sri Lanka together with several other nuns to start the nuns lineage of Bhikkhunis by ordaining queen Anulā and 500 other women of the court at Anurādhapura.

After Sanghamittā’s contribution to the propagation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and her establishing the Bhikhhunī Sangha there, her name became synonymous with the Bhikkhunī Order of Theravāda Buddhism that was established there. On Uduvapa Poya Day a sapling from the original Bodhi tree, under which the Lord Buddha attained Awakening was brought by Sanghamittā to Sri Lanka and planted in Anuradhapura. It still survives to this day.

Sangamitta died at the age of 79 in the ninth year of the reign of King Uttiya at her residence in Hatthaloka Upasikaramaya Anuradhapura. Uttiya performed her last rites. The occasion was also marked with observances in her honour throughout Sri Lanka, for one week. She was cremated to the east of the Thūpārāma near the Cittasālā, in front of the Bodhi Tree. The location for the cremation had been selected by the Therī herself before her death. A stupa was erected by Uttiya over her ashes.

Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta Bringing the Bodhi Tree Sapling to Sri Lanka

Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta Bringing the Bodhi Tree Sapling to Sri Lanka


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