The Full Wiki

More info on Mahavihara

Mahavihara: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Part of a series on


Dharma Wheel
Portal of Buddhism
Outline of Buddhism

History of Buddhism

Timeline - Buddhist councils

Major figures

Gautama Buddha
Disciples · Later Buddhists

Dharma or concepts

Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
Three marks of existence
Dependent origination
Saṃsāra · Nirvāṇa
Skandha · Cosmology
Karma · Rebirth

Practices and attainment

Buddhahood · Bodhisattva
4 stages of enlightenment
Wisdom · Meditation
Smarana · Precepts · Pāramitās
Three Jewels · Monastics

Countries and regions


Theravāda · Mahāyāna


Chinese canon · Pali canon
Tibetan canon

Related topics

Comparative studies
Cultural elements

The Mahavihara (Pali for "Great Monastery") was for several centuries the center of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was founded by king Devanampiya Tissa (247–207 BCE) in his capital Anuradhapura. The Mahavihara was the place where Theravadin orthodoxy was established by monks such as Buddhaghosa. The monks living at the Mahavihara were referred to as mahaviharavasims.

The term was also applied to a number of the larger monasteries in India, among them Nalanda, Vikramashila, Odantipura, Somapura, Ratnagiri, and others.[1]

The Mahavihara was destroyed during sectarian conflicts with the (Mahayana) monks of the Abhayagiri Vihara during the 4th century[2]. These Mahayana monks incited King Mahasena to destruct the Mahavihara. As a result of this, a later king expelled the Mahayana monks from Sri Lanka.




Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address