Dīpavaṁsa
[The Chronicle of the Island]

XVIII. [The Bhikkhuni Lineage]

[204] 1. The opening lines of this chapter were evidently intended to form the conclusion of a list of Theras which, however, is wanting in the Dīpavaṁsa or at least in the MSS. we possess. Vv.1. 2 exactly correspond to v. 44 which ends the great list of Theras. Buddhaghosa gives in the Introduction of the Samanta Pāsādikā a list of Theras which he says is composed by the Porāṇā (comp. Introd., pp. 2-5). This list presents a close resemblance to the list of Theras contained in this chapter. At the present time there are other aged, middle-aged, and young (Bhikkhus), holders of the Vibhajja doctrine, preservers of the tradition of the Vinaya and of the Faith.

2. Learned and virtuous they illuminate this earth; by a conduct which conforms to the Dhutaṅga rules they shine in the island of Laṅkā.

3. Many followers of Sakyaputta are here who well understand the true Religion and (its) history. Truly, for the sake of many people “the possessor of (supernatural) vision has appeared in the world; the Jina has dispelled the darkness and shown the light.

4. They whose faith is well and firmly grounded on the Tathāgata, leave all wretched states of existence and are born again in heaven.

5. And those who penetrate the constituent members of Bodhi, the organs (of spiritual life), the (ten) powers, attention, right exertion, and the complete system of (magical) powers, –

6. the holy eight-fold path which leads to the destruction of suffering, conquer the army of Death and are victorious in the world.

7. The younger twin-sister of queen Māyā, born from the same mother, kind like a mother, suckled Bhagavat.

8. (She was) called Mahāpajāpatī, known by the name of Gotamī, renowned, an original depositary (of the Faith), possessing the six (supernatural) faculties and the high (magical) powers.

9. The two chief female pupils were Khemā and Uppalavaṇṇā; (besides, there was) Paṭācārā, Dhammadinnā, Sobhitā, Isidāsikā –

10. Visākhā, Soṇā, and Sabalā, wise Saṅghadāsī, and Nandā, a guardian of the Dhamma and well versed in the Vinaya. These (Bhikkhunīs) who well knew the Vinaya and the paths (of sanctification), (lived) in Jambudīpa. [205]

11. The Therī Saṅghamittā, and wise Uttarā, Hemā, and Pasādapālā, and Aggimittā, Dāsikā, –

12. Pheggu, Pabbatā, and Mattā, Mallā, and Dhammadāsiyā, these young Bhikkhunīs (these eleven Bhikkhunīs?) came hither from Jambudīpa.

13. They taught the Vinaya Piṭaka in Anurādhapura. They (also) taught the five Collections (of the Sutta Piṭaka) and the seven Treatises (of the Abhidhamma).

14. Saddhammanandī, and Somā, and also Giriddhi, Dāsiyā, and Dhammā, a guardian of the Dhamma and well versed in the Vinaya, –

15. and Mahilā who kept the Dhutaṅga precepts, and Sobhaṇā, Dhammatāpasā, highly wise Naramittā who was well versed in the Vinaya, –

16. Sātā, versed in the exhortations of Therīs, Kālī and Uttarā, these Bhikkhunīs received the Upasampadā ordination in the island of Laṅkā.

17-18. ... and renowned Sumanā who well understood the true religion and (its) history, these Bhikkhunīs who were passionless and tranquil, the resolutions of whose minds were pure, who were firmly grounded in the true Faith and in the Vinaya, came together with twenty thousand Bhikkhunīs … honoured by illustrious, noble Abhaya.

19. They taught the Vinayapiṭaka in Anurādhapura; they (also) taught the five Collections (of the Sutta Piṭaka) and the seven Treatises (of the Abhidhamma).

20. Renowned Mahilā who well understood the true religion and (its) history, and Samantā, the daughters of king Kākavaṇṇa, –

21. and learned Girikālī, the daughter of his Purohita, Dāsī and Kālī, the daughters of a rogue, well versed in the whole of the sacred Scriptures (?), –

22. these Bhikkhunīs, well versed in the whole of the sacred Scriptures, unconquerable, the resolutions of whose minds were pure, who were firmly grounded in the true Faith and in the Vinaya, –

23. came from (?) Rohana together with twenty thousand Bhikkhunīs, honoured by illustrious king Abhaya. They taught the Vinayapiṭaka in Anurādhapura.

24. Mahādevī and Padumā, illustrious Hemāsā, Unnalā, [206] Añjalī, Sumā, –

25. these Bhikkhunīs who possessed the six (supernatural) faculties and the great (magical) powers, came … together with sixteen thousand Bhikkhunīs.

26. Honoured by illustrious king Tissa Devānampiya (?), they taught the Vinayapiṭaka in Anurādhapura.

27. Mahāsoṇā and Dattā, wise Sīvalā, zealous Rūpasobhinī, venerated Devamānusā, –

28. Nāgā and Nāgamittā, Dhammaguttā, and Dāsiyā, and Samuddā gifted with (supernatural) vision, who well understood the true Religion and (its) history, –

29. Sapattā, Channā, and Upālī, excellent Revatā, these were the highest among the Vinaya-studying Bhikkhunīs, the daughters of Somadeva, –

30. Mālā and Khemā and Tissā, the highest among the preachers of the Dhamma, these taught the Vinaya first after the death of Abhaya (or: when the danger had disappeared?).

31-32. Sīvalā and Mahāruhā who well understood the true Religion and (its) history, and had converted to the Faith many people in Jambudīpa, came hither from Jambudīpa together with twenty thousand Bhikkhunīs, invited by illustrious king Abhaya.

33. They taught the Vinayapiṭaka in Anurādhapura; they (also) taught the five Collections (of the Suttapiṭaka) and the seven Treatises (of the Abhidhamma).

34. Sīvalā together with queen Samuddanavā, daughters of a king, wise Nāgapālī, and clever Nāgamittā, –

35. Mahilā, a guardian of the Bhikkhunīs and well versed in the Vinaya, Nāgā, and Nāgamittā who well knew the true Religion and (its) history, these Bhikkhunīs then received the Upasampadā ordination in the island of Laṅkā.

36. All these were high-born and renowned in the Doctrine, the most excellent ones among sixteen thousand Bhikkhunīs, acknowledged to be the leaders.

37. Honoured by Kuṭikaṇṇa (and by his son,) illustrious Abhaya, they taught the Vinayapiṭaka in Anurādhapura.

38. Cūlanāgā and Dhannā, venerated Soṇā, and renowned Saṇhā who well knew the true Religion and (its) history, –

39. highly learned and wise Mahātissā, the [207] daughter of Gamika, Cūlasumanā, Mahāsumanā, and clever Mahākālī, –

40. illustrious Lakkhadhammā, honoured and high-born, wise Dīpanayā who was venerated in Rohana, –

41. renowned Samuddā who well knew the true Religion and (its) history, holders of the Vibhajja doctrine and of the Vinaya, who both were ornaments of the Sisterhood, –

42. these and other Bhikkhunīs received the Upasampadā ordination in the island of Laṅkā. (These Bhikkhunīs,) the resolutions of whose minds were pure, who were firmly grounded in the true Faith and in the Vinaya, –

43. learned, versed in the Tradition, free from evil passions, and illustrious, went out (attained Nibbāna) after having spread radiance, like fire-brands.

44. At the present time there are other aged, middle-aged, and young (Bhikkhunīs), holders of the Vibhajja doctrine and of the Vinaya, preservers of the tradition of the Faith. Learned and virtuous they illuminate this earth.

45. Prince Sīva reigned ten years; he established the Ārāma and the Vihāra of Nāgaraṅgaṇa.

46. Prince Sūratissa reigned ten years; he constructed five hundred monasteries, a liberal, great, and meritorious deed.

47. Having conquered Sūratissa, the two Damila princes Sena and Gutta righteously reigned during twelve (twenty-two?) years.

48. Prince Asela, a son of Muṭasiva, put Sena and Gutta to death, and reigned ten years.

49. A prince, Eḷāra by name, having killed Asela, reigned righteously forty-four years.

50. Avoiding the four evil paths of lust, hatred, fear, and ignorance, this incomparable monarch reigned righteously.

51. (Once) no rain fell during a whole winter, summer, and the rainy season. (Then) continually the cloud rained, rain fell during seven times seven days.

52. There were three cases which the king decided; In the Mahāvaṁsa (p. 128) an account of these three cases is given. (after that) rain fell only during the night and not in day-time.

53. A prince, Abhaya by name, the son of Kākavaṇṇa, whom the ten warriors surrounded, whose elephant [208] was Kaṇḍula, –

54. put thirty-two kings to death and alone continued the royal succession. This prince reigned twenty-four years.

End of the Mahāvāra.