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MEDHANKARA, the name of several distinguished members, in medieval times, of the Buddhist order. The oldest flourished about A.D. 1 200, and was the author of the Vinaya Artha Samuccaya, a work in the Sinhalese language on Buddhist canon law. Next to him came Arafinaka Medhankara, who presided over the Buddhist council held at Polonnaruwa, then the capital of Ceylon, in 1250. The third Vanaratana Medhankara, flourished in 1280, and wrote a poem in Pali, Jina Carita, on the life of the Buddha. He also wrote the Payoga Siddhi. The fourth was the celebrated scholar to whom King Parakrama Bahu IV. of Ceylon entrusted in 1307 the translation from Pali into Sinhalese of the Jdtaka book, the most voluminous extant work in Sinhalese. The fifth, a Burmese, was called the Sangharaja Nava Medhankara, and wrote in Pali a work entitled the Loka Padipa Sara, on cosmogony and allied subjects.

See the Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1882, p. 126; 1886, pp. 62, 67, 72; 1890, p. 63; 1896, p. 43; Mahavamsa, ch. xl., verse 85.

(T. W. R. D.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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