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A Mon monk who, according to Burmese legend, led a group of five monks from Burma to Sri Lanka in about 1180 to study Theravāda Buddhism as practised at the Mahāvihāra. The group included a prince of Cambodia (possibly the son of Jayavarman VII, the founder of Angkor Wat), another originally from Conjeevaram in south India.and two others from different parts of south-east Asia. This group, later known as the ‘Sinhalese Sect’, were ordained in Sri Lanka and spent ten years there, thereby becoming elders (thera) who could perform ordinations. They returned to Burma in 1190 to establish the Sinhalese form of Theravāda Buddhism. Whether or not the legend is true, it is certain that, by the beginning of the 13th century, the Sinhalese form of Theravāda Buddhism was spreading in south-east Asia. This form of Buddhism, characterized by strict adherence to the Vinaya.emphasis on a pure line of succession, and strong links to political authority, has characterized the Buddhism of the region down to modern times.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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