Amarapura Nikaya

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The Amarapura Nikaya is a Sri Lankan monastic fraternity (a lineage of ordained monks) founded in 1800. It is named after the city of Amarapura, Myanmar (then Burma), the former capital of the Burmese kingdom. Amarapura Nikaya monks are followers of the Theravada tradition.


By the mid 18th century, upasampada (higher ordination, as distinct from samanera or novice ordination) had become extinct in Sri Lanka again. The Buddhist order had become extinct thrice during the preceding five hundred years and was re-established in the reigns of Vimala Dharma Suriya I (1591 - 1604) and Vimala Dharma Suriya II (1687 - 1707) as well. These re-establishments were short lived. On the initiative of Ven. Weliwita Saranankara (1698-1778) the Thai monk Upali Thera visited Kandy during the reign of king Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747 - 1782) and once again reestablished the Buddhist order in Sri Lanka in 1753. It was called the Siyam Nikaya after the "Kingdom of Siam".

However in 1764, merely a decade after the re-establishment of the Buddhist order in Sri Lanka by reverend Upali, a group within the newly created Siyam Nikaya conspired and succeeded in restricting the Nikaya's higher ordination only to the Govigama caste. This was a period when Buddhist Vinaya rules had been virtually abandoned and some members of the Buddhist Sangha in the Kandyan Kingdom privately held land, had wives and children, resided in the private homes and were called...
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