A group of monks in Ceylon who seem to have spent most of their time in solitary spots engaged in meditation. They owed allegiance to the Mahāvihāra. They are first heard of in the sixth century when, in the reign of Aggabodhi II., the King of Kalinga came over to Ceylon and joined the Order under the famous Elder Jotipāla. This fraternity seems to have been closely associated with the Buddhists of Kālinga. Among famous scholars belonging to it were: Ananda Vanaratanatissa, Vedeha, Cola Buddhappiya, Culla Dhammapāla, Medhankara, his pupil Ananda and Siddhattha.
The Araññavāsins were specially esteemed by Parakkamabāhu of Dambadeniya. For details about them see P.L.C. 210-13, 226, 229.