1. Dhammadinna Thera.-Also called Mahādhammadinna. An arahant. He resided at Talanga-(Talangatissa-pabbata) (q.v.). He was one of the monks who partook of the meal of sour gruel given by Dutthagāmanī when in dire distress for want of food. Dhammadinna distributed his share among ten thousand monks in Piyangudīpa (Mhv.xxxii.52). He is also mentioned (MT.606) as having accepted a meal given by Sāliya and his wife when they were blacksmiths in a previous birth. Dhammadinna had a nephew who became an arahant in the tonsure-hall. Dhammadinna read to him the three Pitakas, and he learnt them all on that occasion (VibhA.389). Dhammadinna's teacher was Mahānāga of Uccatalanka (v.l. Uccavālika). Dhammadinna visited him in his old age, knowing that, though he himself thought he had attained arahantship, this was not the case. By a display of iddhi-power, Dhammadinna convinced Mahānāga of his error and gave him a subject of meditation. Almost immediately after, the Elder became an arahant (VibhA.489; Vsm.634f). Once, while preaching the Apannaka Sutta, at Tissamahārāma, Dhammadinna pointed his fan downwards, whereupon the earth opened to the depth of Avīci, revealing all that was there. Similarly, he showed all things to the height of the Brahma-world. During his sermon he frightened the audience with the fear of hell and lured them with the bliss of heaven (Vsm.392).

The Majjhima Commentary records that soon after the ordination of Dhammadinna many monks, on his advice, became arahants. (MA.i.149ff. A variation of what is evidently the same story is found in AA.i.25). Hearing of this, the monks of Tissamahārāma sent a number of their colleagues to fetch him. He preached to them, and they attained arahantship and remained with him. Three times this happened. On the fourth occasion an aged monk was sent. He gave the message of the monks and Dhammadinna started at once to go to them. On the way, at Hankana (v.l. Tangana) and at Cittalapabbata, he persuaded two monks, who thought they were arahants, to display their iddhi-power, and, thereby convinced them of their error; thereupon he gave them topics of meditation. On his arrival at Tissamahārāma, the monks failed to pay him their respects. He thereupon made the earth tremble and returned to his own vihāra. The Saddhammasangaha (p.88f) relates the story of a blind rat-snake who heard Dhammadinna recite the satipatthānas and was later born as Tissāmacca, minister of Dutthagāmani.

2. Dhammadinna.-An eminent lay-follower of the Buddha. He once came with five hundred upāsakas to the Buddha at Isipatana and asked him to give them a lesson which might profit them, for, said he, it is difficult for a householder encumbered with a family and the luxuries of household life to comprehend the Buddha's teachings in their fullness. The Buddha answers that they should practise the four limbs of sotāpatti: loyalty to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, and the cultivation of āriyan virtues. Dhammadinna answers that they already possess these limbs. The Buddha then expresses his great satisfaction (S.v.406ff).

The Commentary (SA.iii.223) says that Dhammadinna was one of seven laymen with followings of five hundred - the others being Visākha, Ugga, Citta, Hatthaka ālavaka and Cūla- and Mahā-Anāthapindika.

3. Dhammadinna. A monk of Tissamahā-vihāra near Talañgarapabbata. Once, while on pilgrimage to Nāgadīpa with 500 others, he stopped at Sāgiri Vihāra, and they were looked after by Bahulamassutissa Thera. The next day they went for alms to Punnsālakotthaka, where a resident entertained them to a meal with hare's flesh. Dhammadinna later asked why Tissa Thera did not admonish his follower on the evils of killing, seeing that there was a heap of bones outside the house. Tissa asked Dhammadinna to do so the next day. This was done; the devotee confessed that he had never killed a hare, but in his house there was never any want of hare's flesh, and he did not know why. Dhammadinna, with his divine eye, revealed to him that in the time of Padumuttara Buddha he had given alms with hare's flesh. Ras.ii.128f.

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