An arahant. He recited the kammavācā (or ecclesiastical act) at the ordination of Mahinda, on whom he later conferred the upasampadā ordination (Mhv.v.207; Sp.i.51; Dpv.vii.24). Later, at the conclusion of the Third Council, Majjhantika went as preacher to Kasmīra Gandhāra. There, by his great iddhi powers, he overcame the Nāga king Aravāla and converted him to the Faith, while Pandaka and his wife Hāritā and their five hundred sons became sotāpannas. Majjhantika preached the āsīvisopama Sutta to the assembled concourse and later ordained one hundred thousand persons (Mhv.xii.3, 9ff.; Sp.i.64ff.; Dpv.viii.4; Mbv.113; for the Tibetan version see Rockhill, op. cit., 167ff.). The sermon preached by Majjhantika is referred to in the Scholiast to the Sarabhanga Jātaka (J.v.142).
This same Elder is referred to elsewhere as an example of one who practised pariyatti appicchatā (SNA.ii.494; DA.iii.1061, but at AA.i.263 he is called Majjhantika Tissa). He was the leader of the assembly of monks (sanghathera). On the day of the dedication of Asoka’s vihāra, the Thera was a khīnāsava and was present, but his begging bowl and robe were hardly worth a farthing. People, seeing him there, asked him to make way; but he sank into the earth, rising to receive the alms given to the leader of the monks, knowing that he alone was fit to accept it. The story is given at AA.i.43; MA.i.350.