1. Mahānāga Thera. The son of Madhuvāsettha of Sāketa. While the Buddha was at Añjanavana, Mahānāga saw the wonder wrought by Gavampati and entered the Order under him, attaining to arahantship in due course.
In the past he had given a dādima (pomegranate) fruit to Kakusandha Buddha (ThagA.i.442f).
Several verses uttered by him in admonition of the Chabbaggiyā, because of their failure to show regard for their co religionists, are found in the Theragāthā. Thag.vss.387-92.
2. Mahānāga. Son of Mutasiva and viceroy of Devānampiyatissa. His wife was Anulā, for whose ordination Sanghamittā came over from Jambudīpa (Mhv.xiv.56; Dpv.xi.6; xvii.75). His second wife was a foolish woman who tried to poison him in order to get the throne for her son. While he was building the Taraccha tank, she sent him some mangoes, the top one of which, intended for him, was poisoned. But it was her son who ate the mango and died. Mahānāga thereupon went to Rohana, where he founded the dynasty of that name at Mahāgāma. His son was Yatthālayaka Tissa. Mahānāga built the Nāgamahā vihāra and the Uddhakandara vihāra. Mhv.xxii.2ff.
3. Mahānāga. A resident of Nitthulavitthika in Girijanapada. He was the father of Gothaimbara. Mhv.xxiii.49.
4. Mahānāga. Son of Vattagāmanī. He later came to be known as Coranāga. Mhv.xxxiii.45.
5. Mahānāga. See Māhādāthika Mahānaga.
6. Mahānāga Thera. Incumbent of Bhūtārāma. As a mark of favour, Kanitthatissa built for him the Ratanapāsāda at Abhayagiri vihāra. Mhv.xxxvi.7.
7. Mahānāga Thera. Incumbent of Samudda vihāra. He was among those who accepted the gift of a meal by Prince Sāliya, in his birth as a blacksmith. MT. 606.
8. Mahānāga Thera. Incumbent of Kālavallimandapa. He was among those who accepted the meal given by Sāliya in his previous birth (MT. 606). He was one of the last to attain arahantship among those who left the world with the Bodhisatta in various births (J.iv.490). He did not sleep for seven years, after which he practised continual meditation for sixteen years, becoming an arahant at the end of that time. SNA.i.56; MA.i.209; SA.iii.155.
His fame was great, and there is a story of a brahmin who came all the way from Pātaliputta to Kālavallimandapa in Rohana to visit him. The brahmin entered the Order under him and became an arahant (AA.i.384). Once, while Mahānāga was begging alms at Nakulanagara, he saw a nun and offered her a meal. As she had no bowl, he gave her his, with the food ready in it. After she had eaten and washed the bowl, she gave it back to him saying, "Henceforth there will be no fatigue for you when begging for alms." Thereafter the Elder was never given alms worth less than a kahāpana. The nun was an arahant. DhSA.399.
9. Mahānāga Thera. Incumbent of Bhātiyavanka vihāra. He received alms from Sāliya in his previous birth. MT. 606.
10. Mahānāga Thera. Incumbent of Maddha(?) vihāra. He was one of the last to become arahant among those who left the world with the Bodhisatta in various births. J.vi.30.
11. Mahānāga Thera. He and his brother, Cūlanāga, householders of Vasālanagara, renounced the world and became arahants. One day, while visiting their own village, they went to their mother's house for alms. The mother, not quite sure who they were, asked if they were her sons. But they, not wishing for any bonds of affection, gave an evasive reply. SA.ii.125.
12. Mahānāga Thera. He lived in Uccatalanka (Uccavālika). Talankavāsi Dhammadinna (q.v.) was his pupil and became an arahant through his intervention. Vibhā.489; Vsm.634.
13. Mahānāga Thera. He once went to his mother's house for alms and while sitting there entered into trance. The house caught fire and all the others fled. When the fire was put out the Thera was discovered unhurt, and the villagers did him great honour. Finding his attainments discovered, he rose into the air and went to Piyangudīpa. Vsm.706.
14. Mahānāga. A king of Ceylon, mentioned in the Dhammasangani Commentary (DhSA.399). While travelling to India from Ceylon he won the favour of an Elder, and on his return became king. Out of gratitude he established gifts of medicine in Setambangana for as long as he lived. (DhSA.399).
15. Mahānāga. Teacher of Sangharakkhitasāmanera (q.v.). He was called Sāmuddika Mahānāga. DA.ii.558.
16. Mahānāga. Nephew of Bhayasīva. During a time of famine he sold his upper garment and obtained food for a man learned in magic spells. The latter, in gratitude, took him to the Gokannasamudda, and there, having conjured up a Nāga, prophesied Mahānāga's future. Mahānāga entered Silākāla's service, and was sent by him to collect revenue in Rohana. Later he was made Andhasenāpati, and he established himself master of Rohana. He once attempted to fight against Dāthāpabhuti, but soon gave up the attempt. Taking advantage of the confusion in Kittisirimegha's dominions, Mahānāga advanced against him, killed him, and seized the throne. Among his benefactions was the grant of the village of Jambalambaya to Uttara vihāra, Tintinika to Mahāvihira, and Vasabha in Uddhagāma to Jetavana vihāra, together with three hundred fields for the supply of rice soup. He also gave Cīramātikavāra to Mahāvihāra and instituted a gift of rice soup. He renovated the Mayūraparivena and Anurārāma in the Mahādevarattakuruva vihāra in Kāsikhanda. He reigned for only three years (556-9 A.C.), and was succeeded by his nephew, Aggabodhi I. (Cv.xli.69ff), who built a vihāra in his memory and assigned it to an Elder versed in the Tipitaka. Cv.xlii.24; Cv.Trs.i.68, n.2.
17. Mahānāga.-A monk of Kontaratthakapabbata Vihāra. He died seated in mid-air, and Kākavannatissa, having heard of it from a crow, paid him great honour. Ras.ii.64.