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Ākāsacetiya

A cetiya in Rohaṇa in South Sri Lanka, not far from Cittalapabbata-vihāra, so named because it is situated on the summit of a rock. It is not known when and by whom it was built. King Kākavaṇṇa Tissa fixed to it stone slabs, to make it easier of ascent (Mhv.xxii.26).

There were probably two cetiyas of the same name, one being in Rohaṇa and the other to the east of Anurādhapura. It is the latter which is mentioned in the thirty-third chapter of the Mahāvaṃsa (Vers. 68‑9).

Vaṭṭagāmaṇi, going up with his queen to the Ākāsacetiya, saw his minister, Kapisīsa, who had just come down from the cetiya, where he had been sweeping the courtyard, sitting by the road; because he did not fling himself down before the king, the latter slew him in anger.

This Ākāsacetiya was near Acchagalla-vihāra, which, according to the Mahāvaṃsa Ṭīkā (MT.302), was to the east of Anurādhapura.

It may be that Ākāsacetiya was a common name for any vihāra built on the summit of a rock, for the Commentaries (AA.i.375; MA.ii.955) speak also of an Ākāsacetiya at Sumanagiri (Sumanakūṭa) at which the Tamil general Dīghajantu offered a red silken robe.

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