A country. At the end of the Third Council, the theras Sona and
Uttara visited this country in order to convert
it to Buddhism. At that time a female deity of the sea was in the habit of
eating every heir born to the king. The arrival of the theras coincided with the
birth of a prince. At first the people thought that the monks were the friends
of the demon, but later the monks, being told the story, drove away the demon by
their iddhi power and erected a bulwark round the country by reciting the
Brahmajāla Sutta. Sixty thousand people
embraced the new faith, while three thousand five hundred young men and fifteen
hundred girls of noble family entered the Order. Thenceforth all princes born
into the royal family were called Sonuttara (Mhv.Xii.6, 44f.; Dpv. viii.12;
There seems to have been regular trade between
Bharukaccha and Suvannabhūmi (See, e.g., J. iii.188), and also between the
latter and Benares (Molini), (J.iv.15),
Sāvatthi (PvA.47), and
The distance between Ceylon and Suvannabhūmi was seven hundred leagues, and,
with a favourable wind, could be covered in seven days and nights (AA.i.265).
Suvannabhūmi is generally identified with Lower Burma, probably the Pagan and
Moulmein districts. It probably included the coast from Rangoon to Singapore.
The chief place in Suvannabhūmi was Sudhammanagara - i.e., Thaton - at the
mouth of the Sittaung River (See Sās. Introd., p.4, and n.3).
Fleet suggests (J.R.A.S.1910, p.428), however, that it might be the district
in Bengal called by Hiouen Thsang "Ka-lo-na-su-fa-la-na"
(Karnasuvarna), or else the country along the river Son in Central India, a
tributary of the Ganges, on the right bank of the river which is also called
Hiranyavāha. The probability is that there were two Places of the same name, one
originally in India itself and the other in Further India. cf.