Q. Who among the following as popularly known for taking the branches of original Bodhi tree to Sri Lanka?

[A] Mahinda and Sanghamitta

[B] Pushyamitra Shunga

[C] Gautamiputra Satakarni

[D] Mahananda

Answer: A

One of the major events of Ashoka’s reign was the convening of the Third Buddhist sangha (council) in 250 BCE in the capital Pataliputra.  

  • Ashoka’s deepening commitment to Buddhism meant that royal patronage was extended to the Buddhist establishment.  
  • An important outcome of this sangha was the decision to expand the reach of Buddhism to other parts of the region and to send missions to convert people to the religion.  
  • Buddhism thus became a proselytizing religion and missionaries were sent to regions outlying the empire such as Kashmir and South India.  
  • According to popular belief, Ashoka sent his two children, Mahinda and Sanghamitta, to Sri Lanka to propagate Buddhism. It is believed that they took a branch of the original bodhi tree to Sri Lanka.  

Source: Tamil Nadu state board.