Open main menu

Mālānanda (Marananta in Korean) was a Buddhist monk from Gandhara,[1][2] in modern day Pakistan, who brought Buddhism to the southern Korean Peninsula in the fourth century CE.

Revised RomanizationMarananta



Multiple romanizations of Mālānanda's name may be found, including Marananta, Maranant'a and Maalaananda. An alternative reconstruction of his name is Kumāranandin.[3]


He was among the first to bring Buddhism to the Korean Peninsula. The Samgungnyusa records him as the one who brought Buddhism to Baekje, along with Sundo in Goguryeo and Ado in Silla.[4]

Mālānanda came to Baekje from Jin China in the ninth lunar month of 384, the coronation year of Chimnyu of Baekje.[5] Two months before Mālānanda's arrival, King Chimnyu had sent a tribute mission to the Jin Empire, as was common upon the ascension of Baekje kings in this period. It is possible he was part of an official emissary from Jin China.[3]

There are only scant mentions of Marananta in historical records.


  • Buswell, Robert; Lopez, Donald S. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-15786-3.
  • Nadiem, Ihsan H. (2003). Buddhist Gandhara: history, art and architecture. Sang-e-Meel Publication. ISBN 978-969-35-1408-7.


  1. ^ Nadiem 2003.
  2. ^ "Pakistan's Gandhara ruins to receive Korea's Buddhists". Korea Herald. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Lopez 2013, p. 520.
  4. ^ "Malananta bring Buddhism to Baekje" in Samguk Yusa III, Ha & Mintz translation, pp. 178-179.
  5. ^ "Chimnyu-wang," in Samguk Sagi, Baekje Bon-gi 2.


  • Ilyon (tr. by Tae-Hung Ha & Grafton K. Mintz). Samguk Yusa: Legends and history of the Three Kingdoms of ancient Korea. Seoul: Yonsei University Press. ISBN 89-7141-017-5.

External linksEdit

  • [1]—A detailed article on the history of Korean Buddhism, including multiple images of Korean Buddhist art and a substantial bibliography.