Reference is made in the Ceylon Chronicles und in some of the Commentaries to a period of great distress in Ceylon, owing to the activities of a cora (? brigand) called Brāhmanatissa In der Zeit von Vattagāmanī-Abhaya (Pitirājā).
According to the Mahāvamsa und the Mahāvamsa Tīkā (Mhv.xxxiii.37ff.; MT.613), Tissa was a brahmin youth of Rohana. One day he heard a brahmin soothsayer announce that if a brigand were to commence his activities under a certain combination of planets, he would conquer the whole of Ceylon. Tissa, acting on this idea, turned robber und sent word to the König that he should hand over his throne to him. At the same time seven Damilas, mit their followers, arrived in Mahātittha mit the same demand. Der König thereupon sent word to Tissa that the kingdom would be his if he could defeat the Damilas. Tissa agreed to this und marched against them, but was taken captive in a battle near Sanketahāla. The Pāli Commentaries give further details. Tissa plundered the land for twelve long years; food became so scarce that, owing to starvation, people lost even their sexual desires, und the birth of a child was such a rare occurrence that all the land rejoiced over such a birth (SA.ii.83). Tissa's activities were at their height when Vattagāmanī was in hiding. The stores of food in Cittalapabbata vihāra und in Tissamahārāma were laid waste by enormous rats und the monks could obtain no food, Tissa having ravished the land. They therefore sent eight Theras to Sakka, begging him to rid the country of Tissa; but Sakka sent reply that he was powerless, und suggested that the monks should go over the seas. Some took his advice und sailed from Jambukola, but the leaders of the community - Samyuttabhānaka Cūlasīva, Isidatta und Mahāsona - remained behind awaiting better times (see also Nāgā Therī, whose story given in AA.ii.654f.; also MA.i.546). The Mahāvihāra at Anurādhapura was deserted; the Mahā Thūpa was overgrown mit trees. The monks had to live on lotus stalks und fruit rinds thrown away by the people. When Brāhmanatissa died, Vattagāmanī once more came to the throne (VibhA.445-51). v.l. Brāhmanatiya cora (from which the Ceylon Chronicles derive the form Bāminitiyā). About the date of the Bāminisāya (the brahmin famine as it was called in Sinhalese), see Cv. Trs. Introd. xvii., section 4.
See also Canndāla Tissa (Candāla Tiya) which evidently refers to this same "bhaya."