55. THE THIRD BUDDHIST COUNCIL BEING HELD WITH THE VENERABLE MOGGALIPUTTA TISSA AS THE PRESIDING THERA
King Dhammasoka understood the essence of Buddhism, and gave great support to the cause of Buddhism by erecting rock-edicts in all parts of his territory enjoining upon the subjects to follow the Doctrine in their daily lives. With his royal patronage Buddhism flourished, and the Sasana gradually grew in importance and numbers. Tempted by worldly gain, many undesirables of alien sects joined the Order and polluted the Sasana by their corrupt lives and heretical views which they taught.
Good monks could not live together with these sham monks and there was trouble. The King consulted the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa to protect the Sasana. The King tested the monks and disrobed the undesirables to purify the Sasana. The Third Buddhist Council was then held by 1000 Arahants, with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera.