Excerpts from
the Dictionary of Pali proper names


One of the principal disciples of the Buddha. He was a first cousin of the Buddha and was deeply attached to him.

He came to earth from Tusita and was born on the same day as the Bodhisatta, his father being Amitodana the Sākiyan, brother of Suddhodana. Mahānāma and Anuruddha were therefore his brothers (or probably step-brothers). According to the Mtu.iii.176, Ānanda was the son of Suklodana and the brother of Devadatta and Upadhāna. His mother was Mrgī.

Ānanda entered the Order in the second year of the Buddha's ministry, together with other Sākiyan princes, such as Bhaddiya, Anuruddha, Bhagu, Kimbila and Devadatta, and was ordained by the Buddha himself (Vin.ii.182), his upajjhāya being Belatthasīsa (ThagA.i.68; also DA.ii.418ff.; Vin.i.202; iv. 86). Soon after, he heard a discourse by Punna Mantāniputta and became a Sotāpanna. In S.iii.105 Ānanda acknowledges his indebtedness to Punna and gives an account of Punna's sermon to him.

During the first twenty years after the Enlightenment, the Buddha did not have the same personal attendants all the time. From time to time various monks looked after him, among them being Nāgasamāla, Nāgita, Upavāna, Sunakkhatta, the novice Cunda, Sāgata, Rādha and Meghiya. We are told that the Buddha was not particularly pleased with any of them. At the end of twenty years, at an assembly of the monks, the Buddha declared that he was advanced in years and desired to have somebody as his permanent body-servant, one who would respect his wishes in every way. The Buddha says that sometimes his attendants would not obey him, and on certain occasions had dropped his bowl and robe and gone away, leaving him.

All the great disciples offered their services, but were rejected by the Buddha. Ānanda alone was left; he sat in silence. When asked why he did not offer himself, his reply was that the Buddha knew best whom to choose. When the Buddha signified that he desired to have Ānanda, the latter agreed to accept the post on certain conditions. The Buddha was never to give him any choice food or garment (*) gotten by him, nor appoint for him a separate "fragrant cell" (residence), nor include him in the invitations accepted by the Buddha. For, he said, if the Buddha did any of these things, some would say that Ānanda's services to the Buddha were done in order to get clothes, good fare and lodging and be included in the invitations. Further he was to be allowed to accept invitations on behalf of the Buddha; to bring to the Buddha those who came to see him from afar; to place before the Buddha all his perplexities, and the Buddha was to repeat to him any doctrine taught in his absence. If these concessions were not granted, he said, some would ask where was the advantage of such service. Only if these privileges were allowed him would people trust him and realise that the Buddha had real regard for him. The Buddha agreed to the conditions.

(*) Ānanda did, however, accept one of the two robes given by Pukkusa the Mallan to the Buddha (D.ii.133); Buddhaghosa explains this by saying that Ānanda's period of service had now come to an end, and also he wished to be free from the accusation that even after having served the Buddha for twenty-five years, the Buddha had never made him any gift. It is further stated that Ānanda offered the robe to the Buddha later (DA.ii.570).

Thenceforth, for twenty-five years (Thag.v.1039), Ānanda waited upon the Buddha, following him like a shadow, bringing him water and toothpick, washing his feet, accompanying him everywhere, sweeping his cell and so forth. By day he was always at hand, forestalling the Master's slightest wish; at night, stout staff and large torch in hand, he would go nine times round the Buddha's Gandha-kuti in order to keep awake, in case he were needed, and also to prevent the Buddha's sleep from being disturbed.

The account here given is summarised from AA.i.159ff. and from ThagA.ii.121ff. On the boons see J.iv.96, where Ānanda had asked for boons in the past too. The Tibetan sources give a different and interesting version of Ānanda's entry into the Order. See Rockhill: Life of the Buddha, 57-8.

Many examples are given of- Ānanda's solicitude for the Buddha, particularly during the Buddha's last days, as related in the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta. Ānanda was the Buddha's equal in age (having been born on the same day), and it is touching to read of this old and most devoted attendant ministering to his eminent cousin, fetching him water, bathing him, rubbing his body, preparing his bed, and receiving last instructions from him on various matters of importance. It is said that when the Buddha was ill, Ānanda became sympathetically sick (D.ii.99). He was aware of every change that occurred in the Buddha's body. E.g., the brightening of his features after Janavasabha's visit (D.ii.204); and the fading of his complexion just before death, which was apparent when the Buddha put on the robe given by Pukkusa (ibid., 133).

Once, when acting on the instructions of Devadatta, the royal mahouts let loose Nālāgiri, maddened with drink, on the Buddha's path, so that he might trample the Buddha to death, Ānanda, seeing the animal rushing towards them, immediately took his stand in front of the Buddha. Three times the Buddha forbade him to do so, but Ānanda, usually most obedient, refused to move, and it is said that the Buddha, by his iddhi-power, made the earth roll back in order to get Ānanda out of the elephant's path. .

Sometimes, the extreme zealousness of Ānanda drew on him the Buddha's rebuke - e.g., when he prepared tekatuka gruel (gruel with three kinds of pungent substances) for the Buddha when he was suffering from wind in the stomach. The gruel was prepared from food kept indoors and was cooked by Ānanda himself, indoors; this was against the rules (Vin.i.210-11), but Ānanda knew that the gruel would cure the Buddha.

Ānanda was most efficient in the performance of the numerous duties attached to his post. Whenever the Buddha wished to summon the monks or to send a message to anyone, it was to Ānanda that he entrusted the task. See, e.g., D.ii.199; 147; Vin.i.80; M.i.456.

He reported to the Buddha any news which he beard and thought interesting. E.g., the death of Nigantha Nātaputta, of which he learnt from Cunda Samanuddesa (D.iii.118; M.ii.244); also Devadatta's conspiracy to harm the Buddha (Vin.ii.198).

Laymen and laywomen, wishing to give alms to the Buddha and the monks, would often consult him in their difficulties, and he would always advise them. E.g., the Andhakavinda Brāhmana (Vin.i.220-1); Roja the Malla (ibid., 248); see also ibid., 238f.

When the monks came to him expressing their desire to hear the Buddha preach, he did his best to grant their wish. E.g. when the Buddha retired into the Pārileyya forest (S.iii.95; DhA.i.50f.).

Sometimes when Ānanda felt that an interview with the Buddha would be of use to certain people, he would contrive that the Buddha should talk to them and solve their doubts; thus, for instance, he arranged an interview for the Nigantha Saccaka (M.i.237) and the brahmins Sangārava and Rammaka (S.i.163; M.i.161). Similarly he took Samiddhi to the Buddha when he found that Samiddhi had wrongly represented the Buddha's views (M.iii.208). When he discovered that Kimbila and a large number of other monks would greatly benefit if the Buddha would preach to them on ānāpānasati, he requested the Buddha that he should do so. (S.v.323). Ānanda's requests were, however, not always granted. Once, for instance, though he asked the Buddha three times to recite the Pātimokkha, the Buddha refused to do so until an offending monk had been removed (Vin.ii.236f.).

Again, when at Vesāli, as a result of the Buddha's talks to the monks on asubha, a large number of them, feeling shame and loathing for their bodies, committed suicide, Ānanda suggested to the Buddha that he might teach the monks some method by which they might obtain insight (aññā) (S.v.320f).

In order that people might still worship the Buddha when he was away on tour, Ānanda planted the Ānanda-Bodhi (q.v.).

Ānanda was, however, careful that people should not weary the Buddha unnecessarily. Even when he told the Buddha about the suicide of the monks (mentioned above), he was careful to wait till the Buddha had finished his fortnight's solitude, because he had given orders that he should not be disturbed.

When Subhadda wanted to see the Buddha as he lay on his death-bed, Ānanda refused to let him in until expressly asked to do so by the Master (D.ii.149). That same day when the Mallas of Kusinārā came with their families to pay their last respects to the Buddha, Ānanda arranged them in groups, and introduced each group so that the ceremony might be gone through without delay (D.ii.148).

He often saved the Buddha from unpleasantness by preventing too pious admirers from trying to persuade the Buddha to do what was against his scruples. E.g., Bodhirājakumāra, when he asked the Buddha to walk over the carpets in his mansion, Kokanada (Vin.ii.128; M.ii.94).

Among Ānanda's duties was the task of going round to put away anything which might have been forgotten by anyone in the congregation after hearing the Buddha preach (DhA.i.410).

Ānanda was often consulted by colleagues on their various difficulties. Thus we find Vangīsa (S.i.188; Thag.vers.1223-6) confiding to him his restlessness at the sight of women and asking for his advice. Among others who came to him with questions on various doctrinal matters were Kāmabhū (S.iv.165-6), Udāyi (S.v.166-8; A.iv.449), Channa (S.iii.133-4), and Bhadda (S.v.171-3; ThagA.i.474; he could not, however, be of use to his fellow celibate Bhandu). Nor were these consultations confined to his fellow-monks, for we find the brahmins Ghosita (S.iv.113) and Unnābha (S.v.272), the Licchavis Abhaya and Panditakumāraka (A.i.220), the paribbājakas Channa (A.i.215) and Kokanuda (A.v.196), the upāsikā Migasālā (A.iii.347, and again A.v.137), a householder of Kosambī (A.i.217) and Pasenadi Kosala (M.ii.112), all coming to him for enlightenment and instruction. It was on this occasion that Pasenadi presented Ānanda with a valuable piece of foreign material which had been sent to him by Ajātasattu.

Sometimes the monks, having heard a brief sermon from the Buddha, would seek out Ānanda to obtain from him a more detailed exposition, for he had the reputation of being able to expound the Dhamma (A.v.225; S.iv.93).

It is said that the Buddha would often deliberately shorten his discourse to the monks so that they might be tempted to have it further explained by Ānanda. They would then return to the Buddha and report to him Ānanda's exposition, which would give him an opportunity of praising Ānanda's erudition. MA.i.81; for such praise see, e.g., A.v.229. It is said that once when a certain landowner asked the Buddha how he could show honour to the Dhamma, the Buddha told him to show honour to Ānanda if he wished to honour the Dhamma (J.iv.369).

In the Sekha Sutta (M.i.353ff ) we are told that after the Buddha had preached to the Sākiyans of Kapilavatthu till late at night, he asked Ānanda to continue the discourse while he himself rested. Ānanda did so, and when the Buddha awoke after his sleep, he commended Ānanda on his ability. On another occasion, the Buddha asks Ānanda to address the monks on the wonders attendant on a Buddha's birth, and the Acchari-yabbhuta-Dhamma Sutta is the result. The Buddha is mentioned as listening with approval (M.iii.119ff).

Sometimes Ānanda would suggest to the Buddha a simile to be used in his discourse, e.g. the Dhammayāna simile (S.v.5); or by a simile suggest a name to be given to a discourse, e.g. the Madhupindika Sutta (M.i.114; cp. Upavāna suggesting the name for the Pāsādika Sutta D.iii.141); or again, particularly wishing to remember a certain Sutta, he would ask the Buddha to give it a name, e.g. the Bahudhātuka Sutta (M.iii.67).

Several instances occur of Ānanda preaching to the monks of his own accord (E.g., A.ii.156f.; v.6) and also to the laity (E.g., A.ii.194). The Sandaka Sutta records a visit paid by Ānanda with his followers to the paribbajaka Sandaka, and describes how he won Sandaka over by a discourse. Sometimes, as in the case of the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (M.iii.189f ) Ānanda would repeat to the assembly of monks a sermon which he had previously heard the Buddha preach. Ānanda took the fullest advantage of the permission granted to him by the Buddha of asking him any question he desired. He had a very inquiring mind; if the Buddha smiled he would ask the reason (M.ii.45, 50, 74; A.iii.214f.; J.iii.405; iv.7).

Or if he remained silent, Ānanda had to be told the reason (S.iv.400). He knew that the Buddha did nothing without definite cause; when Upavāna, who stood fanning the Buddha, was asked to move away, Ānanda wished to know the reason, and was told that Upavāna prevented various spirits from seeing the Buddha (D.ii.139). The Buddha was always willing to answer Ānanda's questions to his satisfaction. Sometimes, as in the case of his question regarding the dead citizens of Ñātikā (D.ii.91ff.),* a long discourse would result.**

* In this case the discourse concluded with a description of the Dhammādāsa (Mirror of Truth) to be used for all time; see also S.v.356-60.

** The Pabbajjā Sutta (Sn.72ff.), was preached because of Ānanda's request that the Buddha should give an account of his renunciation (SnA.ii.381); see also Pubbayogāvacara Sutta (SnA.i.47).

Most often his consultations with the Buddha were on matters of doctrine or were connected with it - e.g., on nirodha (S.iii.24); loka (S.iv.53); suñña (S.iv.54; M.iii.104-24); vedanā (S.iv.219-21) ; iddhi (S.v.282-4; 286); ānāpānasati (S.v.328-34); bhava, etc. (A.i.223f.); on the chalabhijāti of Pūrana Kassapa (q.v.); the aims and purposes of sīla (A.v.1f., repeated in v.311f.); the possibilities of samādhi (A.v.7f., repeated in v.318 and in A.i.132f.); on sanghabheda (A.v.75ff.); the qualities requisite to be a counsellor of monks (A.iv.279ff.); the power of carrying possessed by a Buddha's voice (A.i.226f.); the conditions necessary for a monk's happiness (A.iii.132f.); the different ways of mastering the elements (M.iii.62f.); the birthplace of "noble men" (DhA.iii.248); and the manner in which previous Buddhas kept the Fast-day (DhA.iii.246). To these should be added the conversations on numerous topics recorded in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta. Some of these questions - e.g., about earthquakes (D.ii.107ff.; A.iv.312ff.) and the different kinds of spirits present at the death of the Buddha (D.ii.139f.) - seem to have been put into Ānanda's mouth in order that they might be used as pegs on which to hang beliefs connected with them which were current among later-day Buddhists.

Not all the Suttas addressed to Ānanda are, however, the result of his questions. Sometimes he would repeat to the Buddha conversations he had had with others and talks he had overheard, and the Buddha would expound in detail the topics occurring therein.

Thus, for instance, a conversation with Pasenadi Kosala on Kalyānamittatā is repeated and the Buddha explains its importance (S.i.87-9; v.2-3) ; Ānanda tells the Buddha about his visit to the Paribbajakārāma in Kosambi and what he there heard about a bhikkhu being called niddasa after twelve years of celibacy. The Buddha thereupon expounds the seven niddasavatthu (A.iv.37ff.). The account conveyed by Ānanda of Udāyī preaching to a large crowd leads to an exposition of the difficulties of addressing large assemblies and the qualities needed to please them (A.iii.184). A conversation between Udāyī and the carpenter Pañcakanga on feelings is overheard by Ānanda and reported to the Buddha, who gives a detailed explanation of his views on the subject (S.iv.222f.; M.i.397f.). The same thing happens when Ānanda mentions to the Buddha talks he had heard between Sāriputta and the Pāribbājakas (S.ii.35-7) and between the same Elder and Bhūmiya (S.ii.39-41). Sometimes - as in the case of the upāsikā Migasālā (A.iii.347; v.137) - Ānanda would answer questions put to him as best he could, and seek the Buddha's advice and corrections of his interpretation of the Doctrine.

When the monks asked Ānanda whether the Buddha's predictions regarding the results of Devadatta's crimes were based on actual knowledge, he furnished them with no answer at all until he had consulted the Buddha (A.iii.402). Similarly, when Tapussa questions him as to why household life is not attractive to laymen, Ānanda takes him straight away to the Buddha, who is spending his siesta in the Mahāvana in Uruvelakappa (A.iv.438f.). Once Ānanda fancies that he knows all about causation, and tells the Buddha how glad he is that he should understand this difficult subject. The Buddha points out to him that he really knows very little about it and preaches to him the Mahānidāna Sutta (D.ii.55ff.; S.ii.92-3).

When Ānanda realises that the Buddha will die in a short while, with childlike simplicity, he requests the Buddha to make a last pronouncement regarding the Order (D.ii.98 ff.; S.v.152-4).

On several occasions it is news that Ānanda brings to the Buddha - e.g., about the death of the Nigantha Nātaputta, and about Devadatta's plots, already mentioned - which provoke the Buddha to preach to him: Phagguna has died, and at his death his senses seemed very clear; so they would, says the Buddha, and proceeds to speak of the advantages of listening to the Dhamma in due season (A.iii.381f.). Or again, Girimānanda is ill and would the Buddha go and see him? The Buddha suggests that Ānanda should go and tell Girimānanda about the ten kinds of saññā (aniccasññā, etc.), and the patient will recover (A.v.108f.). Ānanda desires to retire into solitude and develop zeal and energy; would the Buddha tell him on which topics to meditate? And the Buddha preaches to him the doctrine of impermanence (S.iii.187; iv.54-5).

The Buddha, however, often preached to Ānanda without any such provocation on various topics - e.g., on the nature of the sahkhāra (S.iii.3740); on the impossibility of the monk without faith attaining eminence in the sāsana (A.v.152ff.); on the power the Buddha has of knowing which doctrines would appeal to different people and of preaching accordingly (A.v.36f.); on immorality and its consequences (A.i.50f.); on the admonitions that should be addressed to new entrants to the Order (A.iii.138f.); on the advice which should be given to friends by those desiring their welfare (A.i.222).

The various topics on which the Buddha discoursed to Ānanda as recorded in the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta, have already been referred to. Some of them - e.g., on the eight assemblies, the eight positions of mastery, the eight stages of deliverance (D.ii.112) - seem to be stereotyped later additions. On the other hand, with regard to the accounts of the honours to be paid to a Buddha's dead body, the places of pilgrimage for the pious, and various other similar subjects, it is impossible to say how far they are authentic. In a few instances the remarks addressed to Ānanda seem to be meant for others, to be heard by them or to be conveyed to them - e.g., in the dispute between Udāyī and Sāriputta, when they both seek the Buddha for him to settle the differences in opinion between them (A.iii.192ff.); or, again, when the recalcitrant Udāyī fails to answer the Buddha's question on subjects of reflection (anussatitthāna), and Ānanda gives an answer which the Buddha approves (A.iii.322ff.). A question asked by Ānanda as to whether there are any scents which spread even against the wind, results in the well-known sermon about the fame of the holy man being wafted everywhere (A.i.222f.; DhA.i.420ff.). Once or twice Ānanda intervenes in a discussion between the Buddha and another, either to ask a question or to suggest a simile which he feels could help the Buddha in establishing his point - e.g., in the interviews of Uttiya Paribbājaka (A.v.194), of the brahmin Sangārava (A.i.169), and again of Vidūdabha, son of Pasenadi (M.ii.130).

In the Mahā Mālunkyā Sutta (M.i.433), it is Ānanda's intervention which evokes the discourse on the Five Fetters. Similarly he intervenes in a discussion between the Buddha and Pārāsariya's pupil, Uttara, and persuades the Buddha to preach the Indriyabhāvanā Sutta on the cultivation of the Faculties (M.iii.298ff.).

Buddhaghosa gives a list of the discourses which bring out the eminence and skill of Ānanda; they are the Sekha, Bāhitiya, Ānañjasappāya, Gopaka-Moggallāna, Bahudhātuka, Cūlasuññata, Mahāsuññata, Acchariyabbhuta, Bhaddekaratta, Mahānidā-na, Mahāparinibbāna, Subha and Cūlaniyalokadhātu. (For particulars of these see under the respective names.) The books give accounts of several conversations between Ānanda and his eminent colleagues, such as Sāriputta. See also his conversation with Musīla, and Savittha and Nārada at Kosambī in the Ghositārāma (S.ii.113f.). He seems to have felt happy in their company and did not hesitate to take to them his difficulties; thus we find him asking Sāriputta why only certain beings in this world reach parinibbāna (A.ii.167); on another occasion he asks Sāriputta about the possibilities of samādhi (A.v.8). On the other hand, at least twice (A.iii.201f.; 361f.), when Ānanda asks his questions of Sāriputta, the latter suggests that Ānanda himself should find the answer, and having heard it, Sāriputta praises him highly and extols his abilities.

Ānanda's special friends seem to have been Sāriputta, Moggallāna, Mahā Kassapa, Anuruddha and Kankhā Revata (E.g., M.i.212f). He was the Sangha-navaka among them all, yet they held him in high esteem (MA.i.436). Ānanda and Sāriputta were very special friends. It is said that Sāriputta loved Ānanda because the latter did for the Buddha what Sāriputta would wish to have done himself, and Ānanda respected Sāriputta because he was the Buddha's chief disciple. Young men who were ordained by either of them would be sent to the other to learn under him. They shared between them any good thing given to them. Once Ānanda was presented by a brahmin with a costly robe; immediately he wished to give it to Sāriputta, but as the latter was away at the time, he obtained the Buddha's permission to keep it for him till his return (Vin.i.289; Sp.iii.636-7; MA.i.436).

The Samyutta Nikāya (i.63-4) contains an eulogy on Sāriputta by Ānanda, where the latter speaks of his comprehensive and manifold wisdom, joyous and swift, of his rampant energy and readiness to accept advice. When he hears of Sāriputta's death from Cunda the Samanuddesa, he goes to the Buddha with Cunda (not wishing to break the news himself) and they take with them Sāriputta's bowl and outer robe, Cunda carrying the ashes, and there Ānanda confesses to the Buddha that when he heard the news he felt as thought his body were drugged, his senses confused and his mind become a blank (S.v.161; Thag.vers.1034-5). The Commentary adds (SA.i.180) that Ānanda was trembling "like a cock escaping from the mouth of a cat."

That Mahā Kassapa was fond of Ānanda, we may gather from the fact that it was he who contrived to have him elected on the First Council, and when Mahā Kassapa heard of Ānanda's attainment of arahantship, it was he who led the applause (DA.i.11). Ānanda held him in the highest veneration, and on one occasion refused to take part in an upasampadā ordination because he would have to pronounce Kassapa's name and did not consider this respectful towards the Elder (Vin.i.92). In their conversations, Kassapa addresses Ānanda as "āvuso", Ānanda addresses Kassapa as "bhante." There is an interview recorded between them in which Kassapa roundly abuses Ānanda, calling him- corn-trampler" and "despoiler of families," and he ends by up saying , this boy does not know his own measure." Ānanda had been touring Dahkhinagiri with a large company of monks, mostly youths, and the latter had not brought much credit upon them selves. When Kassapa sees Ānanda on his return to Rājagaha, he puts on him the whole blame for the youths' want of training. Ānanda winces at being called "boy"; , my head is growing grey hairs, your reverence, yet I am not vexed that you should call me 'boy' even at this time of day." Thullanandā heard of this incident and showed great annoyance. "How dare Mahā Kassapa," she says, "who was once a heretical teacher, chide the sage Ānanda, calling him 'boy'?" Mahā Kassapa complains to Ānanda of Thullanandā's behaviour; probably, though we are not told so, Ānanda apologised to him on her behalf (S.ii.217ff).

On another occasion, Ānanda, after a great deal of persuasion, took Kassapa to a settlement of the nuns. There Kassapa preached to them, but the nun Thullatissā was not pleased and gave vent publicly to her displeasure. "How does Kassapa think it fit to preach the doctrine in the presence of the learned sage Ānanda? It is as if the needle-pedlar were to deem he could sell a needle to the needle-maker." Kassapa is incensed at these words, but Ānanda appeases him by acknowledging that he (Kassapa) is in every way his superior and asks him to pardon Tissa. "Be indulgent, your reverence," says he, "women are foolish." S.ii.215ff.; the Tibetans say that when Kassapa died, Ajātasattu was very grieved because he had not been able to see the monk's body. Ānanda took the king to the mountain where it had been buried and showed it to him (Rockhill, op. cit., p.162 and n.2).

In this passage Ānanda is spoken of as Vedehamuni. The Commentary (SA.ii.132) explains it by panditamuni, and says further, pandito hi ñānasankhātena vedena īhati sabbakiccāni karoti, tasmā vedeho ti vuccati ; vedeho ca so muni cā ti vedehamuni. Compare with this the derivation of Vedehiputta in connection with Ajātasattu. See also Vedehikā. The Mtu. (iii.176-7) says that when the Buddha went away from home Ānanda wished to join him, but his mother was unwilling, because his brother, Devadatta, had already gone away. Ānanda therefore went to the Videha country and became a muni. Is this another explanation of the term Vedehamuni?

It was perhaps Ānanda's championship of the women's cause which made him popular with the nuns and earned for him a reputation rivalling, as was mentioned above, even that of Mahā Kassapa. When Pajāpatī Gotamī, with a number of Sākyan women, undaunted by the Buddha's refusal of their request at Kapilavatthu, followed him into Vesāli and there beseeched his consent for women to enter the Order, the Buddha would not change his mind.

Ānanda found the women dejected and weeping, with swollen feet, standing outside the Kūtāgārasālā. Having learnt what had happened, he asked the Buddha to grant their request. Three times he asked and three times the Buddha refused. Then he changed his tactics. He inquired of the Buddha if women were at all capable of attaining the Fruits of the Path. The answer was in the affirmative, and Ānanda pushed home the advantage thus gained. In the end the Buddha allowed women to enter the Order subject to certain conditions. They expressed their great gratitude to Ānanda (Vin.ii.253ff. Ānanda is again found as intermediary for Pajāpatī Gotamī in M.iii.253f). In this connection, the Buddha is reported as having said (Vin.ii.256) that had Ānanda not persuaded him to give his consent to the admission of women to the Order, the Sāsana would have lasted a thousand years, but now it would last only five hundred.

This championing of the women's cause was also one of the charges brought against Ānanda by his colleagues at the end of the First Council. (See below.)

Perhaps it was this solicitude for their privileges that prompted him to ask the Buddha one day why it was that women did not sit in public assemblies (e.g. courts of justice), or embark on business, or reap the full fruit of their actions (A.ii.82. See also GS.ii.92, n.2, on the interpretation of the last word).

That Ānanda was in the habit of preaching frequently to the nuns is evident from the incidents quoted above and also from other passages (E.g., S.v.154ff.; Thag.v.1020; ThagA.ii.129). He seems also to have been in charge of the arrangements for sending preachers regularly to the nuns. A passage in the Samyutta Commentary (i.210) seems to indicate that Ānanda was a popular preacher among laywomen as well.

They would stand round him when he preached, fanning him and asking him questions on the Dhamma. When he went to Kosambī to impose the higher penalty on Channa, the women of King Udena's harem, hearing of his presence in the park, came to him and listened to his preaching. So impressed were they that they gave him five hundred robes (Vin.ii.290). It was on this occasion that Ānanda convinced Udena of the conscientiousness with which the Sākyaputta monks used everything which was given to them, wasting nothing. The king, pleased with Ānanda, gave him another five hundred robes, all of which he distributed among the community.

Ananda had been a tailor in a past birth and had given a Pacceka Buddha a piece of cloth, the size of his hand, and a needle. Because of the gift of the needle he was wise, because of the cloth he got 500 robes (AA.i.239).

A similar story is related of the women of Pasenadi's palace and their gift to Ānanda. The king was at first angry, but afterwards gave Ānanda one thousand robes (J.ii.24ff).

The Dhammapada Commentary (i.382ff ) says that once Pasenadi asked the Buddha to go regularly to the palace with five hundred monks and preach the Law to his queens Mallikā and Vāsabhakhattiyā and to the other women in the palace. When the Buddha said that it was impossible for him to go regularly to one place he was asked to send a monk, and the duty was assigned to Ānanda. He therefore went to the palace at stated times and instructed the queens. Mallikā was found to be a good student, but not so Vāsabhakhattiyā.

The Jātaka Commentary (i.382) says that the women of the palace were themselves asked which of the eighty chief disciples they would have as their preacher and they unanimously chose Ānanda. For an incident connected with Ānanda's visits to the palace see the Mahāsāra Jātaka and also Pasenadi.

According to the Anguttara Commentary (ii.533) Ānanda was beautiful to look at.

Ānanda's services seem often to have been sought for consoling the sick. Thus we find Anāthapindika sending for him when he lay ill (M.iii.258), and also Sirivaddha (S.v.176f) and Mānadinna (S.v.177f). He is elsewhere mentioned as helping the Buddha to wait on a sick monk (Vin.i.302). We are told that when the Buddha had his afternoon siesta, Ānanda would spend his time in waiting upon the sick and talking to them (Sp.iii.651). Ānanda was never too busy to show gratitude to his friends. When a certain crow-keeper's family, members of which had been of special service to him, had been destroyed by a pestilence, leaving only two very young boys, he obtained the Buddha's special permission to ordain them and look after them, though they were under the requisite age. (Vin.i.79; to a young monk who used to wait on him and do various services for him, Ānanda gave five hundred robes presented to him by Pasenadi; the monk distributed them to his colleagues).

When Ānanda discovered that his friend Roja and Malla had no real faith in the Buddha, he was greatly grieved and interceded on his special behalf with the Buddha that he should make Roja a believer. Later he obtained the Buddha's permission for Roja to offer a meal of potherbs (Vin.i.247-9). In another place we find Roja presenting Ānanda with a linen cloth (Vin.i.296). According to the Jātakatthakathā (ii.231) Roja once tried to persuade Ānanda to go back to the lay-life.

His sympathy is also shown in the story of the woman who asked to have a share in the Vihāra built by Visākhā. She brought a costly carpet, but could find no place in which to put it; it looked so poor beside the other furnishings. Ānanda helped her in her disappointment (DhA.i.415f).

Once in Jetavana, in an assembly of monks, the Buddha spoke the praises of Ānanda, and ranked him the foremost bhikkhu in five respects: erudition, good behaviour (gatimantānam, power of walking, according to Dhammapāla), retentive memory, resoluteness and personal attention (A.i.24f). Again, shortly before the Buddha's death, he speaks affectionately of Ānanda (D.ii.144-5; A.ii.132; A.v.229; SA.ii.94f ); Ānanda knew the right time to bring visitors to the Tathāgata; he had four exceptional qualities, in that whoever came to see him, monks or nuns, laymen or laywomen, they were all filled with joy on beholding him; when he preached to them they listened with rapture and delight, which never tired. He was called Ānanda because he brought joy to his kinsmen (ThagA.ii.123).

But see the story of Atula (DhA.iii.327), who is not satisfied with Ānanda's preaching.

Another proof of the Buddha's esteem for Ānanda is the incident of his asking Ānanda to design a robe for the monks to be in pattern like a field in Magadha (Vin.i.287).

In spite of Ānanda having been the constant companion of the Buddha - probably because of that very fact - it was not until after the Buddha's parinibbāna that Ānanda was able to realise Arahantship. Buddhaghosa gives a long account of Ānanda's struggle for final emancipation (DA.i.9ff.); see also Vin.ii.286. Though he was not an arahant he had the patisambhidā, being among the few who possessed this qualification while yet learners (Sekhā) ( VibhA.388). When it was decided by Mahā Kassapa and others that a Convocation should be held to systematise the Buddha's teachings, five hundred monks were chosen as delegates, among them, Ānanda. He was, however, the only non-arahant (sekha) among them, and he had been enjoined by his colleagues to put forth great effort and repair this disqualification. At length, when the convocation assembled, a vacant seat had to be left for him. It had not been until late the previous night that, after a final supreme effort, he had attained the goal. He had been occupied in consoling the laity after the Buddha's death and had had no time for practising meditation. In the end it was a devatā in the woodland grove in Kosala, where he was staying, who pointed out the urgency of the matter (S.i.199-200); but see ThagA.i.237, where the credit for this is given to a Vajjiputta thera.

It is said that he won sixfold abhiññā when he was just lying down to sleep, his head hardly on the pillow, his feet hardly off the ground. He is therefore described as having become an arahant in none of the four postures. When he appeared in the convocation, Mahā Kassapa welcomed him warmly and shouted three times for joy. According to the Majjhimabhānakā, says Buddhaghosa, Ānanda appeared on his seat while the others looked on, having come through the earth; according to others he came through the air. According to ThagA.ii.130, it was a Brahmā of the Suddhāvāsa who announced Ānanda's attainment of arahantship to his colleagues at the Convocation.

In the convocation, Ānanda was appointed to answer Mahā Kassapa's questions, and to co-operate with him in rehearsing the Dhamma (as opposed to the Vinaya).

Ānanda came to be known as Dhammabhandāgārika, owing to his skill in remembering the word of the Buddha; it is said that he could remember everything spoken by the Buddha, from one to sixty thousand words in the right order; and without missing one single syllable (ThagA.ii.134).

In the first four Nikāyas of the Sutta Pitaka, every sutta begins with the words "Thus have I heard," the "I" referring to Ānanda. It is not stated that Ānanda was present at the preaching by the Buddha of every sutta, though he was present at most; others, the Buddha repeated to him afterwards, in accordance with the conditions under which he had become the Buddha's attendant.

We are told that Ānanda had learnt eighty-two thousand dhamma (topics) from the Buddha himself and two thousand from his colleagues (Thag.v.1024). He had also a reputation for fast talking; where an ordinary man could speak one word Ānanda could speak eight; the Buddha could speak sixteen words for each one word of Ānanda (MA.i.283). Ānanda could remember anything he had once heard up to fifteen thousand stanzas of sixty thousand lines (MA.i.501).

Ānanda lived to be very old (one hundred and twenty years, says DhA.ii.99; he is bracketed with Bakkula, as having lived to a great age, AA.ii.596); a hymn of praise sung at his death is included at the end of the stanzas attributed to him in the Theragāthā (Vers.1047-9). That the Buddha's death was a great blow to him is shown by the stanzas he uttered immediately after the event (D.ii.157). Three months earlier he had heard for the first time that death of the Buddha was near at hand and had besought him to live longer. The reply attributed to the Buddha is a curious one, namely, that on several previous occasions, at Rājagaha and at Vesālī (See, e.g., D.102f), he had mentioned to Ānanda that he could, if he so desired, live for a whole kappa, and had hinted that Ānanda should, if he felt so inclined, request him to prolong his life. Ānanda, however, having failed to take the hint on these occasions, the opportunity was now past, and the Buddha must die; the fault was entirely Ānanda's (Ibid., 114-18). It was when Ānanda was temporarily absent from the Buddha's side that the Buddha had assured Māra that he would die in three months (Ibid., 105-6).

As the end approached, the Buddha noticed that Ānanda was not by his side; on enquiry he learnt that Ānanda was outside, weeping and filled with despair at the thought that the Master would soon be no more, and that he (Ānanda) would have to work out his perfection unaided. The Buddha sent for him and consoled him by pointing out that whatever is born must, by its very nature, be dissolved. Three times he said, "For a long time, Ānanda, you have been very near to me by acts of love, kind and good, never varying, beyond all measure," and he exhorted him to be earnest in effort, for he would soon realise emancipation. (Ibid., 144). It was on this occasion that the Palāsa Jātaka was preached (J.iii.23ff.).

Once, earlier, when Udāyi had teased Ānanda for not having benefited from his close association with the personality of the Master, the Buddha had defended Ānanda, saying, "Say not so, Udāyi; should he die without attaining perfect freedom from passion, by virtue of his piety, he would seven times win rule over the devas and seven times be King of Jambudīpa. Howbeit, in this very life shall Ānanda attain to Nibbāna. A.i.228.

Ānanda did his best to persuade the Buddha to die in one of the great cities, such as Rājagaha or Sāvatthi, and not in Kusinārā, the little wattle-and-daub town (as he called it) in the middle of the jungle. He was not satisfied until the Buddha had revealed to him the past history of Kusinārā, how it had once been Kusāvatī, the royal capital of the mighty Mahā Sudassana (D.ii.146).

Just before the Buddha died, Ānanda was commissioned to inform the Mallas of the impending event, and after the Buddha's death, Anuruddha entrusted him, with the help of the Mallas of Kusināāa, with all the arrangements for the funeral (D.ii.158ff). Ānanda had earlier (D.ii.141f) learnt from the Buddha how the remains of a Tathāgata should be treated, and now he was to benefit by the instruction.

At the end of the First Council, the duty of handing down unimpaired the Digha Nikāya through his disciples was entrusted to Ānanda (DA.i.15). He was also charged with the duty of conveying to Channa the news that the higher penalty (brahmadanda) had been inflicted on him by the Sangha. Ānanda had been deputed by the Buddha himself to carry out this, his last administrative act (D.ii.154), but Ānanda, not wishing to undertake the responsibility alone (knowing that Channa had a reputation for roughness), was granted a number of companions, with whom he visited Channa. The latter expressed repentance and was pardoned (Vin.ii.290-2). Perhaps it was because both the Buddha and Ānanda's colleagues knew of his power to settle disputes that he was chosen for this delicate task. See S.ii.235f., where the Buddha classes him with Sāriputta and Moggallāna for his ability to settle disputes among the monks.

Ānanda's popularity, however, did not save him from the recriminations of his fellows for some of his actions, which, in their eyes, constituted offences. Thus he was charged (Vin.ii.288-9) with: (1) having failed to find out from the Buddha which were the lesser and minor precepts which the Sangha were allowed to revoke if they thought fit (See D.ii.154); (2) with having stepped on the Buddha's rainy-season garment when sewing it; (3) with having allowed the Buddha's body to be first saluted by women (not mentioned elsewhere, but see Rockhill, op. cit., p.154); (4) with having omitted to ask the Buddha to live on for the space of a kappa (D.ii.115); and (5) with having exerted himself to procure the admission of women into the Order (Vin.ii.253).

Ānanda's reply was that he himself saw no fault in any of these acts, but that he would confess them as faults out of faith in his colleagues.

On another occasion he was found fault with (1) for having gone into the village to beg for alms, clothed in his waist-cloth and nether garment (Vin.i.298); (2) for having worn light garments which were blown about by the wind (Vin.ii.136).

The last years of his life, Ānanda seems to have spent in teaching and preaching and in encouraging his younger colleagues. Among those who held discussions with him after the Buddha's passing away are mentioned Dasama of the Atthakanagara (M.i.349f), Gopaka Moggallāna (M.iii.7; Thag.ver.1024) and Subha Todeyyaputta (D.i.204ff).

The Pāli Canon makes no mention of Ānanda's death. Fa Hsien (Giles trans. 44. The story also occurs in DhA.ii.99ff., with several variations in detail), however, relates what was probably an old tradition. When Ānanda was on his way from Magadha to Vesāli, there to die, Ajātasattu heard that he was coming, and, with his retinue, followed him up to the Rohini River. The chiefs of Vesali also heard the news and went out to meet him, and both parties reached the river banks. Ānanda, not wishing to incur the displeasure of either party, entered into the state of tejokasina in the middle of the river and his body went up in flames. His remains were divided into two portions, one for each party, and they built cetiyas for their enshrinement (See also Rockhill, op. cit., 165f).

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha Ānanda had been the son of Ānanda, King of Hamsavatī, and was therefore a step-brother of Padumuttara. His name was Sumana. King Ānanda allowed no one but himself to wait on the Buddha. Prince Sumana having quelled an insurrection of the frontier provinces, the king offered him a boon as reward, and he asked to be allowed to entertain the Buddha and his monks for three months. With great reluctance the king agreed, provided the Buddha's consent was obtained. When Sumana went to the vihāra to obtain this, he was greatly impressed by the loyalty and devotion of the Buddha's personal attendant, the monk Sumana, and by his iddhi-powers. Having learnt from the Buddha that these were the result of good deeds, he himself determined to lead a pious life. For the Buddha's residence Prince Sumana bought a pleasaunce named Sobhana from a householder of that same name and built therein a monastery costing one hundred thousand. On the way from the capital to Sobhana Park he built vihāras, at distances of a league from each other. When all preparations were completed, the Buddha went to Sobhana with one hundred thousand monks, stopping at each vihāra on the way. At the festival of dedication of the Sobhana Vihāra, Sumana expressed a wish to become a personal attendant of a future Buddha, just as Sumana was of Padumuttara. Towards this end he did many good deeds. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he gave his upper garment to a monk for him to carry his begging-bowl in it. Later he was born in heaven and again as King of Benares. He built for eight Pacceka Buddhas eight monasteries in his royal park (ThagA.ii.121ff) and for ten thousand years he looked after them. The Apadāna mentions (i.52f) that he became ruler of heaven thirty-four times and king of men fifty-eight times.


A banker (setthi) of Sāvatthi who became famous because of his unparalleled generosity to the Buddha. His first meeting with the Buddha was during the first year after the Enlightenment, in Rājagaha (the story is given in Vin.ii.154ff; SA.i.240ff, etc.), whither Anāthapindika had come on business.

His wife was the sister of the setthi of Rājagaha, and when he arrived he found the setthi preparing a meal for the Buddha and his monks on so splendid a scale that he thought that a wedding was in progress or that the king had been invited. On learning the truth he became eager to visit the Buddha, and did so very early the next morning (Vin.ii.155-6). He was so excited by the thought of the visit that he got up three times during the night. When, at last, he started for Sītavana, the road was quite dark, but a friendly Yakkha, Sīvaka, sped him on with words of encouragement. By force of his piety the darkness vanished.

The Buddha was staying in the Sītavana, and when Anāthapindika reached there spirits opened the door for him. He found the Buddha walking up and down, meditating in the cool air of the early dawn. The Buddha greeted him and talked to him on various aspects of his teaching. Anāthapindika was immediately converted and became a Sotāpanna. He invited the Buddha to a meal the next day, providing everything himself, although the setthi, the Mayor of Rājagaha and King Bimbisāra asked to be allowed to help. After the meal, which he served to the Buddha with his own hand, he invited the Buddha to spend the rainy season at Sāvatthi, and the Buddha accepted, saying "the Tathāgatas, o householder, take pleasure in solitude." "I understand, o Blessed One, I understand," was the reply.

When Anāthapindika had finished his business at Rājagaha he set out towards Sāvatthi, giving orders along the way to his friends and acquaintances to prepare dwellings, parks, rest-houses and gifts all along the road to Sāvatthi in preparation for the Buddha's visit. He had many friends and acquaintances and he was ādeyyavaco (his word was held to be of weight), loc. cit., p.158. But see J.i.92, where it is said that Anāthapindika bore all the expenses of these preparations. Vihāras were built costing l,000 pieces each, a yojana apart from each other.

Understanding the request implied in the Buddha's words when he accepted the invitation, Anāthapindika looked out for a quiet spot near Sāvatthi where the Buddha and the monks might dwell, and his eye fell on the park of Jetakumāra. He bought the park at great expense and erected therein the famous Jetavanārāma. As a result of this and of his numerous other benefactions in the cause of the Sāsana, Anāthapindika came to be recognised as the chief of alms-givers (A.i.25).

Anāthapindika's personal name was Sudatta, but he was always called Anāthapindika (AA.i.208; MA.i.50) (feeder of the destitute) because of his munificence; he was, however, very pleased when the Buddha addressed him by his own name (Vin.ii.156). He spent eighteen crores on the purchase of Jetavana and a like sum on the construction of the vihāra; another eighteen crores were spent in the festival of dedication. He fed one hundred monks in his house daily in addition to meals provided for guests, people of the village, invalids, etc. Five hundred seats were always ready in his house for any guests who might come (AA.i.208-9. He fed 1,000 monks daily says DhA.i.128; but see J.iii.119, where a monk, who had come from far away and had missed the meal hour, had to starve.).

Anāthapindika's father was the setthi Sumana (AA. loc. cit). The name of Anāthapindika's brother was Subhūti.

Anāthapindika married a lady called Puññalakkhanā (J.ii.410; J.iii.435, she was the sister of the setthi of Rājagaha. SA.i.240); he had a son Kāla and three daughters, Mahā-Subhaddā, Cūla-Subhaddā and Sumanā. (Besides Kāla, Anāthapindika had another son, who joined the Order under Subhūti Thera; AA.ii.865). Mention is also made of a daughter-in law, Sujātā by name, daughter of Dhanañjaya and the youngest sister of Visākhā. She was very haughty and ill-treated the servants (J.ii.347).

The son, in spite of his father's efforts, showed no piety until he was finally bribed to go to the vihāra and listen to the Buddha's preaching (see Kāla). The daughters, on the other hand, were most dutiful and helped their father in ministering to the monks. The two elder ones attained to the First Fruit of the Path, married, and went to live with the families of their husbands. Sumanā obtained the Second Fruit of the Path, but remained unmarried. Overwhelmed with disappointment because of her failure in finding a husband, she refused to eat and died; she was reborn in Tusita (DhA.i.128f).

The Bhadraghata Jātaka (J.ii.431) tells us of a nephew of Anāthapindika who squandered his inheritance of forty crores. His uncle gave him first one thousand and then another five hundred with which to trade. This also he squandered. Anāthapindika then gave him two garments. On applying for further help the man was taken by the neck and pushed out of doors. A little later he was found dead by a side wall.

The books also mention a girl, Punnā, who was a slave in Anāthapindika's household. On one occasion when the Buddha was starting on one of his periodical tours from Jetavana, the king, Anāthapindika, and other eminent patrons failed to stop him; Punnā, however, succeeded, and in recognition of this service Anāthapindika adopted her as his daughter (MA.i.347-8). On uposatha days his whole household kept the fast; on all occasions they kept the pañcasīla inviolate (J.iii.257).

A story is told of one of his labourers who had forgotten the day and gone to work; but remembering later, he insisted on keeping the fast and died of starvation. He was reborn as a deva (MA.i.540-1).

Anāthapindika had a business village in Kāsi and the superintendent of the village had orders to feed any monks who came there (Vin.iv.162f). One of his servants bore the inauspicious name of Kālakanni (curse); he and the banker had been playmates as children, and Kālakanni, having fallen on evil days, entered the banker's service. The latter's friends protested against his having a man with so unfortunate a name in his household, but he refused to listen to them. One day when Anāthapindika was away from home on business, burglars came to rob his house, but Kālakanni with great presence of mind drove them away (J.i.364f).

A similar story is related of another friend of his who was also in his service (J.i.441).

All his servants, however, were not so intelligent. A slave woman of his, seeing that a fly had settled on her mother, hit her with a pestle in order to drive it away, and killed her (J.i.248f).

A slave girl of his borrowed an ornament from his wife and went with her companions to the pleasure garden. There she became friendly with a man who evidently desired to rob her of her ornaments. On discovering his intentions, she pushed him into a well and killed him with a stone (J.iii.435).

The story of Anāthapindika's cowherd, Nanda, is given elsewhere.

All the banker's friends were not virtuous; one of them kept a tavern (J.i.251). As a result of Anāthapindika's selfless generosity he was gradually reduced to poverty. But he continued his gifts even when he had only bird-seed and sour gruel. The devata who dwelt over his gate appeared before him one night and warned him of his approaching penury; it is said that every time the Buddha or his monks came to the house she had to leave her abode over the gate and that this was inconvenient to her and caused her to be jealous. Anāthapindika paid no attention to her warnings and asked her to leave the house. She left with her children, but could find no other lodging and sought counsel from various gods, including Sakka. Sakka advised her to recover for Anāthapindika the eighteen crores that debtors owed him, another eighteen that lay in the bottom of the sea, and yet eighteen more lying unclaimed. She did so and was readmitted (DhA.iii.10ff; J.i.227ff).

Anāthapindika went regularly to see the Buddha twice a day, sometimes with many friends (J.i.95ff.; he went three times says J.i.226), and always taking with him alms for the young novices. But we are told that he never asked a question of the Buddha lest he should weary him. He did not wish the Buddha to feel obliged to preach to him in return for his munificence (DhA.i.3). But the Buddha of his own accord preached to him on various occasions; several such sermons are mentioned in the Anguttara Nikāya:

- on the importance of having a well-guarded mind like a well-protected gable in a house (A.i.261f);

- on the benefits the recipient of food obtains (life, beauty, happiness, strength);

- on the four obligations that make up the pious householder's path of duty (gihisāmikiccāni - waiting on the Order with robes, food, lodgings, medical requirements. Referred to also in S.v.387, where Anāthapindika expresses his satisfaction that he had never failed in these obligations);

- on the four conditions of success that are hard to win (wealth gotten by lawful means, good report, longevity, happy rebirth);

- on the four kinds of happiness which a householder should seek (ownership, wealth, debtless ness, blamelessness) (these various tetrads are given in A.ii.64ff).

- on the five kinds of enjoyment which result from wealth rightfully obtained (enjoyment - experienced by oneself and by one's friends and relations, security in times of need, ability to pay taxes and to spend on one's religion, the giving of alms to bring about a happy rebirth, A.iii.45-6);

- the five things which are very desirable but difficult to obtain (long life, beauty, happiness, glory, good condition of rebirths, A.iii.47-8);

- the five sinful acts that justify a man's being called wicked (hurting of life, etc. A.iii.204);

- the inadvisability of being satisfied with providing requisites for monks without asking oneself if one also experiences the joy that is born of ease of mind (evidently a gentle warning to Anāthapindika, A.iii.206-7).

The Buddha preached the Velāma Sutta to encourage Anāthapindika when he had been reduced to poverty and felt disappointed that he could no longer provide luxuries for the monks (A.iv.392ff). On another occasion the Buddha tells Anāthapindika that the Sotāpanna is a happy man because he is free from various fears: fear of being born in hell, among beasts, in the realm of Peta or in some other unhappy state; he is assured of reaching Enlightenment (A.iv.405f, also S.v.387f).

Elsewhere the Buddha tells Anāthapindika that it is not every rich man who knows how to indulge in the pleasures of sense legitimately and profitably (A.v.177ff).

There is, however, at least one sutta preached as a result of a question put by Anāthapindika himself regarding gifts and those who are worthy to receive them (A.i.62-3); and we also find him consulting the Buddha regarding the marriage of his daughter, Cola Subhaddā (DhA.iii.466).

Anāthapindika died before the Buddha. As he lay grievously ill he sent a special message to Sāriputta asking him to come (again, probably, because he did not want to trouble the Buddha). Sāriputta went with Ananda and preached to him the Anāthapindikovāda Sutta (M.iii.258f.; see also S.v.380-7, which contain accounts of incidents connected with this visit). His pains left him as he concentrated his mind on the virtuous life he had led and the many acts of piety he had done. Later he fed the Elders with food from his own cooking-pot, but quite soon afterwards he died and was born in the Tusita heaven. That same night he visited the Buddha at Jetavana and uttered a song of praise of Jetavana and of Sāriputta who lived there, admonishing others to follow the Buddha's teaching. In heaven he will live as long as Visākhā and Sakka (DA.iii.740).

Various incidents connected with Anāthapindika are to be found in the Jātakas. On one occasion his services were requisitioned to hold an inquiry on a bhikkhuni who had become pregnant (J.i.148).

Once when the Buddha went on tour from Jetavana, Anāthapindika was perturbed because there was no one left for him to worship; at the Buddha's suggestion, an offshoot from the Bodhi tree at Gaya was planted at the entrance to Jetavana (J.iv.229).

Once a brahmin, hearing of Anāthapindika's luck, comes to him in order to find out where this luck lay so that he may obtain it. The brahmin discovers that it lay in the comb of a white cock belonging to Anāthapindika; he asks for the cock and it is given to him, but the luck flies away elsewhere, settling first in a pillow, then in a jewel, a club, and, finally, in the head of Anāthapindika's wife. The brahmin's desire is thus frustrated (J.ii.410f).

On two occasions he was waylaid by rogues. Once they tried to make him drink drugged toddy. He was at first shocked by their impertinence, but, later, wishing to reform them, frightened them away (J.i.268).

On the other occasion, the robbers lay in wait for him as he returned from one of his villages; by hurrying back he escaped them (J.ii.413). Whenever Anāthapindika visited the Buddha, he was in the habit of relating to the Buddha various things which had come under his notice, and the Buddha would relate to him stories from the past containing similar incidents. Among the Jātakas so preached are: Apannaka, Khadirahgāra, Rohinī, Vārunī, Punnapāti, Kālakanni, Akataññū, Verī, Kusanāli, Siri, Bhadraghata, Visayha, Hiri, Sirikālakannī and Sulasā.

Anāthapindika was not only a shrewd business man but also a keen debater. The Anguttara Nikāya (A.v.185-9) records a visit he paid to the Paribbājakas when he could think of nothing better to do. A lively debate ensues regarding their views and the views of the Buddha as expounded by Anāthapindika. The latter silences his opponents. When the incident is reported to the Buddha, he speaks in high praise of Anāthapindika and expresses his admiration of the way in which he handled the discussion.

During the time of Padumattara Buddha Anāthapindika had been a householder of Hamsavatī. One day he heard the Buddha speak of a lay-disciple of his as being the chief of alms-givers. The householder resolved to be so designated himself in some future life and did many good deeds to that end. His wish was fulfilled in this present life. Anāthapindika is sometimes referred to as Mahā Anāthapindika to distinguish him from Cūla Anāthapindika.


He was the son of a very wealthy brahmin family of Donavatthu near Kapilavatthu and was born before the Buddha. He came to be called by his family name Kondañña. He was learned in the three Vedas, excelling in the science of physiognomy.

When the Buddha was born he was among the eight brahmins (the others being Rāma, Dhaja, Lakkhana, Mantī, Bhoja, Suyāma and Sudatta. In the Milinda (236), where the eight names are given, Kondañña appears as Yañña) sent for to prognosticate, and though he was yet quite a novice he declared definitely that the babe would be a Buddha. Thereafter he lived awaiting the Bodhisatta's renunciation. After this happened he left the world with four others, and the five later became known as the Pañcavaggiyā (J.i.65f.; AA.i.78-84; ThagA.ii.1ff). When, after the Enlightenment, the Buddha visited them at Isipatana and preached the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, Kondañña and eighteen crores of brahmas won the Fruit of the First Path. As he was the first among humans to realise the Dhamma the Buddha praised him saying "aññāsi vata bho Kondañño" twice; hence he came to be known as Aññata Kondañña. (Vin.i.12; UdA.324, 371; Mtu.iii.333).

It is interesting to note that in the Burmese MSS. the name appears as Aññāsi-Kondañña. The Cy. explains Aññāta-Kondañña by "pativedha Kondañña." In the ThagA. he is called Añña-Kondañña. Mrs. Rhys Davids suggests that Aññā was his personal name (Gotama the Man, p.102).

Five days later when the Anattalakhana Sutta was preached he became arahant (Vin.i.13-14). He was the first to be ordained with the formula "ehi, bhikkhu" and the first to receive higher ordination. Later, at Jetavana, amidst a large concourse of monks, the Buddha declared him to be the best of those who first comprehended the Dhamma (AA.i.84). He was also declared to be pre-eminent among disciples of long-standing (rattaññūnam) (A.i.23).

In the assembly of monks he sat behind the two chief disciples. Finding that his presence near the Buddha was becoming inconvenient to himself and others (For his reasons see AA.i.84; SA.i.216), he obtained the Buddha's permission to go and live on the banks of the Mandākini in the Chaddanta-vana, where he stayed for twelve years, only returning at the end of that period to obtain the Buddha's leave for his parinibbāna. The elephants in the forest took it in turns to bring him his food and to look after him. Having bidden farewell to the Buddha, he returned to Chaddanta-vana, where he passed away (SA.i.218; AA.i.84). We are told (SA.i.219) that all Himavā wept at his death. The obsequies were elaborately performed by eight thousand elephants with the deva Nāgadatta at their head. All the devas from the lowest to the highest brahma world took part in the ceremony, each deva contributing a piece of sandalwood. Five hundred monks, led by Anuruddha, were present. The relics were taken to Veluvana and handed over to the Buddha, who with his own hand deposited them in a silver cetiya which appeared from the earth. Buddhaghosa states that the cetiya existed even in his time (SA.i.219).

Several verses attributed to Kondañña are given in the Theragāthā, admonishing fellow celibates to lead the higher life, because everything is impermanent, bound to ill and void of soul (Thag.674-88).

On one occasion he preached to Sakka at the latter's own request; Sakka expressed himself as greatly pleased because the sermon was worthy even of the Buddha."

Vangisa once extolled his virtues in the presence of the Buddha (Thag.v.673; ThagA.ii.3).

In Padumuttara's time Kondañña had been a rich householder, and, seeing one of the monks given preference in seniority, he wished for a similar rank for himself in the future. Towards this end he did many acts of piety, one of them being to build a golden chamber over the Buddha's relics. In Vipassī's time was a householder, Mahākāla, and gave to the Buddha the first-fruits of his field in nine stages of their produce (ThagA.ii.1; DhA.i.80).

According to the Apadāna (i.48f.; The Divy 430 mentions another previous birth of Kondañña), he offered the first meal to Padumuttara after his Enlightenment.

Punna Mantānīputta was his nephew and was ordained by him. ThagA.i.37.

Mantānī was Aññāta-Kondañña's sister.


First cousin of the Buddha and one of his most eminent disciples. He was the son of the Sākyan Amitodana and brother of Mahānāma. When members of other Sākyan families had joined the Order of their distinguished kinsman, Mahānāma was grieved that none had gone forth from his own. He therefore suggested to his brother that one of them should leave household life. Anuruddha was at first reluctant to agree, for he had been reared most delicately and luxuriously, dwelling in a different house for each season, surrounded by dancers and mimes. But on hearing from Mahānāma of the endless round of household cares he agreed to go. He could not, however, get his mother's consent until he persuaded his cousin Bhaddiya to go with him. Together they went with Ananda, Bhagu, Kimbila, Devadatta and their barber Upāli, to the Blessed One at the Anupiya Mango Grove and were ordained. Before the rainy season was over Anuruddha acquired the dibbacakkhu (Vin.ii.180-3; Mtu.iii.177f), and he was later ranked foremost among those who had obtained this attainment (A.i.23).

He then received from Sāriputta, as topic of meditation, the eight thoughts of a great man. The list is given in A.iv.228ff. Another conversation he had with Sāriputta before becoming an arahant is reported in A.i.281-2. He went into the Pācīnavamsadāya in the Ceti country to practise these. He mastered seven, but could not learn the eighth. The Buddha, being aware of this, visited him and taught it to him. Thereupon Anuruddha developed insight and realised arahantship in the highest grade (A.iv. loc. cit.; AA.108-9; Thag.901).

Anuruddha appears in the Suttas as an affectionate and loyal comrade-bhikkhu, full of affection to his kinsman, the Buddha, who returned his love. In the assembly he stood near the Buddha (Bu.v.60). When the Buddha, disgusted with the quarrels of the Kosambī monks, went away to seek more congenial surroundings, it was to Pācīnavamsadāya that he repaired, where were Anuruddha, Nandiya and Kimbila. The Upakkilesa Sutta (M.iii.153f.), on the sweets of concord and freedom from blemish, seems to have been preached specially to Anuruddha on that occasion, for we are told at the end that he was pleased to have heard it, no mention being made of the other two. And again in the Nalakapāna Sutta (M.i.462ff.), though a large number of distinguished monks are present, it is to Anuruddha that the Buddha directly addresses his questions, and it is Anuruddha who answers on behalf of them all. See also the Cūla- and the Mahā-Gosinga Suttas.

Anuruddha was present when the Buddha died at Kusinārā, and knew the exact moment of his death; the verse he uttered on that occasion is thoughtful and shows philosophic calm, in contrast, for example, with that of Ananda. D.ii.156-7. On this see Oldenberg, Nachrichten der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, 1902, pp.168f.; and Przyluski JA. mai-juin, 1918, pp.486ff.

Anuruddha was foremost in consoling the monks and admonishing them as to their future course of action. It was Anuruddha again that the Mallas of Kusinārā consulted regarding the Buddha's last obsequies (D.ii.160f). Later, at the First Council, he played a prominent part and was entrusted with the custody of the Anguttara Nikāya (DA.i.15).

In one of the verses ascribed to Anuruddha in the Theragāthā (904; ThagA.ii.72) it is said that for twenty-five years he did not sleep at all, and that for the last thirty years of his life he slept only during the last watch of the night. The same source (Thag.908; also S.i.200) mentions an occasion where a goddess, Jālinī (ThagA.ii.73; this story is given in detail in SA.i.225-6), who had been his wife in a previous birth, seeing him grown old and grey with meditation, seeks to tempt him with the joys of heaven, but he tells her he has no need of such things, having attained to freedom from rebirth.

His death took place in Veluvagāma in the Vajji country, in the shade of a bamboo thicket. Thag.919. See also Psalms of the Brethren, p.331, n.1. I cannot trace the reference to Hatthigāma. He was one hundred and fifteen years old at the time of his death (DA.ii.413).

In Padumuttara Buddha's time he had been a rich householder. Hearing one of the monks declared best among possessors of the celestial eye, he wished for a similar honour for himself in the future. He did acts of great merit towards that end, including the holding of a great feast of light in front of the Buddha's tomb. In Kassapa Buddha's age he was born in Benares; one day he placed bowls filled with clarified butter all round the Buddha's tomb and lighted them, himself walking round the tomb all night, bearing on his head a lighted bowl.

Later he was reborn in a poor family in Benares and was named Annabhāra (lit. "food-bearer"). One day, while working for his master, the banker Sumana, he gave his meal to a Pacceka Buddha, Uparittha. The banker, having heard from the deity of his parasol of Annabhāra's pious deed, rewarded him and set him up in trade. The king, being pleased with him, gave him a site for a house, the ground of which, when dug, yielded much buried treasure. On account of this great accretion of wealth he was given the rank of Dhanasetthi (ThagA.ii.65ff.; Thag.910; DhA.iv.120ff).

According to the Dhammapada Commentary (i.113), as a result of his gift to the Pacceka Buddha, Anuruddha never lacked anything he desired - such had been the wish he expressed. A charming story is related in this connection. Once when playing at ball with his friends he was beaten and had to pay with sweets. His mother sent him the sweets, but he lost over and over again until no more sweets were to be had. His mother sent word to that effect, but he did not know the meaning of the words "there isn't." When his mother, to make him understand, sent him an empty bowl, the guardian deity of the city filled it with celestial cakes, so that he should not be disappointed. Thereafter, whenever Anuruddha sent for cakes, his mother would send him an empty vessel, which became filled on the way. See also DhA.iv.124ff.

The Apadāna (i.35) mentions another incident of his past. Once, in Sumedha Buddha's time, Anuruddha, having seen the Buddha meditating alone at the foot of a tree, set up lights round him and kept them burning for seven days. As a result he reigned for thirty kappas as king of the gods, and was king of men twenty-eight times. He could see a distance of a league both by day and night.

On various occasions Anuruddha had discussions with the Buddha, and he was consulted by disciples, both monks and laymen, on points of doctrine and practice. In the Anuruddha Sutta (M.iii.144f) he goes with Abhiya Kaccāna and two others to a meal at the house of Pañcakanga, the king's carpenter. At the end of the meal the carpenter asks him the difference between that deliverance of the heart (cetovimutti) that is boundless (appamāna) and that which is vast (mahaggata). The discussion leads on to an account of the four states of rebirth among the brilliant gods (Ābhā), and in reply to the questions of Abhiya Kaccāna, Anuruddha proceeds to explain their nature. At the end of the discourse we find Anuruddha acknowledging that he himself had lived among these gods.

In the Samyutta Nikāya (S.iv.240-5) he is mentioned as questioning the Buddha about women, how they come to be born in happy states and how in woeful purgatory. A similar inquiry is mentioned in the Anguttara Nikāya. Anuruddha had been visited by some Manāpakāyikā devas, who had played and sung to him and shown their power of changing their complexions at will. He comes to the Buddha and asks how women could be born among these devas (A.iv.262ff).

We find him (S.v.174-6, also 299f) being asked by Samyutta and Moggallāna about the sekha and asekha and about super-knowledge (abhiññā). In dealing with this passage the Commentary (SA.iii.183) states that Anuruddha used to rise early, and that after ablutions he sat in his cell, calling up a thousand kappas of the past and the future. With his clairvoyant eye he knew the thousand fold universe and all its workings.

The Anuruddha Samyutta (S.v.294) gives an account of a series of questions asked by Moggallāna on the satipatthānā, their extent, etc. Anuruddha evidently laid great emphasis on the cultivation of the satipatthānā, for we find mention of them occurring over and over again in his discourses. He attributes all his powers to their development, and admonishes his hearers to practise them. S.v.299-306. He himself considered the dibbacakkhu as the highest attainment. Thus in the Mahāgosinga Sutta (M.i.213) he declares it to be more worthy than knowledge of the doctrine, meditation, forest-life, discourse on the abhidhamma or self-mastery.

Once he lay grievously ill in the Andhavana in Sāvatthi, but the pain made no impression on his mind, because, he says, his mind was well grounded in the satipatthānā (S.v.302, but see DhA.iv.129, where he suffered from wind in the stomach). Apart from his teaching of the satipatthānā, he does not seem to have found fame as a teacher. He was of a retiring disposition and never interfered in any of the monks' quarrels.

Mention is often made of Anuruddha's iddhi-powers. Thus, he was one of those who went to the Brahma-world to curb the pride of the Brahma who had thought that no ascetic could reach his world (S.i.145. The others being Moggallāna, Mahākassapa and Mahākappina). The mother of the Yakkha Piyankara, while wandering in search of food, heard him at night reciting some verses from the Dhammapada and stood spellbound listening (S.i.209; SA.i.237-8).

His iddhi, however, does not seem to have enabled him to prevent his fellow-dweller Abhiñjika from talking too much (S.ii.203-4), nor his other fellow-dweller Bāhiya from attempting to create dissension in the Order (A.ii.239). Among the Vajjians he seems to have been held particularly in esteem, together with Nandiya and Kimbila. A yakkha named Dīgha tells the Buddha how the Vajjians are envied by the inhabitants of the deva and brahma worlds on account of the presence of these distinguished monks in their country (in the Cūlagosinga Sutta, M.i.210).


The capital of Kāsi-janapada. It was one of the four places of pilgrimage for the Buddhists -the others being Kapilavatthu, Buddhagayā and Kusināra- because it was at, the Migadāya in Isipatana near Bārānasī that the Buddha preached his first sermon to the Pañcavaggiyā (D.ii.141). This was the spot at which all Buddhas set in motion the Wheel of the Law (Dhamma-cakka). It is the custom of Buddhas to travel by air from the Bodhi-tree to the scene of their first sermon, a distance of eighteen leagues (MA.i.388; Bu.A.242, etc.), but the present Buddha did all the journey on foot in order to be able to meet on the way the Ajīvaka Upaka.

Benares was an important centre of trade and industry. There was direct trade between there and Sāvatthi (DhA.iii.429), the road passing through Bhaddiya (Vin.i.189), and between there and Takkasilā (DhA.i.123). It was the custom for enthusiastic young men of Benares to go to the university at Takkasilā (E.g., J.ii.4; DhA.i.250), but there seem to have been educational institutions at Benares also, some of which were older than even those of Takkasilā (KhA.198; see also DhA.iii.445, where Susīma, Sankha's son, goes from Takkasilā to Benares for purposes of study).

From Verañjā to Benares there seem to have been two routes: one rather circuitous, passing through Soreyya, and the other direct, crossing the Ganges at Payāgatittha. From Benares the road continued to Vesāli (Sp.i.201). On the road from Benares to Rājagaha was Andhakavinda (Vin.i.220). There seems to have been friendly intercourse between the chieftains of Benares and the kings of Magadha, as shown by the fact that Bimbisāra sent his own physician, Jīvaka, to attend to the son of the Treasurer of Benares (Vin.i.275). The distance from Kosambī to Benares was thirty leagues by river (MA.ii.929).

The extent of the city of Benares, including its suburbs, at the time when it was the capital of an independent kingdom, is often stated (E.g., J.iv.377; vi.160; MA.ii.608) to have been twelve leagues. The names of several kings are mentioned in the Jātakas, among them being those of Anga, Uggasena, Udaya, Kikī, Dhanañjaya, Mahāsīlava, Vissasena, and Samyama. (The SNA. on the Khaggavisāna Sutta contains the names of several kings of Benares who renounced the world and became Pacceka Buddhas).

The name which occurs most frequently, however, is that of Brahmadatta, which seems to have been the dynastic name of the Benares kings. In the Mahāgovinda Sutta, the foundation of Bārānasī is attributed to Mahāgovinda, its first king being Dhatarattha, contemporary of Renu (D.ii.235). The Ceylon Chronicles (MT. 127,129,130) mention the names of others who reigned in Benares- e.g., Duppasaha and sixty of his descendants; Asoka, son of Samankara, and eighty four thousand of his descendants; also sixteen kings, ancestors of Okkāka. The city itself had been known by different names at different periods; thus, in the time of the Udaya Jātaka it was called Surundhana; in that of the Sutasoma, Sudassana; in that of the Sonananda, Brahmavaddhana; in that of the Khandahāla, Pupphavatī; in that of the Yuvañjaya, Rammanagara (J.iv.119f); and in that of the Sankha, Molinī (J.iv.15). It was also called Kāsinagara and Kāsipura (E.g., J.v.54; vi.165; DhA.i.87), being the capital of Kāsi. The Bhojājāniya Jātaka (J.i.178) says that "all the kings around coveted the kingdom of Benares." In the Brahāchatta Jātaka (J.iii.116), the king of Benares is mentioned as having captured the whole of Kosala. At the time of the Buddha, however, Benares had lost its great political importance. Kosala was already the paramount power in India, and several successful invasions of Kāsi by the Kosalans under their kings Vanka, Dabbasena and Kamsa, are referred to. The final conquest would seem to be ascribed to Kamsa because the epithet Bārānasīggha (conqueror of Benares) is an established addition to his name (J.ii.403).

Later, when Ajātasattu succeeded in establishing his sway over Kosala, with the help of the Licchavis, Kāsī, too, was included in his kingdom. Even in the Buddha's time the city of Benares was wealthy and prosperous and was included in the list of great cities suggested by Ananda as suitable places for the Parinibbāna of the Buddha (D.ii.146).

Mention is also made of a Bānārasīsetthi (E.g., DhA.i.412; iii. 87, 365) and a Santhāgārasālā (Mote Hall), which was then, however, no longer being used so much for the transaction of public business as for public discussions on religious and philosophical questions. E.g., J.iv.74; ascetics who came to the city found lodging for the night in the Potters' Hall (e.g., DhA.i.39).

Near Benares was a grove of seven sirīsaka trees where the Buddha preached to the Nāga king Erakapatta (DhA.iii.230), and also the Kemiyambavana where Udena met Ghotamukha (M.ii.158); on the other side of the river was Vāsabhagāma, and beyond that another village called Cundatthila (PvA.168).

The Buddha is several times spoken of as staying in Benares, where he preached several sermons (E.g., A.i.110f., 279f.; iii.392ff., 399ff.; S.i.105; v.406; Vin.i.189, 216f., 289) and converted many people including Yasa, whose home was in Benares (Vin.i.15), and his friends Vimala, Subāhu, Punnaji and Gavampati, all members of eminent families (Vin.i.19). Isipatana (q.v.) became a monastic centre in the Buddha's time and continued so for long after. From there came twelve thousand monks under the leadership of Dhammasena to be present at the ceremony of the foundation of the Mahā Thūpa (Mhv.xxix.31).

In the past, Bārānasī was the birthplace of Kassapa Buddha (Bu.xxv.33). In the time of Metteyya Buddha, Bārānasī will be known as Ketumatī at the head of eighty four thousand towns. Sankha will be Cakkavatti there, but he will renounce the world and will become an arahant under Metteyya (D.iii.75f). Bārānasī evidently derives its name from the fact that it lies between the two rivers Barnā and Asi (CAGI.499f).


The Vulture's peak.

One of the five hills encircling Rājagaha. It was evidently a favourite resort of those who followed the religious life. (It was so even in times gone by, see, e.g., J.ii.55).

The Buddha seems to have been attracted by its solitude, and is mentioned as having visited it on several occasions, sometimes even in the dark, in drizzling rain, while Māra made unsuccessful attempts to frighten him (S.i.109).

It was on the slopes of Gijjhakūta, where the Buddha was wandering about, that Devadatta hurled at him a mighty stone to kill him, but only a splinter injured his foot (Vin.ii.193, etc.).

It was there also that Jīvaka Komāra-bhacca administered a purgative to the Buddha (AA.i.216).

Several well-known suttas were preached on Gijjhakūta - e.g., the Māgha, Dhammika and Chalabhijāti Suttas, the discourse on the seven Aparihānīyadhammā (A.iv.21f.), the Mahāsāropama and Ātānātiya Suttas. (See also S.ii.155, 185, 190, 241; iii.121; A.ii.73; iii.21; iv.160).

It is said (AA.i.412) that in due course a vihāra was erected on Gijjhakūta for the Buddha and his monks; here cells were erected for the use of monks who came from afar, but these cells were so difficult of access that monks arriving late at Rājagaha would ask Dabbamallaputta-Tissa to find accommodation for them in Gijjhakūta, in order to test his capabilities (Vin.ii.76; DhA.iii.321f).

Channa fell ill there, and ultimately committed suicide. (Another monk is mentioned as having thrown himself down from Gijjhakūta because he was discontented with his life, Vin.iii.82. According to one account, AA.i.146f, Vakkali, too, committed suicide by throwing himself from Gijjhakūta; but see Vakkali).

Moggallāna and Lakkhana are reported to have stayed there, and to have seen many inhabitants of Rājagaha reborn in Gijjhakūta as petas (S.ii.254; Vin.iii.104; for Moggallāna see also A.iv.75).

The Mettiya-bhummajakas (Vin.iii.167) and the Chabbaggiyas (ibid., 82) were also in the habit of visiting the hill.

The Gijjhakūta was so called, either because its peak was like a vulture's beak, or because it was the resort of many vultures (SNA.ii.417; AA.i.412; MA.i.291, etc).

Cunningham (CAGI.534), on the authority of both Fa Hien and Hiouen Thsang, identifies Gijjhakūta with the modern Sailagiri, about two and a half miles to the north-east of the old town. It is also called Giriyek Hill. Gijjhakūta is sometimes referred to as Gijjhapabbata (J.ii.50; iii.255, 484) and as Gijjha., 212.


The last of the twenty-five Buddhas.

No comprehensive account of Gotama Buddha is as yet possible. The details given in this article are those generally accepted by orthodox Theravādins and contained in their books, chiefly the Pāli Commentaries, more especially the Nidānakathā of the Jātaka and the Buddhavamsa Commentary.

Biographical details are also found in the Mahā Vagga and the Culla Vagga of the Vinaya Pitaka, the Buddhavamsa and in various scattered passages of the Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka. References to these are given where considered useful. Controversy exists with regard to many of the matters mentioned; for discussion of the varying views regarding these, reference should be made to the works of Oldenberg, Rhys Davids (both Professor and Mrs. Rhys Davids), Kern, E. J. Thomas and other scholars. Further particulars of persons and places mentioned can be obtained by reference to the articles under the respective names.

He was a Sākiyan (the Sākiyans were evidently subjects of the Kosala king; the Buddha calls himself a Kosalan, M.ii.124), son of Suddhodana (all Pāli Commentaries and Sanskrit works represent the Buddha as the son of a king, descendant of a long line of famous ancestors), chief ruler of Kapilavatthu, and of Mahā Māyā, Suddhodana's chief consort, and he belonged to the Gotama-gotta. Before his conception he was in the Tusita heaven, waiting for the due time for his birth in his last existence. Then, having made the "five investigations" (pañcavilolcanāni) (see Buddha), he took leave of his companions and descended to earth. (According to the Lalitavistara he appointed the Bodhisatta Maitreya as king of Tusita in his place). Many wondrous and marvellous events attended his conception and birth. (Given in the Acchariyabbhutadhamma Sutta, M.iii.118f; also D.ii.12f. A more detailed account is found in J.i.47ff; both the Lai. and the Mtu.ii.14ff differ as to the details given here of the conception and the birth).

The conception takes place on the full-moon day of Āsālha, with the moon in Uttarāsālha, and Maya has no relations with her husband. She has a marvellous dream in which the Bodhisatta, as a white elephant, enters her womb through her side. When the dream is mentioned to the brahmins, they foretell the birth of a son who will be either a universal monarch or a Buddha. An earthquake takes place and thirty-two signs appear, presaging the birth of a great being. The first of these signs is a boundless, great light, flooding every corner of the ten thousand worlds; everyone beholds its glory, even the fires in all hells being extinguished. Ten months after the conception, in the month of Visākha, Māyā wishes to visit her parents in Devadaha. On the way thither from Kapilavatthu she passes the beautiful Lumbini grove, in which she desires to wander; she goes to a great sāla-tree and seizes a branch in her hand; labour pains start immediately, and, when the courtiers retire, having drawn a curtain round her, even while standing, she is delivered of the child. It is the day of the full moon of Visākha; four Mahābrahmas receive the babe in a golden net, and streams of water descend from the sky to wash him. The boy stands on the earth, takes seven steps north-wards and utters his lion-roar, "I am the chief in the world." On the same day seven other beings were born: the Bodhi-tree, Rāhula's mother (Rāhulamātā, his future wife), the four Treasure-Troves (described at DA.i.284), his elephant, his horse Kanthaka, his charioteer Channa, and Kāludāyī. The babe is escorted back to Kapilavatthu on the day of his birth and his mother dies seven days later.

The isi Asita (or Kāladevala), meditating in the Himālaya, learns from the Tāvatimsa gods of the birth of the Buddha, visits Suddhodana the same day and sees the boy, whom they both worship. Asita weeps for sorrow that he will not live to see the boy's Buddhahood, but he instructs his nephew Nālaka (v.l. Naradatta) to prepare himself for that great day. On the fifth day after the birth is the ceremony of name-giving. One hundred and eight brahmins are invited to the festival at the palace; eight of them - Rāma, Dhaja, Lakkhana, Manti, Kondañña, Bhoja, Suyāma and Sudatta - are interpreters of bodily marks, and all except Kondañña prophesy two possibilities for the boy; but Kondañña, the youngest, says, quite decisively, that he will be a Buddha. The name given to the boy at this ceremony is not actually mentioned, but from other passages it is inferred that it was Siddhattha (q.v.).

Among other incidents recounted of the Buddha's boyhood is that of his attaining the first jhāna under a jambu-tree. One day he is taken to the state ploughing of the king where Suddhodana himself, with his golden plough, ploughs with the farmers. The nurses, attracted by the festivities, leave the child under a jambu-tree. They return to find him seated, cross-legged, in a trance, the shadow of the tree remaining still, in order to protect him. The king is informed and, for the second time, does reverence to his son. J.i.57f; MA.i.466f; the incident is alluded to in the Mahā Saccaka Sutta (M.i.246); the corresponding incident recounted in Mtu. (ii.45f.) takes place in a park, and the, details differ completely. The Lai. has two versions, one in prose and one in verse and both resemble the Mtu.; but in these the Buddha is represented as being much older. The Divy (391) and the Tibetan versions (e.g., Rockhill, p.22) put the incident very much later in the Buddha's life. Other incidents are given in Lai. and Mtu.

The Bodhisatta is reported to have lived in the household for twenty-nine years a life of great luxury and excessive ease, surrounded by all imaginable comforts. He owns three palaces - Ramma, Suramma and Subha - for the three seasons. Mention is made of his luxurious life in A.i.145; also in M.i.504; further details are given in AA.i.378f.; J.i.58. See also Mtu.ii.115; cf. Vin.i.15; D.ii.21.

When the Bodhisatta is sixteen years old, Suddhodana sends messengers to the Sākyans asking that his son be allowed to seek a wife from among their daughters; but the Sākyans are reluctant to send them, for, they say, though the young man is hand-some, he knows no art; how, then, can he support a wife? When this is reported to the prince, he summons an assembly of the Sākyans and performs various feats, chief of these being twelve feats with a bow which needs the strength of one thousand men. (The feats with the bow are described in the Sarabhanga Jātaka, J.v.129f ). The Sākyans are so impressed that each sends him a daughter, the total number so sent being forty thousand. The Bodhisatta appoints as his chief wife the daughter of Suppabuddha, who, later, comes to be called Rāhulamātā. She is known under various names: Bhaddakaccā (or Kaccānā), Yasodharā. Bimbā, Bimbasundarī and Gopā. For a discussion see Rāhulamātā.

According to the generally accepted account, Gotama is twenty-nine when the incidents occur which lead to final renunciation. Following the prophecy of the eight brahmins, his father had taken every precaution that his son should see no sign of old age, sickness or death. But the gods decide that the time is come for the Enlightenment, and instil into Gotama's heart a desire to go into the park. On the way, the gods put before him a man showing signs of extreme age, and the Bodhisatta returns, filled with desire for renunciation. The king, learning this, surrounds him with even greater attractions, but on two other days Gotama goes to the park and the gods put before him a sick man and a corpse. (According to some accounts, e.g. that of the Dīghabhānakas, the four omens were all seen on the same day, J.i.59)

On the full-moon day of Āsālha, the day appointed for the Great Renunciation, Gotama sees a monk and hears from his charioteer praise of the ascetic life. Feeling very happy, he goes to the park to enjoy himself. Sakka sends Vissakamma himself to bathe and adorn him, and as Gotama returns to the city in all his majesty, he receives news of the birth of his son. Foreseeing in this news a bond, he decides to call the babe Rāhula (q.v.). Kisā Gotamī (q.v.) sees Gotama on the way to the palace and, filled with longing for him, sings to him a song containing the word nibbuta. The significance of the word (=extinguished, at peace) thrills him, and he sends to Kisā his priceless gold necklace which she, however, accepts as a token of love. Gotama enters the palace and sleeps. He wakes in the middle of the night to find his female musicians sleeping in attitudes which fill him with disgust and with loathing for the worldly life, and he decides to leave it. (In some versions the Renunciation takes place seven days after the birth of Rāhula, J.i.62). He orders Channa to saddle Kanthaka, and enters his wife's room for a last look at her and their son.

He leaves the city on his horse Kanthaka, with Channa clinging to its tail. The devas muffle the sound of the horse's hoofs and of his neighing and open the city gates for Gotama to pass. Māra appears before Gotama and seeks to stay him with a promise that he shall be universal monarch within seven days. On his offer being refused, Māra threatens to shadow him always. Outside the city, at the spot where later was erected the Kanthakanivattana-cetiya, Gotama turns his horse round to take a last look at Kapilavatthu. It is said that the earth actually turned, to make it easy for him to do so. Then, accompanied by the gods, he rides thirty leagues through three kingdoms - those of the Sākyans, the Koliyans and the Mallas - and his horse crosses the river Anomā in one leap. On the other side, he gives all his ornaments to Channa, and with his sword cuts off hair and beard, throwing them up into the air, where Sakka takes them and enshrines them in the Cūlāmani-cetiya in Tāvatimsa. The Brahmā Ghatikāra offers Gotama the eight requisites of a monk, which he accepts and adopts. He then sends Channa and Kanthaka back to his father, but Kanthaka, broken-hearted, dies on the spot and is reborn as Kanthaka-devaputta.

The account given here is taken mainly from the Nidānakathā (J.i.59ff) and evidently embodies later tradition; cp. D.ii.21ff. From passages found in the Pitakas (e.g., A.i.145; M.i.163, 240; M.ii.212f.) it would appear that the events leading up to the Renunciation were not so dramatic as given here, the process being more gradual. I do not, however, agree with Thomas (op. cit., 58) that, according to these accounts, the Bodhisatta left the world when "quite a boy." I think the word dahara is used merely to indicate "the prime of youth," and not necessarily "boyhood." The description of the Renunciation in the Lal. is very much more elaborate and adds numerous incidents, no account of which is found in the Pāli.

From Anomā the Bodhisatta goes to the mango-grove of Anupiya, and after spending seven days there walks to Rājagaha (a distance of thirty leagues) in one day, and there starts his alms rounds. Bimbisāra's men, noticing him, report the matter to the king, who sends messengers to enquire who this ascetic is. The men follow Gotama to the foot of the Pandavapabbata, where he eats his meal, and they then go and report to the king. Bimbisāra visits Gotama, and, pleased with his hearing, offers him the sovereignty. On learning the nature of Gotama's quest, he wins from him a promise to visit Rājagaha first after the Enlightenment.

This incident is also mentioned in the Pabbajjā Sutta (SN.vv.405-24), but there it is the king who first sees Gotama. It is significant that, when asked his identity, Gotama does not say he is a king's son. The Pali version of tile sutta contains nothing of Gotama's promise to visit Rājagaha, but the Mtu. version (ii.198-200), which places the visit later, has two verses, one of which contains the request and the other the acceptance; and the SNA. (ii.385f.), too, mentions the promise and tells that Bimbisāra was informed of the prophecy concerning Gotama. There is another version of the Mtu. (ii.117-20) which says that Gotama went straight to Vaisāli after leaving home, joining Ālāra, and later visited Uddaka at Rājagaha. Here no mention is made of Bimbisāra. We are told in the Mhv. (ii.25ff) that Bimbisāra and Gotama (Siddhattha) had been playmates, Bimbisāra being the younger by five years. Bimbisāra's father (Bhātī) and Suddhodana were friends.

Journeying from Rājagaha, Gotama in due course becomes a disciple of Ālāra-Kālāma. Having learnt and practised all that Ālāra has to teach, he finds it unsatisfying and joins Uddaka-Rāmaputta; but Uddaka's doctrine leaves him still unconvinced and he abandons it. He then goes to Senānīgāma in Uruvelā and there, during six years, practises all manner of severe austerities, such as no man had previously undertaken. Once he falls fainting and a deva informs Suddhodana that Gotama is dead. But Suddhodana, relying on the prophecy of Kāladevala, refuses to believe the news. Gotama's mother, now born as a devaputta in Tāvatimsa, comes to him to encourage him. At Uruvelā, the Pañcavaggiya monks are his companions, but now, having realised the folly of extreme asceticism, he decides to abandon it, and starts again to take normal food; thereupon the Pañcavaggiyas, disappointed, leave him and go to Isipatana.

Gotama's desire for normal food is satisfied by an offering brought by Sujātā to the Ajapāla banyan tree under which he is seated. She had made a vow to the tree, and her wish having been granted, she takes her slave-girl, Punnā, and goes to the tree prepared to fulfil her promise. They take Gotama to be the Tree-god, come in person to accept her offering of milk-rice; the offering is made in a golden bowl and he takes it joyfully. Five dreams he had the night before convince Gotama that he will that day become the Buddha. (The dreams are, recounted in A.iii.240 and in Mtu.ii.136f). It is the full-moon day of Visākha; he bathes at Suppatittha in the Nerañjarā, eats the food and launches the bowl up stream, where it sinks to the abode of the Nāga king, Kāla (Mahākāla).

Gotama spends the rest of the day in a sāla-grove and, in the evening, goes to the foot of the Bodhi-tree, accompanied by various divinities; there the grass-cutter Sotthiya gives him eight handfuls of grass; these, after investigation, Gotama spreads on the eastern side of the tree, where it becomes a seat fourteen hands long, on which he sits cross-legged, determined not to rise before attaining Enlightenment.

J.i.69. The Pitakas know nothing of Sujātā's offering or of Sotthiya's gift. Lal. (334-7 <267-70>) mentions ten girls in all who provide him with food during his austerities. Divy (392) mentions two, Nandā and Nandabalā.

Māra, lord of the world of passion, is determined to prevent this fulfilment, and attacks Gotama with all the strength at his command. His army extends twelve leagues to the front, right, and left of him, to the end of the Cakkavāla behind him, and nine leagues into the sky above him. Māra himself carries numerous weapons and rides the elephant Girimekhala, one hundred and fifty leagues in height. At the sight of him all the divinities gathered at the Bodhi-tree to do honour to Gotama - the great Brahmā, Sakka, the Nāga-king Mahākāla - disappear in a flash, and Gotama is left alone with the ten pāramī, long practised by him, as his sole protection. All Māra's attempts to frighten him by means of storms and terrifying apparitions fail, and, in the end, Māra hurls at him the Cakkāvudha. It remains as a canopy poised over Gotama. The very earth bears witness to Gotama's fitness to be the Enlightened One, and Girimekhala kneels before him. Māra is vanquished and flees headlong with his vast army. The various divinities who had fled at the approach of Māra now return to Gotama and exult in his triumph.

The whole story of the contest with Māra is, obviously, a mythological development. It is significant that in the Majjhima passages referred to earlier there is no mention of Māra, of a temptation, or even of a Bodhi-tree; but see D.ii.4 and Thomas (op. cit., n.1). According to the Kālingabodhi Jātaka, which, very probably, embodies an old tradition, the bodhi-tree was worshipped even in the Buddha's life-time. The Māra legend is, however, to be found in the Canonical Padhāna Sutta of the Sutta Nipāta. This perhaps contains the first suggestion of the legend. For a discussion see Māra.

Gotama spends that night in deep meditation. In the first watch he gains remembrance of his former existences; in the middle watch he attains the divine eye (dibbacakkhu); in the last watch he revolves in his mind the Chain of Causation (paticcasamuppāda). As he masters this, the earth trembles and, with the dawn, comes Enlightenment. He is now the supreme Buddha, and he breaks forth into a paean of joy (udāna).

There is great doubt as to which were these Udāna verses. The Nidānakathā and the Commentaries generally quote two verses (153, 154) included in the Dhammapada collection (anekajāti samsāram, etc.). The Vinaya (i.2) quotes three different verses (as does also DhsA.17), and says that one verse was repeated at the end of each watch, all the watches being occupied with meditation on the paticcasamuppāda. Mtu. (ii.286) gives a completely different Udāna, and in another place (ii.416) mentions a different verse as the first Udāna. The Tibetan Vinaya is, again, quite different (Rockhill, p.33). For a discussion see Thomas, op. cit., 75ff.

For the first week the Buddha remains under the Bodhi-tree, meditating on the Paticcasamuppāda; the second week he spends at the Ajapālanigrodha, where the "Huhuhka" Brahmin accosts him (Mara now comes again and asks the Buddha to die at once; D.ii.112) and where Mara's daughters, Tanhā, Aratī and Rāgā, appear before the Buddha and make a last attempt to shake his resolution (J.i.78; S.i.124; Lal.490 (378)); the third week he spends under the hood of the nāga-king Mucalinda (Vin.i.3); the fourth week is spent in meditation under the Rājāyatana tree*; at the end of this period takes place the conversion of Tapussa and Bhallika. They take refuge in the Buddha and the Dhamma, though the Buddha does not give them any instruction.

*This is the Vinaya account (Vin.i.1ff); but the Jātaka (i.77ff, extends this period to seven weeks, the additional weeks being inserted between the first and second. The Buddha spends one week each at the Animisa-cetiya, the Ratanacankama and the Ratanaghara, and this last is where he thinks out the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Doubts now assail the Buddha as to whether he shall proclaim to the world his doctrine, so recondite, so hard to understand. The Brahma Sahampati (according to J.i.81, with the gods of the thousand worlds, including Sakka, Suyāma, Santusita, Sunimmita, Vasavatti, etc.) appears before him and assures him there are many prepared to listen to him and to profit by his teaching, and so entreats him to teach the Dhamma. The Buddha accedes to his request and, after consideration, decides to teach the Dhamma first to the Pañcavaggiyas at Isipatana. On the way to Benares he meets the Ājīvaka Upaka and tells him that he (the Buddha) is Jina. On his arrival at Isipatana the Pañcavaggiyas are, at first, reluctant to acknowledge his claim to be the Tathāgata, but they let themselves be won over and, on the full-moon day of Āsālha, the Buddha preaches to them the sermon which came to be known as the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. (Vin.i.4ff; M.i.118ff; cp. D.ii.36ff. Regarding the claim of this sutta to be the Buddha's first sermon, see Thomas, op. cit., p.86; see also Pañcavaggiyā). At the end of the sermon Kondañña becomes a sotāpanna and they all become monks.

This sermon is followed five days later by the Anattalakkhana Sutta, at the conclusion of which all five become arahants. The following day the Buddha meets Yasa, whom he converts. Yasa's father, who comes seeking him, is the first to take the threefold formula of Refuge.

Yasa becomes an arahant and is ordained. The Buddha accepts a meal at his house, and Yasa's mother and one of his former wives are the first two lay-women to become the Buddha's disciples. Then four friends of Yasa and, afterwards, fifty more, enter the Order and become arahants. There are now sixty arahants besides the Buddha, and they are sent in different directions to preach the Dhamma. They return with many candidates for admission to the Order, and the Buddha, who up till now had ordained men with the "ehi bhikkhu" formula, now allows the monks themselves to perform the ceremony of ordination (Vin.i.15ff; J.i.81f).

After spending the rainy season at Benares (about this time Māra twice tries to tempt the Buddha, once after he had sent the disciples out to preach and once after the Retreat, S.i.105, 111; Vin.i.21, 22), the Buddha returns to Senānigāma in Uruvela, on the way converting and ordaining the thirty Bhaddavaggiyā. At Uruvela, after a long and protracted exercise of magical powers, consisting in all of three thousand five hundred miracles, the Buddha wins over the three Kassapa brothers, the Tebhātika Jatilā, with their thousand followers, and ordains them. They become arahants after listening to the Ādittapariyāya Sutta preached at Gayāsīsa; with these followers he visits Rājagaha, where King Seniya Bimbisāra comes to see him at the Latthivanuyyāna. The following day the Buddha and the monks visit the palace, preceded by Sakka disguised as a youth and singing the praises of the Buddha. After the meal, the king gifts Veluvana to the Buddha and the Order. The Buddha stays for two months at Rājagaha (BuA.4), and it is during this time that Sāriputta and Moggallāna join the Order, through the instrumentality of Assaji (Vin.i.23ff). It was probably during this year, at the beginning of the rainy season, that the Buddha visited Vesāli at the request of the Licchavis, conveyed through Mahāli. The city was suffering from pestilence and famine. The Buddha went, preached the Ratana Sutta and dispelled all dangers (DhA.iii.436ff).

The number of converts now rapidly increases and the people of Magadha, alarmed by the prospect of childlessness, widow-hood, etc., blame the Buddha and his monks. The Buddha, however, refutes their charges (Vin.i.42f).

The account of the first twenty years of the Buddha's ministry is summarised from various sources, chiefly from Thomas's admirable account in his Life and Legend of the Buddha (pp.97ff). The necessary references are to be found under the names mentioned.

On the full-moon day of Phagguna (February-March) the Buddha, accompanied by twenty thousand monks, sets out for Kapilavatthu at the express request of his father, conveyed through Kāludāyī. (This visit is not mentioned in the Canon; but see Thag.527-36; AA.i.107, 167; J.i.87; DhA.i.96f; ThagA.i.997ff).

By slow stages he arrives at the city, where he stays at the Nigrodhārāma, and, in order to convince his proud kinsmen of his power, performs the Yamakapātihārjya and then relates the Vessantara Jātaka. The next day, receiving no invitation to a meal, the Buddha begs in the streets of the city; this deeply grieves Suddhodana, but later, learning that it is the custom of all Buddhas, he becomes a sotāpanna and conducts the Buddha and his monks to meal at the palace. There all the women of the palace, excepting only Rāhulamātā, come and do reverence to the Buddha. Mahā Pajāpatī becomes a sotāpanna and Suddhodana a sakadāgāmi. The Buddha visits Rāhulamātā in her own apartments and utters her praises in the Candakinnara Jātaka. The following day the Buddha persuades his half-brother, Nanda, to come to the monastery, where he ordains him and, on the seventh day, he does the same with Rāhula. This is too great a blow for Suddhodana, and at his request the Buddha rules that no person shall be ordained without the consent of his parents. The next day the Buddha preaches to Suddhodana, who becomes an anāgāmī. During the Buddha's visit to Kapilavatthu, eighty thousand Sākyans join the Order, one from each family. With these he returns to Rājagaha, stopping on the way at Anupiya, where Anuruddha, Bhaddiya, Ananda, Bhagu, Kimbila and Devadatta, together with their barber, Upāli, visit him and seek ordination.

On his return to Rājagaha the Buddha resides in the Sītavana. (J.i.92, the story is also told in the Vinaya ii.154, but no date is indicated). There Sudatta, later known as Anāthapindika, visits him, is converted, and invites him to Sāvatthi. The Buddha accepts the invitation and journeys through Vesāli to Sāvatthi, there to pass the rainy season. (Vin.ii.158; but see BuA.3, where the Buddha is mentioned as having spent the vassa in Rājagaha). Anāthapindika gifts Jetavana, provided with every necessity, for the residence of the Buddha and his monks. Probably to this period belongs the conversion of Migāra, father-in-law of Visākhā, and the construction, by Visākhā, of the Pubbārāma at Sāvatthi. The vassa of the fourth year the Buddha spends at Veluvana, where he converts Uggasena. (DhA.iv.59f). In the fifth year Suddhodana dies, having realised arahant-ship, and the Buddha flies through the air, from the Kūtāgārasālā in Vesāli where he was staying, to preach to his father on his death-bed. According to one account it is at this time that the quarrel breaks out between the Sākyans and the Koliyans regarding the irrigation of the river Rohinī. (AA.i.186; SNA.i.357; ThigA.141; details of the quarrel are given in J.v.412ff). The Buddha persuades them to make peace, and takes up his abode in the Nigrodhārāma. Mahā Pajāpatī Gotamī, with other Sākiyan women, visits him there and asks that women may be allowed to join the Order. Three times the request is made, three times refused, the Buddha then returning to Vesāli. The women cut off their hair, don yellow robes and follow him thither. Ananda intercedes on their behalf and their request is granted. (Vin.ii.253ff; A.iv.274f.; for details see Mahā Pajāpati).

In the sixth year the Buddha again performs the Yamakapātihāriya, this time at the foot of the Gandamba tree in Sāvatthi. Prior to this, the Buddha had forbidden any display of magic powers, but makes an exception in his own case (DhA.iii.199f.; J.iv.265, etc.).

He spends the vassa at Mankulapabbata. After the performance of the miracle he follows the custom of all Buddhas and ascends to Tāvatimsa in three strides to preach the Abhidhamma to his mother who is born there as a deva, and there he keeps the seventh vassa. The multitude, gathered at Sāvatthi at the Yamakapātihāriya, refuse to go away until they have seen him. For three months, therefore, Moggallāna expounds to them the Dhamma, while Culla Anāthapindika provides them with food. During the preaching of the Abhidhamma, Sāriputta visits the Buddha daily and learns from him all that has been recited the previous day. At the end of the vassa, the Buddha descends a jewelled staircase and comes to earth at Sankassa, thirty leagues from Sāvatthi. (For details see Devorohana). It was about this time, when the Buddha's fame was at its height, that the notorious Ciñcā-mānavikā was persuaded by members of some hostile sect to bring a vile accusation against the Buddha. A similar story, told in connection with a paribbājikā named Sundarī, probably refers to a later date.

The eighth year the Buddha spends in the country of the Bhaggas and there, while residing in Bhesakalāvana near Sumsumāragiri, he meets Nakulapitā and his wife, who had been his parents in five hundred former births (A.A.i.217).

The same is told of another old couple in Sāketa. See the Sāketa Jātaka. The Buddha evidently stayed again at Sumsumāragiri many years later. It was during his second visit that Bodhirājakumāra (q.v.) invited him to a meal at his new palace in order that the Buddha might consecrate the building by his presence.

In the ninth year the Buddha is at Kosambī. While on a visit to the Kuru country he is offered in marriage Māgandiyā, the beautiful daughter of the brahmin Māgandiyā. The refusal of the offer, accompanied by insulting remarks about physical beauty, arouses the enmity of Māgandiyā who, thenceforward, cherishes hatred against the Buddha.

SN., pp.163ff; SNA.ii.542ff; DhA.i.199ff Thomas (op. cit., 109) assigns the Māgandiyā incident to the ninth year. I am not sure if this is correct, for the Commentaries say the Buddha was then living at Sāvatthi.

In the tenth year there arises among the monks at Kosambī a schism which threatens the very existence of the Order. The Buddha, failing in his attempts to reconcile the disputants, retires in disgust to the Pārileyyaka forest, passing on his way through Bālakalonakāragāma and Pācīnavamsadāya. In the forest he is protected and waited upon by a friendly elephant who has left the herd. The Buddha spends the rainy season there and returns to Sāvatthi. By this time the Kosambī monks have recovered their senses and ask the Buddha's pardon. This is granted and the dispute settled. (Vin.i.337ff; J.iii.486f; DhA.i.44ff; but see Ud.iv.5; s.v. Pārileyyaka).

In the eleventh year the Buddha resides at the brahmin village of Ekanālā and converts Kasi-Bhāradvāja (SN., p.12f.; S.i.172f). The twelfth year he spends at Verañjā, keeping the vassa there at the request of the brahmin Verañja. But Verañja forgets his obligations; there is a famine, and five hundred horse-merchants supply the monks with food. Moggallāna's offer to obtain food by means of magic power is discouraged (Vin.iii.1ff; J.iii.494f; DhA.ii.153). The thirteenth Retreat is kept at Cālikapabbata, where Meghiya is the Buddha's personal attendant (A.iv.354; Ud.iv.1). The fourteenth year is spent at Sāvatthi, and there Rāhula receives the upasampadā ordination.

In the fifteenth year the Buddha revisits Kapilavatthu, and there his father-in-law, Suppabuddha, in a drunken fit, refuses to let the Buddha pass through the streets. Seven days later he is swallowed up by the earth at the foot of his palace (DhA.iii.44).

The chief event of the sixteenth year, which the Buddha spent at Ālavī, is the conversion of the yakkha Ālavaka. In the seventeenth year the Buddha is back at Sāvatthi, but he visits Ālavī again out of compassion for a poor farmer who becomes a sotāpanna after hearing him preach (DhA.iii.262ff). He spends the rainy season at Rājagaha. In the next year he again comes to Ālavī from Jetavana for the sake of a poor weaver's daughter. She had heard him preach, three years earlier, on the desirability of meditating upon death. She alone gave heed to his admonition and, when the Buddha knows of her imminent death, he journeys thirty leagues to preach to her and establish her in the sotāpattiphala (DhA.iii.170ff).

The Retreat of this year and also that of the nineteenth are spent at Cālikapabbata. In the twentieth year takes place the miraculous conversion of the robber Angulimāla. He becomes an arahant and dies shortly after. It is in the same year that Ananda is appointed permanent attendant on the Buddha, a position which he holds to the end of the Buddha's life, twenty-five years later (For details see Ananda). The twentieth Retreat is spent at Rājagaha.

With our present knowledge it is impossible to evolve any kind of chronology for the remaining twenty-five years of the Buddha's life. The Commentaries state that they were spent at Sāvatthi in the monasteries of Jetavana and Pubbārāma. (E.g., BuA.3; SNA. p.336f, says that when the Buddha was at Sāvatthi, he spent the day at the Migāramātupāsāda in the Pubbārāma, and the night at Jetavana or vice versa).

There is a more or less continuous account of the last year of the Buddha's life. This is contained in three suttas: the Mahā Parinibbāna, the Mahā Sudassana and the Janavasabha. These are not separate discourses but are intimately connected with each other. The only event prior to the incidents recounted in these suttas, which can be fixed with any certainty, is the death of the Buddha's pious patron and supporter, Bimbisāra, which took place eight years before the Buddha's Parinibbāna (Mhv.ii.32). It was at this time that Devadatta tried to obtain for himself a post of supremacy in the Order, and, failing in this effort, became the open enemy of the Buddha. Devadatta's desire to deprive the Buddha of the leadership of the Sangha seems to have been conceived by him, according to the Vinaya account (Vin.ii.184), almost immediately after he joined the Order, and the Buddha was warned of this by the devaputta Kakudha. This account lends point to the statement contained especially in the Northern books, that even in their lay life Devadatta had always been Gotama's rival.

Enlisting the support of Ajātasattu, he tried in many ways to kill the Buddha. Royal archers were bribed to shoot the Buddha, but they were won over by his personality and confessed their intentions. Then Devadatta hurled a great rock down Gijjhakūta on to the Buddha as he was walking in the shade of the hill; the hurtling rock was stopped by two peaks, but splinters struck the Buddha's foot and caused blood to flow; he suffered great pain and had to be taken to the Maddakucchi garden, where his injuries were dressed by the physician Jīvaka (S.i.27). The monks wished to provide a guard, but the Buddha reminded them that no man had the power to deprive a Tathāgata of his life.

Devadatta next bribed the royal elephant keepers to let loose a fierce elephant, Nālāgiri, intoxicated with toddy, on the road along which the Buddha would go, begging for alms. The Buddha was warned of this but disregarded the warning, and when the elephant appeared, Ananda, against the strict orders of the Buddha, threw himself in its path, and only by an exercise of iddhi-power, including the folding up of the earth, could the Buddha come ahead of him. As the elephant approached, the Buddha addressed it, pervading it with his boundless love, until it became quite gentle. (This incident, with great wealth of detail, is related in several places - e.g., in J.v.333ff).

These attempts to encompass the Buddha's death having failed, Devadatta, with three others, decides to create a schism in the Order and asks the Buddha that five rules should be laid down, whereby the monks would be compelled to lead a far more austere life than hitherto. When this request is refused, Devadatta persuades five hundred recently ordained monks to leave Vesāli with him and take up their residence at Gayāsīsa, where he would set up an organisation similar to that of the Buddha. But, at the Buddha's request, Sāriputta and Moggallāna visit the renegade monks; Sāriputta preaches to them and they are persuaded to return. When Devadatta discovers this, he vomits hot blood and lies ill for nine months. When his end approaches, he wishes to see the Buddha, but he dies on the way to Jetavana - whither he is being conveyed in a litter - and is born in Avīci.

From Gijjhakūta, near Rājagaha, the Buddha starts on his last journey. Just before his departure he is visited by Vassākāra, and the talk is of the Vajjians; the Buddha preaches to Vassākāra and the monks on the conditions that lead to prosperity. The Buddha proceeds with a large concourse of monks to Ambalatthikā and thence to Nālandā, where Sāriputta utters his lion-roar (sīhanāda) regarding his faith in the Buddha. The Buddha then goes to Pātaligāma, where he talks to the villagers on the evil consequences of immorality and the advantages of morality. He utters a prophecy regarding the future greatness of Pātaliputta and then, leaving by the Gotamadvāra, he crosses the river Ganges at Gotamatittha. He proceeds to Kotigāma and thence to Ñātika, where he gives to Ananda the formula of the Dhammādāsa, whereby the rebirth of disciples could be ascertained. From Ñātika he goes to Vesāli, staying in the park of the courtesan Ambapāli. The following day he accepts a meal from Ambapāli, refusing a similar offer from the Licchavis; Ambapāli makes a gift of her park to the Buddha and his monks. The Buddha journeys on to Beluva, where he spends the rainy season, his monks remaining in Vesāli. At Beluva he falls dangerously ill but, with great determination, fights against his sickness. He tells Ananda that his mission is finished, that when he is dead the Order must maintain itself, taking the Dhamma alone as its refuge, and he concludes by propounding the four subjects of mindfulness (D.ii.100). The next day he begs in Vesāli and, with Ananda, visits the Cāpāla-cetiya. There he gives to Ananda the opportunity of asking him to live until the end of the kappa, but Ananda fails to take the hint. Soon afterwards Māra visits the Buddha and obtains the assurance that the Buddha's nibbāna will take place in three months. There is an earthquake, and, in answer to Ananda's questions, the Buddha explains to him the eight causes of earthquakes. This is followed by lists of the eight assemblies, the eight stages of mastery and the eight stages of release. The Buddha then repeats to Ananda his conversation with Māra, and Ananda now makes his request to the Buddha to prolong his life, but is told that it is now too late; several opportunities he has had, of which he has failed to avail himself. The monks are assembled in Vesāli, in the Service Hall, and the Buddha exhorts them to practise the doctrines he has taught, in order that the religious life may last long. He then announces his impending death.

According to the Commentaries (e.g., DA.ii.549), after the rainy season spent at Beluva, the Buddha goes back to Jetavana, where he is visited by Sāriputta, who is preparing for his own Parinibbāna at Nālakagāma. From Jetavana the Buddha went to Rājagaha, where Mahā-Moggallāna died. Thence he proceeded to Ukkācelā, where he spoke in praise of the two chief disciples. From Ukkācelā he proceeded to Vesāli and thence to Bhandagāma. Rāhula, too, predeceased the Buddha (DA.ii.549).

The next day, returning from Vesāli, he looks round at the city for the last time and goes on to Bhandagāma; there he preaches on the four things the comprehension of which destroys rebirth-noble conduct, earnestness in meditation, wisdom and freedom.

He then passes through the villages of Hatthigāma, Ambagāma and Jambugama, and stays at Bhoganagara at the Ananda-cetiya. There he addresses the monks on the Four Great Authorities (Mahāpadesā), by reference to which the true doctrine may be determined (Cf. A.ii.167ff). From Bhoganagara the Buddha goes to Pāvā and stays in the mango-grove of Cunda, the smith. Cunda serves him with a meal which includes sūkaramaddava. (There is much dispute concerning this word. See Thomas, op. cit., 149, n.3). The Buddha alone partakes of the sūkaramaddava, the remains being buried. This is the Buddha's last meal; sharp sickness arises in him, with flow of blood and violent, deadly pains, but the Buddha controls them and sets out for Kusinārā. On the way he has to sit down at the foot of a tree. Ananda fetches him water to drink from the stream Kakutthā, over which five hundred carts had just passed; but, through the power of the Buddha, the water is quite clear. Here the Buddha is visited by Pukkusa, the Mallan, who is converted and presents the Buddha with a pair of gold-coloured robes. The Buddha puts them on and Ananda notices the marvellous brightness and clearness of the Buddha's body. The Buddha tells him that the body of a Buddha takes on this hue on the night before his Enlightenment and on the night of his passing away, and that he will die that night at Kusinārā. He goes to the Kākutthā, bathes and drinks there and rests in a mango-grove. There he instructs Ananda that steps must be taken to dispel any remorse that Cunda may feel regarding the meal he gave to the Buddha.

From Kakutthā the Buddha crosses the Hiraññavatī to the Upavattana sāla-grove in Kusinārā. There Ananda prepares for him a bed with the head to the north. All the trees break forth into blossom and flowers cover the body of the Buddha. Divine mandārava-flowers and sandalwood powder fall from the sky, and divine music and singing sound through the air. But the Buddha says that the greater honour to him would be to follow his teachings.

The gods of the ten thousand world systems assemble to pay their last homage to the Buddha, and Upavāna, who stands fanning him, is asked to move away as he obstructs their view.

Ananda asks for instruction on several points, including how the funeral rites should be performed; he then goes out and abandons himself to a fit of weeping; the Buddha sends for him, consoles him and speaks his praises. Ananda tries to persuade the Buddha not to die in a mud-and-wattle village, such as is Kusinārā, but the Buddha tells him how it was once the mighty Kusāvatī, capital of Mahāsudassana.

The Mallas of Kusināra are informed that the Buddha will pass away in the third watch of the night, and they come with their families to pay their respects. The ascetic Subhadda comes to see the Buddha and is refused admission by Ananda, but the Buddha, overhearing, calls him in and converts him. Several minor rules of discipline are delivered, including the order for the excommunication of Channa. The Buddha finally asks the assembled monks to speak out any doubts they may have. All are silent and Ananda expresses his astonishment, but the Buddha tells him it is natural that the monks should have no doubts. Then, addressing the monks for the last time, he admonishes them in these words: "Decay is inherent in all component things; work out your salvation with diligence." These were the Buddha's last words. Passing backwards and forwards through various stages of trance, he attains Parinibbāna. There is a great earthquake and terrifying thunder, and the Brahmā Sahampati, Sakka king of the gods, Anuruddha and Ananda utter stanzas, each proclaiming the feeling uppermost in his mind. It is the full-moon day of the month of Visākha and the Buddha is in his eightieth year.

The next day Ananda informs the Mallas of Kusinārā of the Buddha's death, and for seven days they hold a great celebration. On the seventh day, following Ananda's instructions, they prepare the body for cremation, taking it in procession by the eastern gate to the Makutabandhana shrine, thus altering their proposed route, in order to satisfy the wishes of the gods, as communicated to them by Anuruddha. The whole town is covered knee-deep with mandārava-flowers, which fall from the sky. When, however, four of the chief Mallas try to light the pyre, their attempt is unsuccessful and they must wait until Mahā Kassapa, coming with a company of five hundred monks, has saluted it. The Commentaries (e.g., DA.ii.603) add that Mahā Kassapa greatly desired that the Buddha's feet should rest on his head when he worshipped the pyre. The wish was granted: the feet appeared through the pyre, and when Kassapa had worshipped them, the pyre closed together. The pyre burns completely away, leaving no cinders nor soot. Streams of water fall from the sky to extinguish it and the Mallas pour on it scented water. They then place a fence of spears around it and continue their celebrations for seven days. At the end of that period there appear several claimants for the Buddha's relics: Ajātasattu, the Licchavis of Vesāli, the Sākiyans of Kapilavatthu, the Bulis of Allakappa, the Koliyas of Rāmagāma, a brahmin of Vethadīpa and the Mallas of Pāvā. But the Mallas of Kusinārā refusing to share the relics with the others, there is danger of war. Then the brahmin Dona counsels concord and divides the relics into eight equal parts for the eight claimants. Dona takes for himself the measuring vessel and the Moriyas of Pipphalivana, who arrive late, carry off the ashes. Thūpas were built over these remains and feasts held in honour of the Buddha.

The concluding passage of the Mahā-Parinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.167) states that the Buddha's relics were eight measures, seven of which were honoured in Jambudīpa and the remaining one in the Nāga realm in Rāmagāma. One tooth was in heaven, one in Gandhāra, a third in Kālinga (later taken to Ceylon), and a fourth in the Nāga world. Ajātasattu's share was deposited in a thūpa and forgotten. It was later discovered by Asoka (with the help of Sakka) and distributed among his eighty-four thousand monasteries. Asoka also recorded the finding of all the other relics except those deposited in Rāmagāma. These were later deposited in the Mahācetiya at Anurādhapura (Mhv.xxxi.17ff). Other relics are also mentioned, such as the Buddha's collar-bone, his alms bowl, etc. (Mhv.xvii.9ff; Mhv.i.37, etc.).

It is said (E.g., DA.iii.899) that just before the Buddha's Sāsana disappears completely from the world, all the relics will gather together at the Mahācetiya, and travelling from there to Nāgadīpa and the Ratanacetiya, assemble at the Mahābodhi, together with the relics from other parts. There they will reform the Buddha's golden hued body, emitting the six-coloured aura. The body will then catch fire and completely disappear, amid the lamentations of the ten thousand world-systems.

The Ceylon Chronicles (Mhv.i.12ff; Dpv.i.45ff; ii.1ff etc.) record that the Buddha visited the Island on three separate occasions. (The Burmese claim that the Buddha visited their land and went to the Lohitacandana Vihāra, presented by the brothers Mahāpunna and Cūlapunna of Vānijagāma (Ind. Antiq.xxii., and Sās.36f.).

The first was while he was dwelling at Uruvelā, awaiting the moment for the conversion of the Tebhātika Jatilas, in the ninth month after the Enlightenment, on the full-moon day of Phussa (Dec.-Jan.). He came to the Mahānāga garden, and stood in the air over an assembly of yakkhas then being held. He struck terror into their hearts and, at his suggestion, they left Ceylon and went in a body to Giridīpa, hard by. The Buddha gave a handful of his hair to the deva Mahāsumana of the Sumanakūta mountain, who built a thūpa which was later enlarged into the Mahiyangana Thūpa. The Buddha again visited Ceylon in the fifth year, on the new-moon day of Citta (March-April), to check an imminent battle between two Nāga chiefs in Nāgadīpa; the combatants were Mahodara and Cūlodara, uncle and nephew, and the object of the quarrel was a gem-set throne. The Buddha appeared before them, accompanied by the deva Samiddhi-Sumana, carrying a Rājayatana tree from Jetavana, settled their quarrel and received, as a gift, the throne, the cause of the trouble. He left behind him both the throne and the Rājayatana tree for the worship of the Nāgās and accepted an invitation from the Nāga king, Maniakkhika of Kalyāni, to pay another visit to Ceylon. Three years later Maniakkhika repeated the invitation and the Buddha came to Kalyāni with five hundred monks, on the second day of Vesākha. Having preached to the Nāgas, he went to Sumanakūta, on the summit of which mountain he left the imprint of his foot (Legend has it that other footprints were left by the Buddha, on the bank of the river Nammadā, on the Saccabaddha mountain and in Yonakapura). He then stayed at Dīghavāpī and from there visited Mahāmeghavana, where he consecrated various spots by virtue of his presence, and proceeded to the site of the later Silācetiya. From there he returned to Jetavana.

Very little information as to the personality of the Buddha is available. We are told that he was golden-hued (E.g., Sp.iii.689), that his voice had the eight qualities of the Brahmassāra (E.g., D.ii.211; M.ii.166f. It is said that while an ordinary person spoke one word, Ananda could speak eight; but the Buddha could speak sixteen to the eight of Ananda, MA.i.283) - fluency, intelligibility, sweetness, audibility, continuity, distinctness, depth and resonance - that he had a fascinating personality - he was described by his opponents as seductive (E.g., M.i.269, 275) - that he was handsome, perfect alike in complexion and stature and noble of presence (E.g., M.ii.167). He had a unique reputation as a teacher and trainer of the human heart. He was endowed with the thirty-two marks of the Mahāpurisa. (For details of these, see Buddha). There is a legend that Mahā Kassapa, though slightly shorter, resembled the Buddha in appearance.

Attempts made, however, to measure the Buddha always failed; two such attempts are generally mentioned - one by a brahmin of Rājagaha and the other by Rāhu, chief of the Asuras (DA.i.284f). The Buddha had the physical strength of many millions of elephants (e.g., VibhA.397), but his strength quickly ebbed away after his last meal and he had to stop at twenty-five places while travelling three gāvutas from Pāvā to Kusināra (DA.ii.573).

Mention is often made of the Buddha's love of quiet and peace, and even the heretics respected his wishes in this matter, silencing their discussions at his approach (E.g., D.i.178f; iii.39; even his disciples had a similar reputation, e.g., D.iii.37). Examples are given of the Buddha refusing to allow noisy monks to live near him. (E.g., M.i.456; see also M.ii.122, where a monk was jogged by his neighbour because he coughed when the Buddha was speaking). He loved solitude and often spent long periods away from the haunts of men, allowing only one monk to bring him his meals. E.g., S.v.12, 320; but this very love of solitude was sometimes brought against him. By intercourse with whom does he attain to lucidity in wisdom? they asked. His insight, they said, was ruined by his habit of seclusion (D.iii.38).

According to one account (A.i.181), it was his practice to spend part of the day in seclusion, but he was always ready to see anyone who urgently desired his spiritual counsel (E.g., A.iv.438).

In the Mahā Govinda Sutta (D.ii.222f ) Sakka is represented as having uttered "eight true praises" of the Buddha. Perhaps the most predominant characteristics of the Buddha were his boundless love and his eagerness to help all who sought him. His fondness for children is seen in such stories as those of the two Sopākas, of Kumāra-Kassapa, of Cūla Panthaka and Dabba-Mallaputta and also of the novices Pandita and Sukha. His kindness to animals appears, for instance, in the introductory story of the Maccha Jātaka and his interference on behalf of Udena's aged elephant, Bhaddavatikā (q.v.). The Buddha was extremely devoted to his disciples and encouraged them in every way in their difficult life. The Theragāthā and the Therīgāthā are full of stories indicating that he watched, with great care, the spiritual growth and development of his disciples, understood their problems and was ready with timely interference to help them to win their aims. Such incidents as those mentioned in the Bhaddāli Sutta (M.i.445), the introduction to the Tittha Jātaka and the Kañcakkhandha Jātaka, seem to indicate that he took a personal and abiding interest in all who came under him. It was his unvarying custom to greet with a smile all those who visited him, inquiring after their welfare and thus putting them at their ease (Vin.i.313). When anyone sought permission to question him, he made no conditions as to the topic of discussion. This is called sabbaññupavārana. E.g., M.i.230. When the Buddha himself asked a question of any of his interrogators, they could not remain silent, but were bound to answer; a yakkha called Vajirapāni was always present to frighten those who did not wish to do so (e.g., M.i.231).

The Buddha was not over-anxious to get converts, and when his visitors declared themselves his followers he would urge them to take time to consider the matter - e.g., in the case of Acela Kassapa and Upāligahapati.

When he was staying in a monastery, he paid daily visits to the sick ward to talk to the inmates and to comfort them (See, e.g., Kutāgārasālā). The charming story of Pūtigata-Tissa shows that he sometimes attended on the sick himself, thus setting an example to his followers. In return for his devotion, his disciples adored him, but even among those who immediately surrounded him there were a few who refused to obey him implicitly - e.g., Lāludāyī, the companions of Assaji and Punabbasuka, the Chabbaggiyas, the Sattarasavaggiyas and others, not to mention Devadatta and his associates.

The Buddha seems to have shown a special regard for Sāriputta, Ananda and Mahā Kassapa among the monks, and for Anāthapindika, Mallikā, Visakhā, Bimbisāra and Pasenadi among the laity. He seems to have been secretly amused by the very human qualities of Pasenadi and by his failure to appreciate the real superiority of Mallikā, his wife.

The Buddha always declared that he was among the happy ones of this earth, that he was far happier, for instance, than Bimbisāra (E.g., M.i.94), and he remained unmoved by opposition or abuse. E.g., in the case of the organised conspiracy of Māgandiyā (DhA.iv.1f.).

The Milindapañha (p.134) mentions several illnesses of the Buddha: the injury to his foot has already been referred to; once when the humours of his body were disturbed Jīvaka administered a purge (Vin.i.279); on another occasion he suffered from some stomach trouble which was cured by hot water, or, according to some, by hot gruel (Vin.i.210f.; Thag.185). The Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.iv.232; ThagA.i.311f) mentions another disorder of the humours cured by hot water obtained from the brahmin Devahita, through Upavāna. The Commentaries mention that he suffered, in his old age, from constant backache, owing to the severe austerities practised by him during the six years preceding his Enlightenment, and the unsuitable meals taken during that period were responsible for a dyspepsia which persisted throughout the rest of his life (SA.i.200), culminating in his last serious illness of dysentery. MA.i.465; DA.iii.974; see also D.iii.209, when he was preaching to the Mallas of Pāvā.

The Apadāna (Ap.i.299f) contains a set of verses called Pubbakammapiloti; these verses mention certain acts done by the Buddha in the past, which resulted in his having to suffer in various ways in his last birth. He was once a drunkard named Munāli and he abused the Pacceka Buddha Surabhi. On another occasion he was a learned brahmin, teacher of five hundred pupils. One day, seeing the Pacceka Buddha Isigana, he spoke ill of him to his pupils, calling him "sensualist." The result of this act was the calumny against him by Sundarikā in this life.

In another life he reviled a disciple of a Buddha, named Nanda; for this he suffered in hell for twelve thousand years and, in his last life, was disgraced by Ciñcā. Once, greedy for wealth, he killed his step-brothers, hurling them down a precipice; as a result, Devadatta attempted to kill him by hurling down a rock. Once, as a boy, while playing on the highway, he saw a Pacceka Buddha and threw a stone at him, and as a result, was shot at by Devadatta's hired archers. In another life he was a mahout, and seeing a Pacceka Buddha on the road, drove his elephant against him; hence the attack by Nālāgiri. Once, as a king, he sentenced seventy persons to death, the reward for which he reaped when a splinter pierced his foot. Because once, as a fisherman's son, he took delight in watching fish being caught, he suffered from a grievous headache when Vidūdabha slaughtered the Sākiyans. In the time of Phussa Buddha he asked the monks to eat barley instead of rice and, as a result, had to eat barley for three months at Verañja. (According to the Dhammapada Commentary , the Buddha actually had to starve one day at Pañcasālā, because none of the inhabitants were willing to give him alms.) Because he once killed a wrestler, he suffered from cramp in the back. Once, when a physician, he caused discomfort to a merchant by purging him, hence his last illness of dysentery. As Jotipāla, he spoke disparagingly of the Enlightenment of Kassapa Buddha, and in consequence had to spend six years following various paths before becoming the Buddha. He was one of the most short-lived Buddhas, but because of those six years his Sāsana will last longer (Sp.i.190f).

The Buddha was generally addressed by his own disciples as Bhagavā. He spoke of himself as Tathāgata, while non-Buddhists referred to him as Gotama or Mahāsamana. Other names used are Mahāmuni, Sākyamuni, Jina, Sakka (e.g., Sn.vs.345) and Brahma (Sn.vs.91; SnA.ii.418), also Yakkha (q.v.).

The Anguttara Nikāya (A.i.23ff) gives a list of the Buddha's most eminent disciples, both among members of the Order and among the laity. Each one in the list is mentioned as having possessed pre-eminence in some particular respect.


An open space near Benares, the site of the famous Migadāya or Deer Park. It was eighteen leagues from Uruvelā, and when Gotama gave up his austere penances his friends, the Pañcavaggiya monks, left him and went to Isipatana (J.i.68). After his Enlightenment the Buddha, leaving Uruvela, joined them in Isipatana, and it was there that he preached his first sermon, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, on the full-moon day of Āsālha. Vin.i.10f.; on this occasion 80 kotis of Brahmas and innumerable gods attained the comprehension of the Truth (Mil.30); (130 kotis says Mil.350). The Lal. (528) gives details of the stages of this journey. The Buddha, having no money with which to pay the ferryman, crossed the Ganges through the air. When Bimbisāra heard of this, he abolished the toll for ascetics.

There, also, the Buddha spent his first rainy season (BuA., p.3).

All the Buddhas preach their first sermon at the Migadāya in Isipatana; it is one of the four avijahitatthānāni (unchanging spots), the others being the bodhi-pallanka, the spot at the gate of Sankassa, where the Buddha first touches the earth on his return from Tāvatimsa, and the site of the bed in the Gandhakuti in Jetavana (BuA.247; DA.ii.424).

Isipatana is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit (D.ii.141).

Isipatana was so-called because sages, on their way through the air (from the Himalayas), alight here or start from here on their aerial flight (isayo ettha nipatanti uppatanti cāti-Isipatanam).

The Migadāya was so-called because deer were allowed to roam about there unmolested.

Pacceka Buddhas, having spent seven days in contemplation in the Gandhamādana, bathe in the Anotatta Lake and come to the habitations of men through the air, in search of alms. They descend to earth at Isipatana (MA.i.387; AA.i.347 adds that sages also held the uposatha at Isipatana).

Sometimes the Pacceka Buddhas come to Isipatana from Nandamūlaka-pabbhāra (MA.ii.1019; PsA.437-8).

Several other incidents connected with the Buddha, besides the preaching of the first sermon, are mentioned as having taken place in Isipatana. Here it was that one day at dawn Yasa came to the Buddha and became an arahant (Vin.i.15f). It was at Isipatana, too, that the rule was passed prohibiting the use of sandals made of talipot leaves (Vin.i.189). On another occasion when the Buddha was staying at Isipatana, having gone there from Rājagaha, he instituted rules forbidding the use of certain kinds of flesh, including human flesh (Vin.i.216ff.; the rule regarding human flesh was necessary because Suppiyā made broth out of her own flesh for a sick monk). Twice, while the Buddha was at Isipatana, Māra visited him but had to go away discomfited (S.i.105f).

Besides the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta mentioned above, several other suttas were preached by the Buddha while staying at Isipatana, among them

- the Pañca Sutta (S.iii.66f),

- the Rathakāra or Pacetana Sutta (A.i.110f),

- the two Pāsa Suttas (S.i.105f),

- the Samaya Sutta (A.iii.320ff),

- the Katuviya Sutta (A.i.279f.),

- a discourse on the Metteyyapañha of the Parāyana (A.iii.399f), and

- the Dhammadinna Sutta (S.v.406f), preached to the distinguished layman Dhammadinna, who came to see the Buddha.

Some of the most eminent members of the Sangha seem to have resided at Isipatana from time to time; among recorded conversations at Isipatana are several between Sāriputta and Mahākotthita (S.ii.112f;iii.167f;iv.162f; 384ff), and one between Mahākotthita and Citta-Hatthisāriputta (A.iii.392f).

Mention is made, too, of a discourse in which several monks staying at Isipatana tried to help Channa in his difficulties (S.iii.132f).

According to the Mahāvamsa, there was a large community of monks at Isipatana in the second century B.C. For, we are told that at the foundation ceremony of the Mahā Thūpa in Anurādhapura, twelve thousand monks were present from Isipatana led by the Elder Dhammasena (Mhv.xxix.31).

Hiouen Thsang (Beal: Records of the Western World, ii.45ff ) found, at Isipatana, fifteen hundred monks studying the Hīnayāna. In the enclosure of the Sanghārāma was a vihāra about two hundred feet high, strongly built, its roof surmounted by a golden figure of the mango. In the centre of the vihāra was a life-size statue of the Buddha turning the wheel of the Law. To the south-west were the remains of a stone stupa built by Asoka. The Divy. (389-94) mentions Asoka as intimating to Upagupta his desire to visit the places connected with the Buddha's activities, and to erect thupas there. Thus he visited Lumbinī, Bodhimūla, Isipatana, Migadāya and Kusinagara; this is confirmed by Asoka's lithic records, e.g. Rock Edict, viii.

In front of it was a stone pillar to mark the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Near by was another stupa on the site where the Pañcavaggiyas spent their time in meditation before the Buddha's arrival, and another where five hundred Pacceka Buddhas entered Nibbāna. Close to it was another building where the future Buddha Metteyya received assurance of his becoming a Buddha.

Hiouen Thsang quotes the Nigrodhamiga Jātaka (J.i.145ff) to account for the origin of the Migadāya. According to him the Deer Park was the forest gifted by the king of Benares of the Jātaka, where the deer might wander unmolested.

According to the Udapāna Jātaka (J.ii.354ff ) there was a very ancient well near Isipatana which, in the Buddha's time, was used by the monks living there.

In past ages Isipatana sometimes retained its own name, E.g., in the time of Phussa Buddha (Bu.xix.18), Dhammadassī (BuA.182) and Kassapa (BuA.218). Kassapa was born there (ibid., 217).

But more often Isipatana was known by different names (for these names see under those of the different Buddhas). Thus in Vipassī's time it was known as Khema-uyyāna. It is the custom for all Buddhas to go through the air to Isipatana to preach their first sermon. Gotama, however, walked all the way, eighteen leagues, because he knew that by so doing he would meet Upaka, the Ajivaka, to whom he could be of service (DA.ii.471).

Isipatana is identified with the modern Saranath, six miles from Benares. Cunningham (Arch. Reports, i. p. 107) found the Migadāya represented by a fine wood, covering an area of about half a mile, extending from the great tomb of Dhammek on the north to the Chaukundi mound on the south.


A prince. Owner of Jetavana, which he sold to Anāthapindika for eighteen crores. He then spent all that money on the erection of a gateway at the entrance, which he decorated with much grandeur (See Jetavana). Jeta is generally referred to as Jeta-Kumāra. According to the northern records he was the son of Pasenadi by the Ksatriya princess Varsikā (Rockhill: 48, n.1). He was killed by his half-brother Vidudabha for refusing to help him in his slaughter of the Sākyans (Ibid., 121). Several explanations (MA.i.50; UdA.56; KhpA.111, etc.) are given of his name: he was so-called either (1) because he conquered his enemies, or (2) because he was born at a time when the king had overcome his enemies, or (3) because such a name was considered auspicious for him (mangalakāmyatāya).


A park in Sāvatthi, in which was built the Anāthapindikārāma. When the Buddha accepted Anāthapindika's invitation to visit Sāvatthi the latter, seeking a suitable place for the Buddha's residence, discovered this park belonging to Jetakumāra (MA.i.471 says it was in the south of Sāvatthi). When he asked to be allowed to buy it, Jeta's reply was: "Not even if you could cover the whole place with money." Anāthapindika said that he would buy it at that price, and when Jeta answered that he had had no intention of making a bargain, the matter was taken before the Lords of Justice, who decided that if the price mentioned were paid, Anāthapindika had the right of purchase. Anāthapindika had gold brought down in carts and covered Jetavana with pieces laid side by side. (This incident is illustrated in a bas-relief at the Bharhut Tope; see Cunningham - the Stūpa of Bharhut, Pl.lvii., pp.84-6). The money brought in the first journey was found insufficient to cover one small spot near the gateway. So Anāthapindika sent his servants back for more, but Jeta, inspired by Anāthapindika's earnestness, asked to be allowed to give this spot. Anāthapindika agreed and Jeta erected there a gateway, with a room over it. Anāthapindika built in the grounds dwelling rooms, retiring rooms, store rooms and service halls, halls with fireplaces, closets, cloisters, halls for exercise, wells, bathrooms, ponds, open and roofed sheds, etc. (Vin.ii.158f).

It is said (MA.i.50; UdA.56f) that Anāthapindika paid eighteen crores for the purchase of the site, all of which Jeta spent in the construction of the gateway gifted by him. (The gateway was evidently an imposing structure; see J.ii.216).

Jeta gave, besides, many valuable trees for timber. Anāthapindika himself spent fifty-four crores in connection with the purchase of the park and the buildings erected in it.

The ceremony of dedication was one of great splendour. Not only Anāthapindika himself, but his whole family took part: his son with five hundred other youths, his wife with five hundred other noble women, and his daughters Mahā Subhaddā and Cūla Subhaddā with five hundred other maidens. Anāthapindika was attended by five hundred bankers. The festivities in connection with the dedication lasted for nine months (J.i.92ff).

Some of the chief buildings attached to the Jetavana are mentioned in the books by special names, viz., Mahāgandhakuti, Kaverimandalamāla, Kosambakuti and Candanamāla. SNA.ii.403. Other buildings are also mentioned - e.g., the Ambalakotthaka-āsanasālā (J.ii.246). According to Tibetan sources the vihāra was built according to a plan sent by the devas of Tusita and contained sixty large halls and sixty small. The Dulva also gives details of the decorative scheme of the vihāra (Rockhill: op. cit.48 and n.2).

All these were built by Anāthapindika; there was another large building erected by Pasenadi and called the Salalaghara (DA.ii.407). Over the gateway lived a guardian deity to prevent all evildoers from entering (SA.i.239). Just outside the monastery was a rājayatana-tree, the residence of the god Samiddhisumana (Mhv.i.52f; MT 105; but see DhA.i.41, where the guardian of the gateway is called Sumana).

In the grounds there seems to have been a large pond which came to be called the Jetavanapokkharanī. (AA.i.264; here the Buddha often bathed (J.i.329ff.). Is this the Pubbakotthaka referred to at A.iii.345? But see S.v.220; it was near this pond that Devadatta was swallowed up in Avīci (J.iv.158)).

The grounds themselves were thickly covered with trees, giving the appearance of a wooded grove (arañña) (Sp.iii.532). On the outskirts of the monastery was a mango-grove (J.iii.137). In front of the gateway was the Bodhi-tree planted by Anāthapindika, which came later to be called the Anandabodhi (q.v.) (J.iv.228f). Not far from the gateway was a cave which became famous as the Kapallapūvapabbhāra on account of an incident connected with Macchariya-Kosiya (J.i.348).

Near Jetavana was evidently a monastery of the heretics where Ciñcāmānavikā spent her nights while hatching her conspiracy against the Buddha. (DhA.iii.179; behind Jetavana was a spot where the Ajivakas practised their austerities (J.i.493). Once the heretics bribed Pasenadi to let them make a rival settlement behind Jetavana, but the Buddha frustrated their plans (J.ii.170)).

There seems to have been a playground just outside Jetavana used by the children of the neighbourhood, who, when thirsty, would go into Jetavana to drink (DhA.iii.492). The high road to Sāvatthi passed by the edge of Jetavana, and travellers would enter the park to rest and refresh themselves (J.ii.203, 341; see also vi.70, where two roads are mentioned).

According to the Divyāvadāna (Dvy.395f), the thūpas of Sāriputta and Moggallāna were in the grounds of Jetavana and existed until the time of Asoka. Both Fa Hien (Giles: p.33ff) and Houien Thsang (Beal.ii.7ff) give descriptions of other incidents connected with the Buddha, which took place in the neighbourhood of Jetavana - e.g., the murder of Sundarikā, the calumny of Ciñcā, Devadatta's attempt to poison the Buddha, etc.

The space covered by the four bedposts of the Buddha's Gandhakuti in Jetavana is one of the four avijahitatthānāni; all Buddhas possess the same, though the size of the actual vihāra differs in the case of the various Buddhas. For Vipassī Buddha, the setthi Punabbasumitta built a monastery extending for a whole league, while for Sikhī, the setthi Sirivaddha made one covering three gavutas. The Sanghārāma built by Sotthiya for Vessabhū was half a league in extent, while that erected by Accuta for Kakusandha covered only one gāvuta. Konagamana's monastery, built by the setthi Ugga, extended for half a gāvuta, while Kassapa's built by Sumangala covered sixteen karīsas. Anāthapindika's monastery covered a space of eighteen karīsas (BuA.2, 47; J.i.94; DA.ii.424).

The Buddha spent nineteen rainy seasons in Jetavana (DhA.i.3; BuA.3; AA.i.314). It is said that after the Migāramātupāsāda came into being, the Buddha would dwell alternately in Jetavana and Migāramātupāsāda, often spending the day in one and the night in the other (SNA.i.336).

According to a description given by Fa Hien (Giles, pp.31, 33), the vihāra was originally in seven sections (storeys?) and was filled with all kinds of offerings, embroidered banners, canopies, etc., and the lamps burnt from dusk to dawn.

One day a rat, holding in its mouth a lamp wick, set fire to the banners and canopies, and all the seven sections were entirely destroyed. The vihāra was later rebuilt in two sections. There were two main entrances, one on the east, one on the west, and Fa Hsien found thūpas erected at all the places connected with the Buddha, each with its name inscribed.

The vihāra is almost always referred to as Jetavane Anāthapindikassa Ārāma. The Commentaries (MA.ii.50; UdA.56f, etc.) say that this was deliberate (at the Buddha's own suggestion pp.81-131; Beal: op. cit., ii.5 and Rockhill: p.49), in order that the names of both earlier and later owners might be recorded and that people might be reminded of two men, both very generous in the cause of the Religion, so that others might follow their example. The vihāra is sometimes referred to as Jetārāma (E.g., Ap.i.400).

In the district of Saheth-Mabeth, with which the region of Sāvatthi is identified, Saheth is considered to be Jetavana (Arch. Survey of India, 1907-8, pp.81-131).


A township which formed the eastern boundary of the Majjhimadesa. Beyond it was Mahāsālā (Vin.i.197; DA.i.173; MA.i.316, etc.; AA.i.55, etc.; J.i.49; Mbv.12). In the Buddha's time it was a prosperous place where provisions could easily be obtained (dabbasambhārasulabhā) (J.iv.310). Once when the Buddha was staying in the Veluvana at Kajangala, the lay followers there heard a sermon from the Buddha and went to the nun Kajangalā to have it explained in detail (A.v.54f). On another occasion the Buddha stayed in the Mukheluvana and was visited there by Uttara, the disciple of Pārāsariya. Their conversation is recorded in the Indriyabhāvānā Sutta (M.iii.298ff). In the Milindapañha (p.10), Kajangala is described as a brahmin village and is given as the place of Nāgasena's birth. In the Kapota Jātaka mention is made of Kajangala, and the scholiast (J.iii.226-7) explains that it may be the same as Benares. According to the scholiast of the Bhisa Jātaka (J.iv.311), the tree-spirit mentioned in that story was the chief resident monk in an old monastery in Kajangala, which monastery he repaired with difficulty during the time of Kassapa Buddha.

Kajangala is identified with the Kie-chu-hoh-khi-lo of Hiouen Thsang, which he describes as a district about two thousand li in circumference. (Beal, Bud. Records, ii.193, and n.; see also Cunningham, A.G.I.723). It may also be identical with the town Pundavardhana mentioned in the Divyāvadāna (p.21f). The Avadānasataka (ii.41) calls it Kacangalā.


The name, probably, of a gotta or family. Mention is made of a nigama belonging to them in Kosala, which was called Kesaputta. The sermon preached by the Buddha on his visit to Kesaputta is justly famous (A.i.188ff). The Kālāmas were Khattiyas (AA.i.418). Among members of this family specially mentioned by name are Bharandu-Kālāma, who was once a co-disciple of the Bodhisatta, and Alāra-Kālāma, the teacher of Gotama before his Enlightenment.


A township of the Kurūs. The Buddha, during the course of his wanderings, stayed there several times; the exact place of his residence is, however, mentioned only once, namely the fire-hut of a brahmin of the Bhāradvāja-gotta, where a grass mat was spread for him by the brahmin. It was on this occasion, according to the Māgandiya Sutta (M.i.501), that, after a long discussion, Māgandiya was converted.

Several important discourses were preached at Kammāsadamma, among them being:

- the Mahānidāna Sutta (D.ii.55; S.ii.92)

- the Mahāsatipatthāna Sutta (D.ii.290; M.i.55)

- the Ānañjasappāya Sutta (M.ii.26)

The Samyutta Nikāya (S.ii.107f) contains a discourse on handling experiences by way of casual relations, and the Anguttara (A.v.29f ) a discourse on the ten noble states (ariyavāsā), both preached at Kammāsadhamma.

Buddhaghosa (SA.ii.89) says that the people there were full of wisdom and their food was nutritious; it was therefore a compliment to their intellectual calibre that the Buddha should have preached these suttas to them.

Even in Buddhaghosa's day the name of the township had two different spellings, and two etymologies are suggested for the names (DA.ii.483). The place was called Kammāsadamma because it was here that the man-eating ogre, Kammāsapāda was tamed and civilized by the Bodhisatta. (Kammāso ettha damito ti, Kammāsadamam-Kammāso ti Kammāsapādo porisādo vuccati.)

The spelling Kammāsadhamma is explained on the ground that the people of the Kuru country had a code of honour called the Kuruvattadhamma; it was here that Kammāsa (already referred to) was converted and made to accept this code, hence the name of the township. (Kururatthavāsīnam kira kuruvattadhammo, tasmim Kanamāso jāto, tasmā tam thānam "Kammāso ettha dhamme jāto" ti Kammāsadhammam ti vuccati.)

According to the Jātakas, there are two places of the same name, called Cūlakammāsadamma and Mahākammāsadamma respectively, to distinguish one from the other. Mahākammāsadamma, which was evidently the original place, was founded on the spot where the porisāda of the Mahāsutasoma Jātaka was tamed (J.v.411), while Cūlakammāsadamma was the name given to the place where Jayaddisa showed his prowess by his spiritual victory over the ogre in the Jayaddisa Jātaka (J.v.35f).

In the Divyāvadāna (pp.515f), the place is called Kammāsadamya. It was the residence of the nuns Nanduttarā and Mittākālikā (ThigA.87, 89).


A township of the Kosalans and the residence of the Kālāmas. The Buddha once stayed there, on which occasion he preached the Kesaputtiya Sutta.


A country inhabited by the Kosalā, to the north-west of Magadha and next to Kāsī. It is mentioned second in the list of sixteen Mahājanapadas (E.g., A.i.213; iv.252, etc.). In the Buddha's time it was a powerful kingdom ruled over by Pasenadi, who was succeeded by his son Vidūdabha. By this time Kāsī was under the subjection of Kosala, for we find that when Bimbisāra, king of Magadha, married Kosaladevī, daughter of Mahākosala and sister of Pasenadi, a village in Kāsī was given as part of the dowry (J.ii.237; iv.342f). Various Jātakas indicate that the struggle between Kāsi and Kosala had been very prolonged (See, e.g., J.ii.21f; iii.115f; 211f; v.316, 425).

Sometimes the Kāsi king would attack Kosala, capture the king and rule over the country. At others the Kosala king would invade Kāsi and annex it to his own territory. Several Kosala kings who succeeded in doing this, are mentioned by name - e.g., Dabbasena (J.iii.13), Dīghāvu (J.iii.211f), Vanka (J.iii.168) and Kamsa; the last being given the special title of "Bāranāsiggāha," (J.ii.403; v.112) probably in recognition of the fact that he completed the conquest of Kāsi. Other kings of Kosala who came in conflict with Benares in one way or another are mentioned - e.g., Dīghiti (J.iii.211f; Vin.i.342f), Mallika (J.ii.3), and Chatta (J.iii.116).

Sometimes the kings of the two countries entered into matrimonial alliances (e.g., J.iii.407). With the capture of Kāsi the power of Kosala increased rapidly, until a struggle between this country and Magadha became inevitable. Bimbisāra's marriage was probably a political alliance, but it only served to postpone the evil day. Quite soon after his death there were many fierce fights between Ajātasattu, his successor, and Pasenadi, these fights bringing varying fortunes to the combatants. Once Ajātasattu was captured alive, but Pasenadi spared his life and gave him his daughter, Vajirā, in marriage and for a time all went well.

Later, however, after his conquest of the Licchavis, Ajātasattu seems to have succeeded in establishing his sway in Kosala. (See Vincent Smith, op. cit., 32f). In the sixth century B.C. the Sākyan territory of Kapilavatthu was subject to Kosala. The Sutta Nipāta (vs.405) speaks of the Buddha's birthplace as belonging to the Kosalans; see also A.i.276, where Kapilavatthu is mentioned as being in Kosala. Elsewhere (M.ii.124) Pasenadi is reported as saying, "Bhagavā pi Kosalako, aham pi Kosalako."

At the time of the Buddha Sāvatthi was the capital of Kosala. Next in importance was Saketa, which, in ancient days, had sometimes been the capital (J.iii.270; Mtu.i.348). There was also Ayojjhā, on the banks of the Sarayu, which, judging from the Rāmāyana, must once have been the chief city; but in the sixth century B.C. it was quite unimportant.

The river Sarayu divided Kosala into two parts, Uttara Kosala and Dakkhina Kosala (Law: Geog., p.6).

Other Kosala rivers mentioned in the books are the Aciravatī (D.i.235) and the Sundarikā (S.i.167; SN. p.97; but see M.i.39, where the river is called Bāhukā).

The Buddha spent the greater part of his time in Kosala, either in Sāvatthi or in touring in the various parts of the country, and many of the Vinaya rules were formulated in Kosala. (See Vinaya Index, s.v. Kosala). It is said (SA.i.221) that alms were plentiful in Kosala, though, evidently (J.i.329), famines, due to drought, were not unknown. Yet, though woodland tracts were numerous (see, e.g., SA.i.225) where monks could meditate in solitude, the number of monks actually found in Kosala was not large (VT.i.226). Bāvarī himself was a native of Kosala (SN.v.976), yet he preferred to have his hermitage in Dakkhināpatha.

After the Buddha's death, his unnaloma was deposited in a thūpa in Kosala (Bu.xxviii.9). It is said that the measures used in Kosala were larger than those of Magadha - thus one Kosala pattha was equal to four Magadha patthas (SNA.ii.476).

Kosala is often mentioned in combination with Kāsi in the compound Kāsi-Kosala; Pasenadi was king of Kāsi-Kosala (e.g., A.v.59) (cf. Ariga-Magadha). See also Pasenadi.


The capital of the Vatsas or Vamsas (J.iv.28; vi.236). In the time of the Buddha its king was Parantapa, and after him reigned his son Udena. (MA.ii.740f; DhA.i.164f). Kosambī was evidently a city of great importance at the time of the Buddha for we find Ananda mentioning it as one of the places suitable for the Buddha's Parinibbāna (D.ii.146,169). It was also the most important halt for traffic coming to Kosala and Magadha from the south and the west. (See, e.g., Vin.i.277).

The city was thirty leagues by river from Benares. (Thus we are told that the fish which swallowed Bakkula travelled thirty leagues through the Yamunā, from Kosambī to Benares, AA.i.170; PsA.491). The usual route from Rājagaha to Kosambī was up the river (this was the route taken by Ananda when he went with five hundred others to inflict the higher punishment on Channa, Vin.ii.290), though there seems to have been a land route passing through Anupiya and Kosambī to Rājagaha. (See Vin.ii.184f). In the Sutta Nipāta (vv.1010-13) the whole route is given from Mahissati to Rājagaha, passing through Kosambī, the halting-places mentioned being Ujjeni, Gonaddha, Vedisa, Vanasavhya, Kosambī, Sāketa, Sāvatthi, Setavyā, Kapilavatthu, Kusinārā, Pāvā, Bhoganagara and Vesāli.

Near Kosambī, by the river, was Udena's park, the Udakavana, where Ananda and Pindola-Bhāradvāja preached to the women of Udena's palace on two different occasions (Vin.ii.290f; SNA.ii.514; J.iv.375). The Buddha is mentioned as having once stayed in the Simsapāvana in Kosambī (S.v.437). Mahā Kaccāna lived in a woodland near Kosambī after the holding of the First Council (PvA.141).

Already in the Buddha's time there were four establishments of the Order in Kosambī - the Kukkutārāma, the Ghositārāma, the Pāvārika-ambavana (these being given by three of the most eminent citizens of Kosambī, named respectively, Kukkuta, Ghosita and Pāvārika), and the Badarikārāma. The Buddha visited Kosambī on several occasions, stopping at one or other of these residences, and several discourses delivered during these visits are recorded in the books. (Thomas, op. cit., 115, n.2, doubts the authenticity of the stories connected with the Buddha's visits to Kosambī, holding that these stories are of later invention).

The Buddha spent his ninth rainy season at Kosambī, and it was on his way there on this occasion that he made a detour to Kammāssadamma and was offered in marriage Māgandiyā, daughter of the brahmin Māgandiya. The circumstances are narrated in connection with the Māgandiya Sutta. Māgandiyā took the Buddha's refusal as an insult to herself, and, after her marriage to King Udena, tried in various ways to take revenge on the Buddha, and also on Udena's wife Sāmavatī, who had been the Buddha's follower. (DhA.i.199ff; iii.193ff; iv.1ff; Ud.vii.10).

A great schism once arose among the monks in Kosambī. Some monks charged one of their colleagues with having committed an offence, but he refused to acknowledge the charge and, being himself learned in the Vinaya, argued his case and pleaded that the charge be dismissed. The rules were complicated; on the one hand, the monk had broken a rule and was treated as an offender, but on the other, he should not have been so treated if he could not see that he had done wrong. The monk was eventually excommunicated, and this brought about a great dissension. When the matter was reported to the Buddha, he admonished the partisans of both sides and urged them to give up their differences, but they paid no heed, and even blows were exchanged. The people of Kosambī, becoming angry at the monks' behaviour, the quarrel grew apace. The Buddha once more counselled concord, relating to the monks the story of King Dīghiti of Kosala, but his efforts at reconciliation were of no avail, one of the monks actually asking him to leave them to settle their differences without his interference. In disgust the Buddha left Kosambī and, journeying through Bālakalonakāragāma and the Pācīnavamsadaya, retired alone to keep retreat in the Pārileyyaka forest. In the meantime the monks of both parties repented, partly owing to the pressure exerted by their lay followers in Kosambī, and, coming to the Buddha at Sāvatthi, they asked his pardon and settled their dispute. (Vin.i.337-57; J.iii.486ff (cp.iii.211ff); DhA.i.44ff; SA.ii.222f; the story of the Buddha going into the forest is given in Ud.iv.5. and in S.iii.94, but the reason given in these texts is that he found Kosambī uncomfortable owing to the vast number of monks, lay people and heretics. But see UdA.248f, and SA.ii.222f).

The Commentaries give two reasons for the name Kosambī. The more favoured is (E.g., UdA.248; SNA.300; MA.i.535. Epic tradition ascribes the foundation of Kosambī to a Cedi prince, while the origin of the Vatsa people is traced to a king of Kāsī, see PHAI.83, 84) that the city was so called because it was founded in or near the site of the hermitage once occupied by the sage Kusumba (v.l. Kusumbha). Another explanation is (e.g., MA i.539; PsA.413) that large and stately margossa-trees (Kosammarukkhā) grew in great numbers in and around the city.

Bakkula was the son of a banker in Kosambī. (MA.ii.929; AA.i.170). In the Buddha's time there lived near the ferry at Kosambī a powerful Nāga-king, the reincarnation of a former ship's captain. The Nāga was converted by Sāgata, who thereby won great fame. (AA.i.179; but see J.i.360, where the incident is given as happening at Bhaddavatikā). Rujā was born in a banker's family in Kosambī ( Citta-pandita was also born there (J.iv.392). A king, by name Kosambaka (q.v.), once ruled there.

During the time of the Vajjian heresy, when the Vajjian monks of Vesāli wished to excommunicate Yasa Kākandakaputta, he went by air to Kosambī, and from there sent messengers to the orthodox monks in the different centres (Vin.ii.298; Mhv.iv.17).

It was at Kosambī that the Buddha promulgated a rule forbidding the use of intoxicants by monks (Vin.ii.307).

Kosambī is mentioned in the Samyutta Nikāya (S.iv.179; but see AA.i.170; MA.ii.929; PsA.491, all of which indicate that the city was on the Yamunā) as being "Gangāya nadiyā tīre." This is either an error, or here the name Gangā refers not to the Ganges but to the Yamunī. Kosambī is identified with the two villages of Kosam on the Jumna, about ninety miles west of Allahabad. (CAGI.448f; Vincent Smith places it further south, J.R.A.S.1898, 503ff).


A country, one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas (D.ii.200; A.i.213 etc.). Frequent references to it are found in the Pāli Canon. It is said that Kuru was originally the name of the chieftains (rājakumārā) of the country and that their territory was later named after them. Buddhaghosa records a tradition (DA.ii.481f; MA.i.184 etc.) which states that, when Mandhātā returned to Jambudīpa from his sojourn in the four Mahādīpas and in the devalokas, there were in his retinue a large number of the people of Uttarakuru. They settled down in Jambudīpa, and their settlement was known as Kururattha. It had many towns and villages.

The country seems to have had very little political influence in the Buddha's time, though, in the past, Pañcāla, Kuru and Kekaka were evidently three of the most powerful kingdoms (See, e.g., J.ii.214). According to the Jātakas (E.g., J.v.57, 484; vi.255. Also Mtu.i.34; ii.419), the kingdom of Kuru was three hundred leagues in extent and its capital, Indapatta, seven leagues in circumference. The ruling dynasty at Indapatta belonged to the Yudhitthila-gotta (J.iii.400; iv.361). Among the kings of the past, Dhanañjaya Koravya is mentioned several times (J.ii.366; iii.400; iv.450; vi.260 etc.) and reference is also made to a king called Koravya (J.iv.361; v.457) whose son was the Bodhisatta Sutasoma. During the Buddha's time, also, the chieftain of Kuru was called Koravya, and his discussion with the Elder Ratthapāla, who was himself the scion of a noble family of the Kurus, is recounted in the Ratthapāla Sutta (M.ii.65ff). Perhaps at one time the Kuru kingdom extended as far as Uttarapañcāla, for in the Somanassa Jātaka (J.iv.444), Uttarapañcāla is mentioned as a town in the Kururattha, with Renu as its king.

Koravya had a park called Migācīra where Ratthapāla took up his residence when he visited his parents (MA.ii.725). The people of Kuru had a reputation for deep wisdom and good health, and this reputation is mentioned (MA.i.184f; AA.ii.820; they were also probably reputed to be virtuous; see the Kurudhamma Jātaka) as the reason for the Buddha having delivered some of his most profound discourses to the Kurus, for example, the Mahānidāna, and the Mahāsatipatthāna Suttas. Among other discourses delivered in the Kuru country are the Māgandiya Sutta, the Anañjasappāya Sutta, the Sammosa Sutta and the Ariyavasā Sutta. All these were preached at Kammāssadhamma, which is described as a nigama of the Kurūs, where the Buddha resided from time to time. Another town of the Kurūs, which we find mentioned, is Thullakotthika, the birthplace of Ratthapāla, and here the Buddha stayed during a tour (M.ii.54; ThagA.ii.30). Udena's queen, Māgandiyā, came from Kuru (DhA.i.199), and Aggidatta, chaplain to the Kosala king, lived on the boundary between Kuru and Ariga and Magadha, honoured by the inhabitants of all three kingdoms (DhA.iii.242).

The Kuru country is generally identified as the district around Thānesar, with its capital Indapatta, near the modern Delhi (CAGI.379f). See also Uttarakuru.


A Sākiyan rājā, son of Amitodana; he was elder brother of Anuruddha and cousin of the Buddha. When the Sākiyan families of Kapilavatthu sent their representatives to join the Order of their distinguished kinsman, Mahānāma allowed Anuruddha to leave the household, he knowing nothing of household affairs. Vin.ii.180f.; DhA.i.133; iv.124, etc.; but according to Northern sources (Rockhill, p. 13) he was son of Dronodana; according to ThagA. (ii.123) Ananda was a brother (or, at least, a step brother) of Mahānāma, for there Ananda's father is given as Amitodana. But see MA.i.289, where Mahānāma's father is called Sukkodana and Ananda's Amitodana.

Mahānāma showed great generosity to the Sangha, and was proclaimed best of those who gave choice alms to the monks (A.i.26). Once, with the Buddha's permission, he supplied the Order with medicaments for three periods of four months each. The Chabbaggiyā, always intent on mischief, tried in vain to discourage him. Vin.iv.101; AA. (i.213) adds that this was during the period of want experienced by the Buddha and his monks at Verañjā. At the end of the year, Mahānāma wished to continue the supply of good food to the Buddha and his monks, but the Buddha refused his permission.

Mahānāma was a devoted follower of the Buddha and wished to understand the Doctrine. The books record several conversations between him and the Buddha, and Ananda, Godha, and Lomasavangīsa (see Mahānāma Sutta and Lomasavangisa). Once when the Buddha arrived at Kapilavatthu he asked Mahānāma to find him lodging for the night. Mahānāma tried everywhere without success, and finally suggested that the Buddha should spend the night in the hermitage of Bharandu Kālāma (S.v.327f). This he did, and was joined there the next morning by Mahānāma; as a result of the discussion between the Buddha, Mahānāma and Bharandu, the last-named left Kapilavatthu never to return. On another occasion, Mahānāma visited the Buddha at Nigrodhārāma where the Buddha was convalescing after a severe illness, and at once Mahānāma asked a question as to whether concentration followed or preceded knowledge. Ananda, who was present, not wishing the Buddha to be troubled, took Mahānāma aside and explained to him the Buddha's teachings on the subject. See Sakka Sutta (S.i.219f.).

Mahānāma had a daughter Vāsābhakhattiyā, born to him by a slave-girl named Nāgamundā, and when Pasenadi asked the Sākiyans to give him in marriage a Sākiyan maiden they met in the Mote Hall, and, following the advice of Mahānāma, sent Vāsabhakhattiyā to him. In order to allay any suspicions, Mahānāma sat down to a meal with her, taking one mouthful from the same dish; but before he could swallow it a messenger arrived, as secretly arranged, and summoned him away. He left, asking Vāsabhakhattiyā to continue her meal (DhA.i.345f.; J.i.133; iv. 145f).

See also the Cūla Dukkhakkhandha Sutta and Sekha Sutta, both preached to Mahānāma.

His resolve to attain to eminence as the best distributor of pleasant food to the monks was made in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. He was then a householder of Hamsavatī and heard the Buddha confer a similar rank on a monk (AA.i.213).

Mahānāma is included in a list of exemplary lay devotees (A.iii.451). The Samantapāsādikā (Sp.iv.857) adds that Mahānāma was one month older than the Buddha and that he was a sakadāgāmī.

Mahāpajāpatī Gotami

An eminent Therī. She was born at Devadaha in the family of Suppabuddha as the younger sister of Mahāmāyā.

Ap.ii.538 says her father was Añjana Sakka and her mother Sulakkhanā. Mhv.ii.18 says her father was Añjana and her mother Yasodharā. Dandapāni and Suppabuddha were her brothers; cp. Dpv.xviii.7f.

At the birth of each sister, interpreters of bodily marks prophesied that their children would be cakkavattins. King Suddhodana married both the sisters, and when Mahāmāyā died, seven days after the birth of the Buddha, Pajāpati looked after the Buddha and nursed him. She was the mother of Nanda, but it is said that she gave her own son to nurses and herself nursed the Buddha. The Buddha was at Vesāli when Suddhodana died, and Pajāpatī decided to renounce the world, and waited for an opportunity to ask the permission of the Buddha.

Pajāpatī was already a sotāpanna. She attained this eminence when the Buddha first visited his father's palace and preached the Mahādhammapāla Jātaka (DhA.i.97).

Her opportunity came when the Buddha visited Kapilavatthu to settle the dispute between the Sākiyans and the Koliyans as to the right to take water from the river Rohinī. When the dispute had been settled, the Buddha preached the Kalahavivāda Sutta, and five hundred young Sākiyan men joined the Order. Their wives, led by Pajāpatī, went to the Buddha and asked leave to be ordained as nuns. This leave the Buddha refused, and he went on to Vesāli. But Pajāpatī and her companions, nothing daunted, had barbers to cut off their hair, and donning yellow robes, followed the Buddha to Vesāli on foot. They arrived with wounded feet at the Buddha's monastery and repeated their request. The Buddha again refused, but Ananda interceded on their behalf and their request was granted, subject to eight strict conditions.

For details see Vin.ii.253ff.; also A.iv.274ff. There was some question, which arose later as to the procedure of Pajāpatī's ordination, which was not formal. When the nuns discovered this some of them refused to hold the uposatha with her. But the Buddha declared that he himself had ordained her and that all was in order (DhA.iv.149). Her upasampadā consisted in acquiescing in the eight conditions laid down for nuns (Sp.i.242).

After her ordination, Pajāpatī came to the Buddha and worshipped him. The Buddha preached to her and gave her a subject for meditation. With this topic she developed insight and soon after won arahantship, while her five hundred companions attained to the same after listening to the Nandakovāda Sutta. Later, at an assembly of monks and nuns in Jetavana, the Buddha declared Pajāpatī chief of those who had experience (rattaññūnam) (A.i.25). Not long after, while at Vesāli, she realized that her life had come to an end. She was one hundred and twenty years old; she took leave of the Buddha, performed various miracles, and then died, her five hundred companions dying with her. It is said that the marvels which attended her cremation rites were second only to those of the Buddha.

It was in the time of Padumuttara Buddha that Pajāpatī made her resolve to gain eminence. She then belonged to a clansman's family in Hamsavatī, and, hearing the Buddha assign the foremost place in experience to a certain nun, wished for similar recognition herself, doing many good deeds to that end. After many births she was born once more at Benares, forewoman among five hundred slave girls. When the rains drew near, five Pacceka Buddhas came from Nandamūlaka to Isipatana seeking lodgings. Pajāpatī saw them after the Treasurer had refused them any assistance, and, after consultation with her fellow slaves, they persuaded their several husbands to erect five huts for the Pacceka Buddhas during the rainy season and they provided them with all requisites. At the end of the rains they gave three robes to each Pacceka Buddha. After that she was born in a weaver's village near Benares, and again ministered, this time to five hundred Pacceka Buddhas, sons of Padumavatī (ThigA.140ff.; AA.i.185f.; Ap.ii.529 43).

It is said that once Pajāpatī made a robe for the Buddha of wonderful material and marvellously elaborate. But when it came to be offered to the Buddha he refused it, and suggested it should be given to the Order as a whole. Pajāpatī was greatly disappointed, and Ananda intervened. But the Buddha explained that his suggestion was for the greater good of Pajāpatī, and also as an example to those who might wish to make similar gifts in the future. This was the occasion for the preaching of the Dakkhināvibhanga Sutta (M.iii.253ff.; MA.ii.1001ff.; this incident is referred to in the Milinda p.240). The Buddha had a great love for Pajāpatī, and when she lay ill, as there were no monks to visit her and preach to her - that being against the rule - the Buddha amended the rule and went himself to preach to her (Vin.iv.56).

Pajāpatī's name appears several times in the Jātakas. She was the mother monkey in the Cūla Nandiya Jātaka (J.ii.202), Candā in the Culla Dhammapāla (J.iii.182), and Bhikkhudāyikā (or Bhikkhudāsikā) daughter of Kiki, king of Benares (

Mahāpajāpatī was so called because, at her birth, augerers prophesied that she would have a large following; Gotamī was her gotta name (MA.i.1001; cp. AA.ii.774).

There is a story related of a nurse employed by Pajāpatī and born in Devadaha. She renounced the world with Pajāpatī, but for twenty five years was harassed by thoughts of lust till, at last, she heard Dhammadinnā preach. She then practiced meditation and became an arahant. ThigA.75f.


Son of Visākhā. Having heard the Dhamma during his frequent visits to the vihāra, he entered the Order and in due time became an Arahant. (Thag. 417-22; ThagA.i.452f).

The Samyutta Nikāya (S.iv.35f ) contains two discussions which he had with the Buddha; the second was a teaching in brief which he learned before going to the forest to live in solitude prior to his attainment of arahantship.


Son of Suddhodana and Mahāpajāpatī, and therefore half brother of the Buddha. He was only a few days younger than the Buddha, and when the Buddha's mother died, Pajapati gave her own child to nurses and suckled the Buddha herself (AA.i.186).

On the third day of the Buddha's visit to Kapilavatthu, after the Enlightenment, the Buddha went to Nanda's house, where festivities were in progress in honour of Nanda's coronation and marriage to Janapadakalyānī Nandā. The Buddha wished Nanda good fortune and handed him his bowl to be taken to the vihāra. Nanda, thereupon, accompanied the Buddha out of the palace. Janapadakalyānī, seeing him go, asked him to return quickly. Once inside the vihāra, however, the Buddha asked Nanda to become a monk, and he, unable to refuse the request, agreed with reluctance. But as the days passed he was tormented with thoughts of his beloved, and became very downcast and despondent, and his health suffered. The Buddha suggested that they should visit the Himālaya. On the way there, he showed Nanda the charred remains of a female monkey and asked him whether Janapadakalyānī were more beautiful than that. The answer was in the affirmative. The Buddha then took him to Tāvatimsa where Sakka, with his most beautiful nymphs, waited on them. In answer to a question by the Buddha, Nanda admitted that these nymphs were far more attractive than Janapadakalyānī, and the Buddha promised him one as wife if he would live the monastic life. Nanda was all eagerness and readily agreed. On their return to Jetavana the Buddha related this story to the eighty chief disciples, and when they questioned Nanda, he felt greatly ashamed of his lustfulness. Summoning all his courage, he strove hard and, in no long time, attained arahantship. He thereupon came to the Buddha and absolved him from his promise. (Thag.157f.; J.i.91; ii.92ff.; Ud.iii.2; DhA.i.96 105; UdA.168ff.; SNA.273f.)

When the Buddha was told of Nanda's arahantship by a devata, he related the Sangāmāvacara Jataka (q.v.) to show how, in the past, too, Nanda had been quick to follow advice. He also related the story of Kappata (q.v.) and his donkey to show that it was not the first time that Nanda had been won to obedience by the lure of the female sex. The male donkey in the story was Nanda and the female donkey Janapadakalyānī. (DhA.i.103f.)

Nanda is identified with the sub king (uparājā) in the Kurudhamma Jataka (q.v.).

Later, on seeing how eminently Nanda was trained in self control, the Buddha declared him chief among his disciples in that respect (indriyesu guttadvārānam). Nanda had aspired to this eminence in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. In the time of Atthadassi Buddha he was a tortoise in the river Vinatā, and, seeing the Buddha on the bank waiting to cross, he took him over to the other side on his back. (A.i.25; AA.i.174f.; ThagA.i.276ff.)

He is said to have been called Nanda because his birth brought joy to his kinsmen. The Apadāna (i.57) says he was of golden hue, as reward for a gift of a costly robe given by him to Padumuttara. One hundred thousand kappas ago he became king four times under the name of Cela. Sixty thousand kappas ago he was again king in four births, under the name of Upacela. Later, five thousand kappas ago, he was four times cakkavatti, and his name then, too, was Cela.

Nanda was very beautiful, and was only four inches shorter than the Buddha. He once wore a robe made according to the dimensions of the Buddha's robe. Discovering this, the Buddha chided him for his presumption. (Vin.iv.173; perhaps this is another version of the story found at S.ii.281. There, Nanda is said to have donned a robe which was pressed on both sides, painted his face, and gone to see the Buddha, carrying a bright bowl. The Buddha chided him, and Nanda thereupon became a forest dweller and a rag-robe-man. Buddhaghosa (SA.ii.174) says that Nanda dressed himself up in order to evoke some comment from the Buddha - either approval, so that he might dress thus for the remainder of his life, or censure, in which case he would put on rag robes and dwell in the forest.)

The Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv.166f) contains a discourse in which the Buddha discusses Nanda's claim to have achieved self control in all things.

He is probably to be identified with Taraniya Thera of the Apadāna. (ii.428; cp. ThagA.i.277.)


A city, the capital of Magadha. There seem to have been two distinct towns; the older one, a hill fortress, more properly called Giribbaja, was very ancient and is said (VvA. p.82; but cp. D.ii.235, where seven cities are attributed to his foundation) to have been laid out by Mahāgovinda, a skilled architect. The later town, at the foot of the hills, was evidently built by Bimbisāra.

Hiouen Thsang says (Beal, ii.145) that the old capital occupied by Bimbisāra was called Kusāgra. It was afflicted by frequent fires, and Bimbisāra, on the advice of his ministers, abandoned it and built the new city on the site of the old cemetery. The building of this city was hastened on by a threatened invasion by the king of Vesāli. The city was called Rājagaha because Bimbisāra was the first person to occupy it. Both Hiouen Thsang and Fa Hsien (Giles: 49) record another tradition which ascribed the foundation of the new city to Ajātasattu.

Pargiter (Ancient Ind. Historical Tradition, p.149) suggests that the old city was called Kusāgrapura, after Kusāgra, an early king of Magadha. In the Rāmāyana (i. 7, 32) the city is called Vasumatī. The Mahābhārata gives other names - Bārhadrathapura (ii.24, 44), Varāha, Vrsabha, Rsigiri, Caityaka (see PHAI.,p.70).

It was also called Bimbisārapurī and Magadhapura (SNA.ii.584).

But both names were used indiscriminately (E.g., S.N. vs. 405), though Giribbaja seems, as a name, to have been restricted to verse passages. The place was called Giribbaja (mountain stronghold) because it was surrounded by five hills - Pandava, Gijjhakūta, Vebhāra, Isigili and Vepulla* - and Rājagaha, because it was the seat of many kings, such as Mandhātā and Mahāgovinda (SNA.ii.413). It would appear, from the names given of the kings, that the city was a very ancient royal capital. In the Vidhurapandita Jātaka (, Rājagaha is called the capital of Anga. This evidently refers to a time when Anga had subjugated Magadha.

* SNA.ii.382; it is said (M.iii.68) that these hills, with the exception of Isigili, were once known by other names e.g., Vankaka for Vepulla (S.ii.191). The Samyutta (i.206) mentions another peak near Rājagaha - Indakūta. See also Kālasilā.

The Commentaries (E.g., SNA. loc. cit) explain that the city was inhabited only in the time of Buddhas and Cakkavatti kings; at other times it was the abode of Yakkhas who used it as a pleasure resort in spring. The country to the north of the hills was known as Dakkhināgiri (SA.i.188).

Rājagaha was closely associated with the Buddha's work. He visited it soon after the Renunciation, journeying there on foot from the River Anomā, a distance of thirty leagues (J.i.66). Bimbisāra saw him begging in the street, and, having discovered his identity and the purpose of his quest, obtained from him a promise of a visit to Rājagaha as soon as his aim should be achieved (See the Pabbajjā Sutta and its Commentary). During the first year after the Enlightenment therefore, the Buddha went to Rājagaha from Gayā, after the conversion of the Tebhātika Jatilas. Bimbisāra and his subjects gave the Buddha a great welcome, and the king entertained him and a large following of monks in the palace. It is said that on the day of the Buddha's entry into the royal quarters, Sakka led the procession, in the guise of a young man, singing songs of praise of the Buddha. It was during this visit that Bimbisāra gifted Veluvana to the Order and that the Buddha received Sāriputta and Moggallāna as his disciples. (Details of this visit are given in Vin.i.35ff ). Large numbers of householders joined the Order, and people blamed the Buddha for breaking up their families. But their censure lasted for only seven days. Among those ordained were the Sattarasavaggiyā with Upāli at their head.

The Buddha spent his first vassa in Rājagaha and remained there during the winter and the following summer. The people grew tired of seeing the monks everywhere, and, on coming to know of their displeasure, the Buddha went first to Dakkhināgiri and then to Kapilavatthu (Vin.i.77ff).

According to the Buddhavamsa Commentary (p.13), the Buddha spent also in Rājagaha the third, fourth, seventeenth and twentieth vassa. After the twentieth year of his teaching, he made Sāvatthi his headquarters, though he seems frequently to have visited and stayed at Rājagaha. It thus became the scene of several important suttas - e.g., the Atānātiya, Udumbarika and Kassapasīhanāda, Jīvaka, Mahāsakuladāyī, and Sakkapañha.

For other incidents in the Buddha's life connected with Rājagaha, see Gotama. The most notable of these was the taming of Nālāgiri.

Many of the Vinaya rules were enacted at Rājagaha. Just before his death, the Buddha paid a last visit there. At that time, Ajātasattu was contemplating an attack on the Vajjians, and sent his minister, Vassakāra, to the Buddha at Gijjhakūta, to find out what his chances of success were (D.ii.72).

After the Buddha's death, Rājagaha was chosen by the monks, with Mahā Kassapa at their head, as the meeting place of the First Convocation. This took place at the Sattapanniguhā, and Ajātasattu extended to the undertaking his whole hearted patronage (Vin.ii.285; Sp.i.7f.; DA.i.8f., etc.). The king also erected at Rājagaha a cairn over the relics of the Buddha, which he had obtained as his share (D.ii.166). According to the Mahā Vamsa, (Mhv.xxxi.21; MT. 564) some time later, acting on the suggestion of Mahā Kassapa, the king gathered at Rājagaha seven donas of the Buddha's relics which had been deposited in various places - excepting those deposited at Rāmagāma - and built over them a large thūpa. It was from there that Asoka obtained relics for his vihāras.

Rājagaha was one of the six chief cities of the Buddha's time, and as such, various important trade routes passed through it. The others cities were Campā, Sāvatthi, Sāketa, Kosambī and Benares (D.ii.147).

The road from Takkasilā to Rājagaha was one hundred and ninety two leagues long and passed through Sāvatthi, which was forty five leagues from Rājagaha. This road passed by the gates of Jetavana (MA.ii.987; SA.i.243). The Parāyana Vagga (SN. vss.1011-3) mentions a long and circuitous route, taken by Bāvarī's disciples in going from Patitthāna to Rājagaha, passing through Māhissati, Ujjeni, Gonaddha, Vedisā. Vanasavhaya, Kosambī, Sāketa, Sāvatthi, Setavyā, Kapilavatthu, Kusinārā, on to Rājagaha, by way of the usual places (see below).

From Kapilavatthu to Rājagaha was sixty leagues (AA.i.115; MA.i.360). From Rājagaha to Kusinārā was a distance of twenty five leagues (DA.ii.609), and the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.72ff ) gives a list of the places at which the Buddha stopped during his last journey along that road - Ambalatthikā, Nālandā, Pātaligāma (where he crossed the Ganges), Kotigāma, Nādikā (??), Vesāli, Bhandagāma, Hatthigāma, Ambagāma, Jambugāma, Bhoganagara, Pāvā, and the Kakuttha River, beyond which lay the Mango grove and the Sāla grove of the Mallas.

From Rājagaha to the Ganges was a distance of five leagues, and when the Buddha visited Vesāli at the invitation of the Licchavis, the kings on either side of the river vied with each other to show him honour. DhA.iii.439f.; also Mtu.i.253ff.; according to Dvy. (p.55) the Ganges had to be crossed between Rājagaha and Sāvatthi, as well, by boat, some of the boats belonging to the king of Magadha and others to the Licchavis of Vesāli.

The distance between Rājagaha and Nālandā is given as one league, and the Buddha often walked between the two (DA.i.35).

The books mention various places besides Veluvana, with its Kalandaka-nivāpa vihāra in and around Rājagaha - e.g., Sītavana, Jīvaka's Ambavana, Pipphaliguhā, Udumbarikārāma, Moranivāpa with its Paribbājakārāma, Tapodārāma, Indasālaguhā in Vediyagiri, Sattapanniguhā, Latthivana, Maddakucchi, Supatitthacetiya, Pāsānakacetiya, Sappasondikapabbhāra and the pond Sumāgadhā.

At the time of the Buddha's death, there were eighteen large monasteries in Rājagaha (Sp.i.9). Close to the city flowed the rivers Tapodā and Sappinī. In the city was a Potter's Hall where travelers from far distances spent the night. E.g., Pukkusāti (MA.ii.987); it had also a Town Hall (J.iv.72). The city gates were closed every evening, and after that it was impossible to enter the city. Vin.iv.116f.; the city had thirty-two main gates and sixty four smaller entrances (DA.i.150; MA.ii.795). One of the gates of Rājagaha was called Tandulapāla (M.ii.185). Round Rājagaha was a great peta world (MA.ii.960; SA.i.31).

In the Buddha's time there was constant fear of invasion by the Licchavis, and Vassakāra (q.v.) is mentioned as having strengthened its fortifications. To the north east of the city were the brahmin villages of Ambasandā (D.ii.263) and Sālindiyā (J.iii.293); other villages are mentioned in the neighborhood, such as Kītāgiri, Upatissagāma, Kolitagāma, Andhakavinda, Sakkhara and Codanāvatthu (q.v.). In the Buddha's time, Rājagaha had a population of eighteen crores, nine in the city and nine outside, and the sanitary conditions were not of the best. SA.i.241; DhA.ii.43; it was because of the city's prosperity that the Mettiya-Bhummajakas made it their headquarters (Sp.iii.614). The city was not free from plague (DhA.i.232).

The Treasurer of Rājagaha and Anāthapindika had married each other's sisters, and it was while Anāthapindika (q.v.) was on a visit to Rājagaha that he first met the Buddha.

The people of Rājagaha, like those of most ancient cities, held regular festivals; one of the best known of these was the Giraggasamajjā (q.v.). Mention is also made of troupes of players visiting the city and giving their entertainments for a week on end. (See, e.g., the story of Uggasena).

Soon after the death of the Buddha, Rājagaha declined both in importance and prosperity. Sisunāga transferred the capital to Vesāli, and Kālāsoka removed it again to Pātaliputta, which, even in the Buddha's time, was regarded as a place of strategically importance. When Hiouen Thsang visited Rājagaha, he found it occupied by brahmins and in a very dilapidated condition (Beal, op. cit., ii.167). For a long time, however, it seems to have continued as a center of Buddhist activity, and among those mentioned as having been present at the foundation of the Mahā Thūpa were eighty thousand monks led by Indagutta. Mhv.xxix.30.


Almost always spoken of as “devānam indo," chief (or king) of the devas. The Samyutta Nikāya (S.i.229; DhA.i.264) contains a list of his names:

he is called Maghavā, because as a human being, in a former birth, he was a brahmin named Magha. (But see Magha; cf. Sanskrit Maghavant as an epithet of Indra).

As such he bestowed gifts from time to time, hence his name Purindada (Cf. Indra's epithet Purandara, destroyer of cities) (generous giver in former births or giver in towns).

Because he gives generously and thoroughly (sakkaccam) he is known as Sakka. Sakra occurs many times in the Vedas as an adjective, qualifying gods (chiefly Indra), and is explained as meaning “able, capable." It is, however, not found as a name in pre Buddhist times.

Because he gives away dwelling places (āvasatham) he is called Vāsava (But see Vāsava).

Because in one moment he can think of one thousand matters, he is called Sahassakkha (also Sahassanetta).

Because he married the Asura maiden Sujā, he is called Sujampati. For the romantic story of Sakka's marriage, see Sujā. Thus Sujā's father, Vepacitti, became Sakka's father in law. Several quaint stories are related about father and son in law. The two sometimes quarrelled and at others lived together in peace (SA.i.265).

Because he governs the devas of Tāvatimsa he is called Devānam Indo (See Inda).

Elsewhere (E.g., D.ii.270; M.i.252) Sakka is addressed as Kosiya.

He is also spoken of as Yakkha. M.i.252; cf. S.i.206 (Sakkanāmako Yakkho); at S.i.47 Māghadevaputta (Sakka) is called Vatrabhū, slayer of Vrtra (SA.i.83);

Sakka is also, in the Jātakas, called Gandhabbarāja ( and Mahinda (J.v.397, 411).

Sakka rules over Tāvatimsa devaloka, the lowest heaven but one of the lower plane. His palace is Vejayanta and his chariot bears the same name. Though king of the Tāvatimsa devas, he is no absolute monarch. He is imagined rather in the likeness of a chieftain of a Kosala clan. The devas meet and deliberate in the Sudhammā sabhā and Sakka consults with them rather than issues them commands. On such occasions, the Four Regent Devas are present in the assembly with their followers of the Cātummahārājika world (See, e.g., D.ii.207f., 220f). Among the Tāvatimsa devas, Sakka is more or less primus inter pares, yet lie surpasses his companions in ten things: length of life, beauty, happiness, renown, power; and in the degree of his five sense experiences: sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch. A.iv.242; these are also attributed to the rulers of the other deva worlds.

In the Samyutta Nikāya (S.i.228, 229, 231; cf. Mil. 90; for details of these see Magha) the Buddha gives seven rules of conduct, which rules Sakka carried out as a human being, thus attaining to his celestial sovereignty. When the devas fight the Asuras they do so under the banner and orders of Sakka. For details of Sakka's conquest of the Asuras see Asura. The Asuras called him Jara Sakka (J.i.202). Pajāpati, Vamna and Isāna are also mentioned as having been associated with him in supreme command (S.i.219).

In the Sakkapañha Sutta (q.v.), Sakka is said to have visited the Buddha at Vediyagiri in Ambasandā and to have asked him a series of questions. He sends Pañcasikha with his vinā to play and sing to the Buddha and to obtain permission for him (Sakka) to visit him and question him. It was Sakka who had given the Beluvapanduvīnā to Pañcasikha (SNA.ii.394).

The Buddha says to himself that Sakka, for a long time past, has led a pure life, and gives him permission to question him on any subject. It is stated in the course of the sutta (D.ii.270) that it was not the first time that Sakka had approached the Buddha for the same purpose. He had gone to him at the Salaghara in Sāvatthi, but found him in meditation, with Bhuñjatī, wife of Vessavana, waiting on him. He therefore left with a request to Bhuñjatī to greet the Buddha in his name. He also declares (D.ii.286) that he has become a sotāpanna and has earned for himself the right to be reborn eventually in the Akanitthā world, whence he will pass entirely away.

The Commentary says that Sakka was constantly seeing the Buddha and was the most zealous of the devas in the discharge of his duties to the sāsana. DA.iii.697. In the sutta Sakka admits (D.ii.284) that he visited other brahmins and recluses as well. They were pleased to see him, and boasted that they had nothing to teach him; but he had to teach them what he knew. But this visit to the Buddha at Vediyagiri had a special object. Sakka saw sips that his life was drawing to an end and was frightened by this knowledge. He therefore went to the Buddha to seek his help. It adds (DA.iii.732; cp. DhA.iii.270) that, as Sakka sat listening to the Buddha, he died in his old life and was reborn a new and young Sakka; only Sakka himself and the Buddha was aware of what had happened. The Commentary continues (DA.iii.740) that Sakka became an "uddham sota," treading the path of Anāgāmīs. As such he will live in Avihā for one thousand kappas, in Atappa for two thousand, in Sudassanā for four thousand, and will end in the Akanittha world, after having enjoyed life in the Brahmaworlds for thirty one thousand kappas.

An account of another interview which Sakka had with the Buddha is given in the Cūlatanhāsankhaya Sutta (q.v.). There the question arises regarding the extirpation of cravings. Sakka accepts the Buddha's answer and leaves him. Anxious to discover whether Sakka has understood the Buddha's teaching, Moggallāna visits Sakka and questions him. Sakka evades the questions and shows Moggallāna the glories of his Vejayanta palace. Moggallāna then frightens him by a display of iddhi-power, and Sakka repeats to him, word for word, the Buddha's answer. Moggallāna departs satisfied, and Sakka tells his handmaidens that Moggallāna is a "fellow of his" in the higher life, meaning, probably, that he himself is a sotāpanna and therefore a kinsman of the arahant.

In a passage in the Samyutta (S.i.201) Sakka is represented as descending from heaven to make an enquiry about Nibbāna, and in another (S.iv.269f.), as listening, in heaven, to Moggallāna's exposition of the simplest duties of a good layman. On another occasion, at Vessavana's suggestion, Sakka visited Uttara Thera on the Sankheyyaka Mountain and listened to a sermon by him (A.iv.163f.). See also Sakka Sutta (2) and (3).

The later books contain a good deal of additional information regarding Sakka. His city extends for one thousand leagues, and its golden streets are sixty leagues long; his palace Vejayanta is one thousand leagues high; the Sudhammā hall covers five hundred leagues, his throne of yellow marble (Pandukambalasilāsana) is sixty leagues in extent, his white umbrella with its golden wreath is five leagues in circumference, and he himself is accompanied by a glorious array of twenty five million nymphs (J.v.386). Other features of his heaven are the Pāricchattaka tree, the Nandā pokkharanī and the Cittalatāvana (DA.iii.716; See also Tāvatimsa). His body is three gavutas in height (DhA.iii.269); his chief conveyance is the marvellous elephant Erāvana (q.v.), but he goes to war in the Velayanta ratha (q.v.). Reference is often made to his throne, the Pandukambalasilāsana (q.v.), composed of yellow stone. It grows hot when Sakka's life draws towards its end; or his merit is exhausted; or when some mighty being prays; or, again, through the efficacy of virtue in recluses or brahmins or other beings, full of potency. J.iv.8; when the Buddha, however, sat on it, he was able to conceal it in his robe (DhA.iii.218).

Sakka's devotion to the Buddha and his religion is proverbial. When the Bodhisatta cut off his hair and threw it into the sky, Sakka took it and deposited it in the Cūlāmani cetiya (J.i.65). He was present near the Bodhi tree, blowing his Vijayuttara sankha (q.v.), when Māra arrived to prevent the Buddha from reaching Enlightenment (J.i.72). When the Buddha accepted Bimbisāra's invitation to dine in his palace, Sakka, in the guise of a young man, preceded the Buddha and his monks along the street to the palace, singing the Buddha's praises (Vin.i.38). When the Buddha performed his Yamaka pātihārīya at the foot of the Gandamba, it was Sakka who built for him a pavilion, and gave orders to the gods of the Wind and the Sun to uproot the pavilions of the heretics and cause them great discomfort (DhA.iii.206, 208). When the Buddha returned to Sankassa from Tāvatimsa, whither he went after performing the Twin Miracle, Sakka created three ladders - of gold, of silver, and of jewels respectively - for the Buddha and his retinue (DhA.iii.225).

Sakka was present at Vesāli when the Buddha visited that city in order to rid it of its plagues. His presence drove away the evil spirits, and the Buddha's task was thus made easier (DhA.iii.441). When the Buddha and his monks wished to journey one hundred leagues, to visit Culla Subhaddā at Uggapura, Sakka, with the aid of Vissakamma, provided them with pavilions (kūtāgāra) in which they might travel by air (DhA.iii.470). Once, when the ponds in Jetavana were quite dry, the Buddha wished to bathe and Sakka immediately caused rain to fall and the ponds were filled (J.i.330). In Sakka's aspect as Vajirapāni (q.v.) he protected the Buddha from the insults of those who came to question him. See also the story of Ciñcā mānavikā, when Sakka protected the Buddha from her charges. Sakka also regarded it as his business to protect the Buddha's followers, as is shown by the manner in which he came to the rescue of the four seven year old novices - Sankicca, Pandita, Sopāka and Revata - when they were made to go hungry by a brahmin and his wife (DhA.iv.176f.).

During the Buddha's last illness, Sakka ministered to him, performing the most menial tasks, such as carrying the vessel of excrement. DhA.iv.269f. He did the same for other holy men - e.g., Sāriputta. Sakka also waited on the Buddha when he was in Gayāsīsa for the conversion of the Tebhātikajatilas (Vin.i.28f.); see also the story of Jambuka (DhA.ii.59). The Udāna (iii.7) contains a story of Sakka assuming the guise of a poor weaver and Sujā that of his wife, in order to give alms to Mahā Kassapa who had just risen from a trance. They succeeded in their ruse, to the great joy of Sakka (cp. DhA.i.424f). On other occasions - e.g., in the case of Mahāduggata Sakka helped poor men to gain merit by providing them with the means for giving alms to the Buddha (DhA.ii.135ff.).

He was present at the Buddha's death, and uttered, in verse, a simple lament, very different from the studied verses ascribed to Brahmā. (D.ii.157; on the importance of this verse, however, see Dial.ii.176, n.1). At the distribution, by Dona, of the Buddha's relics, Sakka saw Dona hide the Buddha's right tooth in his turban. Realizing that Dona was incapable of rendering adequate honour to the relic, Sakka took the relic and deposited it in the Cūlāmanicetiya (DA.ii.609). And when Ajātasattu was making arrangements to deposit his share of the relics, Sakka gave orders to Vissakamma to set up a vālasanghātayanta for their protection (DA.ii.613).

Sakka did all in his power to help followers of the Buddha in their strivings for the attainment of the goal, as in the case of Panditasāmanera, when he sent the Four Regent Gods to drive away the birds, made the Moon deity shroud the moon, and himself stood guard at the door of Pandita's cell, lest he should be disturbed. (DhA.ii.143; cf. the story of Sukha DhA.iii.96f.). Often, when a monk achieved his ambition, Sakka was there to express his joy and do him honour. See, e.g., the story of Mahāphussa (SNA.i.55f.).

He was ready to help, not only monks and nuns, but also eminent laymen, such as Jotika for whom he built a palace of wondrous splendour, and provided it with every luxury (DhA.iv. 207f). Sakka was always ready to come to the rescue of the good when in distress - e.g., in the case of Cakkhupāla when he became blind; Sakka led him by the hand and took him to Sāvatthi. DhA.i.14f. Many instances are found in the Jātaka where Sakka rescued the good in distress - e.g., Dhammaddhaja, Guttila, Kaccāni, the Kinnarī Candā, Sambulā, Kusa, Mahājanaka's mother, Candakumāra's mother, Candā, and Mahosadha.

He loved to test the goodness of men, as in the case of the leper Suppabuddha, to see if their faith was genuine. DhA.ii.34f.; see also the story of the courtesan in the Kurudhamma Jātaka (J.ii.380).

The Jātaka contains several stories of his helping holy men by providing them with hermitages, etc. - e.g., Kuddāla pandita, Hatthipāla, Ayoghara, Jotipāla (Sarabhanga), Sutasoma, Dukūlaka, Pārikā and Vessantara. Sometimes, when he found that ascetics were not diligently practising their duties, he would frighten them - e.g., in the Vighāsa and Somadatta Jātakas. The Anguttara Nikāya (iii.370f ) contains a story of Sakka punishing a deva called Supatittha, who lived in a banyan tree, because he failed to keep the rukkhadhamma.

Sakka appears as the guardian of moral law in the world. When wickedness is rampant among men, or kings become unrighteous, he appears among them to frighten them so that they may do good instead evil. He is on the side of the good against the wicked, and often helps them to realize their goal. Instances of this are seen in the Ambacora, Ayakūta, Udaya, Kaccāni, Kāma, Kāmanīta, Kumbha, Kelisīla, Kharaputta, Culladhanuggaha, Dhajavihetha, Bilārikosiya, Manīcora, Mahākanha, Vaka, Sarabhanga, Sarabhamiga and Sudhābhojana Jātakas. Sakka patronised good men; some of the more eminent he invited to his heaven, sending his charioteer Matali to fetch them, and he showed them all honour - e.g., Guttila, Mandhātā, Sādhina, and Nimi; others he rewarded suitably - see, e.g., the Uraga Jātaka.

The lesser gods consulted Sakka in their difficulties and problems e.g., in the case of the deity of Anāthapindika's fourth gateway, who incurred the displeasure of Anāthapindika by advising him to refrain from too much generosity towards the Buddha and his monks (J.i.229). Sakka has also to deal with disputes arising among the devas themselves (DA.iii.705). On several occasions Sakka helped the Bodhisatta in the practice of his Perfections e.g., as King Sivi, Temiya, Nimi and Vessantara, also in his birth as a hare; in this last story, the Sasa Jātaka (q.v.), Sakka paints the picture of a hare in the moon to commemorate the Bodhisatta's sacrifice.

Sakka sometimes answers the prayers of good and barren women and gives them sons - e.g., Sumedhā, Sīlavatī, Candādevī. Mention is also made of other boons granted by Sakka to various persons. Thus in the Mahāsuka Jātaka he visited the parrot who clung to the dead stump of a tree through gratitude, and granted him the boon that the tree should once more become fruitful (J.iii.493). He granted four boons to Kanha, that he might be calm, bear no malice or hatred against his neighbour, feel no greed for others' glory, and no lust towards his neighbour (J.iv.10). To Akitti he granted several boons, the last of which was that he should have no more visits from Sakka! (J.iv.240f). When Sivi became blind, Sakka gave him two eyes; these were not natural eyes, but the eyes of Truth, Absolute and Perfect (saccapāramitā cakkhunī). Sakka confesses that he has not the power of restoring sight; it was the virtue of Sivi himself which had that power (J.iv.410f). When Sīlavatī wished for a boon, Sakka, took her to heaven, where he kept her for seven days; then he granted that she should have two sons, one wise and ugly and the other a fool and handsome. He also presented her with a piece of kusa grass, a heavenly robe, a piece of sandalwood, the flower of the Pāricchattaka tree and a Kokanda lute. All this passed into the possession of Kusa, and, later, Sakka gave him the Verocana jewel (J.v.280f., 310). He gave Phusatī, mother of Vessantara, ten boons ( and to Vessantara himself he gave eight (

In the Sarabhanga Jātaka (J.v.392) mention is made of four daughters of Sakka - Āsā, Saddhā, Hirī and Sirī. His wife, Sujā, accompanied him everywhere on his travels (E.g., J.iii.491), even into the world of men, because that was the boon she had asked for on her marriage to him (DhA.i.279). Vessavana was Sakka's special friend (MA.i.476f), and when one Vessavana died, it was Sakka's duty to appoint a successor (J.i.328). Matāli (q.v.) is Sakka's charioteer and constant companion. Vissakamma (q.v.) is his "handy man." Sakka has twenty five million handmaids and five hundred dove-footed nymphs (kakutapādiniyo), famed for their beauty. It was the sight of these which tempted the Buddha's step brother, Nanda, to give up thoughts of Janapadakalyānī Nandā (J.ii.93). Sakka's special weapon is the Vajirāvudha and his special drum the Ālambara (q.v.).

His voice is sweet, like the tintinnabulation of golden bells (SA.i.273).

It is Sakka's special duty to protect the religion of the Buddha in Ceylon. As the Buddha lay dying, he enjoined on Sakka the task of looking after Vijaya and his successors. This duty Sakka, in turn, entrusted to the god Uppalavanna (Mhv.vii.1ff). Sakka informed Mahinda of the right moment for his visit to Ceylon (Mhv.xiii.15). When Devānampiyatissa wished for relics to place in the Thūpārāma Thūpa, Sumana sāmanera visited Sakka and obtained from him the right collar bone of the Buddha, which Sakka had placed in the Culāmani cetiya (Mhv.xvii.9ff). Again, when Dutthagāmanī was in need of building materials for the Mahā Thūpa, it was Sakka who supplied them (Mhv.xxviii.6ff). On the occasion of the enshrining of the relics in the Mahā Thūpa, Sakka gave orders to Vissakamma to decorate the whole of Ceylon. He also provided the throne and casket of gold for the relics brought from the Nāgā world by Sonuttara and was himself present at the festival, blowing his conch shell. (Mhv.xxxi.34, 75, 78)

Other Cakkavālas have also their Sakka (aññehi Cakkavālehi Sakkā āgacchanti; J.i.203.), and in one place (J.i.204) mention is made of many thousands of Sakkas.

It is evident from the foregoing account that, as Rhys Davids suggests (Dial.ii.297f), Sakka and Indra are independent conceptions. None of the personal characteristics of Sakka resemble those of Indra. Some epithets are identical but are evidently borrowed, though they are differently explained. The conception of the popular god which appealed to a more barbarous age and to the clans fighting their way into a new country, seems to have been softened and refined in order to meet the ideals of a more cultured and peaceful civilization. The old name no longer fitted the new god, and, as time went on, Sakka came to be regarded as an entirely separate god.


Family name of the Buddha.


The capital town of Kosala in India and one of the six great Indian cities during the lifetime of the Buddha (D.ii.147). It was six leagues from Sāketa (Vin.i.253; seven according to others, DhA.i.387), forty five leagues north west of Rājagaha (SA.i.243), thirty leagues from Sankassa (J.iv.265), one hundred and forty seven from Takkasilā (MA.ii.987), one hundred and twenty from Suppāraka (DhA.ii.213), and was on the banks of the Aciravatī (Vin.i.191, 293). It was thirty leagues from Alavī (SNA.i.220), thirty from Macchīkāsanda (DhA.ii.79), one hundred and twenty from Kukkutavatī (DhA.ii.118), and the same distance from Uggapura (DhA.iii.469) and from Kuraraghara (DhA.iv.106). The road from Rājagaha to Sāvatthi passed through Vesāli (Vin.ii.159f), and the Parāyanavagga (SN.vss.1011 13) gives the resting places between the two cities Setavyā, Kapilavatthu, Kusinārā, Pāvā and Bhoganagara. Further on, there was a road running southwards from Sāvatthi through Sāketa to Kosambī. One gāvuta from the city was the Andhavana (q.v.). Between Sāketa and Sāvatthi was Toranavatthu (S.iv.374).

The city was called Sāvatthi because the sage Savattha lived there. Another tradition says there was a caravanserai there, and people meeting there asked each other what they had "Kim bhandam atthi?" "Sabbam atthi" and the name of the city was based on the reply (SNA.i.300; PSA. 367).

The Buddha passed the greater part of his monastic life in Sāvatthi. His first visit there was at the invitation of Anāthapindika. It is said (DhA.i.4) that he spent twenty five rainy seasons in the city nineteen of them in Jetavana and six in the Pubbārāma. Sāvatthi also contained the monastery of Rājakārāma (q.v.), built by Pasenadi, opposite Jetavana. Outside the city gate of Sāvatthi was a fisherman's village of five hundred families (DhA.iv.40).

Savatthi is the scene of each Buddha's Yamaka pātihāriya (DhA.iii.205; cf. Mtu.iii.115; J.i.88); Gotama Buddha performed this miracle under the Gandamba (q.v.).

The chief patrons of the Buddha in Sāvatthi were Anāthapindika, Visākhā, Suppavāsā and Pasenadi (DhA.i.330). When Bandhula (q.v.) left Vesāli he came to live in Sāvatthi.

Buddhaghosa says (Sp.iii.614) that, in the Buddha's day, there were fifty seven thousand families in Sāvatthi, and that it was the chief city in the country of Kāsi Kosala, which was three hundred leagues in extent and had eighty thousand villages. The population of Sāvatthi was eighteen crores (SNA.i.371).

Sāvatthi is identified with Sāhet Māhet on the banks of the Rapti (Cunningham, AGI. 469).

Hiouen Thsang found the old city in ruins, but records the sites of various buildings (Beal, op. cit., ii.1 13).

Woodward states (KS.v.xviii ) that, of the four Nikāyas, 871 suttas are said to have been preached in Sāvatthi; 844 of which are in Jetavana, 23 in the Pubbārāma, and 4 in the suburbs. These suttas are made up of 6 in the Digha, 75 in the Majjhima, 736 in the Samyutta, and 54 in the Anguttara. Mrs. Rhys Davids conjectures (M.iv., Introd., from this that either the Buddha "mainly resided there or else Sāvatthi was the earliest emporium (library?) for the collection and preservation (however this was done) of the talks." The first alternative is the more likely, as the Commentaries state that the Buddha spent twenty five rainy seasons in Sāvatthi (see earlier), this leaving only twenty to be spent elsewhere. The Buddhavamsa Commentary (BuA. p.3) gives a list of these places showing that the second, third, fourth, seventeenth and twentieth were spent in Rājagaha, the thirteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth in Cāliyapabbata, and the rest in different places.


It was there that the Buddha preached the Indriyabhāvanā Sutta (M.iii.298). The Commentary explains (MA.ii.1028) that the grove consisted of mukhelu trees. But most editions of the Sutta locate it in the Bamboo grove where once the upāsakas of Kajangalā, having questioned the Kajangalā-Bhikkhunī, went to the Buddha there and asked him to verify her answers. A.v.54f


One of the most eminent of the Buddha's immediate disciples. He belonged to a barber's family in Kapilavatthu and entered the service of the Sākiyan princes. When Anuruddha and his cousins left the world and sought ordination from the Buddha at Anupiyā Grove, Upāli accompanied them. They gave him all their valuable ornaments, but, on further consideration, he refused to accept them and wished to become a monk with them. The reason given for his refusal is that he knew the Sākyans were hot-headed, and feared that the kinsmen of the princes might suspect him of having murdered the young men for the sake of their belongings.

At the request of the Sākiyan youths, the Buddha ordained Upāli before them all, so that their pride might be humbled. (Vin.ii.182; DhA.i.116f; see also Bu.i.61; but see BuA.44; the Tibetan sources give a slightly different version, see Rockhill, op. cit., pp. 55-6; according to the Mahāvastu iii.179, Upāli was the Buddha's barber, too).

Upāli's upajjhāya was Kappitaka (Vin.iv.308). When Upāli went to the Buddha for an exercise for meditation, he asked that he might be allowed to dwell in the forest. But the Buddha would not agree, for if Upāli went into the forest he would learn only meditation, while, if he remained amongst men, he would have knowledge both of meditation and of the word of the Dhamma. Upāli accepted the Buddha's advice and, practising insight, in due course won arahantship. The Buddha himself taught Upāli the whole of the Vinaya Pitaka (ThagA.i.360f, 370; AA.i.172).

In the assembly of the Sangha, the Buddha declared him to be the most proficient of those who were learned in the Vinaya (vinayadharānam) (A.i.24; see also Vin.iv.142, where the Buddha is mentioned as speaking Upāli's praises). He is often spoken of as having reached the pinnacle of the Vinaya, or as being its chief repository (Vinaye agganikkhitto), (E.g., Dpv.iv.3, 5; v.7, 9) and three particular cases - those of Ajjuka (Vin.iii.66f), the Bhārukacchaka monk (Vin.iii.39) and Kumāra-Kassapa (AA.i.158; MA.i.336; J.i.148; DhA.iii.145) - are frequently mentioned in this connection as instances where Upāli's decisions on Vinaya rules earned the special commendation of the Buddha. In the Rājagaha Council, Upāli took a leading part, deciding all the questions relative to the Vinaya, in the same way as Ananda decided questions regarding the Dhamma (Vin.ii.286f; DA.i.11f; Mhv.iii.30).

In accordance with this tradition, ascribing to Upāli especial authority regarding the rules of the Order, various instances are given of Upāli questioning the Buddha about the Vinaya regulations. Thus we find him consulting the Buddha as to the legality or otherwise of a complete congregation performing, in the absence of an accused monk, an act at which his presence is required (Vin.i.325f). Again, he wishes to know if, in a matter which has caused altercations and schisms among members of the Order, the Sangha declares re-establishment of concord without thorough investigation, could such a declaration be lawful? (Vin.i.358f). When a monk intends to take upon himself the conduct of any matter that has to be decided, under what conditions should he do so? What qualities should a monk possess in himself before he takes upon himself to warn others? (Vin.ii.248f). In what case can there be an interruption of the probationary period of a monk who has been placed on probation? (Vin.ii.33f).

A whole list of questions asked by Upāli and answers given by the Buddha on matters pertaining to the Vinaya rules is found in the chapter called Upāli-Pañcaka in the Parivāra (Vin.v.180-206; see also the Upālivagga of the Anguttara Nikāya v.70ff).

It is not possible to determine which of these and other questions were actually asked by Upāli, and which were ascribed to him on account of his traditional reputation.

It is said (E.g., Vin.iv.142; Sp.iv.876) that even in the Buddha's lifetime monks considered it a great privilege to learn the Vinaya under Upāli. The monks seem to have regarded Upāli as their particular friend, to whom they could go in their difficulties. Thus, when certain monks had been deprived by thieves of their clothes, it is Upāli's protection that they seek (Vin.iii.212; see also the story of Ramanīyavihārī, ThagA.i.116).

The canon contains but few records of any discourses connected with Upāli, apart from his questions on the Vinaya. In the Anguttara Nikāya (A.iv.143f) he is mentioned as asking the Buddha for a brief sermon, the Buddha telling him that if there were anything that did not conduce to revulsion and detachment, Upāli could be sure that such things did not form part of the Buddha's teaching. There is a record of another sermon (A.v.201ff) which the Buddha is stated to have preached when Upāli expressed the desire to retire into the solitude of the forest. The Buddha tells him that forest-life is not for the man who has not mastered his mind or attained to tranquillity.

For other sermons see Upāli Sutta and Ubbāhika Sutta.

Three verses are ascribed to Upāli in the Theragāthā (vv. 249-51; but see Gotama the Man, p.215; another verse ascribed to Upāli, but so far not traced elsewhere, is found in the Milinda p.108) where he admonishes the brethren to seek noble friends of unfaltering character, to learn the monks' code of discipline and to dwell in solitude.

In the time of Padumuttara, Upāli was a very rich brahmin named Sujāta. When the Buddha came to his father's city in order to preach to him the Dhamma, Sujāta saw him, and in the assembly be noticed an ascetic named Sunanda, holding over the Buddha for seven days a canopy of flowers. The Buddha declared that Sunanda would, in the time of Gotama Buddha, become famous as the Elder Punna Mantānī-putta. Sujāta, too, wished to seethe future Buddha Gotama, and having heard Padumuttara praise the monk Pātika as chief of the Vinayadharas, he wished to hear, regarding himself, a similar declaration from Gotama. With this end in view he did many deeds of merit, chief of which was the erection of a monastery named Sobhana, for the Buddha and his monks, at an expense of one hundred thousand.

As a result he was born in heaven for thirty thousand kappas and was one thousand times king of the devas. One thousand times, too, he was cakkavatti.

Two kappas ago there was a Khattiya named Añjasa, and Upāli was born as his son Sunanda. One day he went to the park riding an elephant named Sirika, and met, on the way, the Pacceka Buddha Devala, whom he insulted in various ways. Sunanda was, thereupon, seized with a sensation of great heat in his body, and it was not till he went with a large following to the Pacceka Buddha and asked his pardon that the sensation left him. It is said that if the Buddha had not forgiven him, the whole country would have been destroyed. This insult paid to the Pacceka Buddha was the cause of Upāli having been born as a barber in his last birth (Ap.i.37ff).

Buddhaghosa says (Sp.i.272, 283) that while the Buddha was yet alive Upāli drew up certain instructions according to which future Vinayadharas should interpret Vinaya rules, and that, in conjunction with others, he compiled explanatory notes on matters connected with the Vinaya.

In direct pupillary succession to Upāli as head of the Vinayadharas was Dāsaka, whom Upāli had first met at the Valikārāma, where Upāli was staying (Mhv.v.10). Upāli taught him the whole of the Vinaya.

Upāli's death was in the sixth year of Udāyibhadda's reign. Dpv.v.7ff.


A city, capital of the Licchavis. The Buddha first visited it in the fifth year after the Enlightenment, and spent the vassa there (BuA., p. 3). The Commentaries give detailed descriptions of the circumstances of this visit. KhpA.160ff.= SNA.i.278; DhA.iii.436ff.; cp. Mtu.i.253ff

Vesāli was inhabited by seven thousand and seven rājās, each of whom had large retinues, many palaces and pleasure parks. There came a shortage in the food supply owing to drought, and people died in large numbers. The smell of decaying bodies attracted evil spirits, and many inhabitants were attacked by intestinal disease. The people complained to the ruling prince, and he convoked a general assembly, where it was decided, after much discussion, to invite the Buddha to their city. As the Buddha was then at Veluvana in Rājagaha, the Licchavi Mahāli, friend of Bimbisāra and son of the chaplain of Vesāli, was sent to Bimbisāra with a request that he should persuade the Buddha to go to Vesāli. Bimbisāra referred him to the Buddha himself, who, after listening to Mahāli's story, agreed to go. The Buddha started on the journey with five hundred monks. Bimbisāra decorated the route from Rājagaha to the Ganges, a distance of five leagues, and provided all comforts on the way. He accompanied the Buddha, and the Ganges was reached in five days. Boats, decked with great splendour, were ready for the Buddha and his monks, and we are told that Bimbisāra followed the Buddha into the water up to his neck. The Buddha was received on the opposite bank by the Licchavis, with even greater honour than Bimbisāra had shown him. As soon as the Buddha set foot in the Vajjian territory, there was a thunderstorm and rain fell in torrents. The distance from the Ganges to Vesāli was three leagues; as the Buddha approached Vesāli, Sakka came to greet him, and, at the sight of the devas, all the evil spirits fled in fear. In the evening the Buddha taught Ananda the Ratana Sutta, and ordered that it should be recited within the three walls of the city, the round of the city being made with the Licchavi princes. This Ananda did during the three watches of the night, and all the pestilences of the citizens disappeared. The Buddha himself recited the Ratana Sutta to the assembled people, and eighty four thousand beings were converted. After repeating this for seven consecutive days, the Buddha left Vesāli. (According to the DhA. account the Buddha stayed only seven days in Vesāli; KhA. says two weeks). The Licchavis accompanied him to the Ganges with redoubled honours, and, in the river itself, Devas and Nāgas vied with each other in paying him honour. On the farther bank, Bimbisāra awaited his arrival and conducted him back to Rājagaha. On his return there, the Buddha recited the Sankha Jātaka. (See 2.)

It was probably during this visit of the Buddha to Vesāli that Suddhodana died. (See ThigA., p. 141; AA.i.186).

It was during this visit of the Buddha to Kapilavatthu (tadā) that Mahā Pajāpatī Gotamī first asked his permission to join the Order, but her request was refused (AA.i.186).

According to one account, the Buddha went through the air to visit his dying father and to preach to him, thereby enabling him to attain arahantship before his death. It is not possible to know how many visits were paid by the Buddha to Vesāli, but the books would lead us to infer that they were several. Various Vinaya rules are mentioned as having been laid down at Vesāli. See, e.g., Vin.i.238, 287f; ii.118, 119 27. The visit mentioned in the last context seems to have been a long one; it was on this occasion that the Buddha ordered the monks to turn their bowls upon the Licchavi Vaddha (q.v.). For other Vinaya rules laid down at Vesāli, see also Vin.ii.159f.; iii. and iv. passim.

It was during a stay in Vesāli, whither he had gone from Kapilavatthu, that Mahā Pajāpatī Gotamī followed the Buddha with five hundred other Sākyan women, and, with the help of Ananda's intervention, obtained permission for women to enter the Order under certain conditions. Vin.ii.253ff.; see Mahā Pajāpatī Gotamī.

The books describe (E.g., D.ii.95ff) at some length the Buddha's last visit to Vesāli on his way to Kusinārā. On the last day of this visit, after his meal, he went with Ananda to Cāpāla cetiya for his siesta, and, in the course of their conversation, he spoke to Ananda of the beauties of Vesāli: of the Udena cetiya, the Gotamaka cetiya, the Sattambaka cetiya, the Bahuputta cetiya, and the Sārandada cetiya. Cf. Mtu.i.300, where a Kapinayha-cetiya is also mentioned. All these were once shrines dedicated to various local deities, but after the Buddha's visit to Vesāli, they were converted into places of Buddhist worship. Other monasteries are also mentioned, in or near Vesāli e.g., Pātikārāma, Vālikārāma.

The Buddha generally stayed at the Kūtāgārasālā (q.v.) during his visits to Vesāli, but it appears that he sometimes lived at these different shrines (See D.ii.118). During his last visit to the Cāpāla cetiya he decided to die within three months, and informed Māra and, later, Ananda, of his decision. The next day he left Vesāli for Bhandagāma, after taking one last look at the city, "turning his whole body round, like an elephant" (nāgāpalokitam apaloketvā) (D.ii.122). The rainy season which preceded this, the Buddha spent at Beluvagāma, a suburb of Vesāli, while the monks stayed in and around Vesāli. On the day before he entered into the vassa, Ambapāli invited the Buddha and the monks to a meal, at the conclusion of which she gave her Ambavana for the use of the Order (D.ii.98; but see Dial.ii.102, n.1).

Vesāli was a stronghold of the Niganthas, and it is said that of the forty two rainy seasons of the latter part of Mahāvīra's ascetic life, he passed twelve at Vesāli. Jacobi: Jaina Sutras (S.B.E.) Kalpa Sūtra, sect. 122; Vesāli was also the residence of Kandaramasuka and Pātikaputta (q.v.). Among eminent followers of the Buddha who lived in Vesāli, special mention is made of Ugga (chief of those who gave pleasant gifts), Pingiyāni, Kāranapāli, Sīha, Vāsettha (A.iv.258), and the various Licchavis (see Licchavi.)

The Buddha's presence in Vesāli was a source of discomfort to the Niganthas, and we find mention (See, e.g., Sīha) of various devices resorted to by them to prevent their followers from coming under the influence of the Buddha.

At the time of the Buddha, Vesāli was a very large city, rich and prosperous, crowded with people and with abundant food. There were seven thousand seven hundred and seven pleasure grounds and an equal number of lotus ponds. Its courtesan, Ambapālī, was famous for her beauty, and helped in large measure in making the city prosperous (Vin.i.268). The city had three walls, each one gāvuta away from the other, and at three places in the walls were gates with watch towers.

J.i.604; cf.i.389. Perhaps these three walls separated the three districts of Vaisālī mentioned in the Tibetan Dulva (Rockhill, p.62); Hoernle (Uvāsagadasāo Translation ii., p.4, n.8) identifies these three districts with the city proper, Kundapura and Vāniyagāma, respectively mentioned in the Jaina books. Buddhaghosa says (e.g., Sp.ii.393) that Vesāli was so called because it was extensive (visālībhūtatā Vesāli ti uccati); cf. UdA.184 (tikkhattum visālabhūtattā); and MA.i.259.

Outside the town, leading uninterruptedly up to the Himālaya, was the Mahāvana (DA.i.309) (q.v.), a large, natural forest. Near by were other forests, such as Gosingalasāla. (A.v.134)

Among important suttas preached at Vesāli are the Mahāli, Mahāsīhanāda, Cūla Saccaka, Mahā Saccaka, Tevijja, Vacchagotta, Sunakkhatta and Ratana.

See also A.i.220, 276; ii.190, 200; iii.38, 49ff., 75, 142, 167, 236, 239; iv. 16, 79, 100, 179, 208, 274ff., 279ff., 308ff.; v. 86, 133, 342; S.i.29, 112, 230; ii.267, 280; iii.68, 116; iv. 109, 210ff., 380; v. 141f, 152f, 258, 301, 320, 389, 453; D.ii.94ff.; the subjects of these discourses are mentioned passim, in their proper places; see also DhA.i.263; iii.267, 279, 460, 480.

The Telovāda Jātaka (No. 246) and the Sigāla Jātaka (No. 152) were preached at Vesāli. After the Buddha's death a portion of his relics was enshrined in the City. (D.ii.167; Bu.xxviii.2)

One hundred years later Vesāli was again the scene of interest for Buddhists, on account of the "Ten Points" raised by the Vajjiputtakā, (q.v.), and the second Council held in connection with this dispute at the Vālikārāma.

The city was also called Visālā. (E.g., AA.i.47; Cv.xcix.98). There were Nāgas living in Vesāli; these were called Vesālā (D.ii.258).

Vesāli is identified with the present village of Basrah in the Muzafferpur district in Tirhut. See Vincent Smith, J.R.A.S. 1907, p. 267f., and Marshall, Arch. Survey of India, 1903 4, p. 74.

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