on Uruvela, Sujata, Neranjara, Bodhi Tree, Ajapala Tree, Mara from
Dictionary of Pali Proper Names • G.P. Malalasekera
Daughter of Senani, a landowner of the village of Senani near Uruvela.
She made a promise to the god of the banyan tree near by that she
would offer a meal of milk rice to the god if she gave birth to
a son. Her wish was fulfilled, the son was born, and she sent her
maid, Punna, to prepare the place for the offering. This was on
the very day of the Buddha's Enlightenment, and Punna, finding Gotama
sitting under the banyan, thought that he was the tree god present
in person to receive the offering. She brought the news to Sujata,
who, in great joy, brought the food in a golden bowl and offered
it to him.
Uruvela.-A locality on the banks of the Nerañjara, in the
neighbourhood of the Bodhi-tree at Buddhagaya. Here, after leaving
Alara and Uddaka, the Bodhisatta practised during six years the
most severe penances. His companions were the Pañcavaggiya-monks,
who, however, left him when he relaxed the severity of his austerities
. The place chosen by the Bodhisatta for his penances was called
Jataka version contains additional particulars. It relates that
once the Bodhisatta fainted under his austerities, and the news
was conveyed to his father that he was dead. Suddhodana, however,
refused to believe this, remembering the prophecy of Kaladevala.
When the Bodhisatta decided to take ordinary food again, it was
given to him by a girl, Sujata, daughter of Senani of the township
of Senani. In the neighbourhood of Uruvela were also the Ajapala
Banyan-tree, the Mucalinda-tree and the Rajayatana-tree, where the
Buddha spent some time after his Enlightenment, and where various
shrines, such as the Animisa-cetiya, the Ratanacankama-cetiya and
the Ratanaghara later came into existence.
Uruvela the Buddha went to Isipatana, but after, he had made sixty-one
arahants and sent them out on tour to preach the Doctrine, he returned
to Uruvela, to the Kappasikavanasanda and converted the Bhaddavaggiya.
At Uruvela dwelt also the Tebhatika-Jatilas: Uruvela-Kassapa, Nadi-Kassapa
and Gaya-Kassapa, who all became followers of the Buddha .
to the Ceylon Chronicles , it was while spending the rainy season
at Uruvela, waiting for the time when the Kassapa brothers should
be ripe for conversion, that the Buddha, on the full-moon day of
Phussa, in the ninth month after the Enlightenment, paid his first
visit to Ceylon.
is made of several temptations of the Buddha while he dwelt at Uruvela,
apart from the supreme contest with Mara, under the Bodhi-tree.
Once Mara came to him in the darkness of the night in the guise
of a terrifying elephant, trying to frighten him. On another dark
night when the rain was falling drop by drop, Mara came to the Buddha
and assumed various wondrous shapes, beautiful and ugly. Another
time Mara tried to fill the Buddha's mind with doubt as to whether
he had really broken away from all fetters and won complete Enlightenment
. Seven years after the Buddha's Renunciation, Mara made one more
attempt to make the Buddha discontented with his lonely lot and
it was then, when Mara had gone away discomfited, that Mars's three
daughters, Tanha, Rati and Raga, made a final effort to draw the
Buddha away from his purpose .
was at Uruvela, too, that the Buddha had misgivings in his own mind
as to the usefulness of preaching the Doctrine which he had realised,
to a world blinded by passions and prejudices. The Brahma Sahampati
thereupon entreated the Buddha not to give way to such diffidence
. It is recorded that either on this very occasion or quite soon
after, the thought arose in the Buddha's mind that the sole method
of winning Nibbana was to cultivate the four satipatthanas and that
Sahampati visited the Blessed One and confirmed his view. A different
version occurs elsewhere , where the thought which arose in the
Buddha's mind referred to the five controlling faculties (saddhindriya,
etc.), and Brahma tells the Buddha that in the time of Kassapa he
had been a monk named Sahaka and that then he had practised these
name Uruvela is explained as meaning a great sandbank (maha vela,
mahanto valikarasi). A story is told which furnishes an alternative
explanation: Before the Buddha's appearance in the world, ten thousand
ascetics lived in this locality, and they decided among themselves
that if any evil thought arose in the mind of any one of them, he
should carry a basket of sand to a certain spot. The sand so collected
eventually formed a great bank . In the Divyavadana , the place
is called Uruvilva. The Mahavastu mentions four villages as being
in Uruvela: Praskandaka, Balakalpa, Ujjangala and Jangala.
took the bowl to the river bank, bathed at the Suppatitthita ford
and ate the food. This was his only meal for forty nine days. Nine
girls are mentioned as giving food to the Buddha during his austerities.
, where two are given, Nanda and Nandabala.
meal was considered one of the most important of those offered to
the Buddha, and the Devas, therefore, added to it divine flavours.
was Sujata's son, and when he attained arahantship his father, who
had come in search of him, became the Buddha's follower and invited
him to a meal. The Buddha accepted the invitation and went with
Yasa to the house. The Buddha preached at the end of the meal, and
both Sujata and Yasa's wife became sotapannas. On that day Sujata
took the threefold formula of Refuge. She thus became foremost among
lay women who had taken the threefold formula (aggam upasikanam
pathamam saranam gacchantinam) . She had made an earnest resolve
to attain this eminence in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. .
river. After the Enlightenment, the Buddha lived under the Ajapala
Nigrodha at Uruvela, on the banks of this river. There Mara tempted
him, and, later, Brahma persuaded him to preach the Dhamma.
Commentaries say that when the Buddha, having realized the futility
of austerities, left the Pañcavaggiyas, he retired to Uruvela,
on the banks of the Nerañjara, and there, just before the
Enlightenment, Sujata gave him a meal of milk rice, taking him to
be a god. Before eating the food, he bathed in the ford called Suppatittha.
Under the bed of the river lay the abode of the Naga king, Kala.
There was a sala grove on the banks, where the Buddha spent the
afternoon previous to the night of the Enlightenment.
explanations are given of the name:
(1) Its waters are pleasant (nelam jalam assa ti = nelañjala,
the r being substituted for the l);
(2) it has blue water (nila jalaya ti vattabbe Nerañjaraya
(3) it is just simply the name of the river.
Kassapa's hermitage was on the bank of the Nerañjara
is identified with the modern Nilajana, with its source in Hazaribagh,
which, together with the Mohana, unites to form the river Phalgu.
banyan tree which is famous in Buddhist literature. It was in Uruvela,
on the banks of the Nerañjara, near the Bodhi tree, and a
week after the Enlightenment the Buddha went there and spent a week
cross-legged at the foot of the tree. There he met the Huhunkajatika
Brahmin ). Two weeks later he went there again from the Rajayatana
. It was then that the Brahma Sahampati appeared to him and persuaded
him to preach the doctrine, in spite of the difficulty of the task
. This was immediately after the meal offered by Tapassu and Bhalluka,
so says the Majjhima Atthakatha . When the Buddha wishes to have
someone as his teacher, Sahampati appears again and suggests to
him that the Dhamma be considered his teacher .
Ajapala-nigrodha it was, too, that, immediately after the Enlightenment,
Mara tried to persuade the Buddha to die at once . Several other
conversations held here with Mara are recorded in the Samyutta .
also, the Buddha spent some time before the Enlightenment, and it
was here that Sujata offered him a meal of milk-rice .
in the fifth week after the Enlightenment, Mara's daughters tried
to tempt the Buddha
etymologies are suggested for the name:
(a) in its shadow goatherds (ajapala) rest;
(b) old brahmins, incapable of reciting the Vedas, live here in
dwellings protected by walls and ramparts (this derivation being
as follows: na japanti ti =ajapa, mantanam anajjhayaka=ajapa, alenti
ariyanti nivasam etthati=Ajapalo ti);
(c) it shelters the goats that seek its shade at midday .
northern Buddhists say that the tree was planted by a shepherd boy,
during the Bodhisatta's six years' penance, to shelter him
Brahma Sutta and the Magga Sutta , both on the four satipatthana,
and another Brahma Sutta on the five indriyani, were concerning
thoughts that occurred to the Buddha on various occasions at the
foot of this tree, when he sat there soon after the Enlightenment.
On all these occasions Brahma Sahampati appeared to him and confirmed
his thoughts. Several old brahmins, advanced in years, visited the
Buddha during this period and questioned him as to whether it were
true that he did not pay respect to age. To them he preached the
four Thera-karana dhamma.
generic name given to the tree under which a Buddha attains Enlightenment
. The tree is different in the case of each Buddha. Thus,
for Gotama and also for Kondañña it was an asvattha;
for Dipankara a sirisa;
for Mangala, Sumana, Revata and Sobhita a naga;
for Anomadassi an ajjuna;
for Paduma and Narada a mahasona;
for Padumuttara a salala;
for Sumedha a nimba;
for Sujata a bamboo;
for Piyadassi a kakudha;
for Atthadassi a campaka;
for Dhammadassi a bimbajala;
for Siddhattha a kanikara;
for Tissa an asana;
for Phussa an amanda;
for Vipassi a patali;
for Sikhi a pundarika;
for Vessabhu a sala;
for Kakusandha a sirisa;
for Konagamma an udumbara;
for Kassapa a banyan .
site of the Bodhi tree is the same for all Buddhas, and it forms
the navel of the earth (puthuvinabhi). No other place can support
the weight of the Buddha's attainment.
no Bodhi tree grows, the Bodhimanda (ground round the Bodhi-tree),
for a distance of one royal karisa, is devoid of all plants, even
of any blade of grass, and is quite smooth, spread with sand like
a silver plate, while all around it are grass, creepers and trees.
None can travel in the air immediately above it, not even Sakka
the world is destroyed at the end of a kappa, the Bodhimanda is
the last spot to disappear; when the world emerges into existence
again, it is the first to appear. A lotus springs there bringing
it into view and if during the kappa thus begun a Buddha will be
born, the lotus puts forth flowers, according to the number of Buddhas
the case of Gotama Buddha, his Bodhi tree sprang up on the day he
was born . After his Enlightenment, he spent a whole week in front
of it, standing with unblinking eyes, gazing at it with gratitude.
A shrine was later erected on the spot where he so stood, and was
called the Animisalocana cetiya. The spot was used as a shrine even
in the lifetime of the Buddha, the only shrine that could be so
used. While the Buddha was yet alive, in order that people might
make their offerings in the name of the Buddha when he was away
on pilgrimage, he sanctioned the planting of a seed from the Bodhi
tree in Gaya in front of the gateway of Jetavana. For this purpose
Moggallana took a fruit from a tree at Gaya as it dropped from its
stalk, before it reached the ground. It was planted in a golden
jar by Anathapindika with great pomp and ceremony. A sapling immediately
sprouted forth, fifty cubits high, and in order to consecrate it
the Buddha spent one night under it, wrapt in meditation. This tree,
because it was planted under the direction of Ananda, came to be
known as the Ananda Bodhi .
to the Ceylon Chronicles , branches from the Bodhi trees of all
the Buddhas born during this kappa were planted in Ceylon on the
spot where the sacred Bodhi tree stands today in Anuradhapura. The
branch of Kakusandha's tree was brought by a nun called Rucananda,
Konagamana's by Kantakananda (or Kanakadatta), and Kassapa's by
Sudhamma. Asoka was most diligent in paying homage to the Bodhi
tree, and held a festival every year in its honour in the month
of Kattika . His queen, Tissarakkha was jealous of the Tree, and
three years after she became queen (i.e., in the nineteenth year
of Asoka's reign), she caused the tree to be killed by means of
mandu thorns . The tree, however, grew again, and a great monastery
was attached to the Bodhimanda. Among those present at the foundation
of the Maha Thupa are mentioned thirty thousand monks, from this
Vihara, led by Cittagutta
of Ceylon, contemporary of Samudragupta, erected with the permission
of Samudragupta, a Sangharama near the Mahabodhi-vihara, chiefly
for the use of the Singhalese monks who went to worship the Bodhi
tree. The circumstances in connection with the Sangharama are given
by Hiouen Thsang who gives a description of it as seen by himself.
It was probably here that Buddhaghosa met the Elder Revata who persuaded
him to come to Ceylon.
the twelfth year of Asoka's reign the right branch of the Bodhi
tree was brought by Sanghamitta to Anuradhapura and placed by Devanampiyatissa
in the Mahameghavana. The Buddha, on his death bed, had resolved
five things, one being that the branch which should be taken to
Ceylon should detach itself . From Gaya, the branch was taken to
Pataliputta, thence to Tamalitti, where it was placed in a ship
and taken to Jambukola, across the sea; finally it arrived at Anuradhapura,
staying on the way at Tivakka. Those who assisted the king at the
ceremony of the planting of the Tree were the nobles of Kajaragama
and of Candanagama and of Tivakka. From the seeds of a fruit which
grew on the tree sprang eight saplings, which were planted respectively
in the village of Tivakka,
in the court of the Pathamacetiya,
in Kajaragama and
other saplings, from four other fruits, were planted here and there
at a distance of one yojana. Ceremonies were instituted in honour
of the Tree, the supervision of which was given over to Bodhaharakula,
at the head of which were the eight ministers of Asoka who, led
by Bodhigutta and Sumitta , were sent as escorts of the Tree. Revenues
were provided for these celebrations.
King Dhatusena built a Bodhighara or roof over the Tree while Silakala
made daily offerings at the shrine , and Kittisirimegha had the
Bodhighara covered with tin plates Mahanaga had the roof of the
Bodhighara gilded, built a trench round the courtyard and set up
Buddha images in the image house. Aggabodhi I. erected a stone terrace
round the Tree and placed, at the bottom of it, an oil pit to receive
the oil for illuminations on festival days. Aggabodhi II. had a
well dug for the use of pilgrims
VII found the Bodhighara in ruins and had it rebuilt, Mahinda II
instituted a regular offering in its honour, and Udaya III gave
a village near Anuradhapura to the service of the Bodhi tree.
of three brothers, the Tebhatika-Jatilas, living at Uruvela. He
lived on the banks of the Nerañjara with five hundred disciples.
Further down the river lived his brothers Nadi-Kassapa with three
hundred disciples and Gaya-Kassapa with two hundred.
Buddha visited Uruvela-Kassapa and took lodging for the night where
the sacred fire was kept, in spite of Kassapa's warning that the
spot was inhabited by a fierce Naga. The Buddha, by his magical
powers, overcame, first this Naga and then another, both of whom
vomited fire and smoke. Kassapa being pleased with this exhibition
of iddhi-power, undertook to provide the Buddha with his daily food.
Meanwhile the Buddha stayed in a grove near by, waiting for the
time when Kassapa should be ready for conversion. Here he was visited
by the Four Regent Gods, Sakka, Brahma and others. The Buddha spent
the whole rainy season there, performing, in all, three thousand
five hundred miracles of various kinds, reading the thoughts of
Kassapa, splitting firewood for the ascetics' sacrifices, heating
stoves for them to use after bathing in the cold weather, etc. Still
Kassapa persisted in the thought, "The great ascetic is of
great magic power, but he is not an arahant like me." Finally
the Buddha decided to startle him by declaring that he was not an
arahant, neither did the way he followed lead to arahantship. Thereupon
Kassapa owned defeat and reverently asked for ordination. The Buddha
asked him to consult with his pupils, and they cut off their hair
and threw it with their sacrificial utensils into the river and
were all ordained. Nadi-Kassapa and Gaya-Kassapa came to inquire
what had happened, and they, too, were ordained with their pupils.
At Gayasisa the Buddha preached to them the Fire Sermon (aditta-pariyaya),
and they all attained arahantship.
Gayasisa the Buddha went to Rajagaha with the Kassapas and their
pupils, and in the presence of Bimbisara and the assembled populace
Uruvela-Kassapa declared his allegiance to the Buddha.
in the assembly of monks, Uruvela-Kassapa was declared to be the
chief of those who had large followings . Six verses attributed
to him are found in the Theragatha, wherein he reviews his achievement
and relates how he was won over by the Buddha.
the time of Padumuttara Buddha he was a householder, and having
seen the Buddha declare a monk to be the best of them with large
followings, wished for himself to be so honoured in a future life,
and did many works of merit towards that end.
he was born in the family of Phussa Buddha as his younger step-brother,
his father being Mahinda.. He had two other brothers. The three
quelled a frontier disturbance and, as a reward, obtained the right
to entertain the Buddha for three months. They appointed three of
their ministers to make all the arrangements and they themselves
observed the ten precepts. The three ministers so appointed were,
in this age, Bimbisara, Visakha and Ratthapala.
sojourned among gods and men, the three brothers, in their last
birth, were born in a brahmin family, the name of which was Kassapa.
They learnt the three Vedas and left the household life .
to the Maha-Narada-Kassapa Jataka, Uruvela-Kassapa was once born
as Angati, king of Mithila in the Videha country. He listened to
the teachings of a false teacher called Guna and gave himself up
to pleasure, till he was saved by his wise daughter Ruja, with the
help of the Brahma Narada, who was the Bodhisatta.
was so called partly to distinguish him from other Kassapas and
partly because he was ordained at Uruvela. At first he had one thousand
followers, and after he was ordained by the Buddha all his followers
stayed with him and each of them ordained a great number of others,
so that their company became very numerous .
scene of the conversion of Uruvela-Kassapa is sculptured in Sanchi.
According to Tibetan sources, Kassapa was one hundred and twenty
years old at the time of his conversion .
Thsang found a stupa erected on the spot where the Buddha converted
was a disciple of Uruvela-Kassapa and joined his teacher when the
latter was converted. Senaka Thera was Kassapa's sister's son .
Vacchapala was among those who joined the Order, after having seen
Kassapa pay homage to the Buddha at Rajagaha .