Alavi, Āḷavi, Ālavī, Āḷavī: 3 definitions



Alavi means something in Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A town thirty yojanas from Savatthi (SnA.i.220) and probably twelve from Benares (See Watters: ii.61; Fa Hsein, 60, 62). It lay between Savatthi and Rajagaha. (The Buddha goes from Savatthi to Kitagiri, thence to Alavi, and finally, to Rajagaha). The Buddha, on several occasions, stayed at Alavi at the Aggalava shrine (q.v.) which was near the town. In the sixteenth year after the Enlightenment, the Buddha spent the whole of the rainy season at Alavi and preached the doctrine to 84,000 listeners (BuA.3). The King of Alavi was known as Alavaka and the inhabitants as Alavaka. The town later became famous as the residence of Alavaka Yakkha and of Hatthaka Alavaka. The Theri, Sela was born in Alavi and was therefore known as Alavika (ThigA.62-3). There was evidently a large community of monks at Alavi, some of whom seem to have chiefly occupied themselves with building viharas for themselves (See Alavaka).

Once, while at Savatthi, the Buddha saw a poor farmer of Alavi, ready for conversion and decided to go and preach in that town. The farmers ox had strayed away, and he looked for it for quite a long while before finding it; he knew that the Buddha was in Alavi and decided that he still had time to visit the Buddha, and he set off without taking any food. Meanwhile at Alavi the Buddha and his monks had been served with a meal by the people, but the Buddha waited until the farmer came before returning thanks. On the farmers arrival the Buddha ordered that some food should be given him, and when the man was comforted and his mind was ready the Buddha preached a sermon, at the end of which the man became a Sotapanna (DhA.iii.262-3).

On another occasion the Buddha came all the way from Jetavana to Alavi for the sake of a weavers daughter. (For the story see DhA.iii.170f).

Alavi has been identified by Cunningham and Hoernle with Newal or Nawal in the Urao district in the United Provinces, and by Nandalal Dey, with Aviwa, twenty seven miles north east of Etwah (Law: Geog, of. Early Buddhism, p.24).

Mrs. Rhys Davids states that Alavi was on the bank of the Ganges (Ps. of the Brethren, 408), probably basing her view on the declaration of Alavaka in the Sutta Nipata (p.32) that he would throw the Buddha para Gangaya (over to the other side of the Ganges) unless his questions were answered. I believe that here para Gangaya is merely a rhetorical expression and has no geographical significance.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Āḷavi is the name of a country mentioned in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLII.—In the land of A-lo-p’i (Āḷavi), a cold wind (śītavāta) was blowing and there were many thorny broom plants, but the Buddha sat and lay down there without feeling any discomfort.

According to the Āḷavaka-sutta of Anguttara: Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One was staying in Āḷavi at the Ox Path in the Śiṃśapa (Dalbergia sisu) forest, on the ground strewn with leaves. Then Hastaka of Āḷavi who was walking about saw the Blessed One at the Ox Path in the Śiṃśapa forest seated on the ground strewn with leaves. Having seen him, he came near the Blessed One and, having approached, he bowed to the Blessed One and sat down to one side. [...]

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Āḷavī is the name of an ancient locality situated in Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—In the Tipallatthamiga Jātaka it is said that hard by the town of Āḷavī was the Aggāḷava Cetiya. The Buddha while dwelling in Aggāḷava shrine near Āḷavī told a story concerning the regulation to be observed in the building of cells. Āḷavī has been identified by General Cunningham and Dr. Hoernle with Newal or Nawal in Unao district in U.P. According to Mr. Nandalal Dey, Āḷavī is Aviwa, 27 miles north east of Etwah.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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