Amrapali, aka: Āmrapāli, Āmrapālī, Amra-pali; 3 Definition(s)


Amrapali means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Amrapali in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

1) Āmrapāli (आम्रपालि) from Vaiśalī is one of the three courtesans (veśya) mentioned in a story in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 13. Accordingly, three brothers heard speak of three courtesans (eg., Āmrapāli). Hearing everyone praise the incomparable beauty of these three women, the three brothers thought of them day and night and could not get them out of their minds. In dreams, they possessed them. Once awakened, they said to themselves: “These women did not come to us and we did not go to these women; nevertheless, pleasure was produced. Because of them we woke up. Are all dharmas like that?”

2) Āmrapālī (आम्रपाली) is the name of a woman who was born of exudation, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Born of exudation, for example, Yen lo p’o li (Āmrapālī), chief courtesan (veśyāgra) who gave birth to a cakravartin king. Note: Āmrapālī was born from the stem of a banana tree as is told at length in the Nai nin k’i yu yin yuan king, T 553 (tr. Chavannes, Contes, III, p. 325–329); Schiefner-Ralston, Tibetan Tales, p. 85. – But Āmrapālī is the mother of Jīvaka, not of a cakravartin king.

3) Āmrapālī (आम्रपाली) is the name of a courtesan (veśya) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVIII).—A fan p’o lo is a rare and defective transcription for Āmrapāli. Āmrapāli (in Pāli, Ambapāli) was the rich courtesan of Vaiśāli who, shortly before the Buddha’s death, went to visit him in great pomp, provided a princely reception for him and gave the Saṅgha the Ambapālivana; this event is told in the sūtras. The meeting between Bimbisāra and Āmrapālī, to which the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra alludes here, is told at length in T 553 and 554 (l.c.).

Āmrapāli was born miraculously in the flower of a mango-tree belonging to a brāhman in Vaiśālī. The brāhman adopted Āmrapāli and made her a courtesan. Seven kings disputed over the favors of the young lady; Bimbasāra, king of Magadha, even though he was at war with the Licchavi of Vaiśālī, surreptitiously entered the city, penetrated into the tower where Āmrapāli was shut up and amused himself with her for a week. Āmrapālī bore him a son who later became the famous physician Jīvaka.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Amrapali in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Āmrapālī (आम्रपाली).—f. Name of a prostitute famous for her beauty.

Āmrapālī is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms āmra and pālī (पाली).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Amrapālī (अम्रपाली).—see Āmra°.

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Āmrapālī (आम्रपाली).—(also °likā; = Pali Ambapālī, °likā; in Pali and in MSV she was a courtesan), n. of a Licchavi woman, who donated her mango grove to the Buddha: Mv i.300.16; in Mv ii.293.16 Buddha is dwelling at Vaiśālī in this grove, Āmrapālī-vane; her miraculous origin, MSV ii.16.15 ff.; in mss. of MPS, e.g. 11.1, regularly written Amra° (semi-MIndic).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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