Andhavana, Andha-vana: 2 definitions


Andhavana 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 grove to the south of Savatthi, one gavuta away from the city. It was well guarded and monks and nuns used to resort there in search of solitude. During the time of Kassapa Buddha, thieves waylaid an anagami upasaka in this forest; his name was Sorata (Yasodhara, according to the Samyutta Cy), and he had been touring Jambudipa collecting money for the Buddhas cetiya. They gouged out his eyes and killed him. Thereupon the robbers all lost their sight and wandered about the forest blind; hence the name of the forest (Blind, usually, but wrongly, translated Dark). It had retained its name during two Buddha periods. The story is given in MA.i.336ff. and SA.i.148.

There was a Meditation Hall (padhana ghara) built there for the use of contemplative monks and nuns (MA.i.338). Stories are told of those, particularly the nuns, who were tempted by Mara in the Andhavana. E.g., Alavika, Soma, Kisagotami, Vijaya, Uppalavanna, Cala, Upacala, Sisupacala, Sela, Vajira; J.i.128ff. and ThigA.64, 66, 163.

Once when Anuruddha was staying there he became seriously sick (S.v.302). It was here that the Buddha preached to Rahula the discourse (Cula Rahulovada) which made him an arahant (S.iv.105-7; AA.i.145).

Among others who lived here from time to time are mentioned the Elders Khema, Soma (A.iii.358), and Sariputta (A.v.9), the last mentioned experiencing a special kind of samadhi (where he realised that bhavanirodha was nibbana).

The Theragatha Commentary (i.39) records a discussion here between Sariputta and Punna regarding purification (visuddhikamma). The Vammika Sutta (M.i.143ff ) was the result of questions put by an anagami Brahma, his erstwhile colleague, to Kumara kassapa, while he was in Andhavana.

Once bandits laid an ambush for Pasenadi as he went through the forest to pay his respects to the Buddha, attended by a small escort, as was sometimes his wont. He was warned in time and had the wood surrounded, capturing and impaling or crucifying the bandits on either side of the road through the wood. We are told that though the Buddha knew of this, he did not chide the king because he had certain reasons for not doing so. (See SA.i.131-2. Mrs. Rhys Davids doubts the authenticity of this story; KS.i.127n.)

The Theri Uppalavanna was raped in a hut in the forest by a young brahmin named Ananda, and it is said that from that time nuns did not live in Andhavana (DhA.ii.49, 52).

The Parajika (Vin.iii.28ff ) contains stories of monks who committed offences in the forest with shepherdesses and others, and also of some monks who ate the flesh of a cow which had been left behind, partly eaten, by cattle thieves (Vin.iii.64). It was here that Uppalavanna obtained the piece of cows flesh which she asked Udayi to offer to the Buddha,

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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India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Andhavana (अन्धवन) is the name of a forest 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).—The Andhavana is referred to as located in Sāvatthī.

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 mythology, zoology, 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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