Anotatta: 3 definitions


Anotatta 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

1. Anotatta

One of the seven great lakes of Himava.

The others being Kannamunda, Rathakara, Chaddanta, Kunala, Mandakini and Sihappapata. It is surrounded by five mountain peaks, Sudassanakuta, Citrakuta, Kalakuta, Gandhamadana and Kelasa.

Sudassanakuta is concave, shaped like a crows beak and overshadows the whole lake, which is hidden also by the other peaks. The lake is 150 leagues long, 50 leagues wide and 50 leagues deep. All the rains that fall on the five peaks and all the rivers that rise in them flow into the lake. The light of the sun and of the moon never falls directly on the, water but only in reflection. This means that the water is always cool, hence the name.

Many bathing places are found therein free from fish and tortoises, with crystal clear waters, where Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas and arahants bathe, and whither devas and yakkhas come for sport. Four channels open out of the lake in the direction of the four quarters: Sihamukha, Hatthimukha, Assamukha and Usabhamukha. Lions abound on the banks of the Sihamukha; elephants, horses and cattle respectively on the others. Four rivers flow from these channels; the eastward river encircles the lake three times, waters the non human regions of Himava and enters the ocean. The rivers that flow north and westward flow in those directions through regions inhabited by non humans and also enter the ocean. The southward river, like the eastward, flows three times round the lake and then straight south over a rocky channel for sixty leagues and then down a precipice, forming a cascade six miles in width. For sixty leagues the water dashes through the air on to a rock named Tiyaggala, whereon by the force of the impact of the waters the Tiyaggalapokkharani has been formed, fifty leagues deep. From this lake the waters run through a rocky chasm for sixty leagues, then underground for sixty leagues to an oblique mountain, Vijjha, where the stream divides into five, like the fingers of the hand. The part of this river which encircles the original lake Anotatta is called Avattaganga; the sixty leagues of stream which run over the rocky channel, Kanhaganga; the sixty leagues of waterfall in the air, Akasaganga; the sixty leagues flowing out of the Tiyaggala pokkharani and through the rocky gorge is called Bahalaganga, and the river underground, Ummaggaganga. The five streams into which the river is divided after leaving the oblique mountain Vijjha are called Ganga, Yamuna, Aciravati, Sarabhu and Mahi (SnA.ii.407; 437-9; MA.ii.585f.; AA.ii.759-60).

A wind called Sincanakavata (sprinkling wind) takes water from the Anotatta lake and sprinkles the Gandhamadana mountain with it (SnA.i.66). The lake is one of the last to dry up at the end of the world (A.iv.101). To be bathed in the waters of the lake is to be thoroughly cleansed.

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 geogprahy

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Anotatta (अनोतत्त) is the name of a lake somewhere in the Himalayas, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—According to the Kunāla Jātaka, once there broke out a quarrel between the Koliyas and the Sakiyas regarding the possession of the river Rohiṇī which flows between the Sākiya and Koliya countries. Buddha, however, succeeded in settling the dispute. Many Koliya and Sakiya people were ordained. But spiritual discontent sprang up among them. The Blessed one conducted these brethren to the Himalayas and after illustrating the sins connected with woman-kind by the Kunāla story, and removing their discontent, bestowed upon them the stage of sanctification. The Master transported them to the Himalayas and standing in the sky pointed out to them in a pleasant tract of the Himalayas various mountains: Golden mount, Jewel mount, Vermillion mount, Collyaium mount, Tableland mount, Crystal mount, and five great rivers, and the seven lakes, Kaṇṇamuṇḍaka, Rathakāra, Sīhappapāta, Chaddanta, Tiyaggala, Anotatta, and Kunāla.

Anotatta has been mentioned as a lake in the Aṅguttara Nikāya and is included in the list of the seven great lakes in the Himalayas Buddha is said to have visited the lake many a time. It is generally supposed that the Anotatta or Anavatapta lake is the same as Rawanhrad or Langa. But Spence Harmy considers it to be an imaginary lake.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (A) next»] — Anotatta in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

anotatta : (m.) name of a lake in the Himalayas (from which several Indian rivers flow).

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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