Dakkhinapatha, Dakkhiṇāpatha, Dakkhināpatha: 3 definitions


Dakkhinapatha 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)

[«previous next»] — Dakkhinapatha in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

In the old Pali literature the name Dakkhinapatha would seem to indicate only a remote settlement or colony on the banks of the upper Godavari. Thus, we are told that Bavari had his hermitage in Dakkhinapatha territory, midway between the kingdoms of Assaka and Alaka (SN., vs.976). Elsewhere the name is coupled with Avanti as Avantidakkhinapatha and seems to refer, but more vaguely, to the same limited district. Vin.i.195, 196; ii.298. In J.v.133, however, Avanti is spoken of as a part of Dakkhinapatha (Dakkhinupathe Avantirattha), but see J.iii.463, where Avantidakkhinapatha is spoken of.

The Sutta Nipata Commentary (ii.580) seems to explain Dakkhinapatha as the road leading to the Dakkhinajanapada, while the Sumangala Vilasini (DA.i.265) takes Dakkhinapatha to be synonymous with Dakkhinajanapada and says that it was the district (janapada) south of the Ganges (Gangaya dakkhinato pakatajanapadam).

It is clear that, in the earlier literature at any rate, the word did not mean the whole country comprised in the modern word Dekkhan. It is possible that Dakkhinapatha was originally the name of the road which led southwards - the Aryan settlement at the end of the road, on the banks of the Godavari being also called by the same name - and that later the road lent its name to the whole region through which it passed. (For a detailed description see Law: Geog. of Early Buddhism, pp.60ff). In the Petavatthu Commentary (PvA., p.133) the Damila country (Damilavisaya) is included in the Dakkhinapatha.

The Dakkhinapatha is famous in literature as the birthplace of strong bullocks (DhSA.141; NidA.16; DhA.iii.248, etc.). It held also a large number of ascetics (DA.i.265), and in the southern districts (Dakkhinesu janapadesu) people celebrated a feast called Dharana (A.v.216). See Dharana Sutta.

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

[«previous next»] — Dakkhinapatha in India history glossary
Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Dakkhiṇāpatha (or Dakṣiṇāpatha in Sanskrit) refers to the Deccan or “southern India”, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The Mahāvagga and the Divyāvadāna seem to record that the Dakkhiṇa-janapada lay to the south of the town of Satakannika, a locality which has not yet definitely been identified. The Vinaya Piṭaka refers to Dakkhiṇāpatha as a region confined to a remote settlement of the Aryans on the Upper Godāvarī. Buddhaghosa, the celebrated Buddhist commentator, defines Dakkhiṇāpatha or the Deccan as the tract of land lying to the south of the Ganges and was the same as Dakkhiṇa-janapada.

From the prologue of Book V of the Sutta Nipāta, it appears that the Dakkhiṇāpatha lent its name to the region through which it passed—i.e., the whole tract of land lying to the south of the Ganges and to the north of the river Godāvarī being known (according to Buddhaghosa) as Dakkhiṇāpatha or the Deccan proper (cf. Vinaya-Mahāvagga and Vinaya-Cullavagga). The region lying south of the river Godāvarī seems to have been little known to the early Buddhists; and it seems that the earliest intimate knowledge of the geography of the country, now known as the Far South, was acquired not earlier than the suzerainty of Asoka.

Strictly speaking, portions of the two Mahājanapadas namely, the Assaka and the Avanti mahājanapadas were included in the Dakkhiṇāpatha or the Deccan. According to the Mahāgovinda Suttanta, the capital of the kingdom of Avanti was Māhissati or Māhiṣmatī (Sans.) [is] identical with Mandhātā on the Narmadā. The Assaka country was situated on the banks of the Godāvarī; strictly speaking, therefore, the Assaka Mahājanapadas should also be included in the Dakkhiṇāpatha.

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 next»] — Dakkhinapatha in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

dakkhiṇāpatha : (m.) the southern route (in India); the country in the south, now called Dekkan.

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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