Gajabahu, Gajabāhu: 1 definition



Gajabahu means something in Buddhism, Pali. 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

King of Ceylon (1137-1153). He was the son of Vikkamabahu II. and succeeded his father to the throne (Cv.lx.88, according to the Dimbulagala Inscription, his mother was Sundari). Thus he was the grandson of Vijayabahu I and of Tilokasundari, and came, therefore, of Kalinga stock. When he saw the increasing power of the Prince Parakkamabahu (afterwards Parakkamabahu I.), Gajabahu sent for him with many marks of favour and welcomed him at his court. In order to win the kings confidence Parakkama gave his sister Bhaddavati to be his queen, but when he saw that Gajabahu was becoming suspicious of his power he left Pulatthipura and made preparations to wage war against him. In the campaign that followed, Gajabahu suffered many reverses and, in the end, fell into the hands of Parakkamas forces. With great difficulty Parakkama saved him from death, but in the meantime Manabharana managed to get Gajabahu into his power and cast him into a dungeon. From there he was rescued by Parakkamabahu and fled to Kotthasara. Meanwhile, Parakkamabahu had consolidated his power, and his officers captured Pulatthipura. Gajabahu, being able to see no other help, implored the monks of Pulatthipura to intercede on his behalf, and, at their request, Parakkamabahu left to Gajabahu the enjoyment of his possessions. (This is rather odd, especially in view of the fact that he invited heretical nobles to come to Ceylon, Cv.lxx.53). Gajabahu took up his abode at Gangatalaka and spent his last days there in comparative peace. As he had no heir and no brothers, he bequeathed his kingdom to Parakkamabahu, and engraved his will on a stone tablet at Mandalagiri Vihara. He was cremated at Kotthasara. (Details of Gajabahus reign and his fights with Parakkamabahu are contained in the Culavamsa, particularly in chapters 63, 66, 67, 70, 71). See also Gajabahukagamani.

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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