Isigili, Isi-gili: 2 definitions



Isigili 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

One of the five mountains round Rajagaha and one of the beauty spots of the city (D.ii.116). There was, on one side of it, a black stone called the Kalasila. This was a favourite haunt of the Buddha and the members of the Order. See e.g., Viii.ii.76, where Dabba Mallaputta is asked by monks to provide for them accommodation there; see also Vin.iii.41.

It was also the scene of the suicide of Godhika and Vakkali (S.i.121; iii.121f) and of the murder of Moggallana by the brigands (J.v.125f; DhA.iii.65).

In the Cula Dukkhakkhanda Sutta it is said that a large number of Niganthas lived at Kalasila, never sitting down, undergoing paroxysms of acute pain and agony, following the teachings of Nigantha Nataputta. The Buddha questioned them as to their practises and preached to them the above mentioned Sutta, which he afterwards repeated to Mahanama (M.i.91ff).

Once when the Buddha was dwelling at Kalasila, he sang the praises of Rajagaha, giving Ananda a chance, if he so desired, of asking him to live on for a kappa; but Ananda did not take his opportunity (D.iii.116).

The books refer to several other visits of the Buddha to Isigilapassa. During one of these visits he heard Vangisas high eulogy of Moggallana (S.i.194; Thag.1249ff).

In the Isigili Sutta (M.iii.68-71) the Buddha is represented as saying that while the other mountains round Rajagaha - Vebhara, Pandava, Vepulla and Gijjhakuta - had changed their old names, Isigili retained its former name and designation.

Five hundred Pacceka Buddhas once resided in Isigili for a long time; they could be seen entering the mountain, but once entered, there was no more sign of them. Men, observing this, said that the mountain swallowed up the sages and so it came by its name of Isigili (Isi gilati ti = Isigili).

Buddhaghosa adds (MA.ii.889) that when the Pacceka Buddhas returned from their begging rounds, the rock would open like a folding door to admit them. Within the rock they had made for themselves cloisters, dwelling houses, etc.

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

Isigili (इसिगिलि) refers to one of the five mountains encircling Girivraja or Giribbaja: an ancient capital of Magadha, one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas of the 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).—Early Pāli literature abounds in information about the Magadha country, its people, and its ancient capital Giribbaja. Magadha roughly corresponds to the modern Patna and Gayā districts of Bihar. The Mahābhārata seems to record that Girivraja was also called Bārhadrathapura as well as Māgadhapura and that Māgadhapura was a well-fortified city being protected by five hills. Other names recorded in the Mahābhārata are Varāha, Vrishabha, Rishigiri, and Caityaka. The statement of the Mahābhārata that Girivraja was protected by five hills is strikingly confirmed by the Vimānavatthu Commentary in which we read that the city of Giribbaja was encircled by the mountains Isigili, Vepulla, Vebhara, Paṇḍava and Gijjhakūṭa.

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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