Isipatana; 2 Definition(s)


Isipatana 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)

[Isipatana in Theravada glossaries]

1. Isipatana - An open space near Benares, the site of the famous Migadaya or Deer Park. It was eighteen leagues from Uruvela, and when Gotama gave up his austere penances his friends, the Pancavaggiya monks, left him and went to Isipatana (J.i.68). After his Enlightenment the Buddha, leaving Uruvela, joined them in Isipatana, and it was there that he preached his first sermon, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, on the full moon day of Asalha. Vin.i.10f.; on this occasion 80 kotis of Brahmas and innumerable gods attained the comprehension of the Truth (Mil.30); (130 kotis says Mil.350). The Lal. (528) gives details of the stages of this journey. The Buddha, having no money with which to pay the ferryman, crossed the Ganges through the air. When Bimbisara heard of this, he abolished the toll for ascetics.

There, also, the Buddha spent his first rainy season (BuA., p.3).

All the Buddhas preach their first sermon at the Migadaya in Isipatana; it is one of the four avijahitatthanani (unchanging spots), the others being the bodhi pallanka, the spot at the gate of Sankassa, where the Buddha first touches the earth on his return from Tavatimsa, and the site of the bed in the Gandhakuti in Jetavana (BuA.247; DA.ii.424).

Isipatana is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit (D.ii.141).

Isipatana was so called because sages, on their way through the air (from the Himalayas), alight here or start from here on their aerial flight (isayo ettha nipatanti uppatanti cati Isipatanam).

The Migadaya was so called because deer were allowed to roam about there unmolested.

Pacceka Buddhas, having spent seven days in contemplation in the Gandhamadana, bathe in the Anotatta Lake and come to the habitations of men through the air, in search of alms. They descend to earth at Isipatana (MA.i.387; AA.i.347 adds that sages also held the uposatha at Isipatana).

Sometimes the Pacceka Buddhas come to Isipatana from Nandamulaka pabbhara (MA.ii.1019; PsA.437-8).

Several other incidents connected with the Buddha, besides the preaching of the first sermon, are mentioned as having taken place in Isipatana. Here it was that one day at dawn Yasa came to the Buddha and became an arahant (Vin.i.15f). It was at Isipatana, too, that the rule was passed prohibiting the use of sandals made of talipot leaves (Vin.i.189). On another occasion when the Buddha was staying at Isipatana, having gone there from Rajagaha, he instituted rules forbidding the use of certain kinds of flesh, including human flesh (Vin.i.216ff.; the rule regarding human flesh was necessary because Suppiya made broth out of her own flesh for a sick monk). Twice, while the Buddha was at Isipatana, Mara visited him but had to go away discomfited (S.i.105f).

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Isipatana in Pali glossaries]

isipatana : (nt.) name of a place; present Sārnath near Benares.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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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