Jambudipa, Jambudīpa, Jambu-dipa: 3 definitions


Jambudipa 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

One of the four Mahadipas, or great continents, which are included in the Cakkavala and are ruled by a Cakkavatti. They are grouped round Mount Sineru. In Jambudipa is Himava with its eighty four thousand peaks, its lakes, mountain ranges, etc. This continent derives its name from the Jambu tree (also called Naga) which grows there, its trunk fifteen yojanas in girth, its outspreading branches fifty yojanas in length, its shade one hundred yojanas in extent and its height one hundred yojanas (Vin.i.30; SNA.ii.443; Vsm.i.205f; Sp.i.119, etc.). On account of this tree, Jambudipa is also known as Jambusanda (SN.vs.552; SNA.i.121). The continent is ten thousand yojanas in extent; of these ten thousand, four thousand are covered by the ocean, three thousand by the Himalaya mountains, while three thousand are inhabited by men (SNA.ii.437; UdA.300).

Sometimes in Jambudipa there are as many as eighty four thousand cities; this number is sometimes reduced to sixty thousand, forty thousand, or even twenty thousand, but never to less (SNA.i.59; J.iv.84 says sixty three thousand; PvA.111). In the time of Asoka there were eighty four thousand cities, in each of which he built a monastery (Mhv.v.176; Vsm.201). In the Anguttara Nikaya (i.35) it is said that, in Jambudipa, trifling in number are the parks, groves, lakes, etc., more numerous the steep, precipitous places, unfordable rivers, inaccessible mountains, etc.

At the time of Metteyya Buddhas appearance on earth Jambudipa will be pervaded by mankind even as a jungle is by reeds and rushes. There will be eighty four thousand cities with Ketumati (Benares) at the head (D.iii.75).

The Buddha once declared that the people of Jambudipa excel those of both Uttarakuru and Tavatimsa in three respects - courage, mindfulness and religious life (A.iv.396; Kvu.99).

Buddhas (and Cakkavattis) are born only in Jambudipa (BuA.48; MA.ii.917).

There were four sounds heard throughout Jambudipa:

the shout uttered by Punnaka proclaiming his victory over Dhananjaya Koravya in a game of dice; the bark of Vissakamma when taken about in the guise of a dog by Sakka, threatening to devour all wicked beings after the decay of Kassapas sasana; the roar of Kusa, challenging to battle the seven kings who sought the hand of Pabhavati; the yell of Alavaka, proclaiming his name from the top of Kelasa, on hearing that the Buddha had visited his abode (SA.i.248, etc.).

When opposed to Sihaladipa or Tambapannidipa, Jambudipa indicates the continent of India (E.g., Mhv.v.13; xiv.8; Cv.xxxvii.216, 246).

For the purposes of carika, the monks divided their tours in Jambudipa into three circuits or mandalas - the Mahamandala which extended over nine hundred leagues, the Majjhima which extended over six hundred, and the Antima over three hundred.

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

[«previous next»] — Jambudipa in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

jambudīpa : (m.) the country of the rose-apples; i.e. lndia.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Jambudīpa refers to: the country of the rose-apples i.e. India J. I, 263; VvA. 18; Miln. 27, etc.

Note: jambudīpa is a Pali compound consisting of the words jambu and dīpa.

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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