Kapilavatthu; 2 Definition(s)


Kapilavatthu 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)

[Kapilavatthu in Theravada glossaries]

A city near the Himalaya, capital of the Sakiyans (q.v.). It was founded by the sons of Okkaka, on the site of the hermitage of the sage Kapila - see Kapila (3) (J.i.15, 49, 50, 54, 64, etc.; see also Divy 548, and Buddhacarita I.v.2). Near the city was the Lumbinivana (q.v.) where the Buddha was born, and which became one of the four places of pilgrimage for the Buddhists. Close to Kapilavatthu flowed the river Rohini, which formed the boundary between the kingdoms of the Sakyans and the Koliyans (DhA.iii.254). In the sixth century B.C. Kapilavatthu was the centre of a republic, at the head of which was Suddhodana. The administration and judicial business of the city and all other matters of importance were discussed and decided in the Santhagarasala (D.i.91; J.iv.145). It was here that Vidudabha was received by the Sakyans (J.iv.146f). The walls of the city were eighteen cubits high (J.i.63; according to Mtu.ii.75 it had seven walls). From Kapilavatthu to the river Anoma, along the road taken by Gotama, when he left his home, was a distance of thirty yojanas (J.i.64). The city was sixty leagues from Rajagaha, and the Buddha took two months covering this distance when he visited his ancestral home, in the first year after his Enlightenment. On this journey the Buddha was accompanied by twenty thousand monks, and Kaludayi went on ahead as harbinger. The Buddha and his company lived in the Nigrodharama near the city and, in the midst of his kinsmen, as he did at the foot of the Gandamba, the Buddha performed the Yamakapatihariya to convince them of his powers. (J.i.87ff; this journey to Kapilavatthu was one of the scenes depicted in the relic chamber of the Maha Thupa, Mhv.xxx.81).

On this occasion he preached the Vessantara Jataka. The next day the Buddha went begging in the city to the great horror of his father, who, on being explained that such was the custom of all Buddhas, became a sotapanna and invited the Buddha and his monks to the palace. After the meal the Buddha preached to the women of the palace who, with the exception of Rahulamata, had all come to hear him. At the end of the sermon, Suddhodana became a sakadagami and Maha Pajapati a sotapanna. The Buddha visited Rahulamata in her dwelling and preached to her the Candakinnara Jataka. The next day Nanda was ordained, and seven days later Rahula (also Vin.i.82). As a result of the latters ordination, a rule was passed by the Buddha, at Suddhodanas request, that no one should be ordained without the sanction of his parents, if they were alive. On the eighth day was preached the Mahadhammapala Jataka, and the king became an anagami. The Buddha returned soon after to Rajagaha, stopping on the way at Anupiya, where the conversions of Ananda, Devadatta, Bhagu, Anuruddha, and Kimbila took place.

During the visit to Kapilavatthu,

(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

[Kapilavatthu in Pali glossaries]

kapilavatthu : (nt.) the city where Prince Siddhartha was born.

(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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