Keniya, Keṇiya, Kenniya: 2 definitions



Keniya 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

1. Keniya (v.l. Kenniya) - A Jatila. He lived in Apana, and when the Buddha once stayed there with one thousand three hundred and fifty monks, Keniya visited the Buddha, bringing various kinds of drinks, which he gave to him and to the monks. The following day he invited the whole company to a meal and showed great hospitality. It was as a result of the drinks offered by Keniya that the Buddha laid down a rule as to which drinks were permissible for monks and which were not (Vin.i.245f).

According to the Sutta Nipata (p.104; M.ii.146f; see also ThagA.ii.47), it was owing to the elaborate preparations made by Keniya for the meal to the Buddha and the Sangha that the brahmin Sela, friend and counsellor of Keniya, came to discover the Buddhas presence in Apana. The result was the conversion and ordination of Sela and his three hundred pupils.

Buddhaghosa says (SNA.ii.440; MA.ii.779; Ap.i.318) that Keniya was a mahasala brahmin, and that he became a Jatila with the object of protecting his wealth. He bought some land from the king and built his hermitage there, and became the protector (nissaya) of one thousand families. In his hermitage was a palm tree which yielded a golden nut each day. Keniya was a yellow robed ascetic by day; by night he enjoyed the pleasures of the senses. On his first visit to the Buddha he took five hundred pingo loads of badarapana (SNA.ii.446) (? grape juice).

Keniya is mentioned (E.g., DA.i.270; see also DhA.i.323; UdA.241) as an example of one of the eight classes of ascetics - those who maintain wife and children (sa puttabhariya).

2. Keniya - In the Apadana (ii.469, v.16) Maha Kappina is mentioned as having belonged to the Keniya jati. Perhaps this is a wrong reading; the corresponding verse in ThagA.i.510 gives Koliya.

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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Keṇiya (केणिय) is the name for a Brahmacārin, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 52.—Accordingly, “[...] Also, the Brāhmaṇa Che-yi-lo (Śaila) first heard the name of ‘Buddha’ at the home of the Jaṭila-Brahmacārin Ki-ni-ye (Keṇiya); his mind was overjoyed; he went straight to the Buddha; he heard the Dharma and obtained bodhi”. The Jaṭila master Keṇiya was living at Āpaṇa, the capital of the Aṅguttarāpas in the land of Aṅga. He was a staunch Brāhmaṇist but, coming to learn that the Buddha along with 1250 Bhikṣus was traveling in the area, he went to see him and invited him to lunch on the following day. According to his custom, the Buddha accepted by remaining silent and Keṇiya went home to prepare the reception with his friends and family.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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