Koliya, Koliyā: 6 definitions


Koliya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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 republican clans in the time of the Buddha. The Koliya owned two chief settlements - one at Ramagama and the other at Devadaha. The Commentaries (DA.i.260f; SNA.i.356f; A.ii.558; ThagA.i.546; also Ap.i.94) contain accounts of the origin of the Koliyas. We are told that a king of Benares, named Rama (the Mtu.i.353 calls him Kola and explains from this the name of the Koliyas), suffered from leprosy, and being detested by the women of the court, he left the kingdom to his eldest son and retired into the forest. There, living on woodland leaves and fruits, he soon recovered, and, while wandering about, came across Piya, the eldest of the five daughters of Okkaka, she herself being afflicted with leprosy. Rama, having cured her, married her, and they begot thirty two sons. With the help of the king of Benares, they built a town in the forest, removing a big kola tree in doing so. The city thereupon came to be called Kolanagara, and because the site was discovered on a tiger track (vyagghapatha) it was also called Vyagghapajja. The descendants of the king were known as Koliya.

According to the Kunala Jataka (J.v.413), when the Sakyans wished to abuse the Koliyans, they said that the Koliyans had once lived like animals in a Kola tree, as their name signified. The territories of the Sakiyans and the Koliyans were adjacent, separated by the river Rohini. The khattiyas of both tribes intermarried, and both claimed relationship with the Buddha. (It is said that once the Koliyan youths carried away many Sakiyan maidens while they were bathing, but the Sakiyans, regarding the Koliyans as relatives, took no action; DA.i.262). A quarrel once arose between the two tribes regarding the right to the waters of the Rohini, which irrigated the land on both sides, and a bloody feud was averted only by the intervention of the Buddha. In gratitude, each tribe dedicated some of its young men to the membership of the Order, and during the Buddhas stay in the neighbourhood, he lived alternately in Kapilavatthu and in Koliyanagara. (For details of this quarrel and its consequences see J.v.412ff; DA.ii.672ff; DhA.iii.254ff).

Attached probably to the Koliyan central authorities, was a special body of officials, presumably police, who wore a distinguishing headdress with a drooping crest (Lambaculakabhata). They bore a bad reputation for extortion and violence (S.iv.341).

Besides the places already mentioned, several other townships of the Koliyans, visited by the Buddha or by his disciples, are mentioned in literature - e.g.,

Uttara, the residence of the headman Pataliya (S.iv.340); Sajjanela, residence of Suppavasa (A.ii.62); Sapuga, where Ananda once stayed (A.ii.194); Kakkarapatta, where lived Dighajanu (A.iv.281); and Haliddavasana, residence of the ascetics Punna Koliyaputta and Seniya (M.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Buddhist Door: GlossaryThe royal clan to which the mother of Shakyamuni, Maya belonged. The kings of the Koliya and Shakya were brothers, and the families were inter married. Indeed, Yasodhara, the wife of Shakyamuni, was also a princess of Koliya royal house.

India history and geogprahy

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Koliya (कोलिय) is the name of an ancient country situated in 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).—The Koliya country lay to the east of the Śākya territory. They had their capital at Kāmagāma. The introduction to the Kunāla Jātaka says that the Śākya and Koliya tribes had the river Rohiṇī which flowed between Kapilavastu and Rāmagāma. Both the tribes had the river confined by a single dam and they cultivated their crops by means of water of this river. From the Theragāthā it appears that the territories of the Śākyas and the Koliyas lay side by side and the river Rohiṇī formed the boundary between the two clans.

The Sumaṅgalavilāsinī tells us of the origin of the Koliyas. It is stated that a sage named Rāma, an ex-king of Benares who left his kingdom and retired to a forest as he was detested by his wives and relatives, married the eldest of the five daughters of King Okkāka, who had been forsaken by her relatives and forced to live in forest, and built a town in the forest removing a big Kola tree. The city henceforth came to be known as Kolanagara and the descendants of the king came to be known as Koliyas.

According to the Mahāvastu the Koliyas were, however, descendants of the sage Kola. The Kunāla Jātaka says that the Koliyas used to dwell in the Kola tree. Hence they came to be called the Koliyas. In the Theragāthā and in one of the Jātakas we are told of a quarrel between the Śākyas and the Koliyas. The Buddha, however, brought about a conciliation between the two clans.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

koliya : (m.) name of a clan akin to Sākyas.

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

Koliya, (adj.) (fr. kola) of the fruit of the jujube tree J. III, 22, but wrongly explained as kula-dattika ph. =given by a man of (good) family. (Page 229)

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Koliya (कोलिय).—(= Pali id.; compare Koḍya), name of a tribe, neigh-bors of the Śākyas: Mahāvastu i.355.13 (story of their origin 352.15—355.13; they were descendants of a Śākya girl and the ṛṣi Kola, q.v.; Pali has a similar story, but the father is a king of Benares, there is no personage named Kola, and the mother is not a Śākya); Mahāvastu ii.76.7; iii.93.20 (koliyā śākiyā ca). Cf. Vyāghrapadya.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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