Kusinara, Kusinārā, Kushinara, Kuśinārā, Kusināra: 7 definitions


Kusinara means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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.

The Sanskrit term Kuśinārā can be transliterated into English as Kusinara or Kushinara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

The capital of the Mallas and the scene of the Buddhas death. At that time it was a small city, a branch township with wattle and daub houses in the midst of the jungle, and Ananda was, at first, disappointed that the Buddha should have chosen it for his Parinibbana. But the Buddha, by preaching the Maha Sudassana Sutta, pointed out to him that in ancient times it had been Kusavati, the royal city of Maha Sudassana (D.ii.146). Between Kusinara and Pava, three gavutas away (DA.ii.573) - from where the Buddha came to Kusinara on his last journey from Rajagaha, stopping at various places - lay the stream of Kakuttha on the banks of which was the Ambavana; beyond that was the Hirannavati river, and near the city, in a south westerly direction, lay the Upavattana, the Sala grove of the Mallas, which the Buddha made his last resting place (UdA.238; DA.ii.572f).

After the Buddhas death his body was carried into the city by the northern gate and out of the city by the eastern gate; to the east of the city was Makutabandhana, the shrine of the Mallas, and there the body was cremated. For seven days those assembled at the ceremony held a festival in honour of the relics (D.ii.160f).

It is said that the Buddha had three reasons for coming to Kusinara to die:

(1) Because it was the proper venue for the preaching of the Maha Sudassana Sutta; (2) because Subhadda would visit him there and, after listening to his sermon, would develop meditation and become an arahant while the Buddha was still alive; and (3) because the brahman Doha would be there, after the Buddhas death, to solve the problem of the distribution of his relics (UdA.402f; DA.ii.573f6).

As the scene of his death, Kusinara became one of the four holy places declared by the Buddha to be fit places of pilgrimage for the pious, the other three being Kapilavatthu, Buddhagaya and Isipatana (D.ii.140). Mention is made of other visits paid to Kusinara by the Buddha, prior to that when his death took place. Thus, once he went there from Apana and having spent some time at Kusinara, proceeded to Atuma. The Mallas of Kusinara were always great admirers of the Buddha, even though not all of them were his followers, and on the occasion of this visit they decided that any inhabitant of Kusinara who failed to go and meet the Buddha and escort him to the city, would be fined five hundred. It was on this occasion that Roja the Mallan was converted and gave to the Buddha and the monks a supply of green vegetables and pastries (Vin.i.247f). During some of these visits the Buddha stayed in a wood called Baliharana, and there he preached two of the Kusinara Suttas (A.i.274f; v.79f) and the Kinti Sutta (M.ii.238f). A third Kusinara Sutta he preached while staying at Upavattana. (A.ii.79;

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: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Kusināra (कुसिनार) is the name of an ancient city found by the son of Tālissara: an ancient king from the Solar dynasty (sūryavaṃśa) and a descendant of Mahāsaṃmata, according to the Mahābuddhavaṃsa or Maha Buddhavamsa (the great chronicle of Buddhas) Anudīpanī chapter 1, compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw. Tidhaṅkara and his descendants in that city were twelve. The last of these twelve kings was named Tālissara. His son founded Kusināra and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were also twelve.

Source: Buddhist Door: GlossaryKusinara in Pali, Kusinagara in Sanskrit. The village where Shakyamuni died, and the capital of the ancient kingdom of Malla.

India history and geography

Source: archive.org: Buddhist records of the Western World

Kuśinārā (कुशिनारा) or Kuśinagara is the name of an ancient city mentioned by Xuanzang (or, Hiuen Tsiang) in his “records of the Western world”.—The capital of this country is in ruins, and its towns and villages waste and desolate... To the north-west of the city 3 or 4 li, crossing the Ajitavatī (O-shi-to-fa-ti) river, on the western bank, not far, we come to a grove of śāla trees... There is (here) a great brick vihāra, in which is a figure of the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata... By the side of the vihāra, and not far from it, is a stūpa. This denotes the place where Bodhisattva, when practising a religious life, was born as the king of a flock of pheasants (kapiñjala), and caused a fire to be put out... By the side of this, not far off, is a stūpa. On this spot Bodhisattva, when practising a religious life, being at that time a deer, saved (or, rescued) living creatures.

Note: Kuśinārā is another name for Kuśinagara (also Kuśanagara, Kuśigrāmaka or Kuśinārā), which has been identified with the present village of Kasia, 35 miles to the east of Gorakhpur.

Source: archive.org: Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1963

Kusinārā or Kusinārāvihāra is the name of an ancient building that once existed near Polonnaruva (Polonnaruwa), Ceylon (Sri Lanka).—Parakkamabāhu I also built:—(i) Kapila or Kapilavastu-vihāra; (ii) Dakṣiṇārāma; (iii) Pacchimārāma; (iv) the Suluvādenige of gold; (v) Purvārāma; (vi) Atubadalena-vihāra; (vii) Isipatana-vihāra in the Rājavesibhujaṅga suburb; (viii) Kusinārā-vihāra in the Sīhapura suburb; (ix) Veluvana-vihāra in the Vijita suburb; and (x) between the Palace and the 3 suburbs, at each gāvuta (about 2miles), a vihāra with Sermon and Image Houses.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Kusīnārā (कुसीनारा) or Kusāvati refers to an ancient capital of Malla: one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas of the 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 Mallaraṭṭha or Mallārāṣṭra has been mentioned in the Aṅguttara Nikāya as one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas. The kingdom was divided into two parts which had for their capitals the cities of Kusāvati or Kusīnārā and Pāvā identical probably with Kasia (on the smaller Gondak and in the east of the Gorakhpur district) and a village named Padaraona (12 miles to the north-east of Kasia) respectively.

The Mallas had at first a monarchical constitution when their capital city had been known as Kusāvatī. But later on, in the time of the Buddha, when the monarchy came to he replaced by a republican constitution, the name of the city was changed to Kusīnārā.

In the Mahāparinibbāna Suttanta of the Dīgha Nikāya it is stated that Ānanda requested the Buddha not to attain Mahāparinibbāna in a small town like Kusīnārā. He suggested the names of great cities like Campā, Rājagaha, Sāvatthī, Sāketa, Kosambī, and Bārāṇasī. But the Blessed One selected Kusīnārā as the place of his Mahāparinibbāna and silenced Ānanda by narrating the former glories of Kusāvatī. The ancient city of Kusāvatī had seven ramparts, four gates, and seven avenues of palm trees. The Buddha himself says that Kusīnārā is ancient Kusāvatī. It was a capital city, and was 12 yojanas in length from east to west, and 7 yojanas in width north to south.

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 mythology, zoology, 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

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

kusinārā : (f.) the chief city of the Mallas.

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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