Mithila, aka: Mithilā; 10 Definition(s)


Mithila means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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 Hinduism


[Mithila in Purana glossaries]

1) Mithila (मिथिल):—Another name for Janaka (son of Nimi, who was the son of Ikṣvāku). Because he was born from the churning of his father's material body, he was known as Mithila. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.6.4)

2) Mithilā (मिथिला):—A city constructed by king Mithila (=another name for Janaka, son of Nimi, who was the son of Ikṣvāku). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.6.4)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Mithilā (मिथिला):—The city of Mithilā was called after Mithi.—Nemi was a son of Ikṣvāku. He became videha due to the curse of Vasiṣṭha. The son of Nemi was Mithi. He was born through the churning of araṇī (araṇyāṃ mathyamānāyāṃ) and hence his name Mithi. He was also called Janaka because of his janana. The city of Mithilā was called after his name.

(Source): Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Mithilā (मिथिला).—General information. A celebrated country of ancient Bhārata. This is situated on the north-eastern side of Bhārata. Its modern name is Tirhut. Mithilā was ruled by the renowned Janaka Kings. See under Mithi to know how the country got the name Mithilā. (See full article at Story of Mithilā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

Mithilā (मिथिला).—Founded by Janaka-Vaideha: capital of the Videhas whose king was Janaka: here Śatadhanvan lost his horse and ran on foot afraid of Kṛṣṇa: Balarāma visited it and lived there for some time.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 13. 13; X. 57. 20-26; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 64. 6; 71. 80; Vāyu-purāṇa 96. 74; 99. 324.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[Mithila in Shaktism glossaries]

Mithilā (मिथिला) is the name of a Śāktapīṭha mentioned in the Kulārṇavatantra. The Kulārṇava-tantra is an important 11th century work for the Kaula school of Śāktism. It refers to eighteen such Śākta-pīṭhas (eg. Mithilā) which is defined as a sacred sanctuary of Devī located here on earth. According to legend, there are in total fifty-one such sanctuaries (pīṭha) on earth, created from the corresponding parts of Devī’s body,

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Mithila in Theravada glossaries]

The capital of the Videha country.

The city was very ancient, and, according to the Mahagovinda Sutta (D.ii.235), was founded by Mahagovinda, steward of King Renu.

It was also the capital of Makhadeva (M.ii.72f; MT.129; see also Dpv.iii.9, 29, 35) and eighty four thousand of his descendants, and of various other kings mentioned in the Jatakas- e.g.,

Angati (vi. 220), Aritthajanaka (vi. 30), Nimi (iii.378), Videha (ii.39), Vedeha (vi.330), Mahajanaka (vi. 30f.), Sadhina (iv. 355), and Suruci (ii.333).

The size of the city is frequently given (E.g., J.iii.365) as seven leagues in circumference, and the Mahajanaka Jataka ( contains a description of it. There was a road leading from Campa to Mithila, a distance of sixty leagues (

According to the Mahaummagga Jataka ( there were four market towns at the four gates of Mithila, each being known by the name of Yavamajjhaka.

The Buddha is mentioned as having stayed in Mithila and having preached there the Makhadeva Sutta (M.ii.74) and the Brahmayu Sutta (M.ii.133).

It was also in Mithila that the Theri Vasetthi (Thig. vs. 135; see also Dvy., p. 60) first met the Buddha and entered the Order, after having heard him preach.

After the Buddhas death, the Videhas of Mithila claimed a part of his relics and obtained them (Bu.xxviii.11).

In the time of Konagamana Buddha Mithila was the capital of King Pabbata, and the Buddha preached there on his visit to the city (BuA. 215). Padumuttara Buddha preached his first sermon to his cousins, Devala and Sujata, in the park of Mithila, (Bu.xi.23; BuA.159) and later to King Ananda and his retinue in the same spot (BuA.160).

Mithila is generally identified with Janakapura, a small town within the Nepal border, north of which the Mazaffarpur and Darbhanga districts meet (CAGI., p. 718).

In the Indian Epics (E.g., Ramayana i. 48) Mithila, is chiefly famous as the residence of King Janaka.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Mithila in Jainism glossaries]

Mithilā (मिथिला).—The kingdom of Videha is now known as Tirabhūkti (modern Tirhut). Here was a flourishing town called Mithilā which is now known by the name of Jagatī. Not far from it lies Kanakapura. Mallinātha and Neminātha were not only initiated here but attained supreme knowledge. This is the birth-place of Akampita. The confluence of the Gaṅgā and the Gaṇḍakī has made this town sacred. Mahāvīra lived and wandered about here. Here is a famous big banyan tree. It is the birth-place of Jānakī.

(Source): Sum Jaina Canonical Sutras (vividhatirthakalpa)

Mithilā (मिथिला) is the name of a village visited by Mahāvīra during his eleventh year of spiritual-exertion.—Moving from Vraja village to Ālambhiyā, Śvetāmbikā, Sāvatthī, Kauśāmbī, Rājagṛha, Vārāṇasī, Mithilā, etc, the Lord arrived at Vaiśālī. Outside the city at the Baladeva temple in the Samara garden, accepting four-months fast, he became meditative and completed the rainy season halt there.

Mithilā was also visited by Mahāvīra during his 15th Year as Kevalī.—Leaving Meḍhiyāgrāma the Lord reached Mithilā and completed rainy season halt there. In that very year, Jamāli monk had an argument with the Lord and the female-monk Sudarśanā, having being awakened by the potter ḍhaṃka, re-joined the Lord’s congregation. Completing the rainy season halt in Mithilā, the Lord went to Hastināpura. At that time, Gautama, along with a few monks, arrived at the Koṣṭhaka garden in Śrāvastī.

Mithilā was also visited by Mahāvīra during his 24th Year as Kevalī.—Leaving Sāketa the Lord went to Kampilapura in Pāṃcāla region. From there, wandering through Sūrasena, Mathurā, Naṃdīpura, etc, he came to Videha and spent the rainy season in Mithilā.

(Source): HereNow4u: Lord Śrī Mahāvīra
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

[Mithila in India history glossaries]

Mithilā (मिथिला) was a kingdom in ancient India. It existed in the eastern Gangetic plains in areas which is today spread over Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states of India, and parts of Nepal. Raja Janaka, father of Sita, was king of this kingdom.

(Source): Wikipedia: India History
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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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Mithila in Sanskrit glossaries]

Mithila (मिथिल).—Name of a king.

-lāḥ (pl.) Name of a people.

-lā [mathyante'tra ripavaḥ iti mithilā Uṇ.1.57] Name of a city, capital of the country called Videha, q. v.; मिथिला वदत्ययोध्यां त्वं स्त्री परपुरुषानुरक्तासि (mithilā vadatyayodhyāṃ tvaṃ strī parapuruṣānuraktāsi) Udb.

Derivable forms: mithilaḥ (मिथिलः).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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