Nagasena, aka: Nāgasena; 3 Definition(s)


Nagasena 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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Nagasena in Theravada glossaries]

1. Nagasena Thera

An arahant, celebrated for his discussions with King Milinda. He was the son of the Brahmin Sonuttara, in the village of Kajangala in the Himalaya.

He was well versed in the Vedas, and entered the Order under Rohana to learn the Buddhas teaching. Later he went to Assagutta of the Vattaniya senasana and studied under him. There, one day, at the conclusion of a meal, while giving thanks to a lay woman who had looked after Assagutta for more than thirty years, Nagasena became a Sotapanna. Then he was sent to Pataliputta, where he studied under Dhammarakkhita, and there he attained arahantship. Subsequently he went to the Sankheyya parivena in Sagala, where he met Milinda.

It is said that in his previous birth he was a deva, named Mahasena, living in Tavatimsa, in a palace called Ketumati, and that he consented to be born among men at the insistent request of Sakka and the arahants led by Assagutta.

In an earlier life he had made an aspiration to be able to defeat Milinda in discussion.

For further details see Milindapanha, 6ff.

2. Nagasena

A king of Jambudipa, descendant of Mahasammata. Dpv.iii.40.

(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).

Discover the meaning of nagasena in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

[Nagasena in Buddhism glossaries]

Yavana King Milinda and Buddhist monk Nagasena (1365-1325 BCE).—According to Milindapanho, Yavana king Milinda patronized Buddhism in north-western India. Nagasena was the contemporary of Milinda. Both lived 500 years after Buddha nirvana (1865 BCE).

(Source): The Chronological History of Buddhism

India history and geogprahy

[Nagasena in India history glossaries]

Nāgasena (नागसेन) is an example of a name based on Nāga mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Nāgasena) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

(Source): Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions
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.

Discover the meaning of nagasena in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Relevant definitions

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