Pasenadi; 1 Definition(s)

Introduction

Pasenadi 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)

King of Kosala and contemporary of the Buddha. He was the son of Maha Kosala, and was educated at Takkasila where, among his companions, were the Licchavi Mahali and the Malla prince Bandhula. On his return home his father was so pleased with his proficiency in the various arts that he forthwith made him king. (DhA.i.338; for his genealogy see Beal: Records ii.2, n. 3).

As ruler, Pasenadi gave himself wholeheartedly to his administrative duties (*2) and valued the companionship of wise and good men (*3). Quite early in the Buddhas ministry, (*4) Pasenadi became his follower and close friend, and his devotion to the Buddha lasted till his death.

(*2) E.g., S.i.74, 100; the Commentary (SA i.109f.) adds that the king tried to put down bribery and corruption in his court, but his attempt does not appear to have been very successful.

(*3) Thus he showed his favour to Pokkharasadi and Canki, by giving them, respectively, the villages of Ukkattha and Opasada free of all taxes. It is said that his alms halls were always open to everyone desiring food or drink (Ud.ii.6). Even after becoming the Buddhas follower, he did not omit to salute holy men of other persuasions (Ud.vi.2).

(*4) According to Tibetan sources, Pasenadis conversion was in the second year of the Buddhas ministry (Rockhill, p.49). We find the king referring to the Buddha, at their first meeting, as being young in years (S.i.69). Their first meeting and conversation, which ended in Pasenadis declaring himself an adherent of the Buddha, are recorded in the Dahara Sutta (q.v.).

But Pasenadis conversion did not prevent him from extending his favour, with true Indian toleration, to the members of other religious orders. Mention is even made of a great animal sacrifice which he once prepared, but which he abandoned on the advice of the Buddha, whom he sought at Mallikas suggestion (*5). He frequently visited the Buddha and discussed various matters with him (*6). The whole of the Third Samyutta (Kosala Saipyutta), consisting of twenty five anecdotes, each with a moral bias, is devoted to him. The topics discussed are many and varied. The Buddha and Pasenadi were equals in age, and their talks were, therefore, intimate and frank (*7).

(*5) S.i.75; for details see the Mahasupina and Lohakumbhi Jatakas. It is said (SA.i.111) that the king fell in love with a woman while riding round the city; on discovering that she was married, he ordered her husband to go, before sunset, and fetch clay and lilies from a pond one hundred leagues away. When the man had gone, the king ordered the gatekeepers to shut the gates early and not on any account to open them. The husband returned in the evening, and finding the gates shut, went to Jetavana, to seek protection from the kings wrath.

(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).

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