Rajagriha, aka: Rājagṛha, Rajan-griha; 12 Definition(s)

Introduction

Rajagriha 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.

The Sanskrit term Rājagṛha can be transliterated into English as Rajagrha or Rajagriha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Rājagṛha (राजगृह):—Sanskrit name for one of the twenty-four sacred sites of the Sūryamaṇḍala, the first maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra, according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. The Khecarīcakra is the fifth and final cakra located just above the head. Each one of these holy sites (pītha) is presided over by a particular Khecarī (‘sky-goddess’). This Rājagṛha-pītha is connected with the goddess Bhagnanāsā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Purāṇa

Rājagṛha (राजगृह).—A sacred place in Kīkaṭa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 108. 73.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

The city of Rajgir (ancient Rājagṛha; Pali: Rājagaha) was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Rajgir is famous for its hot water springs, locally known as Brahmakund, a sacred place for Hindus.

The epic Mahabharata calls it Girivraja and recount the story of its king, Jarasandha, and his battle with the Pandava brothers and their allies Krishna. Jarasandha who hailed from this place, had been defeated by Krishna 17 times. The 18th time Krishna left the battlefield without fighting. Because of this Krishna is also called “ranachorh” (one who has left the battlefield). Mahabharata recounts a wrestling match between Bhima (one of the Pandavas) and Jarasandha, the then king of Magadha. Jarasandha was invincible as his body could rejoin any dismembered limbs.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Rājagṛha (राजगृह) is the name of a sacred city where the Buddha was dwelling at the beginning of the discourse in the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter V. Accordingly, “the Buddha was dwelling in the city of Rājagṛha”. Question: Why is it said that the Buddha was dwelling at Rājagṛha instead of describing the teachings of the Prajñāpāramitā directly? Answer: The author mentions the place (deśa), the time (kāla) and the individuals (pudgala) so that people will trust (śraddhā) his story.

Note: Rājagṛha was the capital of Magadha (Bihar), the present Rajgir south of Patna. Its location has been definitively identified and excavated by Marshall, AR Arch. Survey, 1905–1906, 1925–1926. See B. C. Law, Rājagṛha in Ancient Literature, M. Arch. Survey, no. 58, Delhi, 1938. – The Buddha stayed there during the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 17th and 20th varṣa of his ministry (Buddhavaṃsa Comm., p. 3).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Rājagṛha (राजगृह) is modern Rajgir, about 14 miles north west of the town of Bihar Sharif in the Bihar Subdivision of Patna district. It is a little over 40 miles, as the crow flies, southeast of Patna, and about 6 miles south of ancient site of Nālandā. The antiquity of Rājagṛha is born out by Pāli and Prākrit literatures and by the accounts of the classical writers (Hiuen-tsang and Fa-hien) and corroborated by the archaeological sources.

The power, prosperity and magnificence of Rajgir in the life time of Buddha and Mahāvīra are spoken of in the Divyāvadāna. Rājagṛha was the early captial of the Magadha janapada, however, later on it had been subjugated by the Aṅgas. Out of various names such as Vasumatī, Magadhapura, Bārhadrathapura, and Rājagṛha etc., Girivraja seems to be the earliest name of Rajgir. The site of the old city was encricled by five hills which are now crowded with Jain temples built of old material.

The Buddhist traditions claim that Aśoka erected a stūpa and a pillar with elephant captial but in none of the excavations so far undertaken, any Mauryan ruins have been discovered.

(Source): Google Books: Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals (buddhism)

The city of Rajgir (ancient Rājagṛha; Pali: Rājagaha) was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. This area is also notable in Jainism and Buddhism as one of the favorite places for Lord Mahavira and Gautama Buddha and the well known “Atanatiya” conference was held at Vulture’s Peak mountain. New Rajgir is defined by another, larger, embankment outside the northern entrance of the valley and next to the modern town. It was here that Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Gridhra-kuta, ('Hill of the Vultures'). He also delivered some of his famous sermons and initiated king Bimbisara of Magadha and countless others to Buddhism. On one of the hills is the Saptparni cave where the First Buddhist Council was held under the leadership of Maha Kassapa.

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Rājagṛha (राजगृह).—According to Jinaprabhasūri, the city which eventually came to he called Rājagṛha was known from time to time by such earlier names as Kṣitipratiṣṭha, Caṇakapura, Ṛṣabhapura, Vṛṣabhapura and Kuśāgrapura, the first three of which are not met wilh elsewhere, in Buddhist or Brahmanical literature. This capital of Magadha might be viewed from a distance from the Gorathagiri (modena Barābar hills) in Bihar.

The Jaina Vividha-tīrtha-kalpa speaks of Rājagṛha as the residence of kings and princes such as Jarāsandha, Śreṇika, Kunika, Abhaya, Megha, Halla, Vihalla, and Nandiṣeṇa. Jarāsandha was no other than King Jarāsandha of Epic fame. Śreṇika rvas king Seṇiya Bimbisāra of Pāli literature, Kūṇika was King Ajātaśatru, son and successor of Bimbisāra. Abliaya was Ahhayarājakumāra, and Megha, Halla, Vihalla, and Nandiṣeṇa were like Kūṇika and Abhaya, sons of Bimbisāra, presumably by different queens.

(Source): archive.org: Jaina Monuments And Places First Class Importance

Rājagṛha (राजगृह) or Rājagṛhapura stands in the valley of the Vaibhāragiri mountain. In later times it was known by such names as Kṣitipratiṣṭha, Caṇakapura, Ṛṣabhapura, Kuśāgrapura and Rājagṛha. Here was a lovely temple called Guṇaśila. Metāryya built here the rampart of Śātakaumbha. Here were born wealthy bankers like Śālibhadra. Here existed thirty-six thousand houses of merchants. Jina Suvrata performed his religious vow at the shrine of Aśvāvabodha. Jarāsandha, Śreṇika, Kūṇika, Abhaya, Megha, Halla, Vihalla and Nandisena hallowed the place by their noble birth. Eminent ascetics like Jambusvāmin, Kṛtapuṇya and Sejjambhava, and devoted wives like Nadā were born here.

(Source): archive.org: Sum Jaina Canonical Sutras (vividhatirthakalpa)

The city of Rajgir (ancient Rājagṛha; Pali: Rājagaha) was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda, spending Chaturmas (i.e. 4 months of the rainy season) at a single place in Rajgir (Rajgruhi) and the rest in the places in the vicinity. It was the capital of one of his shravaks (follower) King Shrenik. Thus Rajgir is a very important religious place for Jains. The twentieth Jain tirthankara, Munisuvrata is supposed to have been born here. An ancient temple (about 1200 years old) dedicated to Munisuvrat bhagwan is also present here along with many other jain temples. This temple is also a place for four kalyanakas of Bhagwan Munisuvratnath.

(Source): WikiPedia: Jainism

Rājagṛha (राजगृह) is the name of a village visited by Mahāvīra during his eighth year of spiritual-exertion.—From Śakaṭamukha, passing through ‘Unnāga’ and ‘Gobhūmi’, he arrived at Rājagṛha. There he spent the eighth monsoon retreat and observed fasts of four months and due austerities and completion of the cāturmāsa fast, broke his fast outside the city and moved ahead. After leaving Rājagṛha, the Lord thought again that truly, it is possible to annhilate karmas only in Anārya region. Thinking thus, he again left for the Anārya Lāḍha and Śubhrabhūmi.

Rājagṛha was also visited by Mahāvīra during his 11th year of spiritual-exertion and during several of his years as Kevalī.

(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.

India history and geogprahy

The capital city of the powerful kingdom of Magadha. Located in Bihar Province, India.

(Source): Wisdom Library: India History

Rājagṛha (राजगृह) is another name of Rājagaha, the ancient name for Rajgir.—Hathīgumpha Inscription of Khāravela mentions the city Rājagaha, modern Rajgir, about fourteen miles south-west of the town of Bihar Sharif in the Bihar sub-division of Patna district.

(Source): archive.org: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions
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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.

Discover the meaning of rajagriha or rajagrha in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

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