Sahampati: 3 definitions


Sahampati means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A Mahabrahma. When the Buddha was at the Ajapalanigrodha, hesitating as to whether or not he should preach the Dhamma, Sahampati appeared before him and begged of him to open to the world the doors of Immortality. The Buddha agreed to this urgent request (Vin.i.5f.;S.i.137f), and accepted from Sahampati the assurance that all the Buddhas of the past had also had no other teacher than the Dhamma discovered by them. S.i.139; see also S.v.167f.,185, 232, where he gives the same assurance to the Buddha regarding the four satipatthanas and the five indriyas; A.ii.10f.

Buddhaghosa (E.g., SA.i.155) explains that the Buddha was reluctant to preach, not on account of indolence, but because he wished Sahampati to make him this request. For, thought the Buddha, the world honours Brahma greatly, and when people realized that Brahma himself had begged of the Buddha to spread his teaching, they would pay more attention to it. Sahampati was, at this time, the most senior of the Brahmas (jettha Mahabrahma) (DA.ii.467).

Sahampati once saw that the brahminee, mother of Brahmadeva Thera, habitually made offerings to Brahma. Out of compassion for her, Sahampati appeared before her and exhorted her to give her offerings to Brahmadeva instead (S.i.140f). On another occasion, when Kokaliya died and was born in Padumaniraya, Sahampati appeared before the Buddha and announced the fact to him (SN. p.125; cp. S.i.151; A.v.172). The Samyutta (S.i.154f) contains a series of verses spoken by Sahampati at Andhakavinda, when the Buddha sat out in the open during the night and rain fell drop by drop. The verses are in praise of the life and practices of the monks and of the results thereof. Sahampati again visited the Buddha, simultaneously with Sakka, and as they stood leaning against a doorpost of the Buddhas cell, Sakka uttered a verse in praise of the Buddha. Sahampati then added another verse, exhorting the Buddha to preach the Doctrine, as there were those who would understand (S.i.233). A verse spoken by him immediately after the Buddhas death is included in the books (D.ii.157; S.i.158).

During the time of Kassapa Buddha, Sahampati was a monk, named Sahaka, who, having practised the five indriyas (saddha, etc.), was reborn in the Brahma world. Thereafter he was called Sahampati (S.v.233). The Commentaries say (SNA.ii.476; SA.i.155) that he was an Anagami Brahma born in the Suddhavasa, there to pass a whole kappa, because he had developed the first Jhana as a monk. The Buddhavamsa, Commentary (BuA.p.11; see also p.29) says that, strictly speaking, his name should be Sahakapati. When the Buddha attained Enlightenment, Sahampati held over the Buddhas head a white parasol three yojanas in diameter. BuA.239; this incident was sculptured in the Relic Chamber of the Maha Thupa (; cp. J.iv.266.

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 sahampati in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (S) next»] — Sahampati in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Sahaṃpati (सहंपति).—(= Pali id.; compare sahā-, sahāṃ-pati), n. of Brahmā: Mv iii.381.11 (verse); °ti (em.), n. sg., without Brahmā.

--- OR ---

Sahāṃpati (सहांपति).—(1) m., = prec., q.v.: SP 4.8; 69.8, and often (app. always sahāṃ°); Mvy 3116; Divy 638.25; Av i.273.9; 298.2; 317.14; 323.12 f.; 343.2; RP 2.3; Kv 2.6; Sukh 92.13; Mmk 19.9; 45.5; 69.7, etc. (always sahāṃ°, I believe); (2) m., n. of a gandharva king: Kv 2.18; (3) f., n. of a kiṃnara maid: °tir Kv 6.7. Cf. next.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Sahāmpati (सहाम्पति):—[=sahām-pati] [from sah] m. (rather [from] [accusative] of sahā than [from] [genitive case] [plural] of 2. sah+p; cf. saka-pati) Name of Brahmā (with Buddhists), [Lalita-vistara] ([Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 210; 211])

2) [v.s. ...] of a Bodhi-sattva, [Kāraṇḍa-vyūha]

3) [v.s. ...] of a serpent-demon, [ib.]

4) [v.s. ...] f. Name of a Kiṃ-narī, [ib.]

context information

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.

Discover the meaning of sahampati in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: