Sankassa, Saṅkassa: 1 definition



Sankassa 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)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A city, thirty leagues from Savatthi. (DhA.iii.224). It was there that the Buddha returned to earth, after preaching the Abhidhamma Pitaka in Tavatimsa, following the performance of the Twin Miracle under the Gandamba tree. As the time approached for the Buddha to leave Tavatimsa , Moggallana (Anuruddha, according to SNA.ii.570; cf. Vsm., p.391) announced his coming return to the multitude, who had been waiting at Savatthi, fed by Culla Anathapindika, while Moggallana expounded the Dhamma. They then made their way to Sankassa. The descent of the Buddha took place on the day of the Mahapavarana festival. Sakka provides three ladders for the Buddhas descent from Sineru. to the earth: on the right was a ladder of gold for the gods; on the left a silver ladder for Maha Brahma and his retinue; and in the middle a ladder of jewels for the Buddha. The assembled people covered the earth for thirty leagues round. There was a clear view of the nine Brahma worlds above and of Avici below. The Buddha was accompanied by Pancasikha, Matali, Maha Brahma and Suyama. Sariputta was the first to welcome him (followed by Uppalavanna, SNA.ii.570), and the Buddha preached the Law, starting with what was within the comprehension even of a puthujjana, and ending with what only a Buddha could understand. On this occasion was preached the Parosahassa Jataka (q.v.) to proclaim to the multitude the unparalleled wisdom of Sariputta (DhA.iii.224ff.; see also SNA.ii.570). It is said that the Buddhas descent to Sankassa had provided opportunity for Moggallana to show his eminence in iddhi, Anuruddha in dibbacakkhu, and Punna in skill in preaching, and the Buddha wished to give Sariputta a chance of shining in his wisdom. (Ibid., loc. cit.; J.iv.266; see also Jhanasodhana, Sarabhamiga, and Candabha Jatakas). He therefore asked of Sariputta questions which no one else could answer. The opening words of the Sariputta Sutta (q.v.) are supposed to refer to this descent from Tusita (sic). The site of the city gate of Sankassa is one of the unchangeable spots of the world (avijahitatthanam). All Buddhas descend at that spot to the world of men after preaching the Abhidhamma (BuA.106, 247; MA.i.371, etc.). From Sankassa the Buddha went to Jetavana (J.i.193). A shrine was erected on the spot where the Buddhas right foot first touched the ground at Sankassa (DhA.iii.227). When the Chinese pilgrims, Hiouen Thsang and Fa Hien, visited the place, they found three ladders, which had been built of brick and stone by the ancients, to commemorate the Buddhas descent, but the ladders were nearly sunk in the earth. (Beal, op. cit., i.203; Fa Hien, p.24).

There was, in the Buddhas time, a deer park at Sankassa where Suhemanta Thera heard the Buddha preach (ThagA.i.212). During the Vajjiputta controversy, Revata Thera, on his way from Soreyya to Sahajati,

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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