Shravasti, aka: Śrāvasti, Śrāvastī; 9 Definition(s)

Introduction

Shravasti 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 terms Śrāvasti and Śrāvastī can be transliterated into English as Sravasti or Shravasti, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana

Śrāvasti (श्रावस्ति).—The city built by Śrāvasta of the Ikṣvāku line; capital of Uttarakośala where Lava ruled;1 in Gauḍadeśa built by Vatsaka son of Śrāvasta.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 28, 200; Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 200.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 12. 30.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Katha (narrative stories)

Śrāvastī (श्रावस्ती) is the name of a city, mentioned in the “story of king Prasenajit and the Brāhman who lost his treasure” according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 33. Accordingly, “there is a city named Śrāvastī, and in it there lived in old time a king of the name of Prasenajit, and one day a strange Brāhman arrived in that city. A merchant, thinking he was virtuous because he lived on rice in the husk, provided him a lodging there in the house of a Brāhman”.

The story of Śrāvastī was narrated to Yogeśvara by Yaugandharāyaṇa in order to demonstrate that “wisdom is in every exigency the best friend, not valour” thus proving that “intellect always obtains the supremacy, triumphing over valour”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Śrāvastī, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Śrāvastī (श्रावस्ती), capital of Kośala (Aoude), the present village of Saheth-Maheth in U.P. Cf. Marshall, Excavations at Sahet-Mahet, AR Arch. Surv., 1907–1908, p. 82; 1910–1911, p. 3; B. C. Law, Śrāvastī in Indian Literature, M. Arch. Surv., no. 50, Dalhi, 1935. – For the 45 varśas of his ministry, the Buddha spent 25 at Śrāvasti (See below, k. 9, p. 125c; 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)

Savatthi in Pali, Sravasti in Sanskrit. The capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kosala, where the famous monastery (Bodhimandala) Jetavanna Grove was located.

(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Śrāvastī (श्रावस्ती) is an ancient and important town, now known as Sāheṭh Māheṭh. Also known as Śrāvastīnagarī. Here is still to be seen a caitya adorned with the image of Śrī Saṃbhavanātha. At its gate stands an Aśoka tree of crimson colour. Here is a Buddhist temple where kings, devoted to the Buddha, used to offer horses before the deities. Here the Buddha made a brilliant display of his arts, and Lord Sambhavasvāmī attained the bliss of kevalajñāna. Saint Kapila came to this twon for the purpose of acquiring knowledge. In course of time, he attained perfection. Lord Mahāvīra spent a night here during the rains and practised various forms of religious austerities. Here Bhadra, son of king Jitaśatru, became an ascetic in course of his wanderings, and he afterwards attained perfection.

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

Śrāvastī (श्रावस्ती) is the name of a village visited by Mahāvīra during his fifth year of spiritual-exertion.—In the morning, (leaving Sāvatthī) Mahāvīra left for Śrāvastī. After leaving Śrāvastī, the Lord arrived at ‘Haleduga’.

Śrāvastī was also visited by Mahāvīra during his 3rd Year as Kevalī.—From Kauśāmbī the Lord arrived at Śrāvastī. There Sumanobhadra and Supratiṣṭha took initiation. They attained liberation in time after excellent austerities. From there the Lord arrived at Vāṇijyagrāma where he awakened householder Ananda and initiated him into the householder's conduct and completed his rainy season stay there.

Śrāvastī was also visited by Mahāvīra during his 15th Year as Kevalī.—Through Vaiśālī, the Lord moved to Śrāvastī. There, Halla and Vihalla, Kauṇika’s brothers, accepted initiation into monkhood and practiced severe penance for self-purification. Reaching Śrāvastī, the Lord stayed at Koṣṭhaka caitya. Maṅkhaliputra Gośālaka too, was in Śrāvastī at that time. He was propagating the ‘Ājīvaka’ sect and he called himself a Tīrthaṅkara. The word had speed in Śrāvastī that two Tīrthaṅkara were present there. Gautama wanted to know the truth from the Lord.

(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.

Discover the meaning of shravasti or sravasti in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geogprahy

Śrāvastī (श्रावस्ती) or simply Śrāvastibhukti refers to a place-name ending in bhukti and, under the Pratihāra empire appear to have been rather Commissioners’ Divisions that provinces.

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

Sravasti was another important ancient own where evidence of Kushan occupation has been attested by archaeological excavations. The location of ancient city of Sravasti was identified by Cunningham with the ruins at Saheth-Mahethon the bank of the Rapti. The place is situated between Akona and Balram at a nearly equal distance from Bahraich and Gonda (ASIR, Cunningham) . The twin names of Saheth-Maheth denoted two groups of material remains. Saheth exposed the famous Buddhist monastery, known as Jetavana-vihara and Maheth exposed the ruins of ancient city of Sravasti.

(Source): Shodhganga: New look on the kushan bengali
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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.

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Relevant definitions

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Shravastibhukti
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Shravastipura
Śrāvastīpura (श्रावस्तीपुर).—Capital city of Śrāvasta, King of the Ikṣvāku dynasty. It was name...
Prasenajit
1) Prasenajit (प्रसेनजित्) is the name of an ancient king from Śrāvastī, according to the Kathā...
Vijaya
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Jaya
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Shala
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Koshala
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Rahu
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Gautama
Gautama (गौतम) or Gautamasaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a tām...
Savatthi
Sāvatthī (सावत्थी) is the name of a village visited by Mahāvīra during his fifth year of spirit...
Lava
Lava (लव).—A son of Sītā. (See under Kuśa II for more details).
Sumana
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Mithila
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Tinduka
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