Takkasila, Takkasīlā, Takkasilā: 4 definitions



Takkasila means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

The capital of Gandhara. It is frequently mentioned as a centre of education, especially in the Jatakas. It is significant that it is never mentioned in the suttas, though, according to numerous Jataka stories, it was a great centre of learning from pre Buddhistic times. The Commentaries mention that in the Buddhas day, also, princes and other eminent men received their training at Takkasila. Pasenadi, king of Kosala, Mahali, chief of the Licchavis, and Bandhula, prince of the Mallas, were classmates in the university of Takkasila (DhA.i.337). Among others described as being students of Takkasila are Jivaka, Angulimala, Dhammapala of Avanti, Kanhadinna, Bharadvaja and Yasadatta (q.v.).

From Benares to Takkasila was a distance of two thousand yojanas (J.i.395), though we are told that sometimes the journey was accomplished in one day (J.ii.47). The road passed through thick jungle infested by robbers (DhA.iv.66). Takkasila was, however, a great centre of trade; people flocked to it from various parts of the country (MNid.i.154), not only from Benares, but also from Savatthi, from which city the road lay through Soreyya (DhA.i.326). In ancient times students came to the university from Lala (J.i.447), from the Kuru country (DhA.iv.88), from Magadha (J.v.161), and from the Sivi country (J.v.210).

The students in the university studied the three Vedas and the eighteen sciences (vijja) (J.i.159), which evidently included the science of archery (J.i.356; DhA.iv.66; also medicine and surgery, Vin.i.269f), the art of swordmanship (J.v.128), and elephant craft (hatthi sutta) (J.ii.47). Mention is also made of the study of magic, such as the Alambanamanta, for charming snakes (J.iv.457), and the Nidhiuddharanamanta, for recovering buried treasure (J.iii.116). The students were also taught the science of ritual (manta) (J.ii.200); but in this branch of learning Benares seems to have had a greater reputation, for we find students being sent there from Takkasila in order to learn the mantas (DhA.iii.445).

The students generally paid a fee to the teacher on admission, the usual amount being one thousand gold pieces. They waited on the teacher by day and were taught by him at night. The paying students were entitled to various privileges, and lived with the teacher as members of his family, enjoying his constant company. The students seem mostly to have done their own domestic work, leading a co operate life, gathering their own firewood and cooking their meals, though mention is made of servants, both male and female, helping in the various tasks (J.i.319).

Only brahmanas and khattiyas appear to have been eligible for admission to Takkasila (J.iv.391).

Discipline was evidently very rigorous, a breach of the rules being severely punished, irrespective of the status of the pupil,

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Takkasila in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Takkasila (तक्कसिल) is the name of an ancient city found by the son of Tidhaṅkara: an ancient king from the Solar dynasty (sūryavaṃśa) and a descendant of Mahāsaṃmata, according to the Mahābuddhavaṃsa or Maha Buddhavamsa (the great chronicle of Buddhas) Anudīpanī chapter 1, compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw. Samuddadatta and his descendants in that city were twenty-five. The last of these twenty-five kings was named Tidhaṅkara. His son founded Takkasila and reigned; he and his descendants in that city were twelve.

India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Takkasīlā (तक्कसीला) (or Takṣaśilā in Sanskrit) was the ancient capital the Gandhāra kingdom: one of the two Mahājanapadas of the Uttarāpatha  (Northern District) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—Takkasīlā or Taxila was the capital city of the Gandhāra kingdom, and according to the Jātakas (cf. Telapatta Jātaka and Susīma Jātaka) it lay 2,000 leagues from Benares. Takkasīlā is identified with Taxila in the district of Rawalpindi in the Punjab.

In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, Gandhāra is included in the list of the sixteen Mahājanapadas. The Gandhāras were a very ancient people. Their capital Takṣaśilā is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata in connection with the story of King Jātamejaya who is said to have conquered it. Takkasīlā or Taxila was the capital city of the Gandhāra kingdom, and according to the Jātakas it lay 2,000 leagues from Benares.

In Pāli literature Takkasīlā has been frequently mentioned as a great seat of learning in Ancient India. From the Divyāvadāna it appears that Takkasīlā was included in the empire of Bindusāra of Magadha, father of Asoka. Once when during his reign there was a rebellion in Takkasīlā, he sent his son Asoka to put down the rising. From the minor Rock Edict II of Asoka it seems that Takkasīlā was the headquarters of the Provincial Government at Gandhāra and was placed under a kumāra or viceroy. According to the Divyāvadāna, a rebellion again broke out in Takkasīlā during the reign of Asoka, and the latter sent his son Kunāla to put down the disturbances.

India history book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Takkasila in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

takkasilā : (f.) name of city in Gandāra, where was well known university.

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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