Udena: 2 definitions


Udena 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

1. Udena - King of Kosambi. He was the son of Parantapa. His mother, when pregnant with him, was carried off by a monster bird and deposited on a tree near the residence of Allakappa. The child was born in a storm (utu?) - hence the name. Allakappa, having discovered the mother and child, took them under his protection. One day, when Udena was grown up, Allakappa saw by the conjunction of the planets that Parantapa had died. When he announced the news, Udenas mother revealed to him her identity. Allakappa taught Udena the various charms he knew for taming elephants and sent him to Kosambi, with a large following of elephants, to claim the kingdom. Some time after he became king, Udena appointed Ghosaka as his treasurer, and one day, having seen Ghosakas adopted daughter, Samavati, going to the river to bathe, sent for her and married her. Later he married, in very romantic circumstances, Vasuladatta, daughter of Canda Pajjota, king of Ujjeni. The Dhammapadatthakatha (i.161ff) contains a whole story cycle of Udena from which these details, except where otherwise stated, are taken. For details of other persons mentioned in the article and their encounters with Udena, see under their respective names.

Udena had another wife, Magandiya, who took advantage of her new position to wreak vengeance on the Buddha for having once slighted her. When Samavati was converted to the Buddhas faith by her handmaiden Khujjuttara, Magandiya tried to poison the kings mind against her, but the attempt was frustrated, though Samavati very nearly lost her life at the kings hand. When Udena realised how grievously he had wronged her, he promised to grant her a boon, and, as the result of her choice, the Buddha sent Ananda with five hundred monks to the palace every day, to preach to the women of the court. Udena himself does not seem to have been interested in religion. Once when be discovered that the women of the court had given five hundred costly robes to Ananda, he was annoyed, but when in answer to his questions Ananda explained to him that nothing given to members of the Order was wasted, he was pleased and himself made a similar offering of robes to Ananda. Mentioned also in Vin.ii.291. The incident took place after the Buddhas death.

His encounter in his park the Udakavana with Pindola Bharadvaja, in somewhat similar circumstances, did not, however, end so happily. Udenas women had given Pindola their robes, and when the king questioned Pindola as to the appropriateness of the gift, he remained silent. Udena threatened to have him bitten by red ants; but Pindola vanished through the air. (SnA.ii.514-5; SA.iii.27; in a previous birth too, as Mandavya, Udena had been guilty of abusing holy men, see the Matanga Jataka, J.iv.375ff). Later (S.iv.

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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Udena is the Pali name for Udayana: a king that, out of attachment to female beauty (rūpasaṅga), cut off the hands and feet of five hundred Ṛṣis according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVIII). Udayana (in Pāli Udena) was about to renew this act of cruelty in yet other circumstances: One day he discovered that his palace ladies had given Ānanda five hundred costly robes; fortunately, Ānanda was able to explain that gifts made to the community were never lost, and the king, satisfied with this explanation, in turn gave five hundred robes. Another day, walking in his park Udakavana, (cf. at the beginning of this note, the mountain Udakapada, mentioned in the Vibhāṣā), Udaka saw that his women had given their robes to the Bhikṣu Bhāradvāja. He questioned the monk about the good based on their generosity, but the monk remained silent. Angry, Udayana tried to have him eaten by red ants, but Piṇḍola vanished into the sky.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

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