Upali, aka: Upāli; 4 Definition(s)


Upali means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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)

1. Upali Thera - One of the most eminent of the Buddhas immediate disciples. He belonged to a barbers family in Kapilavatthu and entered the service of the Sakiyan princes. When Anuruddha and his cousins left the world and sought ordination from the Buddha at Anupiya Grove, Upali accompanied them. They gave him all their valuable ornaments, but, on further consideration, he refused to accept them and wished to become a monk with them. The reason given for his refusal is that he knew the Sakyans were hot headed, and feared that the kinsmen of the princes might suspect him of having murdered the young men for the sake of their belongings.

At the request of the Sakiyan youths, the Buddha ordained Upali before them all, so that their pride might be humbled. (Vin.ii.182; DhA.i.116f; see also Bu.i.61; but see BuA.44; the Tibetan sources give a slightly different version, see Rockhill, op. cit., pp. 55-6; according to the Mahavastu iii.179, Upali was the Buddhas barber, too).

Upalis upajjhaya was Kappitaka (Vin.iv.308). When Upali went to the Buddha for an exercise for meditation, he asked that he might be allowed to dwell in the forest. But the Buddha would not agree, for if Upali went into the forest he would learn only meditation, while, if he remained amongst men, he would have knowledge both of meditation and of the word of the Dhamma. Upali accepted the Buddhas advice and, practising insight, in due course won arahantship. The Buddha himself taught Upali the whole of the Vinaya Pitaka (ThagA.i.360f, 370; AA.i.172).

In the assembly of the Sangha, the Buddha declared him to be the most proficient of those who were learned in the Vinaya (vinayadharanam) (A.i.24; see also Vin.iv.142, where the Buddha is mentioned as speaking Upalis praises). He is often spoken of as having reached the pinnacle of the Vinaya, or as being its chief repository (Vinaye agganikkhitto), (E.g., Dpv.iv.3, 5; v.7, 9) and three particular cases - those of Ajjuka (Vin.iii.66f), the Bharukacchaka monk (Vin.iii.39) and Kumara Kassapa (AA.i.158; MA.i.336; J.i.148; DhA.iii.145) - are frequently mentioned in this connection as instances where Upalis decisions on Vinaya rules earned the special commendation of the Buddha. In the Rajagaha Council, Upali took a leading part, deciding all the questions relative to the Vinaya, in the same way as Ananda decided questions regarding the Dhamma (Vin.ii.286f; DA.i.11f; Mhv.iii.30).

In accordance with this tradition, ascribing to Upali especial authority regarding the rules of the Order, various instances are given of Upali questioning the Buddha about the Vinaya regulations. Thus we find him consulting the Buddha as to the legality or otherwise of a complete congregation performing, in the absence of an accused monk, an act at which his presence is required (Vin.i.325f). Again,

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

upaḷī (उपळी).—f (upaḷa) A rill or streamlet trickling down hills, or oozing from the ground (in rainy weather).

--- OR ---

upāḷī (उपाळी).—f unc Jeering, deriding, ridiculing.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

upaḷī (उपळी).—f A rill trickling downhill (in rainy weather).

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Relevant definitions

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