Uruvela, Uruveḷa, Uruveḷā, Uruvelā: 3 definitions


Uruvela 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

1. Uruvela - A locality on the banks of the Neranjara, in the neighbourhood of the Bodhi tree at Buddhagaya. Here, after leaving Alara and Uddaka, the Bodhisatta practised during six years the most severe penances. His companions were the Pancavaggiya monks, who, however, left him when he relaxed the severity of his austerities (M.i.166). The place chosen by the Bodhisatta for his penances was called Sena nigama.

The Jataka version (J.i.67f) contains additional particulars. It relates that once the Bodhisatta fainted under his austerities, and the news was conveyed to his father that he was dead. Suddhodana, however, refused to believe this, remembering the prophecy of Kaladevala. When the Bodhisatta decided to take ordinary food again, it was given to him by a girl, Sujata, daughter of Senani of the township of Senani. In the neighbourhood of Uruvela were also the Ajapala Banyan tree, the Mucalinda tree and the Rajayatana tree, where the Buddha spent some time after his Enlightenment, and where various shrines, such as the Animisa cetiya, the Ratanacankama cetiya and the Ratanaghara later came into existence.

From Uruvela the Buddha went to Isipatana, but after, he had made sixty one arahants and sent them out on tour to preach the Doctrine, he returned to Uruvela, to the Kappasikavanasanda and converted the Bhaddavaggiya (Vin.i.23f; DhA.i.72). At Uruvela dwelt also the Tebhatika Jatilas: Uruvela Kassapa, Nadi Kassapa and Gaya Kassapa, who all became followers of the Buddha (Vin.i.25).

According to the Ceylon Chronicles (E.g., Mhv.i.17ff; Dpv.i.35, 38, 81), it was while spending the rainy season at Uruvela, waiting for the time when the Kassapa brothers should be ripe for conversion, that the Buddha, on the full moon day of Phussa, in the ninth month after the Enlightenment, paid his first visit to Ceylon.

Mention is made of several temptations of the Buddha while he dwelt at Uruvela, apart from the supreme contest with Mara, under the Bodhi tree. Once Mara came to him in the darkness of the night in the guise of a terrifying elephant, trying to frighten him. On another dark night when the rain was falling drop by drop, Mara came to the Buddha and assumed various wondrous shapes, beautiful and ugly. Another time Mara tried to fill the Buddhas mind with doubt as to whether he had really broken away from all fetters and won complete Enlightenment (S.i.103ff). Seven years after the Buddhas Renunciation, Mara made one more attempt to make the Buddha discontented with his lonely lot and it was then, when Mara had gone away discomfited, that Marss three daughters, Tanha, Rati and Raga, made a final effort to draw the Buddha away from his purpose (S.i.124f).

It was at Uruvela, too,

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One of the chief lay supporters of Sumedha Buddha. Bu.xii.25.

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)

Source: Buddhist Door: GlossaryA town in Magadha where Shakyamuni attained his enlightenment and Buddhahood in the woods along Nairanjana river.

India history and geography

Source: archive.org: Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1963

Uruvelā is the name of a locality that existed in the ancient kingdom of Anurādhapura, Ceylon (Sri Lanka).—Uruvelā (spuriously called Mahavāligama in the Rājāvaliya); a port on the west coast, was founded, according to one tradition, by a Minister of Vijaya, and, according to another, by a Sakka prince. It was 5 yojanas or 20 gav (40 to 50 miles) to west of Anurādhapura, and pearls are said to have been found there in the reign of Duṭṭhagāmaṇi Abhaya (B.C. 161-137).

Anurādhapura was first founded as a village settlement in the second half of the 6th century B.C. by a Minister named Anurādha of the first traditional king Vijaya. The original kingdom of Anurādhapura extended over the entire northern and north-central plain. It was divided into four main divisions (e.g., Uruvelā), named after the four cardinal directions, and this nomenclature persisted long after the whole of Ceylon had been united as one kingdom in B.C. 161.

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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