Uruvela-Kassapa, Uruvelā-Kassapa, Uruvelakassapa: 1 definition


Uruvela-Kassapa 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)

[«previous (U) next»] — Uruvela-Kassapa in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

One of three brothers, the Tebhatika Jatilas, living at Uruvela. He lived on the banks of the Neranjara with five hundred disciples. Further down the river lived his brothers Nadi Kassapa with three hundred disciples and Gaya Kassapa with two hundred.

The Buddha visited Uruvela Kassapa and took lodging for the night where the sacred fire was kept, in spite of Kassapas warning that the spot was inhabited by a fierce Naga. The Buddha, by his magical powers, overcame, first this Naga and then another, both of whom vomited fire and smoke. Kassapa being pleased with this exhibition of iddhi power, undertook to provide the Buddha with his daily food. Meanwhile the Buddha stayed in a grove near by, waiting for the time when Kassapa should be ready for conversion. Here he was visited by the Four Regent Gods, Sakka, Brahma and others. The Buddha spent the whole rainy season there, performing, in all, three thousand five hundred miracles of various kinds, reading the thoughts of Kassapa, splitting firewood for the ascetics sacrifices, heating stoves for them to use after bathing in the cold weather, etc. Still Kassapa persisted in the thought, The great ascetic is of great magic power, but he is not an arahant like me. Finally the Buddha decided to startle him by declaring that he was not an arahant, neither did the way he followed lead to arahantship. Thereupon Kassapa owned defeat and reverently asked for ordination. The Buddha asked him to consult with his pupils, and they cut off their hair and threw it with their sacrificial utensils into the river and were all ordained. Nadi Kassapa and Gaya Kassapa came to inquire what had happened, and they, too, were ordained with their pupils. At Gayasisa the Buddha preached to them the Fire Sermon (Aditta pariyaya), and they all attained arahantship.

From Gayasisa the Buddha went to Rajagaha with the Kassapas and their pupils, and in the presence of Bimbisara and the assembled populace Uruvela Kassapa declared his allegiance to the Buddha. This story of the conversion of the Kassapas is given in Vin.i.24ff and in AA.i.165f; also in ThagA.i.434ff.

Later, in the assembly of monks, Uruvela Kassapa was declared to be the chief of those who had large followings (aggam mahaparisanam) (A.i.25). Six verses attributed to him are found in the Theragatha (vv.375-80), wherein he reviews his achievement and relates how he was won over by the Buddha.

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha he was a householder, and having seen the Buddha declare a monk (Sihaghosa was his name, Ap.ii.481) to be the best of them with large followings, wished for himself to be so honoured in a future life, and did many works of merit towards that end.

Later, he was born in the family of Phussa Buddha as his younger step brother, his father being Mahinda. (According to Bu.xix.14,

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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