Vaishali, Vaiśālī: 12 definitions


Vaishali means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Vaiśālī can be transliterated into English as Vaisali or Vaishali, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Vaishali in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Vaiśālī (वैशाली):—A palace constructed by Viśāla (son of Tṛṇabindu). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.2.33)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Vaiśālī (वैशाली).—Founded by king Viśāla.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 2. 33; Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 46.

1b) One of Vasudeva's queens and mother of Kauśika.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 174; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 15. 25.

1c) An Ārṣeya pravara.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 196. 8.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Vaiṣālī (वैषाली) is the present-day Resarch on the Gandaki, in the district of Muzafferpur in Tirhut. Its main monastery was the Kūṭāgāraśālā “Hall of the Belvedere”, described at length in Sumaṅgala, I, p. 310; Papañca, II, p. 267. But whereas the Pāli texts locate it in the Mahāvana “Large Forest”. The Sanskrit texts place it on the Markaṭahradatīra “Shore of the Monkey Pool”.

Source: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Vaiśālī (वैशाली) [?] (in Chinese: P'i-chö-li) is the name of an ancient kingdom associated with Dhaniṣṭhā or Dhaniṣṭhanakṣatra, as mentioned in chapter 18 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—Chapter 18 deals with geographical astrology and, in conversation with Brahmarāja and others, Buddha explains how he entrusts the Nakṣatras [e.g., Dhaniṣṭhā] with a group of kingdoms [e.g., Vaiśālī] for the sake of protection and prosperity.

Mahayana book cover
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: HereNow4u: Lord Śrī Mahāvīra

Vaiśālī (वैशाली) is the name of a village visited by Mahāvīra during his sixth year of spiritual-exertion.—From Kūviya the Lord moved on to Vaiśālī. Gośālaka expressed desire to wander alone and gaining acceptance from Siddhārtha Deva moved towards Rājagṛha. Reaching Vaiśālī, the Lord took permission to stay in the ironsmith's workshop and meditated there. Leaving Vaiśālī, the Lord arrived in the province of Grāmaka and became meditative at the place of the Yakṣa Vibhelaka.

Vaiśālī was also visited by Mahāvīra during his tenth year of spiritual-exertion.—From Siddhārthapura, the Lord reached Vaiśālī. There outside the city he stood in meditation at a spot. Boys passing by, thinking him to be a demon started troubling him. From there the Lord reached ‘Vāṇiyagrāma’. On the way, to cross the river Gaṇḍakī, he had to sit on a boat.

Vaiśālī was also visited by Mahāvīra during his eleventh year of spiritual-exertion.—Moving from Vraja village to Ālambhiyā, Śvetāmbikā, Sāvatthī, Kauśāmbī, Rājagṛha, Vārāṇasī, Mithilā, etc, the Lord arrived at Vaiśālī. Outside the city at the Baladeva temple in the Samara garden, accepting four-months fast, he became meditative and completed the rainy season halt there.

Vaiśālī was also visited by Mahāvīra during his 2nd and 9th Year as Kevalī.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Google Books: Introduction to the History of Indian Buddhism

Vaiśālī (वैशाली) is a city anciently celebrated for its wealth and its political importance, whose name often appears in the preachings and legends of Śākya. It was located in central India, to the north of Pātaliputra, and on the river Hiraṇyavatī, the Gaṇḍakī of the moderns. Xuanzang has informed us that it was in ruins at the beginning of the seventh century of our era. Wilson has rightly seen that this city should be the Viśālā of the Rāmāyaṇa; but the Gauḍa recension, as Gorresio gives it, writes this name Vaiśālī, as do Carey and Marshmann. Vaiśālī has for itself the already ancient Pāli transcription Veśālī.

It is clear that if at the time of the redaction of the Pāli books, this name was pronounced Viśālī and not Veśālī (for Vaiśālī), it would have been transcribed Visālī in these books. The adoption of the Buddhist orthography that two editions of the Rāmāyaṇa off er us, and that the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and the Bhāvagata (9.2.33) also confirm, has, moreover, the advantage of bringing an end to the confusion Wilson indicates between the Viśālā that is the same as Ujjayanī and the Viśālā (for Vaiśālī) of the Rāmāyaṇa. Long before one could make use of the Buddhist books to clarify the geography of this part of India, Hamilton had rightly seen that Vaiśālī (which he writes Besala) should be found in the country located to the north of the Ganges, almost across from Patna and bordering on Mithila.

Source: Wikipedia: India History

Vaishali or Vesali was a city in present-day Bihar, India, and is now an archaeological site. It is a part of the Tirhut Division. It was the capital city of the Vajjian Confederacy of (Vrijji mahajanapada), considered one of the first examples of a republic around the 6th century BCE. At the time of the Buddha, Vaiśālī, which he visited on many occasions, was a very large city, rich and prosperous, crowded with people and with abundant food. There were 7,707 pleasure grounds and an equal number of lotus ponds. Its courtesan, Amrapali, was famous for her beauty, and helped in large measure in making the city prosperous.

Source: Shodhganga: New look on the kushan bengali

Vaisali yielded the richest archaeological finds in Bihar. Long years of excavation have produces enough evidence to show that Vaisali flourished as a city under the Kushan. The excavation at Vaisali has brought a number of significant materials which include massive structure, defense wall, military barracks, concrete floors belonging to period III (c. A.D 100 - 300) which covers the Kushan phase at Vaisali (Sinha & Roy, 1969).

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Architecture (1): Early and Classical Architecture (h)

Vaiśalī is an archaeologically important site dating to the Ganges civilization (1000 BCE).—Nearly a millennium after the Indus civilization had collapsed, the Ganges civilization arose in the first millennium BCE. Among the first cities were, for example, Rājagṛha in Bihar.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, 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

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Vaiśalī (वैशली):—f. Name of a wife of Vasudeva, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa] ([varia lectio] vaiśālī)

2) of a town, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary] (cf. vi-śalā, vaiśālī).

3) Vaiśālī (वैशाली):—[from vaiśāla] f. a daughter of the king of Viśālā, [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] Name of a wife of Vasudeva, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa] ([varia lectio] vaiśalī)

5) [v.s. ...] of a town founded by Viśāla, [Rāmāyaṇa; Purāṇa; Buddhist literature]

6) Vaiśāli (वैशालि):—[from vaiśāla] m. [patronymic] of Su-śarman, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Vaiśālī (वैशाली) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Vesālī.

[Sanskrit to German]

Vaishali in German

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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