Vajji, Vajjī: 5 definitions


Vajji means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

The name of a country and of its people. It was one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas. The inhabitants appear to have consisted of several confederate clans of whom the Licchavi and the Videha were the chief.

A passage in the Commentaries (e.g., DA.ii.519) - which states that among those responsible for the administration of justice in the Vajji country (see Licchavi) were the Atthakulaka - has given rise to the conjecture that Atthakulaka meant heads of eight clans composing the Vajjian confederacy. There is no other evidence regarding the number of the clans. The Atthakulaka were probably a judicial committee.

As time went on the Licchavi became the most powerful of these clans (Licchavi Vajjiratthavasihi pasattha) (E.g., MA.i.394), and the names Vajji and Licchavi were often synonymous. See Licchavi; in the Trikandasesa, quoted by Cunningham (AGI. 509), Licchavi, Vaideha and Tirabhukti were synonymous. In one passage (A.iii.76) the Licchavi, Mahanama, seeing that a band of young Licchavis who had been out hunting were gathered round the Buddha, is represented as saying, These Licchavis will yet become Vajjians (bhavissanti Yajji). This probably only means that there was great hope of these young men becoming true Vaijians, practising the seven conditions of welfare taught by the Buddha, conditions which ensured their prosperity. But see G. S.iii.62, n.1 and 3.

Vesali was the capital of the Licchavis and Mithila of the Videhas. In the time of the Buddha, both Vesali and Mithila were republics, though Mithila had earlier been a kingdom under Janaka.

In the time of the Buddha, and even up to his death, the Vajjians were a very prosperous and happy community. The Buddha attributed this to the fact that they practiced the seven conditions of welfare taught to them by himself in the Sarandada Cetiya. The details of this teaching, and various other matters connected with the Vajji, are given under Licchavi. But soon after the Buddhas death, (three years after the Buddhas last visit to Vesali, according to Buddhaghosa, DA.ii.522) Ajatasattu, with the help of his minister Vassakara, sowed dissension among the Vajjians and conquered their territory.

The Buddha travelled several times through the Vajjian country, the usual route being through Kosala, Malla, Vajji, Kasi, Magadha, and thus back (See, e.g., S.v.348), and he preached to the people, mostly in the Kutagarasala in Vesali. Among other places besides Vesali visited by the Buddha, are mentioned Ukkacela, Kotigama (see, e.g., J.ii.232, where it is called a village of the Vajjians, on the Ganges), Nadika (in which were Ginjakavasatha and Gosingasalavana), Beluvagama (or Veluvagama), Bhandagama, Bhogagama and Hatthigama. Pubbavijjhana, the birthplace of Channa, is also mentioned as a village of the Vajjians (S.iv.59).

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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India history and geography

Source: Wikipedia: India History

Vajji (Sanskrit: Vṛji) or Vrijji was a confederacy of neighbouring clans including the Licchavis and one of the principal mahājanapadas of Ancient India. The area they ruled constitutes the region of Mithila in northern Bihar and their capital was the city of Vaishali. The territory of Vajji was located north of the Ganges in Bihar and extended up to the Madhesh region. On the west, the Gandaki River was probably the boundary between Vajji and the Malla-mahājanapada and possibly also separated it from the Kosala-mahājanapada. On the east, its territory probably extended up to the forests along the banks of the rivers Koshi and Mahananda. The capital of this mahājanapada was Vaishali. Other important towns and villages were Kundapura or Kundagrama (a suburb of Vaishali), Bhoganagara and Hatthigama.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Vajji or Vṛji is one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas of the Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The Vajji or Vriji clan is mentioned by Pāṇini and Kauṭilya who however, distinguishes the Vrijikas or Vajjis from the Licchavikas. Yuan Chwang (Watters, II, 81) also distinguishes the Fu-li-chih (Vriji) country from Fei-she-li (Vaiśālī). Vrijika or Vajji was not only the name of the confederacy, but also of one of the constituent clans. But the Vajjis, like the Licchavis, are often associated with the city of Vesālī which was not only the capital of the Licchavi clan, but also the metropolis of the entire confederacy.

In the Paramatthajotikā on the Khuddakapāṭha and the Pujāvaliya, a Ceylonese Buddhist work, we find an account of the mythical origin of the Licchavis, the Vajji country and the capital Vesālī. Buddhaghosa’s fanciful story of the origin of the town of Vesālī is also supported by the Jātakaṭṭhakathā to the Ekapaṇṇa Jātaka. It is said in the commentary that at the time of the Buddha the city of Vesālī was encompassed by three walls at a distance of a gāvuta from one another and that at three places there were gates with watch towers and buildings.

The Majjhima Nikāya tells us of the Vajjis and the Mallas as forming saṃghas and gaṇas, that is, clans governed by organised corporations. The Mahāvastu states that there were twice 84,000 Licchavirājās residing within the city of Vesālī. From the Mahāparinibbāna Suttanta it is clear that Ajātasattu was determined to destroy the Vajjian power. In the Sumaṅgalavilāsinī we are told of the immediate cause which led to the outbreak of the war.

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 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

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

vajjī : (m.) a man of the Vajji clan.

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Vajji (वज्जि).—v.l. for Vaji, q.v.

context information

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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