Vanavaccha: 1 definition



Vanavaccha 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 next»] — Vanavaccha in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Vanavaccha Thera. He was the son of Vacchagotta a brahmin of Kapilavatthu, and was born in the forest, his mother having longed to see it and having been taken in travail while wandering there. His name was Vaccha; but because of his love for the woods, he was called Vanavaccha. He left the world soon after the Buddhas Renunciation, and led the ascetic life till he heard of the Buddhas Enlightenment. Then he joined the Order, and it was in the forest that he strove and won arahantship. When he returned to Kapilavatthu with the Buddha, his companions asked him why he so loved the forest, and he spoke a verse in praise of forest life (Thag.13).

In the time of Atthadassi Buddha, he was a large tortoise living in the Vinata. Seeing the Buddha about to cross the river, he took him on his back. Many hundreds of times afterwards he lived as an ascetic in the forest. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he became a dove, and his heart was gladdened by the sight of a monk practicing compassion. Later he was born as a householder in Benares and renounced the world. ThagA.i.58f.; Ap.ii.506f.

2. Vanavaccha Thera. The son of a rich brahmin of Rajagaha; he joined the Order, impressed by the majesty of the Buddhas visit to Bimbisara. Soon after, he attained arahantship and, devoted to detachment, dwelt in the woods hence his name. When he went to Rajagaha his kinsmen asked him to live near them, but he said he preferred the lonely life of the forest (Thag.113).

In the time of Vipassi Buddha he was a labourer, and, having committed a crime, while fleeing from justice he saw a Bodhi tree. Pleased with the look of the tree, he gathered masses of asoka flowers and heaped them up round the tree. When his pursuers reached him, he remained as he was, looking at them, with no hatred in his heart. They hurled him into a precipice, and he died with the thought of the Bodhi tree in his heart. Three kappas ago he was a king named Santusita (ThagA.i.222). He is perhaps identical with Tambapupphiya of the Apadana. Ap.i.176.

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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