Vanavasi, Vanavāsī: 7 definitions



Vanavasi 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 Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu

Vanavāsī (वनवासी) is another name for Ṛṣabhaka, a medicinal plant possibly identified with Microstylis muscifera Ridley which is a synonym of Malaxis muscifera (Lindl.) or “fly bearing malaxis” from the Orchidaceae or “orchid” family of flowering plants, according to verse 5.14-16 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The fifth chapter (parpaṭādi-varga) of this book enumerates sixty varieties of smaller plants (kṣudra-kṣupa). Together with the names Vanavāsī and Ṛṣabhaka, there are a total of twenty Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Vanavasi (Vanavasika) Tissa. A monk. In his previous birth he was the brahmin Mahasena (q.v.). During pregnancy his mother invited Sariputta with five hundred monks, to her house, and fed them on milk rice. She herself put on yellow robes and ate of the rice left by the monks. On the day of his naming, he presented Sariputta with his blanket. He was called Tissa after Sariputta, whose personal name was Upatissa. At the age of seven Tissa joined the Order and his parents held a festival lasting for seven days, distributing porridge and honey to the monks. On the eighth day, when Tissa went for alms in Savatthi, he received one thousand bowls of alms and one thousand pieces of cloth, all of which he gave to the monks. This earned for him the name of Pindapatadayaka. One day, in the cold season, he saw monks warming themselves before fires and, discovering that they had no blankets, he, accompanied by one thousand monks, went into the city. Wherever he went people gave him blankets; one shopkeeper had hidden two of his very costly blankets, but on seeing Tissa he gave them willingly. Tissa thus got one thousand blankets and was thereafter called Kambaladayaka.

Having discovered that, at Jetavana, his young relations came too often to see him, he obtained a formula of meditation and went into the forest to a distance of twenty leagues from Savatthi. At the request of the inhabitants of the village near by, he spent the rainy season in the forest hermitage, going into the village for alms. There, at the end of two months, he attained arahantship. Because he was so devoted to the forest, he was given the name of Vanavasi. At the end of the vassa, all the Buddhas chief disciples, with a retinue of forty thousand monks, visited Tissa in his hermitage, arriving there in the evening. The villagers, recognizing Sariputta, asked him to preach the Dhamma, saying that Tissa, their teacher, knew only two sentences May you be happy, may you obtain release from suffering! which sentences he repeated whenever anyone made him a gift. Thereupon Sariputta asked him to explain the meaning of the two sentences, and the novice preached till sunrise, summarizing the whole of the Buddhas teaching even as a thunderstorm rains incessantly upon the four great continents.

At the end of the discourse Tissas supporters were divided into two camps, some were offended that he should not have preached to them before, while others marvelled at his saintliness and skill. The Buddha, aware of this disagreement, went himself to the village. The villagers gave alms to the Buddha and the monks, and, in returning thanks, the Buddha told them how fortunate they were that, owing to Tissa, they had been able to see himself and his chief disciples. They were then all satisfied.

On the way back to Savatthi,

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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 geogprahy

Source: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Vanavāsī or Vanavāsa.—The city of Vanavāsī is known as Vejayantī, in one of the Karle inscriptions and in Nasik cave inscription of Lord of Venākaṭaka, Gotamiputa Siri Sadakaṇi. The Nasik grant is issued from the military camp of Vejayantī. Aihole inscription describes Vanavāsī as a place, which has for a girdle the rows of singing haṃsas that play on the light waves of the Varadā river. The city by her wealth rivalled the city of the gods. Vanavāsī is identical with Vanavasi in Shimoga district of Mysore State.

Ptolemy draws a distinction between Byzantium, a market town on the coast and Bandouasoi, an island city. It is possible that foreigners did not always understand the distinction between Vaijayantī-Banavāsī in the interior on the banks of the river Varadā, and its fort which may have laid somewhere on the west coast and bore the same name.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Vanavāsī (वनवासी) is the name of a locality situated in Dakkhiṇāpatha (Deccan) or “southern district” of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—Thera Rakkhita was sent as a missionary to Vanavāsī for the spread of Buddhism there. During the Buddhist period as also afterwards, Northern Canara was known as Vanavāsī. According to Dr. Buhler, it was situated between the Ghats, Tungabhadra and Barodā. Tha Sāsanavaṃsa also refers to a country called Vanavāsī which, however, is identical with the country round Prome in Lower Burma.

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 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

[«previous next»] — Vanavasi in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

vanavāsī : (adj.) dwelling in the forest.

Pali book cover
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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: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Vanavāsī (वनवासी):—[=vana-vāsī] [from vana-vāsin > vana > van] f. Name of the chief town of that country, [ib.]

2) Vānavāsī (वानवासी):—[from vāna] f. Name of a city, [Daśakumāra-carita]

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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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