Vasabha, Vāsabhā: 2 definitions


Vasabha 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)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Vasabha. A householder of Kutumbiyangana and father of Velusumana. Mhv.xxiii.68.

2. Vasabha. King of Ceylon (127 171 A.C.). He was a Lambakanna of Uttarapassa and served under his uncle, the general of King Subha. As it was declared by the soothsayers that one named Vasabha would be king, Subha ordered the slaughter of all bearing that name and Vasabhas uncle took him to the court to surrender him. But the generals wife, Pottha, gave her husband betel without lime to take with him, and, on the way to the palace, Vasabha was sent back to fetch the lime. There Pottha told him of the plot against his life, gave him one thousand pieces and helped him to escape. When his plans were ready, he fought against Subha, killed both him and his uncle in battle and became king. Pottha was made his queen. Soothsayers told him that he would live only twelve years, and, after consultation with the monks, Vasabha did many acts of merit in order to prolong his life; he reigned for forty four years. Among the buildings erected by him were the Mahavalligotta vihara, the Anurarama vihara and the Mucela vihara. He also built twelve tanks and raised the wall of Anuradhapura. His son and successor was Vankannasikattissa. For details of Vasabhas reign and works, see Dpv.xxii.1ff. and Mhv.xxxv.59ff

It is said (DA.ii.635) that once Vasabha listened to Dighabhanaka monks reciting the Mahasudassana Sutta in the Ambalatthika pasada, near Lohapasada, and applauded the Buddhas statement contained in the sutta that all things are transient. On another occasion he went to the Katthakasalaparivena to worship an Elder named Mahasatthivassa (this may be only a descriptive title), but as he approached the door of his cell, he heard the Elders groans of pain, and, disappointed that he had not yet developed the power of suppressing pain even after sixty years of monastic life, the king turned away. The Elder was told of this by his attendant, and, putting forth great effort, attained arahantship; he thereupon sent for the king. The king lay at full length on the ground and worshipped him, saying, It is not your arahantship I worship, but the Sila you observed as a puthujjana. (DA.i.291)

Another story is related of Vasabha, of how once, in order to test a monk, he sat near him and began to crush a jujube fruit. The monks mouth watered, and Vasabha knew that he was not an Arahant (MA.ii.869).

Once when Vasabhas queen was ill, she was cured by medicines suggested by Mahapaduma Thera. Sp.ii.471.

3. Vasabha. A brahmin of Varuna village. His daughter gave milk rice to Piyadassi Buddha before his Enlightenment. BuA.172.

4. Vasabha. One of the chief lay supporters of Narada Buddha. Bu.x.25; J.i.37.

5. Vasabha Thera.

-- or --

. See Vasabhakhattiya.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (V) next»] — Vasabha in Pali glossary
Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Vasabha, (the Sanskritic-Pāli form (*vṛṣabha) of the proper Pāli usabha (q. v. for etym.). Only in later (Com.) style under Sk. influence) a bull Miln. 115 (rāja°); SnA 40 (relation between usabha, vasabha & nisabha); VvA. 83 (id.). (Page 604)

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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