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Ceti, Cetiya

1. Ceti, Cetiya.– One of the sixteen great nations (Mahājanapada) (A.i.213, etc.), probably identical with Cedi of the older documents (e.g., Rv.viii.5, 37‑9). The people of Ceti seem to have had two distinct settlements: one, perhaps the older, was in the mountains, probably the present Nepal (Bud. India, p.26). It is evidently this older settlement which is mentioned in the Vessantara Jātaka; it was passed by Vessantara on his way into exile in the Himavā, and was thirty leagues from Jetuttara (J.vi.514, 518). The other, probably a later colony, lay near the Yamunā, to the east, in the neighbourhood of and contiguous to the settlement of the Kurus; for we are told (Vin.iv.108 f; J.i.360 f) that the Buddha, having dwelt in the Ceti country, went to Bhaddavatikā, where, at the Ambatittha, Sāgata tamed a Nāga, and from there he went to Kosambī. This part of the country corresponds roughly to the modern Bundelkhand and the adjoining region (Law: Geog, p.16).

It was probably of the older Ceti that Sotthivatī was the capital, where once reigned Apacara, who uttered the first lie in the world. (J.iii.454 ff Sotthivati is probably identical with Suktimati or Sukti-Sāhvaya of the Mahābhārata (iii.20, 50; xiv.83, 2); see also PHAI.81).

The journey from Bārāṇasī to Ceti lay through a forest which was infested by robbers (J.i.253, 256). The settlement of Ceti was an important centre of Buddhism, even in the time of the Buddha. The Aṅguttaranikāya (A.iii.355 f; v.41 f; 157 ff) mentions several discourses taught the Cetis, while the Buddha dwelt in their town of Sahajāti. While dwelling in the Pācīnavaṃsadāya in the Ceti country, Anuruddha became an Arahant after a visit which the Buddha paid to him (A.iv.228; see also Vin.i.300 f). The Janavasabha Sutta (D.ii.200 and passim) leads us to infer that the Buddha visited the Ceti country several times. The Saṃyuttanikāya (S.v.436 f) records a discussion on the Four Noble Truths among a number of monks, including Gavampati, dwelling at Sahajāti (v.l. Sahañcanika).

It is said (e.g., AA.ii.765) that the country was called Ceti because it was ruled by kings bearing the name of Ceti or Cetiya (SNA.i.135).

2. Cetiya.– A mythical king (Mhv.ii.3; Dpv.iii.5; Mtu.i.348). See Ceti (1).

Apacara is also referred to as Cetiya (J.iii.457, 460, etc.), shortened into Cecca (J.v.267).

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