Home page Up (parent) Next (right) Previous (left) Abbreviations

Page last updated on 8 May, 2017

Association for Insight Meditation Home Page


A monastery in Kosambī, built by Ghosita (Ghosaka, q.v.) for the use of the Buddha and the monks. The Buddha often stayed there during his visits to Kosambī and numerous incidents are mentioned in the books in connection with the monastery. It was because of a dispute between two monks of the Ghositārāma, one expert in the Vinaya and one in the Dhamma, that the first schism arose in the Order, driving the Buddha himself to seek quiet in the Pārileyyaka forest. Vin.i.337 f; M.i.320; DhA.i.44 ff; the Kosambī monks were evidently somewhat peculiar (see Vin.iv.197).

Even at other times the Buddha seems to have sought solitude in this forest during his sojourns at the Ghositārāma (See, e.g., S.iii.96 f). It was here that the Buddha decreed the Formal Act of Suspension (ukkhepanīya-kamma) for Channa, who refused to acknowledge and atone for his offences (Vin.ii.21 f), and here that he laid down the procedure in that connection to be followed. Devadatta was at Ghositārāma when he first conceived the idea of using Ajātasattu for his own ends (Vin.ii.184 f). The Buddha was there at the time and it is said that the devaputta Kakudha appeared before Mahā-Moggallāna to warn him of Devadatta’s schemes. The information was reported to the Buddha, who warned Moggallāna not to pass it on to others. The Buddha then proceeded to tell Moggallāna of the five kinds of teachers that appear in the world (A.iii.122 f).

Ānanda is several times spoken of as staying in the Ghositārāma, sometimes with the Buddha, sometimes alone. On one such occasion he asks the Buddha why women should suffer from certain disabilities as compared with men (A.ii.82). Again (A.iii.132 f), what are the circumstances that conduce to ease (phāsuvihāra) in the case of monks? Could it be said of a follower of the Buddha that his attainments depend on the length of time during which he has observed the Buddha’s teachings? Once Ānanda visits (A.iv.37 f), at her request, a nun living nearby reported to be ill and enamoured of him. The mere sight of him causes her recovery, but he teaches to her on the impermanent nature of the body and makes her realise the truth (A.ii.144 f). Among those who visit Ānanda at the Ghositārāma and discuss various matters with him are mentioned: Ghosita (S.iv.113), Uṇṇābha-brāhmaṇa (S.v.271 f), a householder follower of the Ājīvakā (A.i.217 f ), and Bhaddaji (A.iii.202). Udāyī twice visits him there, once to ask for a description of consciousness (S.iv.169 f ), and again to quote a verse uttered by Pañcālacanda devaputta and to ask Ānanda to explain it (A.iv.449). We find him also joining in a discussion which ensued on a discourse to the monks by Ānanda (A.iv.426 f ). Udāyī taught large audiences at the Ghositārāma and was evidently appreciated, for we find Ānanda reporting it to the Buddha and being told that it is no easy matter to teach a large assembly with acceptance (A.iii.184 f ). The Yuganaddha Sutta is a discourse taught by Ānanda to the monks at the Ghositārāma of his own accord (A.ii.156 f ). Channa is several times mentioned in connection with incidents taking place at the Ghositārāma. Mention has already been made of the Formal Act of Suspension (ukkhepanīya-kamma) declared on him. A devoted householder, wishing to build a vihāra for him, asked him for a site. Vin.iii.155 f; mention is made of other misdemeanours which he committed in order to have a fine vihāra (Vin.iv.47).

Channa started cutting down trees and other things, in order to clear the site, and this led to great uproar. On another occasion he is reported to the Buddha for refusing to listen to his colleagues and the Buddha chides him (Vin.iii.77, also iv.35 f, 113. See also S.iii.132 f). It was when Channa was at the Ghositārāma that Ānanda came, at the bidding of the monks, to inflict on him the Brahma punishment ¹ (brahmadaṇḍa) (Vin.ii.292).

Among others mentioned as staying at the Ghositārāma are Mūsila, Paviṭṭha, Nārada, in the company of Ānanda (S.ii.115), Piṇḍola-Bhāradvāja — who converts Udena when the latter comes to see him (S.iv.110 f ) and earns the Buddha’s praises for his attainments (S.v.224) — Sāriputta and Upavāṇa (S.v.76), and Bāhiya and Anuruddha (A.ii.239). Anuruddha is there at the time of the schism of the Kosambī monks but refuses to intervene. He indulges, instead, in his powers of clairvoyance and mention is made of a visit paid to him by the Manāpakāyikā-devā (A.iv.262 f).

Dāsaka and a number of other monks were once staying in the Ghositārāma; on learning that Khemaka lies ill in the Badarikārāma, one quarter of a league (gāvuta) away, the others send Dāsaka several times to and fro to ask various questions of Khemaka. In the end, Khemaka himself comes to them to solve their difficulties (S.iii.126 f).

See also Kosambiya Sutta, Jāliya Sutta, Sandaka Sutta, Upakkilesa Sutta and Sekha Sutta, Daḷhadhamma Jātaka, Kosambiya Jātaka and Surāpāna Jātaka, all taught while the Buddha was staying at the Ghositārāma.

Thirty thousand monks from the Ghositārāma, under the leadership of Urudhammarakkhita, were present at the foundation of the Mahā Thūpa at Anurādhapura. Mhv.xxix.34.

¹ A Saṅghakamma performed by the monks to ostracize Channa. He was ostracized by the Saṅgha, who were not to admonish or instruct him. See the Kesi Sutta.