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Giñjakāvasatha

A brick hall at Ñātika (v.l. Nādika). The Buddha stayed there on various occasions during his visits to Ñātika. It was during one of these visits that Ambapāli presented her park to the Buddha and the Order (Vin.i.232).

In the Giñjakāvasatha the Buddha taught the Cūḷagosiṅga Sutta (M.i.205), the Janavasabha Sutta (D.ii.200) and several discourses on mindfulness of death (maraṇa-sati) (e.g., A.iii.303 f; 306 f; 391 f; iv.320 f); also the discourses to the elder Saddha of the Kaccānagotta (A.v.322 f) and the elder Kaccāyana (S.ii.153 f; see also S.ii.74; iv.90).

Both in the Janavasabha Sutta and the Giñjakāvasatha Sutta (S.v.356 f), which was taught at the same place, the Buddha is represented as having answered questions regarding the destiny and the rebirth of several residents of Ñātika. Does this perhaps mean that the people of Ñātika were more interested in this problem than the people of other places? It was by way of finding a permanent solution to these questions that the Buddha taught Ānanda at Giñjakāvasatha the Dhammādāsa-pariyāya (Mirror of Truth) on his last visit to Ñātika, as described in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.91 ff; see also S.v.357).

The Commentaries (e.g., MA.i.424) state that once the Buddha arrived at Ñātika while travelling in the Vajji country, and the people there built for him a residence entirely made of bricks (giñjakā), hence its name. Later, residences were also built for the monks, complete with all requirements. The bricks were evidently a special architectural feature, and this con-firms the belief that buildings were generally of wood. The “Brick Hall” was, however, not designed for the Buddha and his monks alone, for we find mention of members of other sects staying there — e.g., the wanderer Sabhiya Kaccāna (S.iv.401). The building was probably a resting place for all travellers.

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