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Iccānanaṅgala

A brahmin village in the Kosala country. It was while staying in the woodland thicket (vanasanda) there that the Buddha taught the Ambaṭṭha Sutta (D.i.87). From this sutta, the village would seem to have been near Pokkharasāti’s domain of Ukkaṭṭhā. It was the residence of “Mahāsāla” brahmins. The Suttanipāta (p.115) (which spells the name as Icchānaṅkala) mentions several eminent brahmins who lived there, among them Caṅkī, Tārukkha, Pokkharasāti, Jāṇussoṇi, and Todeyya.

There were also two learned youths, Vāseṭṭha and Bhāradvāja at Icchānaṅgala, who, finding it impossible to bring their discussion to a conclusion, sought the Buddha, then staying in the village. Their interview with the Buddha is recorded in the Vāseṭṭha Sutta (Ibid., 115 ff; M ii.146 ff). Buddhaghosa (SnA.ii.462) says that learned brahmins of Kosala, deeply versed in the Vedas, were in the habit of meeting together from time to time (once in six months, MA.ii.796) at Icchānaṅgala in order to recite the Vedas and discuss their interpretation. These brahmins met at Ukkaṭṭhā, under Pokkharasāti, when they wished to cleanse their caste (jātisodhanatthaṃ), and at Icchānaṅgala in order to revise their Vedic hymns (mante sodhetu-kāmā), MA.ii.796.

According to the Saṃyuttanikāya (v.325), the Buddha once stayed for three months in the jungle thicket at Icchānaṅgala, in almost complete solitude, visited only by a single monk who brought him his food. However, from the Aṅguttaranikāya (A.iii.30 f; cf. A.iii.341 and A.iv.340 ff), it would appear that the Buddha was not left to enjoy the solitude which he desired, for we are told that the residents of Icchānaṅgala, having heard of the Buddha’s visit, came to him in large numbers and created a disturbance by their shouts. The Buddha had to send Nāgita, who was then his personal attendant, to curb the enthusiasm of his admirers.

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