1. Kāsi (Kāsika).– One of the sixteen great nations (Mahājanapadā) (A.i.213, etc.), its capital being Bārāṇasī.
At the time of the Buddha, it had been absorbed into the kingdom of Kosala, and Pasenadi was king of both countries (D.i.288; M.ii.111). The Mahā Vagga (Vin.i.28l), however, mentions a Kāsika-
The traditional name of the king of Kāsi from time immemorial was evidently Brahmadatta (q.v.), and references to kings of that name abound in the Jātaka stories. Sometimes the king is referred to merely as Kāsi-
The capital of Kāsi is generally given as Bārāṇasī, but it is said that when Asoka was king of Kāsi his capital was in Potali (J.iii.155), and another king, Udayibhadda, had his seat of government in Surundha (J.iv.104 ﬀ). It is possible that these cities did not form part of the regular kingdom of Kāsi, but became annexed to it during the reigns of some of the more powerful kings.
Kāsi was evidently a great centre of trade and a most populous and prosperous country. Frequent mention is made of caravans leaving Kāsi to travel for trade. One highway went through Kāsi to Rājagaha (Vin.i.212) and another to Sāvatthi (Vin.ii.10; Mhv.v.114). Kāsi was famed for her silks, and Kāsi-
Besides those already referred to, other names of places mentioned in literature as belonging to Kāsi, are Vāsabhagāma, Macchikāsaṇḍa (the work town of Anāthapiṇḍika), Kīṭāgiri and Dhammapālagāma (s.v. Mahādhammapāla Jātaka) Kāsi and Kosala are frequently mentioned together (e.g., A.v.59).
2. Kāsi, or Kāsika.– A city, the birthplace of Phussa Buddha (Bu.xix.14; J.i.41). There he taught the Buddhavaṃsa (BuA.193). The city is probably to be identified with Bārāṇasī, which is sometimes referred to as Kāsipura (e.g., DhA.i.71; J.v.54; vi.165; M.i.171; DhsA.35; Cv.xli.37). It is also called Kāsipurī (PvA.19).