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Nāḷandā

1. Nāḷandā.– A town near Rājagaha, (according to Buddhaghosa, DA.i.35, one league away). The Buddha is mentioned as having stayed there several times during his residence in Pāvārika’s mango grove, and while there he had discussions with Upāli-gahapati and Dīghatapassī (S.ii.110; M.i.376 ff.), with Kevaṭṭa (D.i.211 ff.), and also several conversations with Asibandhakaputta (S. ii. 311‑23).

The Buddha visited Nāḷandā during his last tour through Magadha, and it was there that Sāriputta uttered his “lion’s roar,” affirming his faith in the Buddha, shortly before his death (D.ii.81 f; iii.99 ff; S.v.159 ff.). The road from Rājagaha to Nāḷandā passed through Ambalaṭṭhikā (D.ii.81; Vin.ii.287), and from Nāḷandā it went on to Pāṭaligāma (D.ii.84). Between Rājagaha and Nāḷandā was situated the Bahuputta cetiya (S.ii.220).

According to the Kevaṭṭa Sutta (D.i.211), in the Buddha’s time Nāḷandā was already an influential and prosperous town, thickly populated, though it was not until later that it became the centre of learning for which it afterwards became famous. There is a record in the Saṃyuttanikāya (S.iv.322), of the town having been the victim of a severe famine during the Buddha’s time.

Nāḷandā was the residence of Soṇadinnā (VvA.144). Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta is several times mentioned as staying at Nāḷandā, which was evidently a centre of activity of the Nigaṇṭhā.

Hsouien Thsang (Beal: op.cit., ii.167 f ) gives several explanations of the name Nāḷandā. One is that it was named after the Nāga who lived in a reservoir in the middle of the mango grove. Another — and accepted by him — is that the Bodhisatta once had his capital here and gave “alms without intermission,” hence the name.

In the northern books, Nāḷandā is given as the name of Sāriputta’s birthplace (see Nālaka).

Nāḷandā is identified with the modern Baragaon (CAGI. 537).

2. Nāḷandā.– A village in the central province of Sri Lanka. Once Parakkamabāhu I occupied a camp there, and it is several times mentioned in the accounts of his campaigns. Cv.lxx.167, 207; lxxii.169.

1. Nāḷandā Sutta.– A conversation between the Buddha and Upāli-gahapati in Pāvārika’s mango grove, as to why some beings attain full freedom in this world while others do not. S.iv.110.

2. Nāḷandā Sutta.– Sāriputta’s affirmation of faith in the Buddha — there never was, nor is, nor shall be, anyone possessing higher wisdom than the Buddha. S.v.159 f; cp. D.ii.81 and D.iii.99 ff.


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