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Ñātika.– (v.l. Nātika, Nādika) A locality in the Vajjī country on the highway between Koṭigāma and Vesāli. The Buddha first went there in the course of one of his tours, and the inhabitants, being greatly attracted by him, built for him a residence in brick, the Giñjakāvasatha (q.v.), which, in the course of time, became a great vihāra (MA.i.424). The Buddha, subsequently, seems to have stayed several times in Nātika. According to the Cūḷagosiṅga Sutta (M.i.205; but according to Vin.i.350 f, which relates this incident, they were in Pācīnavaṃsadāya and the Buddha went there from Bālakaloṇakāragāma) he stayed there soon after the schism of the Kosambī monks and sought the Gosiṅgasālavanadāya, evidently in the neighbourhood where Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila were in residence.

The Buddha also visited Nātika on his last journey, while on his way to Kusinārā, and was staying there on the day that he accepted Ambapālī's hospitality and her gift of the Ambapālivana (Vin.i.232 f). It was evidently during this stay that Ānanda questioned the Buddha about the lot of various pious inhabitants of Nātika who had been zealous followers of the Buddha’s teaching. Among them several are mentioned by name — the monk Sāḷha, the nun Nandā, Sudatta, Kakudha, Kāḷimba, Nikaṭa, Kaṭissaha, Tuṭṭha, Santuṭṭha, Bhadda, Subhadda, and the female lay disciple Sujātā. The Buddha tells Ānanda of their destiny, and informs him that more than ninety people of Nātika have become Once-returners, and more than five hundred Stream-winners. He then proceeds to proclaim the discourse that has become famous and the Dhammādāsa-pariyāya (Di.ii.91 ff. S.v.356 ff also records what is evidently the same incident. Two additional names, Asoka and Asokī, occur in the Saṃyuttanikāya passage). The Janavasabha Sutta (D.ii.200 f), which was also taught at Nātika, is evidently based on this incident, and is probably an elaboration of the same. The Saṃyuttanikāya and the Aṅguttaranikāya record other suttas on different topics taught at Nātika (See s.v. Giñjakāvasatha Sutta and also Nātika Sutta; also S.iv.90; A.iii.303 f; 306 f; A.iv.316 f and 320 f). Mention is also made of discussions between the Buddha and Kaccāyana (S.ii.153) and Sandha (A.v.322 f), and also of a discussion between Sabhiya Kaccāyana and Vacchagotta (S.iv.401 f).

The books spell the name of the village in two ways: Ñātika and Nādika. This doubt as to spelling seems to have existed from quite early times, as the apparent confusion of the etymology leads us to believe. In the Saṃyuttanikāya Commentary (SA.ii.256) Buddhaghosa says: “Ñātiketi dvinnaṃ ñātakānaṃ game.” In the Dīghanikāya Commentary (DA.ii.543), however, he says: “Nādikā ti etaṃ talākaṃ nissāya dvinnaṃ cullapitu-mahāpitu-puttānaṃ dve gāmā. Nādike ti ekasmim ñātigame.” These explanations support both spellings — Ñātika and Nādika — Ñātika because it was a “ñātigāma,” and Nādika because it was near the pond Nādikā (MA.ii.424 definitely states that the name of the pond was also Nādikā: “Nādike viharati ti Nādiki nāma eka,” etc.). Rhys Davids (Dial.ii.97, n.1) thinks that Nādikā (pl.) was a clan name and Nādika was the name of the clan’s village. Woodward (GS.iii.217, n.4) also supports the reading Nādika, and suggests that the name is connected with nadī, and refers to Walter’s Chwang (ii.86) where reference is made to Nātika on the Gaṅgā between Vesāli and Patna.

Ñātika Sutta.– Once the Buddha, while meditating in the Giñjakāvasatha at Nātika, taught a discourse regarding suffering, its arising, and its cessation. A certain monk stood listening, and the Buddha asked him to learn the Doctrine as he had heard it. (S.ii.71; repeated at S.iv.90)

2. Ñātikā (v.l. Ñātikī).– The name, probably of a pond (ṭālaka) near the village of Nātika, and/or the clan who lived in the village. See Ñātika.