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Nerañjarā

1. Nerañjarā.– A river. After the Enlightenment, the Buddha lived under the Ajapāla Nigrodha (q.v.) at Uruvelā, on the banks of this river. There Māra tempted him, and, later, Brahmā persuaded him to teach the Dhamma.

Vin.i.1 ff; SN.vs.425 ff; cp. Mtu.ii.238; Lal.327 (261); S.i.103 f; 122, 136 ff; v.167, 185, 232; Ud.i.1‑4; ii.1; iii.10; A.ii.20 f; D.ii.267.

The Commentaries say (e.g., J.i.68 ff; DhA.i.71; BuA.238) that when the Buddha, having realised the futility of austerities, left the group of five ascetics (pañcavaggiyā), he retired to Uruvelā, on the banks of the Nerañjarā, and there, just before the Enlightenment, Sujātā gave him a meal of milk-rice, taking him to be a god. Before eating the food, he bathed in the ford called Suppatiṭṭha. Under the bed of the river lay the abode of the Nāga king, Mahākāḷa. There was a sāla grove on the banks, where the Buddha spent the afternoon previous to the night of the Enlightenment.

Three explanations are given of the name: (1) Its waters are pleasant (nelaṃ jalaṃ assā ti = nelañjalā, the r being substituted for the l); (2) it has blue water (nīla jalāyā ti vattabbe Nerañjarāyā ti vuttaṃ); (3) it is just simply the name of the river. UdA.26 f.

Nadī Kassapa’s hermitage was on the bank of the Nerañjarā (ThagA.i.45).

Nerañjarā is identified with the modern Nīlājanā, with its source in Hazaribagh, which, together with the Mohanā, unites to form the river Phalgu. CAGL 524.

2. Nerañjarā.– A channel that branched northwards from the Puṇṇavaḍḍhana reservoir. Cv.lxxix.49.

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