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Pañcāla

v.l. Pañcāla, Pañcālajanapada, Pañcālaraṭṭha, Pañcālā

One of the sixteen great countries (Mahājanapada) (A.i.213; iv.252, etc.) It consisted of two divisions: Uttara Pañcāla and Dakkhiṇa Pañcāla. The river Bhagīrathi formed the boundary between the divisions. According to the Kumbhakāra Jātaka,¹ the capital of Uttara Pañcāla was Kampilla-nagara, where a king named Dummukha once reigned. Pañcāla was to the east of the Kuru country, and, in ancient times, there seems to have been a constant struggle between the Kurū and the Pañcālā for the possession of Uttara-Pañcāla. Thus, sometimes, Uttara Pañcāla was included in the Kuru kingdom,² but at other times it formed a part of Kampilla-raṭṭha (e.g., J.iii.79; v. 21, 289), Kampilla probably being the capital of Dakkhiṇa Pañcāla. So it happened that sometimes the kings of Kampilla-raṭṭha had their capital in Uttara Pañcāla nagara, while at others the kings of Uttara Pañcāla-nagara had their capital in Kampilla nagara. Cūḷani-Brahmadatta is described in the Umaṅga Jātaka ³ as king of Pañcāla, with his capital in Kampilla.

There seems to have been a chieftain (rājā) of Pañcāla even in the Buddha’s day, for we are told (ThagA.i.331) that Visākha Pañcāliputta (q.v.) was the son of the daughter of the Pañcāla rājā. Pañcāla is generally identified (Law: Geog. of Early Buddhism, p.19.) with the country to the north and west of Delhi, from the foot of the Himavā to the river Chambal.

¹ J.iii.379; also Mtu.iii.26; but the Dvy. (435) calls the capital Hastināpura. According to the Mahābhārata (i.138, 73‑4), the capital was Ahicchatra or Chatravatī, while the capital of Dakṣiṇa-Pañcāla was Kāmpilya.

² E.g., J.v.444; also Mahābhārata i.138.

³ J.vi.329, 396, etc; also PvA. 161; see also Uttarādhiyayana Sūtra (SBE. xlv. 57‑61) and the Rāmāyana (i.32). Similarly Sambhūta was king of Uttara-Pañcāla (J.iv.392 ff.). Sometimes the king of Pañcāla is merely spoken of as Pañcāla — e.g., J.iv.430, v. 98. See also Jayaddisa Jātaka.

Pañcāla Vagga.– The fifth section of the Navaka Nipāta of the Aṅguttaranikāya. A.iv.449‑54.

Pañcāla Sutta.– A discussion between Ānanda and Udāyi (Kāludāyī) regarding a verse uttered by the devaputta Pañcālacaṇḍa (See S.i.48) as to what constitutes obstacles (sambādha) in the world and what release therefrom (okāsādhigama). Udāyi says that the five sensuous pleasures are the obstacles, and that release consists in the attainment of the absorptions (jhāna). A.iv.449 f; AA.ii.815.

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