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Veḷuvana

1. Veḷuvana.– A park near Rājagaha, the pleasure garden of Bimbisāra. When the Buddha first visited Rājagaha, after his Enlightenment, he stayed at the Laṭṭhivanuyyāna.¹ The day after his arrival, he accepted the king’s invitation to a meal at the palace, at the end of which the king, seeking a place for the Buddha to live — “Not too far from the town, not too near, suitable for coming and going, easily accessible to all people, by day not too crowded, by night not exposed to noise and clamour, clean of the smell of people, hidden from men and well fitted to seclusion,” — decided on Veḷuvana, and bestowed it on the Buddha and the Saṅgha. This was the first monastery (ārāma) accepted by the Buddha, and a rule was passed allowing monks to accept such a park.² This was the only monastery in Jambudīpa, the dedication of which was accompanied by a tremor of the earth. It was the dedication of Veḷuvana that was quoted as precedent by Mahinda, when he decided to accept the Mahāmeghavana, at Anurādhapura, from Devānampiyatissa.³

The Buddha at once went to stay there, and it was during this stay that Sāriputta and Moggallāna joined the Order.⁴

Kalandakanivāpa (q.v.) is the place nearly always mentioned as the spot where the Buddha stayed in Veḷuvana. There many Vinaya rules were passed — e.g., on the keeping of the Rains Retreat (vassa),the use of food cooked in the monastery,⁶ the picking-up of edible fruit in the absence of any layman to make it allowable,⁷ surgical operations on monks,⁸ the eating of sugar,⁹ the rubbing of various parts of the body against wood,¹⁰ the use of the kinds of dwelling,¹¹ and the use of gold and silver.¹²

During the Buddha’s stay at Veḷuvana, Dabba Mallaputta, at his own request, was appointed regulator of lodgings and assigner of meals,¹³ and Sāriputta and Moggallāna brought back the five hundred monks whom Devadatta had enticed away to Gayāsīsa.¹⁴ The Buddha spent the second, third and fourth Rains Retreats (vassa) at Veḷuvana.¹⁵ It was a very peaceful place, and monks, who had taken part in the first Convocation, rested there, in Kalandakanivāpa, after their exertions. It was there that they met Purāṇa, who refused to acknowledge the authenticity of their recital.¹⁶

Numerous Jātaka stories were taught at Veḷuvana — e.g., Asampadāna, Cūḷadhammapāla, Cūḷahaṃsa (No.502), Cūḷahaṃsa (No.533), Cūḷanandiya, Dadhivāhana, Dhammadhaja, Dīpi, Dubbhiyamakkaṭa, Dummedha, Giridatta, Godhā, Guttila, Haritamaṇḍūka, Jambuka, Jambukhādaka, Kāḷabāhu, Kandagalaka, Kukkuṭa, Kumbhila, Kuruṅgamiga (No.21), Kuruṅgamiga (No.206), Lakkhaṇa, Laṭukika, Mahākapi (No.516), Mahāhaṃsa, Mahiḷāmukha, Maṅgala, Maṇicora, Manoja, Mūsika, Nigrodha, Parantapa, Pucimaṇḍa, Rohaṇamiga, Romaka, Rurumigarāja, Sabbadāṭha, Saccaṃkira, Sāliya, Sañjīva, Sarabhaṅga, Sīlavanāgarāja, Siṅgāla, (No.113), Siṅgāla (No.143), Suvaṇṇakakkaṭa, Tayodhamma, Thusa, Ubhatobhaṭṭha, Upahāna, Upasāḷaka, Vānara, Vānarinda, Vinīla, and Viroca. Most of these refer to Devadatta, some to Ajātasattu, and some to Ānanda’s attempt to sacrifice his life for the Buddha.

The books mention, in addition, various suttas that were taught there. Among those who visited the Buddha at Veḷuvana were several devaputtas: Dīghalaṭṭhi, Nandana, Candana, Sudatta, Subrahmā; Asama with Sahali, Nīka, Akoṭaka, Vegabbhari, and Māṇavagāmiya; also the Dhanañjāni brahmin; Akkosaka-Bhāradvāja, Asurindaka°, Bilaṅgika°, Aggika°, Acela-Kassapa, Susīma; the thirty monks from Pāvā;¹⁷ elders like Mahā-Kappina, Aññāta-Koṇḍañña (just before his death), Mahā-Cunda (during his illness);¹⁸ Soṇa-gahapatiputta, Samiddhi, Moliyasīvaka, Tālapuṭa, Maṇicūḷaka, Visākha,¹⁹ Abhayarājakumāra, Goliyāni, Vacchagotta, Bhūmija, Aciravata, Sabhiya, Vassakāra, Suppabuddha, Piliṇḍavaccha, Jāṇussoṇi, and the princess Cundī; also Bimbisāra’s wife, Khemā, who went to Veḷuvana because she had heard so much of its beauty. Sāriputta²⁰ and Ānanda visited the Buddha there on several occasions, sometimes alone, sometimes in the company of others, and Ānanda lived there for some time after the Buddha’s death, and during his stay there taught the Gopakamoggallāna Sutta.²¹

It is said that Māra visited Veḷuvana several times ²² in order to work his will on the Buddha. The Buddha was there when three of the monks committed suicide — Vakkali, Godhika, and Channa — and he had to pronounce them free from blame. News was brought to the Buddha, at Veḷuvana, of the illness of three of his disciples — Assaji, Moggallāna, and Dīghāvu — and he set out to visit them and comfort them with talks on the doctrine. Near Veḷuvana was a wanderer’s park (paribbājakārāma), where the Buddha sometimes went with some of his disciples in the course of his almsrounds. Two of his discussions there are recorded in the Cūḷa° and Mahāsakuludāyi Suttas.

During the Buddha’s lifetime, two thūpas were erected at the gate of Veḷuvana, one containing the relics of Aññāta-Koṇḍañña,²³ and the other those of Mahā-Moggallāna.²⁴

Veḷuvana was so called because it was surrounded by bamboos (veḷu). It was surrounded by a wall, eighteen cubits high, holding a gateway and towers.²⁵

After the Buddha’s death, Dāsaka, Upāli’s pupil, lived at Veḷuvana, and there ordained Soṇaka with fifty-five companions. From there Soṇaka went to the Kukkuṭārāma.²⁶

The dedication of Veḷuvana was among the scenes depicted in the Relic Chamber of the Mahā Thūpa.²⁷

On one side of the main building of the Veḷuvana-vihāra was a building called Ambalaṭṭhikā.²⁸ There was also a dwelling-place (senāsana), built for the use of monks practising austerities.²⁹

It is said that, after death, Vassakāra was born as a monkey in Veḷuvana and answered to his name. He had been told during his lifetime that this destiny awaited him, and therefore took the precaution of seeing that the place was well supplied with fruit trees.³⁰

According to Hiouen Thsang,³¹ the Kalandaka nivāpa (Karandavenuvana, as he calls it) lay one li to the north of Rājagaha.

2. Veḷuvana.– A bamboo grove in Kajaṅgala, where the Buddha once stayed. The disciples of Kajaṅgala, having questioned the Kajaṅgalā-Bhikkhuṇī, went to the Buddha there and asked him to verify her answers.³²

3. Veḷuvana.– A bamboo grove in Kimbilā, where the Buddha stayed and was visited by Kimbila.³³

4. Veḷuvana.– A monastery in Sri Lanka, built by Aggabodhi II. It was given by him to the Sāgalikā.³⁴ It probably lay between Anurādhapura and Manihīra, and Saṅghatissa once lay in hiding there disguised as a monk.³⁵ Jetthatissa III gave to the vihāra the village of Kakkalavitthi.³⁶

5. Veḷuvana.– A monastery erected by Parakkamabāhu I in the suburb of Vijita in Pulatthipura. It consisted of three image houses, each three storeys high, a thūpa, a cloister, a two-storeyed pāsāda, four gateways, four long pāsādas, eight small ones, one refectory, one discourse hall, seven fire-hoses and twelve privies.³⁷

Footnotes

¹ Vin.i.35.

² Vin.i.39 f; according to BuA. (19; cf. ApA.i.75) the earth trembled when the water — poured over the Buddha’s hand by Bimbisāra in dedication of Veḷuvana — fell on the earth.

³ Mhv.xv.17. Vin.i.42. Vin.i.137. Vin.i.210 f.

Vin.i.212. When there is a shortage of food, fallen fruit in the forest may be picked up by himself (sāmaṃ gahetvā), brought back (haritvā) from there, then offered by a lay person or novice. In my opinion the fruit cannot be picked as that would be an offence to be confessed (ed.)

Vin.i.215 f. Vin.i.226. ¹⁰ Vin.ii.105. ¹¹ Vin.ii.146. ¹² Vin.ii.196.

¹³ Vin.ii.74. The Buddha was at Veḷuvana when Dabba also “decided” to die. He went there to take leave of the Buddha, Ud.viii.9. (I don’t think Arahants “decide” when they will die — though some may know beforehand when their life-span will end. The Arahants are free from attachment to life and aversion to death, so “deciding” to die prematurely is not something they would do. Those few like Godhika who committed suicide made the decision to end their life prematurely before attaining Arahantship. The Buddha could have extended his life-span by using his powers if he had been asked to, but since no one did, he announced his forthcoming death in three months’ time. ed.)

¹⁴ Vin.ii.200.

¹⁵ BuA.3; while the Buddha was at Veḷuvana that Devadatta attempted to kill him by causing Nāḷāgiri to be let loose against him (J.v.335).

¹⁶ Vin.ii.289 f. ¹⁷ S.ii.187. ¹⁸ S.v.181.

¹⁹ After his visit to Dhammadinnā, who taught him the Cūḷavedalla Sutta.

²⁰ Sāriputta is mentioned as having held discussions there with, among others, Candikāputta and Lāḷudāyī. A discourse taught by Mahā-Kassapa to the monks at Veḷuvana is given at A.v.161 ff; for other suttas taught by the Buddha, see also S.i.231; ii.32, 183, 242, 254; iv.20; v.446; Ud.iv.9.

²¹ M.iii.7 ff. ²² E.g., S.i.106 f. ²³ SA.i.219. ²⁴ J.v.127. ²⁵ SNA.ii.419; Sp.iii.576.

²⁶ Mhv.v.115 f, 122; Dpv.iv.39. ²⁷ Mhv.xxx.80. ²⁸ MA.ii.635. ²⁹ MA.ii.932.

³⁰ MA.ii.854. ³¹ Beal, op.cit., ii.159. ³² A.v.54 f. ³³ A.iii.247, 339: iv.84.

³⁴ Cv.xlii.43. ³⁵ Cv.xliv.29; Cv.Trs.i.77, n.2. ³⁶ Cv.xliv.99.

³⁷ Cv.lxxiii.152, lxxviii.87 f; see also Cv.Trs.ii.113, n.1

 Finding Footnote References

Gopakamoggallāna Sutta: Majjhimanikāya, M.iii.7f

References in the notes are to the Pāḷi texts of the PTS. In the translations, these are usually printed in the headers near the spine, or in square brackets in the body of the text, thus it would be iii 7 in the spine or [8] in the text. References to the Commentaries are usually suffixed with A for Aṭṭhakathā (DA, MA, SNA, etc.) but references to the Jātaka Commentary are given as J, not JA, which would normally be used, as that is reserved for the Journal Asiatic.

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