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Jetavana

1. Jetavana.– A park in Sāvatthi, in which was built the Anāthapiṇḍika-ārāma. When the Buddha accepted Anāthapiṇḍika’s invitation to visit Sāvatthi, the latter, seeking a suitable place for the Buddha’s residence, discovered this park belonging to Jetakumāra.¹ When he asked to be allowed to buy it, Jeta’s reply was: “Not even if you could cover the whole place with money.” Anāthapiṇḍika said that he would buy it at that price, and when Jeta answered that he had had no intention of making a bargain, the matter was taken before the Lords of Justice, who decided that if the price mentioned were paid, Anāthapiṇḍika had the right of purchase. Anāthapiṇḍika had gold brought down in carts and covered Jetavana with pieces laid side-by-side.² The money brought in the first journey was found insufficient to cover one small spot near the gateway. So Anāthapiṇḍika sent his servants back for more, but Jeta, inspired by Anāthapiṇḍika’s earnestness, asked to be allowed to give this spot. Anāthapiṇḍika agreed and Jeta erected there a gateway, with a room over it. Anāthapiṇḍika built in the grounds dwelling rooms, retiring rooms, store rooms and service halls, halls with fireplaces, closets, cloisters, halls for exercise, wells, bathrooms, ponds, open and roofed sheds, etc.³

It is said ⁴ that Anāthapiṇḍika paid one hundred and eighty million for the purchase of the site, all of which Jeta spent in the construction of the gateway gifted by him.⁵

Jeta gave, besides, many valuable trees for timber. Anāthapiṇḍika himself spent five hundred and forty million in connection with the purchase of the park and the buildings erected in it.

The ceremony of dedication was one of great splendour. Not only Anāthapiṇḍika himself, but his whole family took part: his son with five hundred other youths, his wife with five hundred other noble women, and his daughters Mahā Subhaddā and Cūḷa Subhaddā with five hundred other maidens. Anāthapiṇḍika was attended by five hundred bankers. The festivities in connection with the dedication lasted for nine months.⁶

Some of the chief buildings attached to the Jetavana are mentioned in the books by special names, viz., Mahāgandhakuṭi, Kaverimaṇḍalamāla, Kosambakuṭi and Candanamāla.⁷ All these were built by Anāthapiṇḍika; there was another large building erected by Pasenadi and called the Salalaghara.⁸ Over the gateway lived a guardian deity to prevent all evildoers from entering.⁹ Just outside the monastery was a Rājāyatana-tree, the residence of the god Samiddhisumana.¹⁰ In the grounds there seems to have been a large pond which came to be called the Jetavana-pokkharaṇī.¹¹ The grounds themselves were thickly covered with trees, giving the appearance of a wooded grove (arañña).¹² On the outskirts of the monastery was a mango-grove.¹³ In front of the gateway was the Bodhi-tree planted by Anāthapiṇḍika, which came later to be called the Ānandabodhi (q.v.).¹⁴ Not far from the gateway was a cave, which became famous as the Kapallapūvapabbhāra on account of an incident connected with Macchariya-Kosiya.¹⁵

Near Jetavana was evidently a monastery of the heretics where Ciñcamāṇavikā spent her nights while hatching her conspiracy against the Buddha.¹⁶ There seems to have been a playground just outside Jetavana used by the children of the neighbourhood, who, when thirsty, would go into Jetavana to drink.¹⁷ The high road to Sāvatthi passed by the edge of Jetavana, and travellers would enter the park to rest and refresh themselves.¹⁸ According to the Divyāvadāna,¹⁹ the thūpas of Sāriputta and Moggallāna were in the grounds of Jetavana and existed until the time of Asoka. Both Fa Hien ²⁰ and Houien Thsang ²¹ give descriptions of other incidents connected with the Buddha, which took place in the neighbourhood of Jetavana — e.g., the murder of Sundarikā, the calumny of Ciñcā-māṇavikā, Devadatta’s attempt to poison the Buddha, etc.

The space covered by the four bed-posts of the Buddha’s Gandhakuṭi in Jetavana is one of the four places that are constant (avijahitaṭṭhānāni); all Buddhas possess the same, though the size of the actual vihāra differs in the case of the various Buddhas. For Vipassī Buddha, the millionaire Punabbasumitta built a monastery extending for a whole league, while for Sikhī, the millionaire Sirivaḍḍha made one covering three quarters of a league. The Saṅghārāma built by Sotthiya for Vessabhū was half a league in extent, while that erected by Accuta for Kakusandha covered only one quarter of a league. Koṇāgamana's monastery, built by the millionaire millionaire Ugga, extended for one eighth of a league, while Kassapa’s built by Sumaṅgala covered sixteen furlongs (karīsa). Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery covered a space of eighteen furlongs.²²

The Buddha spent nineteen rainy seasons in Jetavana.²³ It is said that after the Migāramātupāsāda came into being, the Buddha would dwell alternately in Jetavana and Migāramātupāsāda, often spending the day in one and the night in the other.²⁴

According to a description given by Fa Hien,²⁵ the vihāra was originally in seven sections (storeys?) and was filled with all kinds of offerings, embroidered banners, canopies, etc., and the lamps burnt from dusk to dawn.

One day, a rat, holding in its mouth a lamp wick, set fire to the banners and canopies, and all the seven sections were entirely destroyed. The vihāra was later rebuilt in two sections. There were two main entrances, one on the east, one on the west, and Fa Hsien found thūpas erected at all the places connected with the Buddha, each with its name inscribed.

The vihāra is almost always referred to as “Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāma.” The Commentaries ²⁶ say that this was deliberate,²⁷ in order that the names of both earlier and later owners might be recorded and that people might be reminded of two men, both very generous in the cause of the Religion, so that others might follow their example. The vihāra is sometimes referred to as Jetārāma.²⁸

In the district of Saheth-Mabeth, with which the region of Sāvatthi is identified, Saheth is considered to be Jetavana.²⁹

¹ MA.i.471 says it was in the south of Sāvatthi.

² This incident is illustrated in a bas-relief at the Bharhut Tope; see Cunningham — the Stūpa of Bharhut, Pl.lvii., pp.84‑6.

³ Vin.ii.158 f. MA.i.50; UdA.56 f.

The gateway was evidently an imposing structure; see J.ii.216.

J.i.92 ff.

SNA.ii.403. Other buildings are also mentioned — e.g., the Ambalakoṭṭhaka-āsanasālā (J.ii.246). According to Tibetan sources the vihāra was built according to a plan sent by the devas of Tusita and contained sixty large halls and sixty small. The Dulva also gives details of the decorative scheme of the vihāra (Rockhill: op.cit. 48 and n.2).

DA.ii.407. SA.i.239.

¹⁰ Mhv.i.52 f; MT 105; but see DhA.i.41, where the guardian of the gateway is called Sumana.

¹¹ AA.i.264; here the Buddha often bathed (J.i.329 ff ). Is this the Pubbakoṭṭhaka referred to at A.iii.345? However, see S.v.220; it was near this pond that Devadatta was swallowed up in Avīci (J.iv.158)

¹² Sp.iii.532. ¹³ J.iii.137. ¹⁴ J.iv.228 f. ¹⁵ J.i.348.

¹⁶ DhA.iii.179; behind Jetavana was a spot where the Ājīvakā practised their austerities (J.i.493). Once, the heretics bribed Pasenadi to let them make a rival settlement behind Jetavana, but the Buddha frustrated their plans (J.ii.170).

¹⁷ DhA.iii.492.

¹⁸ J.ii.203, 341; see also vi.70, where two roads are mentioned.

¹⁹ Dvy.395 f. ²⁰ Giles: p.33 ff. ²¹ Beal.ii.7 ff. ²² BuA.2, 47; J.i.94; DA.ii.424.

²³ DhA.i.3; BuA.3; AA.i.314. ²⁴ SNA.i.336. ²⁵ Giles, pp.31, 33.

²⁶ MA.ii.50; UdA.56 f, etc.

²⁷ At the Buddha’s own suggestion pp.81‑131; Beal: op.cit., ii.5 and Rockhill: p.49

²⁸ E.g., Ap.i.400. ²⁹ Arch. Survey of India, 1907‑8, pp.81‑131.

2. Jetavana.– A monastery in Anurādhapura, situated in the Jotivana (q.v.) and founded by Mahāsena at the instigation of a monk named Tissa of the Dakkhiṇārāma. The monks of the Mahāvihāra protested against this and Jetavana was later given to them (Mhv.xxxvii.32 ff). Attached to the vihāra is a large thūpa. The work was completed by Sirimeghavanna (Cv.xxxvii.65). Dāṭhāpabhuti held in the vihāra the ceremony in honour of the Dhammadhātu (Cv.xli.40; also Cv.Trs.i.55, n.2), while Mahānāga gave to it the village of Vasabha in Uddhagāma and three hundred fields, to ensure a permanent supply of rice gruel to the monks (Cv.xli.97 f). Aggabodhi II crowned the thūpa with a lightning conductor (cumbata) (Cv.xlii.66), Jetthatissa I gave for its maintenance the village of Gondigāma (Cv.xliv.97), and Aggabodhi III bestowed on it the Mahāmanikagāma (Cv.xliv.121). Potthasāta, a General (senāpati) of Aggabodhi IV, built in the vihāra the Aggabodhi-pariveṇa (Cv.xlvi.22), and Aggabodhi IX made a golden image to be placed in the shrine-room (Cv.xlix.77).

Sena I erected in the monastery grounds a mansion of several storeys (Cv., l.65). Kassapa V gave a village for the maintenance of the refectory (Cv.lii.59), while four officials of Mahinda IV built four pariveṇas attached to the vihāra (Cv.liv.49).

The monks of Jetavana, though nominally forming part of the Mahāvihāra fraternity, held divergent views in regard to the teachings of the Buddha, and were considered as a separate sect (the Sāgaliyas) until Parakkamabāhu I united all the fraternities (Cv.lxxviii.22).

The thūpa at Jetavana was restored by Parakkamabāhu I to a height of two hundred and ten feet (Cv.lxxviii.98).

3. Jetavana.– A monastery in Pulatthipura, built by Parakkamabāhu I. It included the building which housed the Tivaṅka image (Cv.lxxviii.32, 47). The Nammadā Canal flowed through the grounds of Jetavana. Ibid., lxxix.48. See also Cv.Trs.ii.105, n.5.

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