The capital of the Videha country. The city was very ancient, and, according to the Mahāgovinda Sutta,¹ was founded by Mahāgovinda, steward of King Reṇu. It was also the capital of Maghādeva ² and eighty-
The Buddha is mentioned as having stayed in Mithilā and having taught there the Maghādeva Sutta ¹⁵ and the Brahmāyu Sutta.¹⁶ It was also in Mithilā that the Vāseṭṭhī Therī ¹⁷ first met the Buddha and entered the Order, after having heard him teach. After the Buddha’s death, the Videhas of Mithilā claimed a part of his relics and obtained them.¹⁸
In the time of Koṇāgamana Buddha Mithilā was the capital of King Pabbata, and the Buddha taught there on his visit to the city.¹⁹ Padumuttara Buddha taught his first discourse to his cousins, Devala and Sujāta, in the park of Mithilā,²⁰ and later to King Ānanda and his retinue in the same spot.²¹
Mithilā is generally identified with Janakapura, a small town within the Nepal border, north of which the Mazaffarpur and Darbhanga districts meet.²²
In the Indian Epics ²³ Mithilā, is chiefly famous as the residence of King Janaka.
¹ D.ii.235. ² M.ii.72 f; MT.129; see also Dpv.iii.9, 29, 35. ³ J.vi.220.
⁴ J.vi. 30. ⁵ J.iii.378. ⁶ J.ii.39. ⁷ J.vi.330. ⁸ J.vi.30 f. ⁹ J.iv.355. ¹⁰ J.ii.333.
¹¹ E.g., J.iii.365. ¹² J.vi.46 f/ ¹³ J.vi.32. ¹⁴ J.vi.330 f. ¹⁵ M.ii.74. ¹⁶ M.ii.133.
¹⁷ Thig. vs. 135; see also Dvy., p.60. ¹⁸ Bu.xxviii.11. ¹⁹ BuA. 215.
²⁰ Bu.xi.23; BuA.159. ²¹ BuA.160. ²² CAGI., p.718. ²³ E.g., Ramayana i.48.