Home page Up (parent) Next (right) Previous (left) Abbreviations

Page last updated on 8 October, 2020

Association for Insight Meditation Home Page


1. Campā.– A city in India on the river of the same name; it was the capital of Aṅga and was celebrated for its beautiful lake, the Gaggarā-pokkharaṇī (q.v.), which was excavated by Queen Gaggarā. On its banks was a grove of campaka-trees, well-known for the fragrance of their marvellous white flowers, and there, in the Buddha’s time, wandering teachers were wont to lodge. The Buddha himself stayed thereon several occasions (Vin.i.312; S.i.195; A.iv.59, 168; v.151, 189). Sāriputta (A.iv.59) and Vaṅgīsa (S.i.195) are also said to have stayed there. The Mahā­parinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.147) mentions Campā as one of the six important cities of India, its foundation being ascribed to Mahāgovinda (D.ii.235). It lay at a distance of sixty leagues from Mithilā (J.iv.32). In the Buddha’s time the people of Campā owed allegiance to Bimbisāra, as king of Magadha, and Bimbisāra had given a royal fief in Campā to the brahmin Soṇadaṇḍa (D.i.111). Campā was evidently an important centre of trade, and we are told that merchants travelled from there to Suvaṇṇabhūmi for purposes of trade (e.g., J.vi.539). Most probably it was the Indian colonists from Campā who named one of their most important settlements in Indo-China after this famous old town. The ancient name of Campā was probably Mālini or Mālina. (Campasya tu puri Campā, yā Mālinyabhavat purā; Mbh.xii.5, 6, 7; Matsyapurāna 48, 97, etc; Law, A.G.I.6, n.2).

The ninth chapter of the Mahā Vagga of the Vinaya Piṭaka (Vin.i.312 ff; see also Vin.iī.307) contains several important regulations laid down by the Buddha at Campā regarding the validity and otherwise of formal acts of the Saṅgha.

Campā is mentioned as the birthplace of Soṇa-Kolivisa, Jambugāmika, Nandaka, and Bharata, and among those who resided there were Bāhuna, Vajjiyamāhita, and Thullanandā and her companions.

The Soṇadaṇḍa, the Dasuttara, the Kandaraka, and the Kāraṇḍava Suttas were taught there.

According to Buddhaghosa (MA.ii.565), Campā was so called because the whole place abounded in large campaka-trees.

Campā is generally identified with a site about twenty-four miles to the east of the modern Bhagalpur, near the villages of Campānagara and Campāpura (C.A.G.I.5). It was visited by Hiouen Thsang (Beal, Records ii.187 f), and Fa Hien calls it a great kingdom with many places of worship (p.65).

The Buddha’s bathing-robe was enshrined in Campā (Bu.xxviii.9). See also Kāla Campā, probably another name for Campā.

2. Campā, Campakā.– One of the two chief women disciples of Kakusandha Buddha. Bu.xxiii.21; J.i.42.

3. Campā, Campakā.– Birthplace of Paduma Buddha (Bu ix.16; J.i.36). Nearby was the Campaka park (uyyāna).

4. Campā.– The river that flowed between Aṅga and Magadha (now called Chāndan). The Nāga Campeyya held sway over the river. J.iv.454 f.

5. Campā.– A channel branching off from the Parakkama-samudda, from the sluice near the Candī gate. Cv.lxxix.4.5.