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  • Ujjenī

1. Ujjenī. The capital of Avanti. In the Buddha's time, Canda-Pajjota (Vin.i.276; DhA.i.192) was king of Ujjenī and there was friendly intercourse between that city and Magadha, whose king was Seniya Bimbisāra. After Bimbisāra's death, however, Pajjota seems to have contemplated a war against Ajātasathu. See M.iii.7.

There was an old trade-route from Ujjenī to Benares and the merchants of the two cities showed healthy rivalry not only in trade, but also in matters of culture. See, e.g., J. ii.248ff., where the merchants of Benares compare their musician Guttila with Mūsila, the chief fiddler of Ujjenī.

It was while going with a caravan to Ujjenī, that Sona Kutikanna (4) met the Peta, whose words made him decide to renounce household life (UdA.307f).

The road taken by Bāvarī's disciples ran through Ujjenī (Sn.v.1011).

Ujjenī was also the birthplace of Mahā Kaccāna (ThagA.ii.483), of Isidāsī (Thig.v.405), of Abhaya (ThagA.i41) and of the courtesan Padumavatī, mother of Abhayā (ThigA.39).

Before succeeding to his father's throne at Pātaliputta, Asoka reigned for several years as Viceroy at Ujjenī, and it was during this period that Mahinda and Sanghamittā were born (Mhv.Xiii.10ff; Mbv.99; Sp.i.70).

Mahinda spent six months in Dakkhinagiri Vihāra in Ujjenī, prior to his visit to Ceylon (Mhv.Xiii.5).

From the same vihāra forty thousand monks were present, under the leadership of Mahā Sangharakkhita, at the foundation of the Mahā Thūpa in Anurādhapura (Mhv.Xxix.35).

The Jātakas speak of Ujjenī as having been the capital of Avanti from very ancient times. E.g., in J. iv.390, where Avanti Mahārāja rules in Ujjenī as capital of Avanti. But in the Mahāgovinda Sutta (D.ii.235), Māhissatī is mentioned as the capital of Avanti. Perhaps Māhissatī lost its importance later and gave place to Ujjenī, for we find Māhissatī mentioned just before Ujjenī among the places passed by Bāvarī's pupils on their way to Sāvatthi (Sn.v.1011).

Ujjenī is identical with the Greek Ozene, about 77° E. and 23° N. (Bud. India, p.40; see also CAGI, 560, and Beal. ii.270 for Hiouen Thsang's description of it).

2. Ujjenī. A city in Ceylon, founded by Vijaya's minister Accutagāmī (Dpv.ix.36; Mhv.vii.45).

3. Ujjenī. A township (nigama), the residence of the banker's daughter Rucinandā, who gave a meal of milk-rice to Padumuttara Buddha just before his Enlightenment (BuA.158).


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