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Kapilavastu

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Kapilavastu (Pāli: Kapilavatthu) is the name of a place in the ancient Shakya kingdom where Gautama Buddha grew up, and which contained his family home and garden.

It is assumed to be some 10 kilometers to the west of his known birthplace Lumbini. The latter reference point is marked by an Ashoka Pillar and was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

The capital of Shakya kingdom. The king of Kapilavastu was Suddhodana, who was the father of Shakyamuni. The present-day Kapilavastu is in Nepal.

The nineteenth-century search for the historical site of Kapilavastu followed the accounts left by Xuanzang and Faxian. Archaeologists have identified the Tilaurakot archeological site in Nepal as a possible location for Kapilavastu.

It is widely accepted that the Lord Buddha spent the first 29 years of his Life in the vicinity of Kapilavastu.

Kapilavastu
迦毘羅衛国 (Skt; Pali Kapilavatthu; Jpn Kabirae-koku)

    The ancient kingdom of the Shakya tribe; a small state on the Indian- Nepalese border. The capital was also called Kapilavastu.

Based on archae-ological findings, it was believed that the capital was located at Tilau-rakot in southern Nepal.

More recent excavations, however, indicate that it was more likely located at the site of present day Piprahwa (also spelled Piprava) just south (on the Indian side) of the India-Nepal border.

Lumbini, Shakyamuni's birthplace, is the present-day Rummindei, located east of Piprahwa just inside Nepal's southern border.

A stone pillar erected by King Ashoka on his visit to this spot still remains. In Shakyamuni's later years, Virudhaka, the king of Kosala, destroyed the Shakya kingdom.

Early in the fifth century, Fa-hsien, a Chinese Buddhist priest, visited the former capital at Kapilavastu and noted in his travel record that the capital was devastated and only a few dozen houses remained.

Source

www.sgilibrary.org