Thursday, June 3, 2010

Etymology of Griddhkuta

The Griddhkuta (Gijjhakūta) was so called, either because its peak was like a vulture's beak, or because it was the resort of many vultures (SNA.ii.417; AA.i.412; MA.i.291, etc).

Xuanzang also says that the summit is the rock formation that resembles a vulture (Gridhh in Pali) standing with its wings folded.

According to Fahein, the legend that goes here is that Ananda was sitting in meditation, when the deva Mara Pisuna assumed the form of a large vulture in front of the cavern and tried frighten him. Buddha calmed Ananda by his mysterious powers; made a cleft in the rock, introduced his hand, and stroked Ananda's shoulder, so that his fear immediately died.

Vulture like peak
Next Post: Xuanzang and Fahein about Griddhkuta

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