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Anathapindika's Stupa

Shravasti is a place that holds immense significance for the followers of Buddhism. Shravasti an ancient city on the Gangetic plains of northern India, flourished remarkably during the rule of King Prasenjeet and continued to be in the high till the Gupta Period. The last information we have on the city is during the 12th century, after which it disappears miraculously from the pages of history. The Anathapindika's Stupa Shravasti Is one of the major monuments in Shravasti.


Anathapindika's Stupa Shravasti in India was built by Anathapindika who was the chief lay disciple of Buddha, and his name means "feeder of the orphans or helpless". His original name was Sudatta. Anathapindika was an extremely wealthy businessman and a generous patron of the Buddha. He gave Jeta Park, the site of the Jetavana Monastery having purchased it from Prince Jeta, the son of King Prasenjeet. It is said he laid 1.8 million gold pieces in the grove, to satisfy the prince. Anathapindika upon death entered Tusita heaven, or the heaven of the Bodhisattvas and is revered as the "foremost disciple in generosity" as well as character.

Originally a banker (setthi) of Shravasti who became famous because of his unparalleled generosity to the Buddha; Sudatta's first meeting with the Buddha was during the first year after Buddha's Enlightenment, in R?jagaha now known as Rajgir.

Sudatta's wife was the sister of the setthi of Rajagaha, and when he arrived he found the setthi preparing a grand meal for the Buddha and his monks on such a large scale that he thought the feast was either for a wedding or in honor of the king. But on learning the truth he became eager to visit the Buddha, and did so very early the next morning. On his way to Sitavana, a yaksha Sivaka is said to have encouraged and accompanied him. According to Buddhist myth, when he reached there, spirits opened the gates for him and not Lord Buddha, whom he found pacing up and down the room, on entering.


Anathapindika's Stupa Shravasti In Uttar Pradesh In India served as Buddha's shelter during his stay at Shravasti. Lord Buddha spent 24 monsoons in Shravasti. And when at Shravasti, Anathapindika's Stupa Shravasti Uttar Pradesh In India is the place he preferred to stay at. The remains of the Anathapindika's Stupa Shravasti is to be seen still at Shravasti. All we can see now is a plinth, a flight of stairs leading up to the stupa, only about one fourth of which still exists.

The old brick structure is reminiscent of the prowess achieved and attained by the builders in India at that time. Built in the traditional style of a stupa, gives one a fair idea of how massive and elaborate the structure was in its prime.


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