Sravasti

(The place where Buddha performed the twin miracles)

Sravasti was the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom and one of the six largest cities in India at the time of Buddha. It was here in Sravasti where Buddha performed the twin miracles. He also spent 25 annual rainy retreats at Jetavana Vihara and Pubbarama, two monasteries just outside the city. The city is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh and still bears the same name today whilst its ancient name was Savatthi. Buddha spent most of his monastic life in Sravasti and naturally it was the place where he gave most speeches and held numerous sermons that were recorded in the scriptures. Buddha first visited Sravasti on the invitation of a rich and pious merchant named Sudatta(also called Anathapindika) whom he met in Rajgir. Anathapindika’s aim was to build a Vihara for Buddha and surveyed different places but found a park outside of the city to be the most suitable site. He finally selected the park at the southern edge of the city. The park belonged to Prince Jeta, the son of King Pasenadi. Jeta did not want to hand over the park and thus asked for an exorbitant price. He asked Anathapindika to cover the entire park with gold coins Рwhich to his surprise Anathapindika did. Only the trees remained uncovered which Jeta donated to the Vihara. The other important monasteries in Sravastiare Pubbarama, donated by the Lady Visakha one of his chief benefactresses, and Rajakaram Vihara, donated by the King Pasenadi.

Sravasti is a major point of interest to Buddhist pilgrims in the Buddhist Circuit because Buddha spent most of his monastic life here and performed the twin miracle. King Asoka visited Sravasti during his pilgrimage in 249 BC and erected two pillars at the eastern gate of Jetavana.

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