Shravasti - The
city where the Buddha spent his last twenty years
day - Shravasti or Saheth Maheth, about 17 kilometers from Balrumpur) was
the capital of Kosala, was said to have derived its name from the fact that
everything was available there (sabbam atthi). It was indeed one of the
wealthiest and most vibrant cities in the Middle Land. The Buddha visited
Savatthi several times before finally making it his headquarters in the
twentieth year of his enlightenment. From then on, he spent every rains
retreat except his last in the environs of the city. The Buddha had probably
decided to limit his wanderings at this time due to advancing age (he was
fifty-six) and he no doubt chose Savatthi as his base because of the
generous support given to him by the city's wealthiest merchants.
In is here Savatthi, that one of the most famous Buddhist site, Prince
Jeta's grove at Anatthapindika's Park is located. Many famous suttas were
delivered here. Amongst them were the Mangala Sutta, the Metta Sutta etc. It
was also in this city that the Buddha converted the notorious robber
While in Rajgir the wealthy businessman Anathapindika first met the Buddha
and invited him to come to Savatthi. The Buddha said he would be happy to
come but asked that suitable accommodation be provided. When Anathapindika
returned to Savatthi he purchased a park near the town and built a large
monastery on in. Called Jetavana, this park became the Buddha's favourite
resort and he spent every rainy season of the last 20 years of his life
except one there.
Attractions of Shravasti
Today the ruins of Jetavana's many monasteries are set in attractive and
peaceful gardens. The Buddha delivered more discourses here than in any
other place so if you wish to read some while you are you have plenty to
choose from. Recommended ones are the Kakacupama Sutta, the Vimamsaka Sutta
and or the Angulimala Sutta, all of them from The Middle Length Discourses.
There are plenty of Buddhist temples near the ruins that offer
accommodation. Perhaps the best is the Sri Lankan temple right next to the
main gate. Don't miss the paintings in the main shrine.