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Sankassa
Sankassa
(also Sankasia, Sankissa and Sankasya) was an ancient city in India. The city came into prominence at the time of Gautama Buddha. According to a Buddhist source, it was thirty leagues from Savatthi.[1] After the Gautama Buddha's Mahaparinirvana (passing away) king Ashoka
Ashoka
developed this place and installed one of his famous Pillars of Ashoka
Pillars of Ashoka
in the city, from which the elephant capital survives. He also built a stupa and a temple commemorating the visit of the Buddha. This temple exist even today and the ruins of the stupa are also present as a temple of Vishari Devi. It is said that the name Visahari Devi is given to the mother of the Buddha.

Descent of the Buddha from the Trayastrimsa
Trayastrimsa
Heaven at Sankissa.[2]

Currently it has ruins of old monasteries and Buddhist monuments. It is rarely visited by pilgrims since it is difficult to go to, and there are not many facilities. After a long time Alexander Cunningham (British) discovered the place in 1842. Eighty-seven years later Sir Anagarika Dharmapala
Anagarika Dharmapala
(Sri Lanka) came here on spiritual quest. In 1957 Panditha Madabawita Wijesoma Thero (Sri Lanka) came to 'Sankassa' for few years and started a Buddhist school (Wijesoma Widyalaya) for poor people. Sankassa
Sankassa
is now identified with Sankissa Basantapura on the north bank of the Ikkhumati river (Kalinadi), between Kampil
Kampil
and Kannauj, twenty-three miles west of Fatehgarh, twenty-five south of Kaimganj and forty-five north of Kannauj, in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh state of India.

Contents

1 Sankassa
Sankassa
at the time of Ramayana 2 Ancient Buddhist events at Sankassa 3 Architecture 4 References 5 External links

Sankassa
Sankassa
at the time of Ramayana[edit] It was known as Sankasya Nagar and was ruled by king Kushadhwaja, was a younger brother of Janaka, the father of Sita, the heroine of Ramayana
Ramayana
and wife of Lord Rama. Once Sudhanva, supposedly an evil king of Sankasya Nagar, demands the hand of Sita
Sita
from Janaka. In a war that ensues, Janaka
Janaka
defeats and perhaps kills Sudhanva. He bestows the kingdom of Sankasya to Kushadhwaja. Ancient Buddhist events at Sankassa[edit] Sankassa
Sankassa
received its fame from statements and claims recorded in the ancient commentaries to the Tipitaka. However, in the Tipitaka
Tipitaka
itself the events that are supposed to have occurred at Sankassa
Sankassa
are not mentioned at all. It was at Sankassa
Sankassa
that (according to the commentaries) the Buddha returned to earth, after preaching the Abhidhamma Pitaka in Tavatimsa, following the performance of the Twin Miracle under the Gandamba tree. As the time approached for the Buddha to leave Távatimsa, Moggallana (Anuruddha, according to Sutta Nipāta Commentary ii 570[3]) announced his coming return to the multitude, who had been waiting at Savatthi, fed by Culla Anathapindika, while Moggallana
Moggallana
expounded the Dhamma. They then made their way to Sankassa. The descent of the Buddha took place on the day of the Mahapavarana festival. Sakka provides three ladders for the Buddha's descent from Sineru
Sineru
to the earth: on the right was a ladder of gold for the gods; on the left a silver ladder for Maha Brahma and his retinue; and in the middle a ladder of jewels for the Buddha. The assembled people covered the earth for thirty leagues round. There was a clear view of the nine Brahma worlds above and of Avici (a hell) below. The Buddha was accompanied by Pañcasikha, Mátali, Mahá Brahmá and Suyáma. Sariputta
Sariputta
was the first to welcome him (followed by Uppalavanna,[4] and the Buddha preached the Law, starting with what was within the comprehension even of a puthujjana, and ending with what only a Buddha could understand. On this occasion was preached the Parosahassa Játaka to proclaim to the multitude the unparalleled wisdom of Sáriputta.[1][4] It is said that the Buddha's descent to Sankassa
Sankassa
had provided opportunity for Moggallána to show his eminence in iddhi, Anuruddha
Anuruddha
in dibbacakkhu, and Punna in skill in preaching, and the Buddha wished to give Sariputta
Sariputta
a chance of shining in his wisdom.[1][4][5][6] He therefore asked of Sáriputta questions which no one else could answer. The opening words of the Sáriputta Sutta are supposed to refer to this descent from Tusita. The site of the city gate of Sankassa
Sankassa
is one of the "unchangeable" spots of the world (avijahitatthanam). All Buddhas descend at that spot to the world of men after preaching the Abhidhamma.[7][8] From Sankassa
Sankassa
the Buddha went to Jetavana.[9]

Descent to Sankissa in Bharhut.

Descent to Sankissa, in the Greco-Buddhist art
Greco-Buddhist art
of Gandhara.

Descent from Heaven, 2nd century CE, Mathura.

The Buddha Preaching
Preaching
in Sankassa

Architecture[edit]

The Sankissa elephant under a protective roof.

The Sankissa elephant today (2016).

A shrine was erected on the spot where the Buddha's right foot first touched the ground at Sankassa.[10] When the Chinese pilgrims, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
and Faxian, visited the place, they found three ladders, which had been built of brick and stone by the ancients, to commemorate the Buddha's descent, but the ladders were nearly sunk in the earth.[11][12] There was, in the Buddha's time, a deer park at Sankassa
Sankassa
where Suhemanta Thera heard the Buddha preach.[13] During the Vajjiputta controversy, Revata Thera, on his way from Soreyya to Sahajati, went through Sankassa. The road he took passed through Sankassa, Kannakujja, Udumbara
Udumbara
and Aggalapura.[14] The excavations carried out in the place did not reveal any artifacts of importance. An elephant capital from the period of Mauryas
Mauryas
and probably from that of Ashokan period was found at the site.[15]

Geographical spread of known capitals of the pillars of Ashoka.

Sankissa elephant (drawing).

Frieze
Frieze
of the abacus of the Sankissa elephant.

Frieze
Frieze
motifs of the abacus.

References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sankissa.

^ a b c Dhammapadatthakathā, iii, 224 ^ Marshall p.56 ^ cf. Visuddhi magga, p. 391 ^ a b c Sutta Nipāta Commentary, ii, 570 ^ Jātaka, ed. Fausboll, iv, 266 ^ see also Jhánasodhana, Sarabhamiga, and Candábha Játakas ^ Buddhavamsa Commentary 106, 247 ^ Papañca Sūdanī, Majjhima Commentary i 371 ^ Jātaka, ed. Fausboll, i, 193 ^ Dhammapadatthakathā, iii, 227 ^ Samuel Beal, Romantic Legend of the Buddha, i, 203 ^ Fa Hien, p. 24 ^ Theragāthā Commentary, i, 212 ^ Vinaya
Vinaya
Pitaka, ed. Oldenberg, ii, 299f ^ Sen, Dr. A. C. (2008). Buddhist shrines in India. Kolkota: Maha Bodhi
Bodhi
Book Agency. p. 63. ISBN 978-81-87032-78-6. 

External links[edit]

Entry on Sankassa
Sankassa
in the Buddhist Dictionary of Pali
Pali
Proper Names

Description of Sankasya by the Chinese pilgrim monk Faxian
Faxian
(399-414 AC) Sankassa
Sankassa
Video Documentary (in Sinhalese) Ancient Buddhist events at Sankassa http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/sa/sankassa.htm maps.google The place where Lord Buddha show Twin Miracle (Pali:Yamaka Patihara). - Sravasti maps.google The place where Lord Buddha came down from Daowadung. - Sankisa

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