A city near the Himalaya, capital of the Sākiyan republic. The administration and judicial business of the city and all other matters of importance were discussed and decided in the Santhāgārasālā. DN.i.91 The Buddha and his company lived in the Nigrodhārāma or the Mahāvana. When the Buddha returned a few years after his enlightenment, he met many of his family, and several of them ordained, including Nanda and Rāhula. Vin.i.82 Vin.ii.180
The Buddha certainly paid other visits besides these to Kapilavatthu. Various Sākyans went to see him both at the Nigrodhārāma and at the Mahāvana, among them being Mahānāma, SN.v.369f. AN.iii.284f. AN.iv.220f. AN.v.320f. Nandiya, SN.v.403f. SN.v.397f. AN.v.334f. Vappa, AN.ii.196 MN.i.91 and perhaps Sārakāni. SN.v.372
During one visit the Buddha was entrusted with the consecration of a new mote-hall, built by the Sākyans; he preached far into the night in the new building, and, when weary, asked Moggallāna to carry on while he slept. On this occasion was preached the Sekha Sutta. MN.i.353ff.
The books record a visit paid by the Brahmā Sahampati to the Buddha in the Mahāvana at Kapilavatthu. The Buddha, worried by the noisy behavior of some monks who had recently been admitted into the Order, was wondering how he could impress on them the nature of their calling. Sahampati visited him and, being thus encouraged, the Buddha returned to Nigrodhārāma and there performed a miracle before the monks; seeing them impressed, he talked to them on the holy life. SN.iii.91f. Ud.25
A curious incident is related in connection with a visit paid by the Buddha to Kapilavatthu, when he went there after his rounds among the Kosalans. Mahānāma was asked to find a place of lodging for the night; he searched all through the town without success, and at length the Buddha was compelled to spend the night in the hermitage of Bharaṇḍu, the Kālāman. AN.i.276f. On another occasion we hear of the Buddha convalescing at Kapilavatthu after an illness. AN.i.219
Not all the Sākyans of Kapilavatthu believed in their kinsman’s great powers. We find, for instance, Daṇḍapāṇi meeting the Buddha in the Mahāvana and, leaning on his staff, questioning him as to his tenets and his gospel. We are told that in answer to the Buddha’s explanations, Daṇḍapāṇi shook his head, waggled his tongue, and went away, still leaning on his staff, his brow puckered into three wrinkles. This was the occasion for the preaching of the Madhupiṇḍika Sutta. MN.i.108f.
Others were more convinced and patronised the Order—e.g., Kāla-Khemaka and Ghaṭāya, who built cells for monks in the Nigrodhārāma, as a result of noticing which the Buddha preached the Mahāsuññata Sutta. MN.iii.109
Mahānāma was the Buddha’s most frequent visitor; to him was preached the Cūḷadukkhakkhandha Sutta. MN.i.91f.
The Dakkhiṇā-vibhaṅga Sutta was preached as the result of a visit to the Buddha by Mahā-Pajāpatī-Gotamī. Apart from those already mentioned, another Sākyan lady lived in Kapilavatthu, Kāḷigodhā by name, and she was the only kinsman, with the exception of the Buddha’s father and wife, to be specially visited by the Buddha. SN.v.396
The inhabitants of Kapilavatthu are called Kāpilavatthavā. SN.iv.182
From Kapilavatthu lay a direct road to Vesālī, Vin.ii.253 and through Kapilavatthu passed the road taken by Bāvarī’s disciples from Alaka to Sāvatthī. Snp.p.194
It was not mentioned by Ānanda among the great cities, in one of which, in his opinion, the Buddha could more fittingly have died than in Kusinārā. DN.ii.146 After the Buddha’s death, a portion of the relics was claimed by the Sākyans of Kapilavatthu, and a shrine to hold them was erected in the city. DN.ii.167