The name of a country and of its people. It was one of the sixteen Great Nations. The inhabitants appear to have consisted of several confederate clans of whom the Licchavī and the Videhā were the chief. The names Vajjī and Licchavī were often synonymous. In one passage AN.iii.76 the Licchavi, Mahānāma, seeing that a band of young Licchavis who had been out hunting were gathered round the Buddha, is represented as saying, “These Licchavis will yet become Vajjians”.
Vesāli was the capital of the Licchavis and Mithilā of the Videhas. In the time of the Buddha, both Vesāli and Mithilā were republics, though Mithilā had earlier been a kingdom under Janaka.
In the time of the Buddha, and even up to his death, the Vajjians were a very prosperous and happy community. The Buddha attributed this to the fact that they practiced the seven conditions of welfare taught to them by himself in the Sārandada Cetiya.
The Buddha travelled several times through the Vajjian country, the usual route being through Kosala, Malla, Vajji, Kāsi, Māgadha, and thus back, SN.v.348 and he preached to the people, mostly in the Kūṭāgārasālā in Vesāli. Among other places besides Vesāli visited by the Buddha, are mentioned Ukkacela, Koṭigāma, Nādikā, Beluvagāma, Bhaṇḍagāma, Bhogagāma and Hatthigāma. Pubbavijjhana, the birthplace of Channa, is also mentioned as a village of the Vajjians. SN.iv.59 The Vaggumudā river flowed through Vajjian territory. Ud.iii.3
During the Buddha’s lifetime some monks of Vajji joined Devadatta. Vin.ii.199f.