A town in which the Buddha once spent the rainy season at the invitation of the brahmin Verañja. Verañja visits the Buddha at the foot of the Naḷerupucimanda, where he is staying, and asks him a series of questions, the first of which is: whether it be true that the Buddha pays no respect to aged brahmins. The Buddha replies that he has not seen a brahmin in the whole world to whom such respect is due from him. If the Tathāgata were so to honour anyone, that person’s head would split in pieces. Other questions follow on the Buddha’s doctrine and practices. The Buddha concludes by giving an account of his attainment of the threefold knowledge. The interview ends with the conversion of Verañja and his invitation to the Buddha to spend his rainy season there.
At that time there was a famine, and five hundred householders of Uttarāpatha, staying at Verañjā, supplied the monks with food. Moggallāna proposed to get food by the exercise of his magic power or by going with the monks to Uttarakuru, but he was dissuaded by the Buddha. During this stay Sāriputta received from the Buddha an explanation as to why the religious systems of the three previous Buddhas lasted so long, while those of the three preceding them—Vipassī, Sikhī and Vesabhū—did not.
At the conclusion of the vassa, the Buddha wished to take leave of Verañja before setting out, as was the custom of Buddhas when they received hospitality. Verañja admitted that, though he had invited the Buddha, he had not kept his promise, and this was due to his having too many duties in the house.
He invited the Buddha and the monks to a meal the next day, and, at the end of the meal, presented a set of three robes to the Buddha and a pair to each of the monks.
After leaving Verañjā the Buddha went to Benares, passing through Soreyya, Saṅkassa and Kaṇṇakujja, and crossing the Ganges at Payāgapatiṭṭhāna. From Benares he proceeded to Vesāli. This account, of the Buddha’s visit to Verañjā, forms the introduction to the Vinaya. Vin.iii.1–11 The interview with Verañja is given in the Aṅguttara. AN.iv.172ff.
A road led from Verañjā to Madhurā, and the Aṅguttara Nikāya AN.ii.57f. contains a sermon preached by the Buddha to a large number of people while he rested by the roadside. There was evidently frequent intercourse between Sāvatthī and Verañjā, and the Verañjaka Sutta was preached to some brahmins who visited the Buddha at Sāvatthī, whither they had gone on business. The books also record AN.iv.198f. a visit paid by the Asura Pahārāda to the Buddha at Verañjā.