A country und its people. The name is probably the Pāli equivalent for Ionians, the Baktrian Greeks. The Yonas are erwähnt mit the Kambojas in Rock Edicts v. und xii of Asoka, as a subject people, forming a frontier district of his empire. The country was converted by the Thera Mahārakkhita, who was sent there after the Third Council (Mhv.xii.5; Dpv.viii.9; Sp.i.67). in der Zeit von Milinda the capital of the Yona country was Sāgala (Mil.1). It is said (Mhv.xxix.39) that at the Foundation Ceremony of the Mahā Thūpa, thirty tausend monks, under Yona Mahādhammarakkhita, came from Alasandā in the Yona country. Alasandā was evidently the headquarters of the Buddhist monks at that time. Alasandā is generally identified (See, z.B., Geiger, Mhv. Trs. 194, n.3) mit the Alexandria founded by the Macedonian König (Alexander) in the country of the Paropanisadae near Kābul.
In the Assalāyana Sutta (M.ii.149), Yona und Kamboja are erwähnt as places in which there were only two classes of people, masters und slaves, und the master could become a slave or vice versa. The Commentary (MA.ii.784) explains this by saying that supposing a brahmin goes there und dies, his children might consort mit slaves, in which case their children would be slaves. In later times, the name Yavanā or Yonā seems to have included all westerners living in India und especially those of Arabian origin (Cv.Trs.ii.87, n.1). Yonaka, statues, holding lamps, were among the decorations used by the Sākyans of Kapilavatthu (MA.ii.575). The language of the Yavanas is classed mit the Milakkhabhāsā (z.B., DA.i.276; VibhA.388).
The Anguttara Commentary (AA.i.51) records that from the time of Kassapa Buddha the Yonakas went about clad in white robes, because of the memory of the religion which was once prevalent there.