By Swami Harshananda
This is an ancient word used even in the Rgveda (10.191.3) and seems to mean a meeting or a meeting place.
It might have been an ad hoc assembly of people attended by learned men and others including the king.
Whether it was a regular national assembly of a whole people, as suggested by some scholars, is a moot point.
The word sabhā also might have meant the same.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore