Wisdom Library Logo

Canonical Pâli Buddhist Literature of the Theravâda School

Part V - Brahmapa Vagga

(1) Brahmayu Sutta

The Brahmin Brahmayu was one hundred and twenty years old when he heard of the fame of the Buddha. He sent his disciple Uttara who was well versed in Vedas to find out by examining the thirty-two physical characteristics of a great man whether Gotama was indeed an Enlightened Buddha On Uttara's good report testifying to the Buddha having the requisite characteristics of a Buddha, Brahmayu went himself to see the Buddha Fully satisfied, after hearing the graduated discourse, that Gotama was indeed an enlightened Buddha, he became a devoted disciple and, achieving the third stage of the Path and Fruition, an Anagami before he passed away

(2) Sela Sutta

Sela was a brahmin of Apana market-town, who on hearing about the fame of the Buddha from Keniya the hermit, went to see the Buddha accompanied by three hundred young brahmins. After hearing a discourse from the Buddha he became fully convinced that he had indeed seen a truly enlightened Buddha. All of them request- ed for and received permission from the Buddha to join the Order

 

(3) Assalayana Sutta

Some five hundred brahmins who had come to Savatthi on busi- ness attempted to challenge the Buddha on his views with regard to the purity and nobility of the four classes of people They sent Assalayana, a highly talented young man well-versed in the Vedas, to contest with the Buddha The young man's meeting with the Buddha ended up in his conversion

(4) Ghotamukfaa Sutta

A discussion took place between the Venerable Udena and a brahmin by the name of Ghotamukha on the subject of the practice of the holy life. The Venerable Udena described four kinds of persons engaged in ascetic practices. After the discourse the Brahmin became a disciple of the Venerable Udena and took his refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha

(5) Canki Sutta

Canki, a brahmin of Opasada Village, came to see the Buddha with a large crowd amongst whom was a young brahmin by the name of Kapatika The young man entered into a discussion with the Buddha about the Three Vedas' which had been handed down from generation to generation in unbroken tradition. The tradition which the brahmins believed to be the only Truth was likened by the Buddha to a line of blind men each one clinging on to the preceding one

(6) Esukari Sutta

This discourse was given at Savatthi in connection with a brahmin named Esukari In this sutta too the Buddha rejected the brahmin classification of society into four classes claiming the highest posi- tion for the brahmins It was not only the brahmins who could develop loving-kindness, free from enmity and ill will Members of other classes also could develop loving-kindness It was not birth but the practice of wholesome dhamma that made a person noble.

 

(7) Dhanafijani Sutta

Dhananjani was an old devoted lay disciple of the Buddha After the death of his first wife who had great faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, he was no longer diligent in and mindful of the practice of dhamma His second wife was without faith in the Teaching of the Buddha To maintain his family he resorted to wrong- ful means of livelihood The Venerable Sariputta put him back on the right path On his death-bed, he sent for the Venerable Sariputta who solaced him with the Dhamma This caused him on his death to be reborn in the Brahma world. The Buddha asked the Venerable Sariputta why he had put the old brahmin only on the way to the in- ferior Brahma world when a higher attainment was possible for him

(8) Vasettha Sutta

A discussion had arisen between two brahmin youths, Vasettha and Bharadvaja, on the origin of a brahmana Bharadvaja maintained it was birth, lineage and caste that made a person a brahmana Vasettha believed moral conduct and performance of customary duties were essential qualifications to be a brahmana They went to the Buddha for settlement of their dispute

The Buddha told them that a person was not a brahmana just because of his birth if he was full of worldly attachments, or was harnessed to greed, ill will, craving, and ignorance A person became a brahmana whatever his birth, when he had cut off his fetters of defilements, removed the obstacles of ignorance and attained the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths. The most perfect brahmana was an Arahat

(9) Subha Sutta

This discourse was given on account of Subha, son of the brahmin Todeyya, at Savatthi. like other brahmins, Subha believed that only householders could accomplish meritorious deeds in a right manner, not those who had gone forth from the household life. The occupation of householders produced great benefits whereas the occupation of the recluse brought little benefits. The Buddha removed his wrong views and Subha became a devoted disciple of the Buddha.

 

(10) Safigarava Sutta

Sangarava was a young brahmin who was full of pride with learn- ing in the Vedas, entertaining wrong views of his birth He went to ask the Buddha whether the Buddha claimed, like some samanas and brahmanas, to have attained in this very life, special knowledge and vision, and reached the other shore The Buddha explained that there were three kinds of samanas and brahmanas who made such claims those who made the claim through hearsay, having learnt things by hearsay only; those who made the claim by mere reason- ing and logic; and finally those who made the claim by personally realizing the penetrative insight of the Dhamma unheard of before.

The Buddha told Sangarava that he was of this third type and recounted how he had become accomplished in the dhamma by practice and self-realization  

first previous index next last

Article published on