Sunakkhatta: 2 definitions

Introduction

Sunakkhatta means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (S) next»] — Sunakkhatta in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A Licchavi prince of Vesali. He was, at one time, a member of the Order and the personal attendant of the Buddha (anibaddhaupatthaka), but was later converted to the views of Korakkhattiya and went about defaming the Buddha, saying that he had nothing superhuman and was not distinguished from other men by preaching a saving faith: that the doctrine preached by him did not lead to the destruction of sorrow, etc. Sariputta, on his alms rounds in Vesali, heard all this and reported it to the Buddha, who thereupon preached the Mahasihanada Sutta (M.i.68ff.; the Buddha was, at this time, eighty years old, M.i.82) and the Lomahamsa Jataka (J.i.389f.; see also J.iv.95). The Sunakkhatta Sutta (M.ii.252ff) was evidently preached to Sunakkhatta before he joined the Order, while the Patika Sutta (D.iii.1ff) gives an account of his dissatisfaction.

His grievance was that the Buddha showed no mystic superhuman wonders, that he had not shown him the beginning of things. The Buddha reminded him that he had not promised to do any of these things, and that, at one time, Sunakkhatta had been loud in his praise of the Buddha and the Dhamma. The Buddha warned him that people would say he had left the Order because its discipline had proved too hard for him. The Buddha had told him that Korakkhattiya, whom he so much admired, would be born after death among the Kalakanjaka Asuras within seven days. It happened as the Buddha prophesied, and the dead body of Kora declared that he was right. But even so, Sunakkhatta was not convinced.

Later he transferred his allegiance to Kandaramasaka, who died, as the Buddha had prophesied, fallen from grace and fame. The next teacher to win the admiration of Sunakkhatta was Patikaputta, and Sunakkhatta wished the Buddha to pay honour to him. But the Buddha quoted to Sunakkhatta the words of Ajita, the Licchavi general who had been born in Tavatimsa, to the effect that Patikaputta was a liar and a cheat, and was later able to prove that these words were true. But Sunakkhatta did not return to the Order. He had probably remained in it for several years before actually leaving it. For we find in the Mahali Sutta (D.i.152) the Licchavi Otthaddha relating to the Buddha how Sunakkhatta had come to him three years after joining the Order, claiming that he could see divine forms but could not hear heavenly sounds. Buddhaghosa explains (DA.i.311) that he could not acquire the power of hearing divine sounds because in a previous birth he had ruptured the ear drum of a holy monk and made him deaf. The Sutta itself gives (D.i.153) as the reason that he had only developed one sided concentration of mind.

Sunakkhatta is identified with Kanaritha of the Bhuridatta Jataka. J.vi.219.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (S) next»] — Sunakkhatta in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Sunakkhatta (सुनक्खत्त) is the name of a disciple of the Buddha, as mentioned in an appendix of the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLI. Ānanda fulfilled his mission with the greatest devotion for the last twenty-five years of the Teacher’s life. Before Ānanda took charge, other disciples functioned temporarily. The commtary of the Theragāthā and that of the Udāna record seven of them and the old canonical sources confirm this. Viz., Sunakkhatta (Jātaka, I, p. 389, l. 16).

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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