Vacchagotta; 1 Definition(s)
Vacchagotta 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.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
1. Vacchagotta. A Paribbajaka, who later became an arahant Thera. Several conversations he had with the Buddha are mentioned in the books. For details see the Tevijja Vacchagotta-, Aggi Vacchagotta-, Maha Vacchagotta-, Vaccha- and Vacchagotta Suttas. Some of these suttas are quoted in the Kathavatthu (E.g., p. 267, 505). The Samyutta Nikaya contains a whole section on Vacchagotta; his discussions were chiefly concerned with such mythical questions as to whether the world is eternal, the nature of life, the existence or otherwise of the Tathagata after death, etc. S.iii.257ff.; see also S.iv.391ff., for several discussions of Vacchagotta with Moggallana, Ananda and Sabhiya Kaccana on similar topics. The three Vacchagotta Suttas of the Majjhima Nikaya seem to contain the story of Vacchagottas conversion, in due order: at the conclusion of the Tevijja Vacchagotta (No. 72) it is merely stated that the Paribbajaka Vacchagotta rejoiced in what the Blessed One has said. At the end of the next, the Aggi Vacchagotta, he is mentioned as having accepted the Buddha as his teacher. In the third, the Maha Vacchagotta, he seeks ordination from the Buddha at Rajagaha, and receives it after the requisite probationary period of four months. He returns to the Buddha after two weeks and tells him that he has attained all that is to be attained by a non arahants understanding and asks for a further exposition of the Doctrine. The Buddha tells him to proceed to the study of calm and insight, whereby sixfold abhinna may be acquired. Vacchagotta profits by the lesson and soon after becomes an arahant. He thereupon sends news of his attainment to the Buddha through some monks, and the Buddha says he has already heard the news from the devas (M.i.493 97).
This story definitely identifies the Paribbajaka with the Thera of the same name, whose verse of ecstasy is included in the Theragatha (vs. 112). According to the Commentary (ThagA.i.221), he belonged to a rich brahmin family of the Vaccha clan (Vacchagotta). His personal name is not given. He became an expert in brahmin learning, but failing to find therein what he sought, he became a Paribbajaka, joining the Buddhas Order later.
In the time of Vipassi Buddha he was a householder of Bandhumati, and one day, when the Buddha and his monks were invited to the kings palace, he swept the street along which the Buddha passed and set up a Rag as decoration. As a result he was born, four kappas ago, as a raja, Sudhaja by name. He is probably identical with Vithisammajjaka of the Apadana. Ap.i.177.
2. Vacchagotta. A Paribbajaka. He is mentioned in the Anguttara Nikava (A.i.180f ) as visiting the Buddha at Venagapura, where he was at the head of the brahmins. He is possibly to be identified with Vacchagotta (1). In this context, however, he is called Venagapurika. Vacchagotta (1) (q.v.Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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Search found 8 books and stories containing Vacchagotta; (plurals include: Vacchagottas). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Guide to Tipitaka (by U Ko Lay)
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
Part 2 - The true nature, the nature of phenomena and the summit of existence < [Chapter I - Explanation of Arguments]
Appendix 2 - Notes on the Buddha’s omniscience (sarvajñatā) < [Chapter I - Explanation of Arguments]
Part 5 - What is the absolute point of view if the views are all false < [Chapter I - Explanation of Arguments]
Buddhist Outlook on Daily Life (by Nina van Gorkom)
The Buddha and His Teachings (by Narada Thera)
The Buddha and His Disciples (by Venerable S. Dhammika)
The Mahavastu (great story) (by J. J. Jones)