Yamaka Sutta; 2 Definition(s)


Yamaka Sutta 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)

The Thera Yamaka held the view that, in so far as a monk has destroyed the asavas, he is broken up and perishes at the break up of the body and becomes not after death. Yamakas colleagues tried to correct this erroneous view (the heresy lies in the implication that a being is broken up and perishes; SA.ii.226.) but failed, and so reported him to Sariputta. Sariputta visited Yamaka and argued with him that if it were false to say of anybody that he existed in truth, in reality, even in this very life, how much more so to speak of someone existing or not existing after death. Yamaka thereupon confessed his error. Sariputta further elucidated the matter by using the simile of a man who enters the service of a rich householder with the intent to murder him. Such a man would always be a murderer, even though his master knew him not to be so. Even so, the disciple who regards body, etc., as permanent and so on, harbours a murderous view, even though he knows it not as such (S.iii.109ff).

The sutta is often referred to. (E.g., VibhA.32; Vsm.479; cp. Vsm.626 (Yamakato sammasana). Does Yamakato here mean according to the Yamaka Sutta?).

It is sometimes called the Yamakovada Sutta (E.g., Netti, p. 30).

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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).


Yamaka, (fr. yama3) 1. (adj.) double, twin; only in foll. combns: °pāṭihāriya (& °hīra) the miracle of the double appearances, a miracle performed by the Buddha in Sāvatthī to refute the heretical teachers (cp. Vin. III, 332, Samanta-pāsādika; and in detail DA. I, 57). It consisted in the appearance of phenomena of opposite character in pairs, as e.g. streaming forth of fire & water. (Cp. Mhvs trsln 120). The miracle was repeatedly performed by the Buddha & is often referred to, e.g. at Ps. I, 125 (°hīra); J. I, 77, 88, 193; Miln. 106 (°hīraṃ), 349 (°hāriyaṃ); Mhvs 17, 44, 50; 30, 82; 31, 99; Dāvs. I, 50 (°hīraṃ); DhA. III, 213 (id.); SnA 36; Vism. 390; PvA. 137. —sālā the pair of Sal willows in between of which the Buddha passed away VvA. 165; PvA. 212.—2. (adj. or m.) a twin, twin child Mhvs 6, 9 (yamake duve puttaṃ ca dhītaraṃ janesi), 37 (soḷasakkhattuṃ yamake duve duve putte janayi); DhA. I, 353 (same, with vijāyi).—3. (nt.) a pair, couple, N. of one of the Abhidhamma canonical books, also called Yamaka-ppakaraṇa; Tikp 8.—The Yamakasutta refers to the conversion of the bhikkhu Yamaka and is given at S. III, 109 sq.; mentioned at Vism. 479 & VbhA. 32. The phrase yamakato sammasana at Vism. 626 may mean “in pairs” (like kalāpato “in a bundle” ibid.), or may refer to the Yamaka-sutta with its discussion of anicca, dukkha, anatta. (Page 551)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Relevant definitions

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Pindiyalopa Sutta
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