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The Pali is transliterated as Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ) ]

 

Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas

Index

Puura.na Kassapa

DPPN: One of the six well-known teachers, contemporaneous with the Buddha. He is said to have taught the doctrine of nonaction (akiriya), denying the result of good or bad actions.[1] Elsewhere,[2] however, he is mentioned as an ahetuvadin, denying hetupaccaya (condition and cause - i.e., the efficacy of kamma), which teaching, in the Saama~n~naphala Sutta,[3] is attributed to Makkhali-Gosala. Buddhaghosa says[4] [243] that Puura.na Kassapa came by his name from the fact that as a result of his birth the number of slaves in a certain household reached one hundred. Owing to this fact he was never found fault with, even when he failed to do his work satisfactorily. But, in spite of this, he was dissatisfied and fled from his masters. He then had his clothes stolen by thieves and went about naked. His gotta name was Kassapa. He had a following of five hundred, among whom was the deva-putta Asama.[5] (See also Ajaatasattu). He was consulted by the Licchavis Abhaya[6] and Mahaali[7] and by the wanderer Vacchagotta.[8] He claimed to be omniscient.[9] A story in the Dhammapada Commentary[10] states that when the heretics were unable to prevent the Buddha from performing the Twin Miracle under the Ga.n.damba, they fled discomfited. Puura.na Kassapa was among them, and in the course of his flight, he came across one of his followers, a farmer, who was on his way to see him, carrying a vessel of broth and a rope. Puura.na took the vessel and the rope, and going to the banks of the river near Saavatthi, tied the vessel round his neck and threw himself into the stream. There was a circle of bubbles on the water and Puurana was reborn in Aviici.

 


[1] D. i. 52 f.; probably the more correct description of Kassapa'a teaching would be niskriyavada-i.e., an affirmation that the soul is passive, unaffected by the good or the bad done by us, the ultimate reality lying beyond good or evil.

[2] S. iii. 69; v. 126.

[3] D. i. 53; see also A. iii. 383, where the teaching of Chalabhijaatiyo is also attributed to Puurana.

[4] DA. i. 142; he could not have been a slave. Kassapa is a brahmin-gotta. The SNA (372) calls him an aajiivaka.

[5] S. i. 65.

[6] Ibid., v. 126.

[7] Ibid., iii. 68.

[8] Ibid., iv. 398.

[9] A. iv. 428; here we probably have a more correct explanation of his name, Puurana - i.e., in his claim to have attained perfect wisdom (puura.na~n~naa.na).

[10] DhA. iii. 208; for a different version see Rockhill: op. cit., 80. According to this legend, Kassapa must have died in the sixteenth year of the Buddha's ministry. This is hardly reconcilable with the statement that Ajaatasattu consulted him.

 


 

References:

SN 3.22.60