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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


[218] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Beggars who has mastered logical analysis[1] is Mahakotthito, Kotthita the Great.

Mahakotthito — Kotthita the Great

DPPN: He was born into a very wealthy brahmin family of Savatthi, his father being Assalayana and his mother Candavati. He gained great proficiency in the Vedas and, after hearing the Buddha preach, entered the Order and, engaging in meditation, soon became an arahant.

One sutta records a "lesson" given by the Buddha to Kotthita on conceptions of anicca, dukkha and anatta (S.iv.145ff). The Anguttara Nikaya (AN I. 118 f) records a discussion at Jetavana between Savittha, Kotthita nd Sariputta, as to who is best: one who has testified to the truth with body, one who has won view, or one released by faith. Another discussion takes place between Sariputta and Kotthita as to whether anything continues to exist after the ending of the six spheres of contact (Nibbana) (AN II.161).

His verses in the Psalms:

Whoso, serene and calm,
dead to the world
Can utter wisdom's runes[2]
with wit unswelled,
— he doth shake off naughty things
As they were forest leaves
by wind-god blown.


[1] Patisambhidappattanam: PED: pati + sam + bhid (= vid); lit. resolving continuous breaking up" i.e. analysis, analytic insight, discriminating knowledge ... Always referred to as "the four branches of logical analysis". One Individual. Given the word alone I would think of Hegelian dialectic: thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

[2] Manta, mantra





AN 3 21: Kāyasakkhī