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Ajita Kesakambala - Was he really a materialist? - Dhamma Wheel

Ajita Kesakambala - Was he really a materialist?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Ajita Kesakambala - Was he really a materialist?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:55 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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sukhamanveti
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Re: Ajita Kesakambala - Was he really a materialist?

Postby sukhamanveti » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:10 pm

Vacchagotta (the one ascribing this view to Ajita) appears to be mistaken. He makes a similar claim in the same passage on behalf of Sanjaya Belatthiputta, who is elsewhere in the Canon shown to be an extreme skeptic who refused to assert or deny anything.

It seems highly likely to me that an excessively "helpful" person inserted their names into the text on the assumption that they were omitted by mistake. In other words, someone might have looked and thought, "Hey! Only 4 of the 6 heterodox teachers are here. Where are Ajita and Sanjaya? This must be corrected." This is just the sort of regularizing that I have read has occurred in other scriptural traditions.

Ed
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5


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