[Buddha-l] angels

L.S. Cousins selwyn at ntlworld.com
Wed May 25 05:39:31 MDT 2005


The idea that Brahma Sahampati obtained rebirth as the result of 
practising the five indriyas under Kassapa Buddha is far older than 
the commentaries. It is already found in the Brahma or 
Sahampatibrahma Sutta at S V 232f.

>Can you point me to where this 'focussed study' is to be focussed.  There is
>no mention in the Pali suttas of old Brahma Sahampati being a non-returner.
>It seems more likely to me that it is this 'fact' that belongs to (later)
>Buddhist mythology, the sort created by later commentators.

The commentators are probably correct here, at least to some extent. 
The text specifically refers to the indriyas in this case being 
immersed in the deathless (amatogadhaani), leading to the deathless, 
ending in the deathless. This can certainly be interpreted as 
referring to some kind of higher Buddhist practice.

Whether this was the understanding in the stories concerning the 
invitation to the Buddha to teach will depend on the relative dating 
of those passages and this Sutta.

Lance Cousins

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