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Teaching

Buddha Mind - get one, be one.

INTRODUCTION | YOUTH | ENLIGHTENMENT | TEACHING | FINALE | OTHER VERSIONS

First teaching
see also [§] & [§]
The Buddha walked from the Bodhi tree at Gaya to Sarnath where his five friends were staying. On the way he met Upaka, an ascetic who, impressed by his radiance, asked him about his teacher. The Buddha replied in very lofty language that he had no teacher, that he was fully enlightened and the highest of high. Upaka had no choice but to believe or not - he went off by a side road. The Buddha wondered about how he might best teach his five friends. They eventually realised enlightenment and requested to be disciples of the Buddha. Now there were five monks. There is more on this story here [§].
While the Buddha was still at Sarnath a young man called Yasa left home out of dispassion for the householders life. He wandered and eventually met the Buddha who could see that Yasa's mind was: 'as a clean, unstained cloth that would take the dye (teachings) evenly.' Indeed Yasa got enlightened. In the meantime his parents were out searching for him. His father found him and also got enlightened. Yasa ordained and when his friends heard of this they too requested ordination. Now there were 60 monks.
Yasa & friends
see also [§]

Kassapa
see also [§]
The Buddha travelled to Uruvela and met a large group of fire worshipping, matted-hair ascetics led by the three Kassapa brothers. The Buddha slept in their fire chamber, defeating the royal, fire breathing naga. A series of other miracles impressed the brothers and they and their followers became disciples of the Buddha. They all went to Rajagaha and met a flock of sheep destined for a sacrifice organised by King Bimbisara. The King becomes a disciple of the Buddha, calls off the sacrifice and donates a bamboo grove, the Veluvanna, to the Sangha thus becoming the first royal patron.
There two friends, Upatissa and Kolita, who had agreed that if one found the truth they would inform the other. Upatissa saw the monk Assaji walking on alms round and was very impressed. He approached him and received a teaching in brief. The two friends travelled to meet the Buddha and both ordained - as Sariputta and Moggallana. They are often seen flanking the Buddha on a shrine [§] [§]
Two seniors
see also [§]

Father & Son
King Suddhodana heard of his son's enlightenment and invited him to return but the messengers were so inspired they ordained and never passed on the message. Finally the Buddha returned to Kapilavatthu. His father became angry at his son, the prince, begging for alms. They resolved this and went to the palace where his father offered the Buddha a meal. He meets with his former wife - his son asks for his inheritance - the Buddha later ordains him as a novice. Several other male members of the household ordain - notably Ananda who became the Buddha's attendant. Not long after this King Suddhodana died.
Maha Prajapati Gotami, Buddha's step mother, requested ordination. He refused and eventually travelled on to Vesali. Gotami followed with a large group of ladies and on arrival met Ananda, the Buddha's attendant, who agreed to ask the Buddha on their behalf. Eventually - if reluctantly - the Buddha agreed, subject to eight points.
Nuns ordain
see also [§] &[§]

Kisa Gotami
see also [§]
Kisa Gotami was grief stricken when her only son died when still a baby. She refused to believe he was truly dead. Eventually she met the Buddha who said he could help her but she must get a handful of mustard seed from a house where there had been no death. She went from house to house but everywhere she met people who shared their own grief of lost friends and relatives. Kisa Gotami realised her stupidity and had her son cremated. She became a nun and eventually realised enlightenment on watching a lamp being extinguished - 'and so too is human fragile and brief.'
Patachara came from a wealthy family but ran away with one of the servants. Several years later she has two children and wants to see her family and get their forgiveness. She sets out but her husband and the two children are killed. She finally arrives home only to find that her parents are also dead. She ordains as a nun and became enlightened when washing her feet. She noticed that the water ran across the ground a little and soaked in, on pouring a little more she noticed it ran a little further, and a third time. Her insight was that some die young, some in middle age, some old age - but all must die.
Patachara

Angulimala
Angulimala was misdirected by his teacher to murder 1000 people to prove his dedication. He ravaged the area around Kosala and kept count of his victims by stringing a finger from each on a necklace. King Pasenadi sent soldiers to capture him but his mother heard of this and went to warn him. Angulimala had 999 fingers when he saw her and was so blinded by blood that he was going to make her finger the last. The Buddha saw all this in his mind and positioned himself just ahead of Angulimala who chased him instead but failed to catch him. More here []
Devadatta was jealous of his cousin and wanted to be in charge of the Sangha - the Buddha refused. Dirty Dave tried three times to kill the Buddha. He hired archers - they ordained! He pushed a rock off a cliff to crush him - it split into harmless pieces! He sent a drunk elephant charging at him - it was subdued by loving kindness. Unable to kill the Buddha he tried political means attempting to create a split in the order over details of the rules (vinaya). Early on he had enlisted the help of Prince Ajatasattu (who eventually went on to kill his own father). The story tells of Devadatta finally repenting but being swallowed by the earth on his way to ask the Buddha for forgiveness.
Dirty Devadatta
P.S. One extra story which took place during the Buddha's 7th year after enlightenment. He ascended to 'heaven' to teach his mother [§]

MAPS - The Buddha lived and taught in the area known as the Ganges Plain, a vast area in Northern India.

INTRODUCTION | YOUTH | ENLIGHTENMENT | TEACHING | FINALE | OTHER VERSIONS