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Principal Disciple - Mahākāśyapa


Principal Disciple - Mahākāśyapa

Mahā Kāśyapa or Mahākāśyapa (Pali: Mahākassapa) is regarded in Buddhism as an enlightened disciple, being foremost in ascetic practice. Mahākāśyapa assumed leadership of the monastic community following the paranirvāṇa DN 16 (death) of the Buddha, presiding over the First Buddhist Council. He was considered to be the first patriarch in a number of early Buddhist schools and continued to have an important role as patriarch in the Chan and Zen tradition. In Buddhist texts, he assumed many identities, that of a renunciant saint, a law giver, an anti-establishment figure, but also a "guarantor of future justice" in the time of Maitreya — he has been described as "both the anchorite and the friend of mankind, even of the outcast".

In canonical Buddhist texts in several traditions, Mahākāśyapa was born as Pippali in a brahmin family, and entered an arranged marriage with a woman named Bhadra-Kapilānī. Both of them aspired to lead a celibate life, however, and they decided not to consummate their marriage. Having grown weary of the agricultural profession and the damage it did, they both left the lay life behind to become mendicants. Pippali later met the Buddha, under whom he was ordained as a monk, named Kāśyapa, but later called Mahākāśyapa to distinguish him from other disciples. Mahākāśyapa became an important disciple of the Buddha, to the extent that the Buddha exchanged his robe with him, which was a symbol of the transmittance of the Buddhist teaching. He became foremost in ascetic practices and attained enlightenment shortly after met the Buddha. He often had disputes with Ānanda, the attendant of the Buddha, due to their different dispositions and views. Despite his ascetic, strict and stern reputation, he paid an interest in community matters and teaching, and was known for his compassion for the poor, which sometimes caused him to be depicted as an anti-establishment figure. He had a prominent role in the cremation of the Buddha, acting as a sort of eldest son of the Buddha, as well as being the leader in the subsequent First Council. He is depicted as hesitatingly allowing Ānanda to participate in the council, and chastising him afterwards for a number of offenses the latter was regarded to have committed.

Mahākāśyapa's life as described in the early Buddhist texts has been considerably studied by scholars, who have been skeptical about his role in the cremation, his role toward Ānanda and the historical validity of the council itself. A number of scholars have hypothesized that the accounts have later been embellished to emphasize the values of the Buddhist establishment Mahākāśyapa stood for, emphasizing monastic discipline, brahmin and ascetic values, as opposed to the values of Ānanda and other disciples. Regardless, it is clear that Mahākāśyapa had an important role in the early days of the Buddhist community after the Buddha's parinirvāṇa DN 16, to help establish a stable monastic tradition. He effectively became the leader for the first twenty years after the Buddha, as he had become the most influential figure in the monastic community. For this reason, he was regarded by many early Buddhist schools as a sort of first patriarch, and was seen to have started a lineage of patriarchs of Buddhism. This further amplified the idea of him being the primary heir and elder son of the Buddha, which came to be symbolized by the robe Mahākāśyapa had received.

In many post-canonical texts, Mahākāśyapa decided at the end of his life to enter a state of meditation and suspended animation, which was believed to cause his physical remains to stay intact in a cave under a mountain called Kukkuṭapāda, until the coming of Maitreya Buddha in a next age. This story has led to several cults and practices, and affected some Buddhist countries up until early modern times. It has been interpreted by scholars as a narrative to physically connect Gautama Buddha with the next Buddha Maitreya, through the body of Mahākāśyapa and Gautama Buddha's robe, which covered Mahākāśyapa's remains. In Chan Buddhism, this account was less emphasized, but Mahākāśyapa was seen to have received a special mind-to-mind transmission from Gautama Buddha outside of orthodox scripture, which became essential to the identity of Chan. Again, the robe was an important symbol in this transmission. Apart from having a role in texts and lineage, Mahākāśyapa has often been depicted in Buddhist art as a symbol of reassurance and hope for the future of Buddhism.

Dhp 28 Dhp 56 Dhp 61 Dhp 91 Dhp 118 Dhp 344

D 16

M 32 M 118

S 6:5 S 14:15 S 16:2 S 16:5 S 16:6 S 16:7 S 16:8 S 16:10 S 16:11 S 16:12 S 16:13


佛陀十大弟子傳 - 大迦葉

🔥🔥坐了2500年 只為了這個❓

釋迦牟尼佛讓弟子留在人間2500年,只為了把兩樣東西交給「東方聖人」 !