Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First Community of Sangha: Pancavaggi (2)

On the Fullmoon day of Waso, the other members of Pancavaggi namely, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji listened to the Buddha's first discourse Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta together with their leader Kondanna. But on that day they did not win any Fruition like Kondanna did.

Vappa became Sotappana on the next day while Bhaddiya did so on the second day. With great compassion, the Buddha preached the discourse again in detail to the rest of the Pancavaggi.The other three went for alms round and shared food among themselves including the Buddha. Only then, Mahanama on the third day and Assaji on the fourth day attained Sotapatti Fruition respectively. They were all ordained as monks by the Buddha's saying 'Ehi Bhikkhu'.

All of the Pancavaggi gained arahatship at the end of the Anattalakkhana Sutta which the Buddha delivered five days after the Full-moon day of Waso. And among human beings, the Pancavaggi were the first to have attained the arahatship. It is said that, from then on the fifth waxing day of Waso was commemorated as an 'Arahat Day'.

Later Yasa, the son of a very rich man became the sixth arahat and likewise his friends after him. The Buddha sent Pancavaggi, Yasa and his companions, the total of sixty arahats, each of them to different regions to propagate the Buddha Sasana.

Once, Thera Assaji went alms round in Rajagaha. Upatissa (future Sariputta) saw him and was pleased with the Thera's behaviour. So he approached the Thera and inquired about the Thera's teacher and the doctrines he followed. Then he urged Thera Assaji to preached him.

Thera Assaji uttered the key note of the Buddha's teaching as:

Ye dhamma hetuppa bhava te sam hetum Tathaggato ca yo nirodha, evam vadi mahasamano which denotes_ “of things that proceed themselves and from a cause, their cause the Buddha has told and their cessation”.

After hearing the verse, Upatissa became Sotapanna. He happily went to meet his best friend Kolita (future Moggallana) and repeated the verse which also made Kolita to attain Sotapatti fruition. And thereby,Thera Assaji unexpectedly happened to be the teacher of future two chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana.

One of the Pancavaggi, Thera Mahanama met a house-holder, Citta on his alms round and was offered alms food in his house. Citta won Sotappanahood after Thera Mahanama delivered a discourse.

In this way, Pancavaggi, the first community of  Sangha strived for themselves and helped others to be like them.

Posted by Aye Sat

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