Ascetic Figures Before and in Early Buddhism: The Emergence by Martin G. Wiltshire

By Martin G. Wiltshire

Sinceits founding by way of Jacques Waardenburg in 1971, Religion and Reason has been a number one discussion board for contributions on theories, theoretical matters and agendas with regards to the phenomenon and the learn of faith. themes contain (among others) type formation, comparability, ethnophilosophy, hermeneutics, method, fantasy, phenomenology, philosophy of technological know-how, clinical atheism, structuralism, and theories of faith. at times the sequence publishes volumes that map the state-of-the-art and the historical past of the self-discipline.

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Instead he is equated solely with the concept of a buddha or one who has ended rebirth. Since he is qualitatively unique he exists outside the conception of a sectarian tradition. To illustrate this we cite a passage from the NandamaQavapuccha Sutta of the Sutta-nipata: "They say there are munis in the world", said the Venerable Nanda. "What does this mean? " "The good say, Nanda, that a muni is not one who has a view (ditthi), a tradition (suti) or knowledge (n§~a). 47 Both questions are prefaced by references to their alleged existence, or existence by hearsay (jana vadanti/ki'ra nama honti), and both constitute forms of enquiry about the real identity of these figures.

The Isibhasiyaim (sayings of the ~~is) is a text whose diction and vocabulary suggest contemporaneity with the first two and probably oldest of the extant Jain aiiga, the Acarafiga Sutra and Sutrak~tafiga, as well as with the Mula Sutras, Uttaradhyayana Sutra and Dasavaikalika. l9 Interestingly, however, it is not included within the Jain canonical corpus and may therefore be said to hold an apocryphal status. The text first became known to Western scholars in a printed edition, Indaur 1927, entitled 'SrimadbhiQ pratyekabuddhair bha~itani ~~ibha~ita­ sutrani' which also included an appendix with compendiums (samgaha~i) of the ~~i's names and their associated maxims.

Conceptually, therefore, the supreme religious attainment is represented as the traversing of space and time. The Non-Affiliated Aspect of the Muni The figure of the muni depicted in the Nikayas is not one who belongs to a specific religious or ascetic group, nor is he identified with any particular historical or mythical epoch. Instead he is equated solely with the concept of a buddha or one who has ended rebirth. Since he is qualitatively unique he exists outside the conception of a sectarian tradition.

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