Pakudha Kaccayana

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Pakudha Kaccāyana was an Indian teacher who lived around the 5th or 4th century BCE, contemporaneous with Mahavira and the Buddha.

The Views of Six Samana in the Pali Canon
(based on the Sāmaññaphala Sutta1)
Question: "Is it possible to point out the fruit of the
contemplative life, visible in the here and now?"1
samaṇa view (diṭṭhi)
Pūraṇa
Kassapa
Amoralism: denies any reward or
punishment for either good or bad deeds.
Makkhali
Gosāla
Fatalism: we are powerless;
suffering is pre-destined.
Ajita
Kesakambalī
Materialism:
with death, all is annihilated.
Pakudha
Kaccāyana
Eternalism: Matter, pleasure, pain and
the soul are eternal and do not interact.
Nigaṇṭha
Nātaputta
Restraint: be endowed with, cleansed by
and suffused with the avoidance of all evil.2
Sañjaya
Belaṭṭhaputta
Agnosticism: "I don't think so. I don't think in
that way or otherwise. I don't think not or not not."

Suspension of judgement.

Notes: 1. DN 2 (Thanissaro, 1997; Walshe, 1995, pp. 91-109).
2. DN-a (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 1995, pp. 1258-59, n. 585).

According to Pakudha, there are seven eternal "elements": Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Joy, Sorrow and Life. Pakudha further asserted that these elements do not interact with one another.

The Samannaphala Sutta (DN 2) represents Pakudha's views as follows:

"'...[T]here are these seven substances — unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar — that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain. Which seven? The earth-substance, the liquid-substance, the fire-substance, the wind-substance, pleasure, pain, and the soul as the seventh. These are the seven substances — unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar — that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, and are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain.
"'And among them there is no killer nor one who causes killing, no hearer nor one who causes hearing, no cognizer nor one who causes cognition. When one cuts off [another person's] head, there is no one taking anyone's life. It is simply between the seven substances that the sword passes.'"[1]

In the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1), theories such as Pakudha's are labeled as "Atomic theory" (Pali/Skt.: anu vaada) and "eternalism" (sassatavādā).[2]

Pakudha Kaccāyana is also known as Empedocles of India.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Thanissaro (1997).
  2. ^ Bhaskar (1972).Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 700, entry for "Sassata" defines sassata-vāda as: "an eternalist, eternalism."

Sources[edit]