following day, which was the fullmoon day of the slha
lunar month, the Buddha preached the First Sermon, the Dhammacakkappakattana
Stta, to the Five
Ascetics. At the end of the sermon Kondaa brahmin, one of the Five Ascetics, achieved the
Eye of Dhamma, being a Noble Disciple (Ariya svaka) of the first grade called Sotpanna (Stream-winner) and at the same
time the first witness of the Buddha's Enlightenment. Whereupon the Buddha
uttered an exclamation, saying,
"Asi Asi ....Kondaa" Hence the appellation 'Akondaa' added to his name from that time on. He requested for ordination and was admitted personally, – – by the Buddha Himself, which method was to be later 'Ehi' ordination, from the Buddha's formal words of admittance beginning with Ehi i.e. Come. He was therefore the first Bhikkhu in Buddhism. After that time the Buddha gave the remaining four Ascetics sundry instructions until they all won the Eye of Dhamma and were likewise ordained as Bhikkhus in the same manner as Kondaa. It was on the fifth day after the fullmoon that the Buddha preached His second sermon called Anattalakkhana Stta (Discourse on Selflessness) to the Five Ascetics. His sermon culminated in all of them attaining the Arahathood, highest grade of the Noble Disciples, There were born in the world at that time six Arahants, including the Buddha Himself.
season year still saw the Buddha and the Five Ascetics staying in the
deer-park of Isipatana. In the small hours of one night, while the Buddha
was engaged in walking meditation, there was something dramatic occuring in
the city of Benares. A youth by the name of Yasa, son of a wealthy man,
happened to wake up from his sleep at that time of the night and as a result
to see his concubines in the chamber sleeping in various careless and
indecent postures. It happened to him in a flash how they looked like corpes
instead of lovely maidens they used to be. Suddenly disillusioned, the youth
put on his sandals and went out of his residence, complaining to himself,
"How troublesome it is here! How doleful it is!" He was still complaining
while walking all the way to where the Buddha was staying. Hearing his
complaints, the Buddha responded, saying as if to no one in particular,
'This place is not troublesome; nor is it doleful, Do come this way," The
youth, hearing the Buddha's words approached the Buddha and, having taken
off his sandals, seated himself before the Buddha. In response to his
temperament the Buddha preached to him the sermon on the Five Progressively
Important Themes ending up with the Four Noble Truths. At the end of the
sermon Yasa was enlightened into the Noble Fruition, becoming thereby a
Streamwinner, first stage of the Noble Disciple.
It was in the morning when at his home the youth was missed. Of course, there was a commotion. Search parties were formed, with the youth's father leading one of them. His group were led to where the Buddha was until, seeing his son's sandals, he remembered them and knew his son should be nearby. Entering the place he saw the Buddha but did not yet see his son. The Buddha then preached to him the sermon on the same theme as He had done the youth Yasa, with the result that the father, like has son, was impressed and became another Stream-winner, being thereby the first male lay disciple. During this time the youth (unseen by his father through the Buddha's camouflaging psychic powers), listening once again to the same sermon, arrived at a deeper realization and finally became another i.e. the seventh Arahant in the world. He requested the Buddha for ordination, which the Buddha granted him in the similar, Ehi manner as He had done the Five Ascetics. An Upsaka (male lay disciple) now, the youth's father (then able to see Yasa through the Buddha's release of His camouflage powers), invited the Buddha together with some other Arahant disciples to have their meal at his home, where the Buddha, preaching the same sermon, enlightened both the youth's mother and his former wife, transforming them into Streamwinners. Both declared themselves Upsiks (female lay disciples, being thereby the first two of their kind
|A few days
later, four of Venerable Yasa's friends in Benares viz. Vimala, Subhu, Punnaji and Gavampati, having learnt of their
friend's renunciation, came to see the Buddha, who preached to them until
they all attained the Arahathood, highest grade of the Noble Disciples. They
were ordained by the Buddha Himself, in the same Ehi manner as before. There
ocurred in the world at that time 11 Arahants.
Some time later another fifty of Venerable Yasa's friends having learnt about what had happened came to ask for ordination as before. The Buddha preached to them and, having enlightened them, granted ordination in the same manner. There were at that time sixty one Arahants altogether.
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