Sages' Biographies

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Will
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Sages' Biographies

Post by Will » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:59 pm

Buddha's direct disciples I know of and some major Theravadin figures in the 19-20th centuries, but that leaves a vast period of time I am ignorant of. Aside from Buddhagosha and Ashoka there must have been many Arahants or sages that Theravadins admire.

So please give us some short bios here or references to books about sages from the Southern tradition between, say, 300 bce and 1800.
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
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Cittasanto
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Re: Sages' Biographies

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:06 pm

Hi Will
Arahant Upatissa who wrote the Vimuttimagga
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Will
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Re: Sages' Biographies

Post by Will » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:17 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Will
Arahant Upatissa who wrote the Vimuttimagga
Thanks Manapa.

Now maybe others will add more and fill in the blanks about Bhante Upatissa. When did he live, where did he live & any bios in English?

Good ole Wiki has a little - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upatissa_of_Sri_Lanka" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. So he was a King of Lanka around 500bce.

By the way, is Buddha's parinibbana date settled firmly now? If so, what is it?
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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Cittasanto
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Re: Sages' Biographies

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:06 pm

no it was about 1AD the work I mentioned was written, http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDeta ... 30&MATCH=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; :oops:
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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gavesako
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Re: Sages' Biographies

Post by gavesako » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:48 pm

Will wrote:Buddha's direct disciples I know of and some major Theravadin figures in the 19-20th centuries, but that leaves a vast period of time I am ignorant of. Aside from Buddhagosha and Ashoka there must have been many Arahants or sages that Theravadins admire.
As far as I know, neither Buddhaghosa nor Asoka are regarded as arahants (except as product of much later glorification).

Have you seen R. Ray's book "Buddhist Saints in India"? It deals with this subject.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Will
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Re: Sages' Biographies

Post by Will » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:29 pm

gavesako wrote:
Will wrote:Buddha's direct disciples I know of and some major Theravadin figures in the 19-20th centuries, but that leaves a vast period of time I am ignorant of. Aside from Buddhagosha and Ashoka there must have been many Arahants or sages that Theravadins admire.
As far as I know, neither Buddhaghosa nor Asoka are regarded as arahants (except as product of much later glorification).

Have you seen R. Ray's book "Buddhist Saints in India"? It deals with this subject.
No Bhante, I am not familiar with that title. But Reginald Ray is a Mahayanaist, so I suspect most of the saints mentioned would be of that variety. Besides the couple of blurbs I read about suggest it is more of an academic study about Buddhist sainthood. I am looking for simple biographies of Theravadin sages, that need not be Arahants, in the time frame mentioned above.

Surely such bios exist, Mahayana has traditional lives of Milarepa, Nagarjuna, Asanga, Chih-I etc. so there must be some out there giving traditional stories of revered latter-day followers of Buddha.

If little or none exist, in English, then there is a need.
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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