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Brahmaa Sahampati

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  • thomaslaw03
    Dear Pali friends, I have some questions regarding Brahmaa Sahampati. Hope you can help? Does the term, Sahampati, have any meaning? Is it just a individual
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 7, 2010
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      Dear Pali friends,

      I have some questions regarding Brahmaa Sahampati. Hope you can help?

      Does the term, Sahampati, have any meaning? Is it just a individual name? Is this term Sahampati also found in the early Hindu texts? Is this term entirely a Buddhist word created by the early Buddhists?

      Thank you very much.

      Sincerely,

      Thomas Law
    • Dhivan Thomas Jones
      Dear Thomas, I did some research a few years back on Brahmā Sahampati, and concluded that the name Sahampati did not directly mean anything. Only in the
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 8, 2010
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        Dear Thomas,

        I did some research a few years back on Brahmā Sahampati, and concluded that the name 'Sahampati' did not directly mean anything. Only in the Pali tradition does this particular Brahmā ask the Buddha to teach. But the name does seem to include elements from brahmanical (pre-Hindu) mythology. Here is an extract from my article on the topic:

        "In the Dharmaguptaka and Mahīśāsaka Vinayas, as well as in the Mahāvastu (Mvu III 317) and the Lalitavistara, in passages very similar to the episode in the Pāli canon, the Brahmā who requests the Buddha to teach is simply called Brahmā or Mahā-Brahmā, and is not specifically named. In the Pāli tradition, however, this Brahmā is given the name Sahampati. In a short discourse in the Saṃyutta Nikāya, we discover that Brahmā Sahampati was a bhikkhu named Sahaka under the previous Buddha Kassapa, reborn in this kalpa according to his merit (SN V 233). This leads the commentary (p.11) on the Buddhavaṃsa to say that his name should be Sahakapati (Haldar 1977: 97). This, however, would appear to be an over-literal reading by the commentator; it seems more likely that the name Sahaka is derived from the name Sahampati. The name Sahampati itself is mysterious, which is perhaps why the commentator offered his derivation.

        "Rhys Davids and Oldenberg suggested that ‘Sahampati’ could be understood as equivalent to the Sanskrit ‘Svayampati’ (Rhys Davids 1881: 86). This name does not appear to be found in the epics and Purāṇas, but it combines two names commonly used in them for Brahmā. ‘Svayambhū’, meaning ‘Self-existent’, is an epithet for a deity believed to be eternal and supreme; ‘Svayambhuva Manu’ was born of Brahmā and Sarasvatī and represents the Vedas (Khan 1981: 30, 38). ‘Pati’ means ‘Lord’; ‘Prajāpati’, ‘Lord of Creation’ is another epithet for Brahmā, and becomes a name for sons of Brahmā (Khan 1981: 39). ‘Sahampati’, understood as the Pāli version of ‘Svayampati’, thus combines recognisable elements from well-known epithets for the Brahmā of Indian mythology. The early Buddhist story-tellers clearly wished the Sahampati who requested the Buddha to teach to be regarded as the same Brahmā worshipped by their non-Buddhist religious contemporaries."


        (From Dhivan Thomas Jones, 'Why Did Brahmā Ask the Buddha to Teach?', in Buddhist Studies Review 26:1 (2009)).

        All the best with your research.
        Dhivan




        www.dhivan.net



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Магуба
        Dear Thomas, You can check the article about Sahampati in Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names:
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 8, 2010
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          Dear Thomas,

          You can check the article about Sahampati in Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names:
          http://www.metta.lk/pali-utils/Pali-Proper-Names/sahampati.htm
          I am not aware of the name "Sahampati" to be found in the Hindu texts - as far as I know in Hinduism there is one Brahmaa for a period of 36000 kalpas. I think that "Sahampati"could be interpreted as "mighty or enduring lord"(Saha-pati) or perhaps "lord of the enduring" (Saha.m-pati)  if we take the adjective as substantive in neuter inferring tatta (Skt. tattva, n) - "that-ness" or "real nature" in Hindu philosophy, but this doesn't harmonize with Buddhist worldview. As is noted in the article above Buddhists derive "Sahampati" from the name of the monk Sahaka lived in the time of Kassapa Buddha.
          Also it could be associated with Sahaa which in the later Mahaayaana cosmology is the name of our particular universe (thus Sahampati meaning something like "lord of this world"), but it would be difficult to agree it grammatically, not to speak that this is a later concept not found in the Pali cannon.

          With metta,
          Ardavarz

          --- On Mon, 2/8/10, thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@...> wrote:

          From: thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@...>
          Subject: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati
          To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:51 AM







           









          Dear Pali friends,



          I have some questions regarding Brahmaa Sahampati. Hope you can help?



          Does the term, Sahampati, have any meaning? Is it just a individual name? Is this term Sahampati also found in the early Hindu texts? Is this term entirely a Buddhist word created by the early Buddhists?



          Thank you very much.



          Sincerely,



          Thomas Law

























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Bryan Levman
          Hi Thomas & Ardavarz, According to the Monier Williams dictionary, saha is the name of a division of the world, which occurs with lokadhaatu and means the
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 10, 2010
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            Hi Thomas & Ardavarz,

            According to the Monier Williams dictionary, saha is the name of a division of the world, which occurs with lokadhaatu and means "the world inhabited by men". In the Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary Edgerton gives sahaapati = Paali saha.mpati as meaning "Lord of the sahaa (or saha) lokadhaatu. I have always taken it to mean "Lord of the world", and it is a very common expression in the Buddhist Sanskrit suutras,

            Best, Bryan




            ________________________________
            From: "Магубад Бурджан" <ardavarz@...>
            To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Mon, February 8, 2010 5:48:47 PM
            Subject: Re: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati


            Dear Thomas,

            You can check the article about Sahampati in Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names:
            http://www.metta lk/pali-utils/ Pali-Proper- Names/sahampati. htm
            I am not aware of the name "Sahampati" to be found in the Hindu texts - as far as I know in Hinduism there is one Brahmaa for a period of 36000 kalpas. I think that "Sahampati"could be interpreted as "mighty or enduring lord"(Saha-pati) or perhaps "lord of the enduring" (Saha.m-pati) if we take the adjective as substantive in neuter inferring tatta (Skt. tattva, n) - "that-ness" or "real nature" in Hindu philosophy, but this doesn't harmonize with Buddhist worldview. As is noted in the article above Buddhists derive "Sahampati" from the name of the monk Sahaka lived in the time of Kassapa Buddha.
            Also it could be associated with Sahaa which in the later Mahaayaana cosmology is the name of our particular universe (thus Sahampati meaning something like "lord of this world"), but it would be difficult to agree it grammatically, not to speak that this is a later concept not found in the Pali cannon.

            With metta,
            Ardavarz

            --- On Mon, 2/8/10, thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@ yahoo.com. au> wrote:

            From: thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@ yahoo.com. au>
            Subject: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati
            To: Pali@yahoogroups. com
            Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:51 AM



            Dear Pali friends,

            I have some questions regarding Brahmaa Sahampati. Hope you can help?

            Does the term, Sahampati, have any meaning? Is it just a individual name? Is this term Sahampati also found in the early Hindu texts? Is this term entirely a Buddhist word created by the early Buddhists?

            Thank you very much.

            Sincerely,

            Thomas Law

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





            __________________________________________________________________
            Make your browsing faster, safer, and easier with the new Internet Explorer® 8. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • DC Wijeratna
            Brahmaa sahampati is a brahma according to the Buddha s vision of the world (lokadhaatu). Number of such Brahmaa is mentioned; for example, sana.nkumaara,
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 10, 2010
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              Brahmaa sahampati is a 'brahma' according to the Buddha's vision of the world (lokadhaatu). Number of such Brahmaa is mentioned; for example, sana.nkumaara, baka. They are mere names; of course one can try to give meanings to them. However, they are proper names. Giving meanings to them is not very fruitful.

              PTSD gives the following information about Brahmaa = Brahman:
              Brahmā [cp. Vedic brahmán, m., one who prays or chants hymns, nom. sg.
              Brahmā] 1. the god Brahmā chief of the gods, often represented as the creator of
              the Universe (vasavattī issaro kattā nimmātā) D i.18; iii.30, also called Mahābrahmā (D i.235 sq., 244 sq.; iii.30; It 15.

              Brahmaa is a Vedic God and not related to the 'Brahmaa's' mentioned above. As far as Vedic gods are concerned, they are blind beliefs as far as the Buddha is concerned.

              D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

              _,_._,___




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • thomaslaw03
              Dear Bryan, Ardavarz, Dhivan, Thank you very much for your reply. Do you think, the meaning Lord of the sahaa (or saha) lokadhaatu or Lord of the world can
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 10, 2010
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                Dear Bryan, Ardavarz, Dhivan,

                Thank you very much for your reply.

                Do you think, the meaning "Lord of the sahaa (or saha) lokadhaatu" or "Lord of the world" can also be accepted in the Pali tradition? According to Rhys Davids and Bhikkhu Bodhi of the English translations of the Pāli Brahma Sa.myutta, it seems that Sahampati is just used as a name for a Brahmā.

                Sincerely,

                Thomas Law

                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Bryan Levman <bryan.levman@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Thomas & Ardavarz,
                >
                > According to the Monier Williams dictionary, saha is the name of a division of the world, which occurs with lokadhaatu and means "the world inhabited by men". In the Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary Edgerton gives sahaapati = Paali saha.mpati as meaning "Lord of the sahaa (or saha) lokadhaatu. I have always taken it to mean "Lord of the world", and it is a very common expression in the Buddhist Sanskrit suutras,
                >
                > Best, Bryan
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: "Магубад Ð`урджан" <ardavarz@...>
                > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Mon, February 8, 2010 5:48:47 PM
                > Subject: Re: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati
                >
                >
                > Dear Thomas,
                >
                > You can check the article about Sahampati in Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names:
                > http://www.metta lk/pali-utils/ Pali-Proper- Names/sahampati. htm
                > I am not aware of the name "Sahampati" to be found in the Hindu texts - as far as I know in Hinduism there is one Brahmaa for a period of 36000 kalpas. I think that "Sahampati"could be interpreted as "mighty or enduring lord"(Saha-pati) or perhaps "lord of the enduring" (Saha.m-pati) if we take the adjective as substantive in neuter inferring tatta (Skt. tattva, n) - "that-ness" or "real nature" in Hindu philosophy, but this doesn't harmonize with Buddhist worldview. As is noted in the article above Buddhists derive "Sahampati" from the name of the monk Sahaka lived in the time of Kassapa Buddha.
                > Also it could be associated with Sahaa which in the later Mahaayaana cosmology is the name of our particular universe (thus Sahampati meaning something like "lord of this world"), but it would be difficult to agree it grammatically, not to speak that this is a later concept not found in the Pali cannon.
                >
                > With metta,
                > Ardavarz
                >
                > --- On Mon, 2/8/10, thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@ yahoo.com. au> wrote:
                >
                > From: thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@ yahoo.com. au>
                > Subject: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati
                > To: Pali@yahoogroups. com
                > Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:51 AM
                >
                >
                >
                > Dear Pali friends,
                >
                > I have some questions regarding Brahmaa Sahampati. Hope you can help?
                >
                > Does the term, Sahampati, have any meaning? Is it just a individual name? Is this term Sahampati also found in the early Hindu texts? Is this term entirely a Buddhist word created by the early Buddhists?
                >
                > Thank you very much.
                >
                > Sincerely,
                >
                > Thomas Law
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > __________________________________________________________________
                > Make your browsing faster, safer, and easier with the new Internet Explorer® 8. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Bryan Levman
                Hi Thomas, Lord of the Saha world is how I ve always understood it per Edgerton, and Edgerton is an authority on Buddhist Prakrits (of which Pāli is one),
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 12, 2010
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                  Hi Thomas,

                  "Lord of the Saha world" is how I've always understood it per Edgerton, and Edgerton is an authority on Buddhist Prakrits (of which Pāli is one), Metta, Bryan




                  ________________________________
                  From: thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@...>
                  To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thu, February 11, 2010 12:49:04 AM
                  Subject: [Pali] Re: Brahmaa Sahampati


                  Dear Bryan, Ardavarz, Dhivan,

                  Thank you very much for your reply.

                  Do you think, the meaning "Lord of the sahaa (or saha) lokadhaatu" or "Lord of the world" can also be accepted in the Pali tradition? According to Rhys Davids and Bhikkhu Bodhi of the English translations of the Pāli Brahma Sa.myutta, it seems that Sahampati is just used as a name for a Brahmā.

                  Sincerely,

                  Thomas Law

                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups. com, Bryan Levman <bryan.levman@ ...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Thomas & Ardavarz,
                  >
                  > According to the Monier Williams dictionary, saha is the name of a division of the world, which occurs with lokadhaatu and means "the world inhabited by men". In the Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary Edgerton gives sahaapati = Paali saha.mpati as meaning "Lord of the sahaa (or saha) lokadhaatu. I have always taken it to mean "Lord of the world", and it is a very common expression in the Buddhist Sanskrit suutras,
                  >
                  > Best, Bryan
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ____________ _________ _________ __
                  > From: "Магубад Ð`урджан" <ardavarz@.. .>
                  > To: Pali@yahoogroups. com
                  > Sent: Mon, February 8, 2010 5:48:47 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati
                  >
                  >
                  > Dear Thomas,
                  >
                  > You can check the article about Sahampati in Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names:
                  > http://www.metta. lk/pali-utils/ Pali-Proper- Names/sahampati. htm
                  > I am not aware of the name "Sahampati" to be found in the Hindu texts - as far as I know in Hinduism there is one Brahmaa for a period of 36000 kalpas. I think that "Sahampati"could be interpreted as "mighty or enduring lord"(Saha-pati) or perhaps "lord of the enduring" (Saha.m-pati) if we take the adjective as substantive in neuter inferring tatta (Skt. tattva, n) - "that-ness" or "real nature" in Hindu philosophy, but this doesn't harmonize with Buddhist worldview. As is noted in the article above Buddhists derive "Sahampati" from the name of the monk Sahaka lived in the time of Kassapa Buddha.
                  > Also it could be associated with Sahaa which in the later Mahaayaana cosmology is the name of our particular universe (thus Sahampati meaning something like "lord of this world"), but it would be difficult to agree it grammatically, not to speak that this is a later concept not found in the Pali cannon.
                  >
                  > With metta,
                  > Ardavarz
                  >
                  > --- On Mon, 2/8/10, thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@ yahoo.com. au> wrote:
                  >
                  > From: thomaslaw03 <thomaslaw03@ yahoo.com. au>
                  > Subject: [Pali] Brahmaa Sahampati
                  > To: Pali@yahoogroups. com
                  > Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:51 AM
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Dear Pali friends,
                  >
                  > I have some questions regarding Brahmaa Sahampati. Hope you can help?
                  >
                  > Does the term, Sahampati, have any meaning? Is it just a individual name? Is this term Sahampati also found in the early Hindu texts? Is this term entirely a Buddhist word created by the early Buddhists?
                  >
                  > Thank you very much.
                  >
                  > Sincerely,
                  >
                  > Thomas Law
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                  > Make your browsing faster, safer, and easier with the new Internet Explorer® 8. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads. yahoo.com/ ca/internetexplo rer/
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >





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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • thomaslaw03
                  Dear Bryan, Wijeratna, Thank you very much for your reply. I now will consider that the term Sahampati (or Sahaa.mpati) is used in both ways, Lord of the Saha
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 13, 2010
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                    Dear Bryan, Wijeratna,

                    Thank you very much for your reply.

                    I now will consider that the term Sahampati (or Sahaa.mpati) is used in both ways, Lord of the Saha world and a name for an individual Brahmaa who is the most senior of Brahmaas in the Brahmaa world. I hope this is OK for all Buddhist traditions.

                    Regards,

                    Thomas Law
                  • Ong Yong Peng
                    Dear Thomas and friends, if I recall correctly, there was already previous discussion on this topic. I have not read much about Sahampati, so was not able to
                    Message 9 of 9 , Feb 14, 2010
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                      Dear Thomas and friends,

                      if I recall correctly, there was already previous discussion on this topic. I have not read much about Sahampati, so was not able to contribute to the discussion. I like to thank Thomas for the question, and everyone who has helped to provide an answer. I have learned from the discussion too.

                      Thomas, regardless of the meaning of the name, and regardless of how a particular heavenly "character" is regarded in any Buddhist tradition, in the Buddhist practice, Buddhists respect all heavenly beings, but do not generally associate with any.

                      metta,
                      Yong Peng.


                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, thomaslaw03 wrote:

                      I now will consider that the term Sahampati (or Sahaa.mpati) is used in both ways, Lord of the Saha world and a name for an individual Brahmaa who is the most senior of Brahmaas in the Brahmaa world. I hope this is OK for all Buddhist traditions.
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