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The views of six śramaṇa in the Pāli Canon
(based on the Buddhist text Sāmaññaphala Sutta1)
Śramaṇa view (diṭṭhi)1
Pūraṇa
Kassapa
Amoralism: denies any reward or
punishment for either good or bad deeds.
Makkhali
Gośāla

(Ājīvika)
Niyativāda (Fatalism): we are powerless;
suffering is pre-destined.
Ajita
Kesakambalī

(Lokāyata)
Materialism: live happily;
with death, all is annihilated.
Pakudha
Kaccāyana
Sassatavada (Eternalism):
Matter, pleasure, pain and the soul are eternal and
do not interact.
Nigaṇṭha
Nātaputta

(Jainism)
Restraint: be endowed with, cleansed by
and suffused with the avoidance of all evil.2
Sañjaya
Belaṭṭhiputta

(Ajñana)
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).
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Template:PaliCanonSamanaViews summarizes the diṭṭhi (views) of non-Buddhist ascetics (samaṇas) encountered in the Pāli Canon, particularly as summarized in the Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2). Some are encountered elsewhere in the Pāli Canon, such as in the Upali Sutta [MN 56].

For historians, Indian philosophers and practitioners of Buddhism, the importance of these views is twofold:

  1. Gautama Buddha's views were expressed partly in response to these other teachers' views as well as to brahmanic views. (Gethin, 1998, pp. 9-13.)
  2. Speakers in the Pāli Canon at times remind followers to avoid what they perceive to be "wrong views" (Pali: micchādiṭṭhi) such as those expressed here. (See, for instance, the Brahmajala Sutta and Bhaskar, 1972.)

Table's referencesEdit

This table includes two end notes which reference the following sources:

  • Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) and Bodhi, Bhikkhu (ed.) (2001). The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997). Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life (DN 2). Available on-line at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.02.0.than.html.
  • Walshe, Maurice O'Connell (trans.) (1995). The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya. Somerville: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-103-3.

In the second end note, the notation "DN-a" refers to the Digha Nikaya's commentary (atthakatha), also known as the Sumangalavilasini. While Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi allude to this commentary, it and the related sub-commentary (tika) can actually be found in Bodhi (2004), pp. 91-2.

Other referencesEdit