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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Pursuing the Truth (1) The Two Thinkers

At the beginning of pursuing the Truth, the thinker, whom Gautama Buddha visited first, was Alara Kalama, who was living near Vaisali City with his 300 students. He might not be a Brahmanist, but he was a new thinker, who insisted to arrive at "the state of having nothing." We, human beings, usually have desire to have something, but in the case of Alara Kalama, he insisted the value of neglecting to get something. Generally speaking, human beings, have very strong desire to have something, and such a tendency is sometimes very dangerous to make human beings blind, and in such a meaning Alara Kalama might recommended us to be not greedy. But Gautama Buddha might find that the attitude of Alara Kalama was very intellectual, and not so practical. Therefore Gautama Buddha wanted to leave Alara Kalama, and visited another thinker.
The other thinker, whom Gautama Buddha visited next, was Udraka Ramaptra. It is said that the place, where Udraka Ramaptra was not far from the place, where Alara Kalama lived, but the place is not clear even today, because several places are supposed. The name of Udraka Ramaptra means the child of Rama, Udraka, and it is said that he was living with 700 studenfs together. His insistence was called "the state of non-thought/not non-thought," and so it might mean "the state of transcending thoughts and transcending sense perception." But we can guess that even though those two thinkers might have a kind of realistic philosophies, their attitudes are maintained in the area of the abstract consideration, that it was difficult for Gautama Buddha to accept their philosophical view as a kind of realism.
(Note) My descriptions in "Gautama Buddha's Personality" and "Pursuing the Truth" were mainly written relying upon "Gautama Buddha" Book 11, in The Select Works by Hajime Nakamura, by Shunjusha)


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