The Agganna Sutta presents a Buddhist creation fable with a moral about castes. Here is a condensed version of the tale. AGGANNA SUTTA: On Knowledge of Beginnings. This is a text taken from a larger collection called the Long Discourses (Digha. Nikaya); the teachings. In contrast with the brahmin’s self-serving mythologies of the past, the Buddha presents an account of evolution that shows how human choices are an integral.

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He is handsome, I am ugly.

And later, because of this burning, they indulged in sexual activity. An aristocrat, brahmin, merchant, worker, or ascetic who is restrained in body, speech, and mind, and develops the seven qualities that lead to awakening, becomes extinguished in this very life. The Buddha then concluded his discourse to Vasettha and Bharadvaja: But so long as they ate those bursting pods, their bodies became more solid and they diverged in appearance; some beautiful, some ugly.

I gathered rice for four days all at once. There they are mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the sky, steadily glorious, and they remain like that for a very long time.

And from these four classes the class of ascetics came into existence. And as they did so, their bodies became even coarser, and the difference in their looks increased still more Then, amongst the people, some of them begin to think like this: The Shramana Gotama is vastly influential and charming, while I only possess small influence.

So too will a Brahmin, [97] a Vessa or a Sudda. There was already the distinction between male and female.

While those who refrain from killing, taking anything that is not given, engage in sexual misconduct, lying, slandering, speaking rough words or nonsense, being greedy, cruel, and practising wrong beliefs miccha ditthiwill be seen by people as positive and will earn respect from the people and the wise ones.

DN The Origin of the World—Bhikkhu Sujato

And they are also seen among some brahmins, merchants, and workers. However, the Buddha states that the Monarch is regarded worthy not because of his divine right but due to his righteousness in deeds.

Then, as the night and day became apparent, seasons and years also appeared. Thus such things as are immoral and considered so, blameworthy and considered so, to be avoided and considered so, ways unbefitting an Ariyan and considered so, black with black result and blamed by the wise, are sometimes to be found among the Khattiyas, and the same applies to Brahmins, merchants and artisans.


DA says compiling the Vedas and teaching them.

But so long as they ate that ripe untilled rice, their bodies became more solid and they diverged in appearance. Font Size Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size. The Shramana Gotama is mighty, while I am weak. The beautiful scorns the ugly and sktta became arrogant because of their appearance. The two brahmins are insulted and maligned by their own caste for their intention to become members of the Sangha. This order was created by the people’s wish and need, based on the Dhamma and not from others.

Further, the Buddha proves that Dhamma is indeed the best thing of all things in life. What was reckoned as immoral at that time, these days is reckoned as moral. Not long afterwards, the creatures began to eat greedily, and due to the huge amount of the mud substance they could feed on it for a very long time.

These things are skillful, blameless, to be cultivated, worthy of the noble ones—and are reckoned as such. The people who saw a couple engaged in sexual activity scolded them, and usually the couple were forbidden from entering the village for a certain period of time.

Aggañña Sutta

Thus, the Brahmin’s words are untrue. The creatures were only known as creatures. Due to the governance of Dhamma which became the root of all castes suttta people anyone, from any the caste, who did demerit and wrongdoings, lived a bad life of speech, thoughts, views, and wrongdoings, they would end up after their death, in the realm of sufferings, hell, loss, and torture.

He with knowledge and conduct is best of gods and men. The people called them aganna which meant ‘They who don’t meditate’. The Buddha stated again that Dhamma is indeed the best of all things. I gathered rice for supper and breakfast all at once. It has close links with Sutta 3, and RD refers to it in some detail in the introduction to that Sutta. When the ground-sprouts had vanished, bursting pods appeared, like the fruit of the kadam tree. To this remark, the Buddha tells them that the Brahmins have indeed forgotten about their past if they said such things.


The Buddha said that the Brahmins are not speaking truthfully and they will reap a bad result from their own deeds.

Devolution and Evolution in the Agganna Sutta | Sugunasiri | Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies

Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies 9: He calls it a kind of Buddhist book of Genesis, which is fair enough if one pays attention to the differences. The Buddha then advises Vasettha that whoever has strong, deep-rooted, and established belief in the Tathagatha, he can declare that he is the child of Bhagavanborn from the mouth of Dhamma, created from Dhamma, and the heir of Dhamma. Only brahmins are purified, not others. Then, as aggannw evil and greed were aroused, there were people who begin stealing others’ crops.

People noticed this and ‘Those who meditated’ were called ‘Jhayanti’ or ‘Jhayaka’. And the women became excessively preoccupied with men, and the men with women.

Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies

There are other people, who can’t meditate or dwell in huts in the forest. So, by the opinion of the other Brahmins, how can Vasettha and Bharadvaja leave this good caste and status, thus joining together with fraudulent ascetics with shaven heads from other castes, lower in status as they are born from the feet of Brahma? Note that all the various forms of food mentioned are vegetarian. Because we can see Brahmin women, the wives of Brahmins, who menstruate and become pregnant, [82] have babies and give suck.

Previous The Wheel-Turning Monarch. An aristocrat, brahmin, merchant, worker, or ascetic aggqnna do good things by way of body, speech, and mind. What was reckoned as lesser at that time, these days is reckoned as better.

They came down to the neighborhood of a village or town where they dwelt compiling texts.

With the smoking fire gone out, with pestle cast aside, gathering alms for their evening and morning meals, they went away to a village, town or royal city to seek their food, and then they returned to their leaf-huts to meditate.