> Digital Library > Multimedia
Documentation > Jataka Stories > The
Story of Dhamma-Chakka-Pavattana-Katha
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
|081 - Dhamma-Chakka-Pavattana-Katha|
After the attainment of Enlightenment and becoming a Buddha, Gotama Budddha thought of delivering his first sermon to some receptive ascetics. So, he thought of revealing his doctrine first to Alara Kalama, who was his first guru; and who he had left because his doctrine could not satisfy him. So, he looked for Alara by his divine eye; and learnt of his death.
Buddha in the dhammacakka-pavattana mudra,
to set the wheel of dhamma (righteousness) in motion
He then thought of
teaching his other guru Uddaka
Ramaputta, who he had deserted because he, too, was not convincing. So, he
thought of delivering the first sermon to him. But he, too, was dead.
Now, he thought about
his five companions with whom he had practised penances in Uruvela for six
years before separating from them. (He had segregated from them after
having realised that self-mortification, which was so ardently being
practised by the five ascetics, was not the right path of Enlightenment).
So, he looked for them by his divine eye and saw them wandering about the
Isipatan Migdaya, popularly known as Deer Park, in Sarnath.
Soon he reached there to deliver his first sermon. His first sermon
in the history of Buddhism is often called the
Dhamma-chakka-pavattana-katha, because that ‘sets the wheel of the dhamma
into motion’ (Dhamma-chakka-pavattana) to take the people to the
Final Destination of life, i.e., Nibbana.
When the five ascetics saw the Buddha approaching, they first decided to ignore him as he had deserted them. But having noticed his bright countenance they changed their mind and acknowledged his superiority by showing reverence to him. The Buddha then delivered his first sermon in the Isipatana Migadaya. He professed the doctrine of Four Noble Truths:
path is also called the ‘Middle-Path’, as it avoids the two extreme
paths to realise the Goal of Life. The first of the two extreme paths is
the path of the extreme sensuality and mundane pleasures; and the other is
the path of self-mortification, implying rigourous and austere penances to
attain the summum bonum of life.
He also professed the
doctrine of the Dependent Origination (Paticcha-Samuppada), which means,
every worldly phenomenon is dependent on some other phenomenon. In light
of the above - if there is suffering by way of old-age, disease and death
and so on - it is due to the birth. If there is no birth, who would then
suffer ? (It may be noted that Death is only the end of one birth; the
next birth may be much worse). The birth is dependent on becoming;
becoming is due to grasping; grasping is due to craving; craving is due to
feeling; feeling is due to contact; contact is due to the six sense
organs; the six sense organs are due to mind-body complex; mind-body
complex is due to sensation; sensation is due to mental confections (samskaras)
; and mental confections are due to ignorance. In other words, he
professed that ignorance is the root-cause of suffering.
Soon after hearing this sermon Kondanna (popularly called Annatta-Kondanna) became a Sotapanna; and others also became the followers of the Buddha.
See Mahaparinibbana Sutta (No.16 Digha Nikaya).
Copyright IGNCA© 2002