Brahmā’s Invitation: the Ariyapariyesanā-sutta in the Light of its Madhyama-āgama Parallel

Ven. Analayo


The present article begins by surveying the role of the ancient Indian god Brahmā in the early Buddhist discourses as exemplifying a tendency referred to in academic research as “inclusivism”.

A prominent instance of this tendency can be found in the Ariyapariyesanā-sutta of the Pāli canon, which reports that Brahmā intervened to persuade the recently awakened Buddha to teach. This episode is absent from a Madhyama-āgama parallel to the Ariyapariyesanā-sutta, of which I provide a partial translation. The translation is followed by a brief evaluation of this difference between the two parallel records of the events surrounding the Buddha’s awakening.

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