Yasa Buddhism


Yasa Gautama was a disciple of the Buddha in the 6th century BC, the sixth bhikkhu of the Buddhist monastic community (Sangha), and the sixth to attain arhat (enlightened) consciousness.

Yasa was brought up in the city of Varanasi as the son of a wealthy family. His family home was swarming with servants, musicians, dancers to ensure constant entertainment.

Fed up with this kind of worldly life, Yasa left the family estate and headed for Isipatana. He met the Buddha, who gave him a dharma lecture on reality, which immediately led to Yasa attaining the first stage of the path to arhathana (sotapanna).

The Buddha spoke to him about generosity (dana), discipline (shila), Buddhist cosmology (sagga), suffering from sense pleasures (kamadinava), the virtues of renunciation (nekkhammanisamsa) and the four noble truths. Yasa's father went in search of his son.

He came to the Buddha, who also gave him a dharma discourse, which caused the father to take refuge in the three precious things (Buddha, dharma, sangha). Yasa, who was nearby, also heard the discourse, which caused him to attain the arhat level and enter the sangha.

When the Buddha and his first six disciples to reach the arhat level of consciousness visited Yasa's former home, Yasa's mother, his former wife and his four closest friends (Vimala, Subahu, Punnaji and Gavampati) also decided to join the monastic community and all attained enlightenment.

Later, fifty more of Yasa's friends joined the community and also attained the arhat level. This brought the number of arhats to sixty.

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