1. Aṭṭhaka.– A celebrated sage, composer and reciter of sacred runes, mentioned together with nine others,¹ as the ancient rsis of the brahmins. They abstained from food at unseasonable times. They were the first teachers of the Tevijja Brahmins ² and great sacrifices were conducted by them.³
Various teachings are attributed to them, e.g. that they recognised five kinds of Brahmins — brahmasama, devasama, mariyāda, sambhinnamariyāda, and brāhmaṇacaṇḍāla.⁴ These sages did not claim to have discerned and realised the five qualities — truth, austerities, chastity, study, and munificence — specified by the brahmins for the attainment of merit and the achievement of what is right,⁵ though their followers behaved as if they did. Nor did they claim that they personally saw and knew that “here alone resides the truth and everything else is vain.” ⁶ In the Vimānavatthu Commentary it is said that the Buddha had realised those things of which these sages thought and for which they wished.⁷
It is said that Aṭṭhaka and the other seers had the divine-
Aṭṭhaka is generally identified with Aṣṭaka mentioned as the author of Ṛg-
¹ Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamataggi, Aṅgirasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, and Bhagu. Vin.i.245; D.i.104; DA.i.273.
⁷ p.265 (Brahmacintitan ti brahmehi Aṭṭhakādīhi cintitaṃ, pañcacakkhunā diṭṭhaṃ).
4. Aṭṭhaka.– A King. When Daṇḍaka, having sinned against Kisavaccha, was destroyed with his realm, three of the subordinate lords within his kingdom — Kaliṅga, Aṭṭhaka, and Bhīmaratha — went to consult the Bodhisatta Sarabhaṅga on the fate of Daṇḍaka and his fellow-
5. Aṭṭhaka.– A Pacceka Buddha. Mentioned in a nominal list. M.iii.70; Ap.i.107.