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Saṅgārava

A very learned brahmin of Cañcalikappa. One day he saw Dhanañjāni trip up, and heard her exclaim three times, “Glory to the Buddha, the Arahant, the all enlightened.” He blamed her for thus extolling a shaveling monk, but when she told him of the Buddha’s marvellous qualities, he felt a desire to see him. Some time after, the Buddha went to Cañcalikappa and stayed in Todeyya’s Mango grove. When Dhanañjāni told Saṅgārava that he was there, Saṅgārava visited him and questioned him on his views on brahmins. The Buddha said he had great regard for brahmins who had here and now won the goal, having discovered unaided a doctrine before unknown. He himself was one of these. He then proceeds to describe how he came to leave the household life and how, in due course, he won Enlightenment.

Saṅgārava asks further whether there are any gods. The Buddha answers that of that there is no doubt; the whole world is in agreement on that point. Saṅgārava is pleased and accepts the Buddha as his teacher (M.ii.209 ff). Buddhaghosa says (MA.ii.808) that Saṅgārava was the youngest of the Bhāradvāja (q.v.), brothers of Dhanañjāni's husband.

The Saṃyuttanikāya (S.i.182 f) mentions a Saṅgārava who is perhaps distinct from the above. He lived in Sāvatthi and was a “bath ritualist,” believing in purification by water, bathing morning and evening. The Buddha, at Ānanda’s request, visited his house and taught him the Doctrine, after which he became the Buddha’s follower.

The Commentary (SA.i.207) explains that Ānanda and Saṅgārava had, as laymen, been friends, and Ānanda was anxious to prevent “this wretch (varāko) who, for all our friendship has contracted wrong views, from becoming a hell filler; moreover he has a circle of friends, and hundreds may follow if he is converted.”

Another passage from the Saṃyuttanikāya (S.v.121 f; see Saṅgārava Sutta (3) contains a sutta in which the brahmin Saṅgārava visits the Buddha and asks him why he can remember certain mantras with great case and others not at all. It may be this same brahmin who is mentioned several times also in the Aṅguttaranikāya. A.i.168 f; iii.230 f; v. 232, 252. For details see Saṅgārava Sutta (4 and 7).

The Commentary states (AA.i.396) that he was an overseer in charge of the repair of the dilapidated buildings in Rājagaha (Rājagahanagare jiṇṇapaṭisaṅkhara nakārako āyuttakabrāhmaṇo).

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