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Vajjiyamāhita

A householder of Campā, a devout and skilled follower of the Buddha. Once, when on his way to see the Buddha at the Gaggarā lake, he found he had arrived too early and went into the Paribbājakārāma nearby. The paribbājakā asked him if it was true that the Buddha ridicules all forms of asceticism and austerity. They spoke of the Buddha as a teacher of a discipline which he himself did not follow, a nihilist (venayika) and a visionary (? appaññattika). (For an explanation of these terms, see AA.ii.854).

Vajjiyamāhita refuted their arguments, maintaining that the Buddha declared what was good and what was bad, and that the truth of his teachings could be proved. Having thus silenced them, he sought the Buddha, to whom he repeated the conversation. The Buddha praised him, and said it was untrue that he discouraged all austerity and asceticism; such penances as led to the destruction of evil states and the promotion of good states, he welcomed and encouraged. When Vajjiyamāhita had left him, the Buddha held him up to the monks as an example of a good householder, capable of profitable discussion with followers of other persuasions. A.v.189 ff; see also A.iii.451.

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