the four sights

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the four sights

Postby Vakkali » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:07 am

Is there a Pāḷi term for the four sights (the old man, the sick man, the corpse, and the ascetic?)
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Re: the four sights

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:12 am

catu nimitta (4 images or 4 signs; aka 4 sights)

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=4_Sights
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Re: the four sights

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:42 am

See also the "Messengers of the gods" (devadūta).

The Deva Messengers
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Re: the four sights

Postby pilgrim » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:30 am

I know the the suttas did not say that the bodhisatta saw the four sights, but which text exactly tells this story?
Secondly, the Buddha said that all Buddhas of the past and of the future will see these four sights. Which sutta was that?
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Re: the four sights

Postby Kumara » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:52 am

pilgrim wrote:I know the the suttas did not say that the bodhisatta saw the four sights, but which text exactly tells this story?

It's probably inspired from Vipassi Buddha's story in DN14.

Secondly, the Buddha said that all Buddhas of the past and of the future will see these four sights. Which sutta was that?

Haven't seen such a sutta. Maybe commentarial "sutta".
Last edited by Kumara on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the four sights

Postby pilgrim » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:14 am

Kumara wrote:
pilgrim wrote:I know the the suttas did not say that the bodhisatta saw the four sights, but which text exactly tells this story?

It's probably inspired from Vipassi Buddha's story in DN14. Even then, we can find only 3 'signs'. No samana there.

Secondly, the Buddha said that all Buddhas of the past and of the future will see these four sights. Which sutta was that?

Haven't seen such a sutta. Maybe commentarial "sutta".

Bhante, there are several biographies, of which the Sanskrit Buddhacarita is the most complete. The Theravadin biography would probably be Buddhaghosa's Nidanakatha.

Someone on this forum mentioned a sutta where the Buddha said that all Buddhas of the past see the 4 sights. but I can't find that comment now(have tried the search function). Edit: After some google-fu, I think this is indeed Commentarial.

DN14 Mahapadana sutta records the 4th sight
"And as he was being driven to the pleasure park, Prince Vipassi saw a shaven headed man, one who had gone forth, wearing a yellow robe. And he said to the charioteer, ‘What is the matter with that man? His head is not like other men’s, and his clothes are not like other men’s."
Last edited by pilgrim on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the four sights

Postby cooran » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:00 am

Hello All,

Link to Mahapadana Sutta

Scroll down to End of Birth Section for the Four Sights

http://buddhasutra.com/files/mahapadana_sutta.htm

With metta,
Chris
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Re: the four sights

Postby pilgrim » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:07 am

cooran wrote:Hello All,

Link to Mahapadana Sutta

Scroll down to End of Birth Section for the Four Sights

http://buddhasutra.com/files/mahapadana_sutta.htm

With metta,
Chris

hi Chris, you probably already know this but I think it should be mentioned that the Buddha was telling the story of the 4 sights as experienced by a previous Buddha, Vipassi.
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Re: the four sights

Postby santa100 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:06 pm

pilgrim wrote:I know the the suttas did not say that the bodhisatta saw the four sights, but which text exactly tells this story?

Probably a later development based on AN 3.39 which didn't explicitly say that He saw the sights. From Ven. Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words":
According to legend, while the Bodhisatta was still a prince living in the palace, he encountered an old man, a sick man, and a corpse, sights he had never seen before. These encounters shattered his worldly complacency and stirred him to seek a way to liberation from suffering. The commentaries say that these three figures were deities in disguise sent to awaken the Bodhisatta to his mission. Hence old age, illness, and death are called “divine messengers.”
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Re: the four sights

Postby Kumara » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:35 am

pilgrim wrote:Someone on this forum mentioned a sutta where the Buddha said that all Buddhas of the past see the 4 sights. but I can't find that comment now(have tried the search function). Edit: After some google-fu, I think this is indeed Commentarial.

You probably know that the popular Buddha's story is mostly not from the Suttas.

DN14 Mahapadana sutta records the 4th sight
"And as he was being driven to the pleasure park, Prince Vipassi saw a shaven headed man, one who had gone forth, wearing a yellow robe. And he said to the charioteer, ‘What is the matter with that man? His head is not like other men’s, and his clothes are not like other men’s."

Ah, yes. It's there. I've removed the error. Some memory interference. I've not been pay attention to this stuff for many years.

Here's the other bit of memory that mixed up the earlier bit: We can find the pre-renunciation Gotama contemplating on 3 of the 4 'signs' (i.e., minus the samana) in Ariyapariyesana Sutta (MN 26). The details may be inspired from Devaduta Sutta (MN 130).
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Re: the four sights

Postby Kumara » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:37 am

Is this thread on the wrong section? Isn't this one supposed to be on Pali only?
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