Buddhavacana online dating
The next step for this Brahmin, then, is to ask the Buddha his caste status, to determine (from his perspective) whether or not the Buddha is a suitable recipient for the donation.
The poem that follows opens with a standard Buddhist argument that it is a man’s conduct that should be judged, not his birth nor his ethnicity.
This has clear implications for the (still-widespread) Mahayana assumption that the Buddha had freakish physical abnormalities.
It is significant that neither party can initially recognize the other as a Buddhist, despite the fact that the circumstances have already made it obvious that both are religious eremites of some kind. 238-9] In the denouement to this discussion, the young man apologizes for having failed to address the Buddha in accordance with his higher status, as he did not know to whom he was speaking; however, there is no mention made of the fact that the Buddha was also incorrect in addressing the younger man as a monk (bhikkhu); the unwinding of the plot reveals that the latter had aspired to become a monk, but had not yet ordained.
However, priority is given to disclosing the primary sources: in this case, as in many others, there is no controversy at all if we simply lay bare the original texts, and let them speak for themselves.
Apparently, the implicit concern here is that the vast majority of men with bald-shaven heads are either low-caste or outcastes, i.e., perhaps with reference to the form of banishment aforementioned, or else simply reflecting the ethnic and religious divisions of the era.
It is also salient to our present interest that this younger man sat and had a conversation with the Buddha for a fairly long time before surmising that he was speaking to the Buddha himself –and even this was an inference based on the content of the sermon, not on the man’s appearance. Evidently, the Buddha did not have physical abnormalities (nor any other remarkable characteristics) that would have allowed his devotees to recognize him at close range, nor did his followers have a tradition of believing this to be the case in the era of the composition and compilation of the most ancient canonical texts.
Conversely, in this scene, it seems that it was not even easy for the Buddha himself to distinguish his own adherents from eremites of other kinds, i.e., apparently because of the simplicity of the monastic regalia.
Some might ask how we could know what the Buddha looked like after so many centuries, if we didn’t blindly trust in a succession of statues and amulets.
It is needless to say that the Pali canon does not contain photographic evidence, but it does contain evidence of another kind, and this article tries to answer the question (that almost nobody dares to ask) in as few words as possible, by working from the primary sources.