Thus I have heard -- while the Buddha was staying at Savatthi, there were two Brahmins among the monks who wished to be admitted to the monastic sangha. One evening they saw the Buddha taking a walk. Eager to learn from him, they walked at his side. The Buddha said, "You two are Brahmins, and now you are living among homeless mendicants of many backgrounds. How are the other Brahmins treating you? The wise do not see the Brahmin class above all others, because a person who has realized enlightenment and become an arhat is above all castes.
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And at that time Vasettha and Bharadvaja were living among the monks, hoping to become monks themselves. And in the evening, the Lord rose from his secluded meditation and came out of the mansion, and started walking up and down in its shade.
Let us approach him. We might be fortunate enough to hear a talk on Dhamma from the Lord himself. Do not the Brahmins revile and abuse you? Because we can see Brahmin women, the wives of Brahmins, who menstruate and become pregnant, have babies and give suck. And sometimes a Khattiya takes life, takes what is not given, commits sexual misconduct, tells lies, indulges in slander, harsh speech or idle chatter, is grasping, malicious, or of wrong views.
Thus such things are are immoral and considered so, blameworthy and considered so, to be avoided and considered so, ways unbefitting an Ariyan and considered so, black with black results and blamed by the wise, are sometimes to be found among the Khattiyas, and the same applies to Brahmins, merchants and artisans. Thus such things as are moral and considered so, blameless and considered so, to be followed and considered so, ways befitting an Ariyan and considered so, bright with bright results and praised by the wise, are sometimes to be found among the Khattiyas, and likewise among Brahmins, merchants and artisans.
Why is that? Because, Vasettha, anyone from the four castes who becomes a monk, an Arahant who has destroyed the corruptions, who has lived the life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the highest goal, destroyed the fetters of becoming, and become emancipated through super-knowledge—he is proclaimed supreme by virtue of Dhamma and not of non-Dhamma. They offer him humble service and salute him, rise and do him homage and pay him fitting service. At a time of contraction, beings are mostly born in the Abhassara Brahma world.
And there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious—and they stay like that for a very long time. But sooner or later, after a very long period, this world begins to expand again. At a time of expansion the beings from the Abhassara Brahma world, having passed away from there, are mostly reborn in this world. Here they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious—and they stay like that for a very long time.
Neither moon nor sun appeared, no constellations or stars appeared, night and day were not distinguished, nor months and fortnights, no years or seasons, and no male and female, beings being reckoning just as beings. And sooner or later, after a very long period of time, savory earth spread itself over the waters where those beings were.
It looked just like the skin that forms itself over hot milk as it cools. It was endowed with color, smell and taste. It was the color of fine ghee or butter, and it was very sweet, like pure wild honey. In so doing, it became taken with the flavor, and craving arose in it. Then other beings, taking their cue from that one, also tasted the stuff with their fingers.
They too were taken with the flavor, and craving arose in them. So they set to with their hands, breaking off pieces of the stuff in order to eat it. And the result of this was that their self-luminance disappeared. And as a result of the disappearance of their self-luminance, the moon and the sun appeared, night and day were distinguished, months and fortnights appeared, and the year and its seasons.
To that extent the world re-evolved. And as they did so, their bodies became courser, and a difference in looks developed among them. Some beings became good-looking, others ugly. Oh that flavor!
It was of a good color, smell, and taste. And those beings set to and ate the fungus. And this lasted for a very long time. And as they continued to feed on the fungus, so their bodies became coarser still, and the difference in their looks increased still more. And the good-looking ones despised the others…And because they became arrogant and conceited about their looks, the sweet fungus disappeared. Next, creeper appeared, shooting up like bamboo…, and they too were very sweet, like pure wild honey.
And as they did so, their bodies became even coarser, and the difference in their looks increased still more…And they became still more arrogant, and so the creeper disappeared too. What have we lost! And these beings set to and fed on this rice, and this lasted for a very long time. And as they did so, their bodies became coarser still, and the difference in their looks became even greater.
And the females developed female sex-organs, and the males developed male organs. And the women became excessively preoccupied with men, and the men with women. Owing to this excessive preoccupation with each other, passion was aroused, and their bodies burnt with lust. And later, because of this burning, they indulged in sexual activity. How can one being do such things to another! What was considered bad form in those days is now considered good form. Accordingly those who indulged for an excessively long period in such immoral practices began to build themselves dwellings so as to indulge under cover.
So now let us divide up the rice into fields with boundaries. Again he was seized and rebuked, and some hit him with their fists, some with stones, and some with sticks.
And in this way, Vasettha, taking what was not given, and censuring and lying, and punishment, took their origin. And in return, we would grant him a share of the rice.
This, then, Vasettha, is the origin of the class of Khattiyas, in accordance with the ancient titles that were introduced for them. They originated among these very same beings, like ourselves, no different, and in accordance with Dhamma, not otherwise. We ought to put aside evil and unwholesome things. They made leaf-huts in forest places and meditated in them. With the smoking fire gone out, with pestle cast aside, gathering alms for their evening and morning meals, they went away to a village, town or royal city to seek their food, and then they returned to their leaf-huts to meditate.
People saw this a noted how they meditated. People saw them doing this and not meditating. At that time it was regarded as a low designation, but now it is the higher. This, then, Vasettha, is the origin of the class of Brahmins in accordance with the ancient titles that were introduced for them. Their origin was from among these very same beings, like themselves, no different, and in accordance with Dhamma, not otherwise.
This, then, is the origin of the class of Vessas, in accordance with the ancient titles that were introduced for them. This, then, is the origin of the class of Suddas in accordance with the ancient titles that were introduced for them.
And from these four classes the class of ascetics came into existence. So too will a Brahmin, a Vessa or a Sudda. Wikipitaka — The Completing Tipitaka.
Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27)
The Beginning[ edit ] The Sutta begins when the Buddha is staying in Savatthi, in the temple donated by Visakkha, the mother of Migara. At that time, two brahmins, Bharadvaja and Vasettha, are training with the monks bhikkhu and aim to be a member of the Sangha. As usual in the evening, the Buddha rises from his meditation and strolls in the open yard near his dwelling. Vasettha sees his Teacher strolling, tells his friend, Bharadvaja, and suggests that they meet the Buddha to see if they can hear a Dhamma exposition from the Buddha.
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And at that time Vasettha and Bharadvaja were living among the monks, hoping to become monks themselves. And in the evening, the Lord rose from his secluded meditation and came out of the mansion, and started walking up and down in its shade. Let us approach him. We might be fortunate enough to hear a talk on Dhamma from the Lord himself. Do not the Brahmins revile and abuse you?