The Ājīvika Doctrine of the Six Classes of Men Mentioned in Buddhist Scriptures

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  • 仏典にみられるアージーヴィカ教の六生類説について


<p>Previous studies have held that the Ājīvikas flourished in ancient India and existed in South India until around the 14th century. However, they vanished afterwards.</p><p>In contrast to the Buddhists, the Ājīvikas were said to have denied effects of actions, works or deeds (karma) and maintained the doctrines of causelessness (ahetu-vāda) or fruitlessness (akriya-vāda), and they classified persons according to their spiritual colors.</p><p>According to the Aṅguttara-Nikāya (AN) and some Pali commentaries, the six classes are compared to six colors: black (kaṇha), blue (nīla), red (lohita), yellow (haliddā), white (sukka) and supremely white (parama-sukka). All persons will have a long reincarnation process from the lowermost to the uppermost class.</p><p>The doctrine of the six classes of persons is stated in the AN and the Pali commentaries (Aṭṭhakathās) which are ascribed to the Theravādins. It is also so stated in the Chinese translations of the Ārya-Vasmitra Bodhisattvasaṅgīti, the Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra, and the Tibetan translation of the Vinayavastuṭīkā’Dul ba gzhi rgya cher ’grel pa) which are ascribed to the Mūlasarvāstivādins.</p><p>In this paper, I compare the above mentioned materials on the doctrine of the six classes of persons and point out similarities and differences between some scriptures of the Theravādins and the Mūlasarvāstivādins.</p>



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