The Brahmajala Sutta is the first sutta in the Digha Nikaya. Other names for it are Atthajaala, Dhammajaala, Ditthijaala and Sangaamavijaya.
Round Pavilion in the royal park of Ambalatthika, between Rajagaha and Nalanda.
This discourse is given by the Buddha to five hundred monks, including Ananda, in response to an argument between the wandering mendicant Suppiya and his disciple, Brahmadatta.
The Buddha advised the monks not to harbor ill-feelings when criticisms are made about the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, for it would prevent fair evaluation of the critics. Instead, the monks should correct any false claims by pointing it out as wrong. At the same time, the monks should not get themselves carried away by praises of the Triple Gems, for it would become a hindrance to their practice. Instead, they should acknowledge what is correct to be the fact.
In this sutta, the Buddha also told the story of how Mahabrahma, the first being to be born in the Brahma Palace, conceived the idea he is the creator of the world.
When an ordinary person, a worldling (puthujjana), praises the Buddha, it is always in relation to the morality and discipline exemplified by the Buddha. These are listed under three broad categories.
The Buddha, however, asserted that when morality is compared to wisdom, these are merely matters of a trifling and inferior nature, and that the wise would praise the Buddha for realizing dhammas which are profound, hard to see, subtle and intelligible only to the wise. At this moment, the Buddha cast an extensive net, bringing in all the sixty two views which are various speculations on the nature of life, just as a skilled fisherman casting a fine-meshed net to trap and capture fish of all sizes. It is from this simile that the sutta derived its name. In a way, this sutta can even be understood as an overview of what the Buddha's teaching is not, in terms of morality and wisdom.
The catch can be summarized as follows:
Eighteen (18) assertions regarding the past
Forty four (44) speculations concerning the future
The Buddha cautioned the monks that these sixty two views are based upon sensation (vedana) which is caused by contact (phassa) and leads to craving (tanha), and craving ultimately leads to rebirth and suffering.
One alternate English title of the sutta is The Perfect Net (PTS). A more elaborate, and therefore longer, title is The All-Embracing Net of Views (Bhikkhu Bodhi). Another alternative is The Net of Perfect Wisdom (BPA).
‣ 1: 2006/01/21 YPOng
‣ 0: 2006/01/16 YPOng