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Sabhiya

1. Sabhiya (Sambhiya).– The constant attendant of Phussa Buddha. J.i.41; Bu.xix.19.

2. Sabhiya Thera.– His mother was a nobleman’s daughter whose parents had committed her to the charge of a wanderer (paribbājaka), that she might learn various doctrines and usages. The wanderer seduced her, and, when she was with child, the fraternity abandoned her. Her child was born in the open (sabhāyaṃ), while she was wandering about alone — hence his name. When Sabhiya grew up he, in his turn, became a wanderer and was famous as a dialectician. He had a hermitage by the city gate, where he gave lessons to the sons of noblemen and others. He devised twenty questions, which he put before recluses and brahmins, but none could answer them. These questions had been handed on to him by his mother who had developed insight and had been reborn in a Brahma world. (However, see Sabhiya Sutta). Then, as related in the Sabhiya Sutta (1), Sabhiya visited the Buddha in Veḷuvana and, at the end of the discussion, entered the Order, where, developing insight, he won Arahantship.

In the time of Kakusandha Buddha he was a householder and gave the Buddha a pair of sandals. After Kassapa Buddha’s death he, with six others, joined the Order and lived in the forest. Failing to develop jhāna, they went to the top of a mountain, determined to reach some attainment or to die of starvation. The eldest became an Arahant, the next became a Non-returner and was reborn in the Suddhāvāsā. The remaining five died without achieving their aim. These five were, in this age, Pukkusāti, Sabhiya, Bāhiya, Kumāra-Kassapa, and Dabba-Mallaputta. ThagA.i.381 f; SNA.ii.419 ff; Ap.ii.473; DhA.ii.212.

Sabhiya is mentioned as an example of a wise wanderer (paṇḍita paribbājaka) (SA.ii.188). A series of verses spoken by him, in admonishing monks who sided with Devadatta, are given in the Theragāthā (vs. 275‑8; see also Mtu.iii.389 ff.).

Yasadatta (q.v.) was Sabhiya’s companion.

3. Sabhiya.– A wanderer (paribbājaka), perhaps identical with Sabhiya (2). The Saṃyuttanikāya (S.iv.401 f) records a discussion that took place at Ñātika between him and Vacchagotta on various questions, such as the existence of the Buddha after death, etc. In this sutta, Sabhiya is addressed as Kaccāna, and he says that he had then been three years in the Order. It is probably this same wanderer who is referred to as Sabhiya-Kaccāna in the Anuruddha Sutta. M.iii.148 f.

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