Mahākāśyapa

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A young Mahākāśyapa, wood, eighteenth century, Korea

Mahākāśyapa (P. Mahākassapa; T. 'od srung chen po འོད་སྲུང་ཆེན་པོ་; C. mohejiashe 摩訶迦葉), or Kāśyapa, was one of the ten principal disciples of Gautama Buddha, who was foremost in ascetic practice.

According to tradition, Mahākāśyapa assumed the leadership of the Sangha following the death of the Buddha, presiding over the First Buddhist Council. He is considered to be a patriarch in the Zen traditions. In the Pāli tradition, he is considered to be the Buddha's third chief disciple, surpassed only by the chief disciples Sariputta and Maha Moggallana.

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