Ten principal disciples

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Buddha and his disciples; Kandy, Sri Lanka.

The ten principal disciples of Gautama Buddha are identified in some Buddhist sources. Depending on the scripture, the disciples included in this group vary.

According to the Vimalakirti Sutra, this list includes;

  1. Shariputra
    Śāripūtra was foremost in the development of wisdom (prajna).
  2. Maudgalyayana
    Maudgalyāyana was formost in the development of supernatural powers.
  3. Mahākāśyapa
    Mahākāśyapa was foremost in ascetic training. After the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, he led the First Buddhist council which codified the Buddha's teachings.
  4. Subhuti
    In the Pali tradition, Subhuti is considered the disciple who was foremost in being "worthy of gifts" and "living remote and in peace". In the Sanskrit tradition, he is considered foremost in understanding emptiness (śūnyatā).
  5. Purna
    Purna was foremost in preaching the dharma.
  6. Kātyāyana
    Kātyāyana was foremost in explaining the brief discourses of the Buddha.
  7. Aniruddha
    Aniruddha was foremost in the development of clairvoyance and the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness (satipatthana). He was a cousin of Shakyamuni Buddha who became a monk at the same time as Ananda.
  8. Upali
    Upali was foremost among the disciples in his knowledge of the monastic code of conduct (vinaya). At the First Buddhist Council, he was asked by Mahakashyapa to recite all of the rules of the monastic code (vinaya).
  9. Rāhula
    Rāhula was the only son of the Buddha. He was the first to become a "novice monk" (śrāmaṇera) and was known for his eagerness to learn.
  10. Ananda
    Ananda was the Buddha's cousin and personal attendant. He was foremost in having retentive memory.
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