Ananda, Jivaka + Devadatta : Buddha’s Entourage – Ep. 164

In this two part podcast Robert A.F. Thurman leads a live translation of “The Samaññaphala Sutta : The Fruit of the Homeless Life” providing the back-stories of the historical figures found in the sutra in order to elucidate the ethical and scientific insights of the Buddha’s teachings on the value of the contemplative life.

Using this beloved + often referenced sutra in which King Ajatasattu of the Magadha Kingdom questions the Buddha on the benefits of the spiritual life Professor Thurman explains the abundant selection of ascetic practices on offer from the various schools of philosophy at the time and how these ideas can help any spiritual seeker, Buddhist or not.

Podcast Includes stories about the Buddha’s closest associates including: Jivaka Komarabhacca, his personal physician and the community’s doctor, his cousins Devadatta (who led the assassination by elephant attempt on his life) and Ananda his close friend, personal attendant and eventual inheritor of the reigns of leadership of the monastic community after his death + parinirvana.

Second half of the podcast begins with a definition of the terms Shramana (Skt. śramaṇa; Tib. དགེ་སྦྱོང་, gejong, Wyl. dge sbyong), Bhagavan (Skt. bhagavant; Tib. བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་, chomdendé; Wyl. bcom ldan ‘das) and a discussion on the secular nature of Buddha’s advice found within “The Samaññaphala Sutta”.

Ananda, Jivaka and Devadatta : Buddha's Entourage - Ep. 164 of the Bob Thurman Podcast Photo by Peter Hershey“Buddha’s Entourage: Ananda, Jivaka and Devadatta” is an excerpt from the Force For Good Class “The Samaññaphala Sutta : The Fruits of the Homeless Life” held at Tibet House US in New York City Winter 2016.

A Force For Good’ is a Tibet House US course to further the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Mind & Life Institute science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama) & along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility).

To watch the full video archive of this teaching please visit:

To listen to more archive recordings from from past Robert A.F. Thurman teachings + public events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. To Learn about the benefits of Tibet House US Membership please visit: Full access begins at $2 a month.

The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved.

“Buddha’s Entourage: Ananda, Jivaka and Devadatta” Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash.

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