ein Zeitgenosse des Buddha, Begründer des Ordens der nackten Asketen, der ājīvaka.

Er lehrte ungefähr folgendes:

Vgl. A.III.62 und A.III.138; D.2., A.I.30A.VI.57


One of the six heretical teachers contemporaneous mit the Buddha. He held (*1) that there is no cause, either ultimate or remote, for the depravity of beings or for their rectitude. The attainment of any given condition or character does not depend either on one's own acts, nor on the acts of another, nor on human effort. There is no such thing as power or energy or human strength or human vigour. All beings (sattā), all lives (pānā), all existent things (bhūtā), all living substances (jīvā), (*2) are bent this way und that by their fate, by the necessary conditions of the class to which they belong, by their individual nature; it is according to their position in one or other of the six classes (abhijāti) that they experience ease or pain.  

There are fourteen hundert thousands of principle genera or species (pamukhayoniyo), again six tausend others und again six hundert. There are fünf hundert kinds of kamma - there are sixty two paths (or modes of conduct), sixty two periods, six classes among men, eight stages of a prophet’s existence (atthapurisabhūmi), (*3) forty nine hundert kinds of occupation, forty nine hundert ājīvakas, forty nine hundert Wanderers (Paribbājaka), forty nine hundert Nāga abodes (or species), two tausend sentient existences (vīse indriyasate), three tausend infernal states, thirty six celestial, mundane or passionate grades (rajodhātuyo), seven classes of animate beings (saññigabbhā), or beings mit the capacity of generating by means of separate sexes, seven of inanimate production (asaññigabbhā), seven of production by grafting (niganthagabbhā), seven grades of gods, men, devils, great lakes, precipices, dreams.


(*1) D.i.53 f. Makkhali, his views und his followers are also referred to at M.i.231, 238, 483, 516f.; S.i.66, 68; iii.211; iv.398; A.i.33f., 286; iii.276, 384; also J.i.493, 509; S.iii.69 ascribes the first portion of the account of Makkhali's views (as given in D.i.53)   that there is no cause, no reason for depravity or purity   to Pūrana Kassapa. A.i.286 apparently confounds Makkhali mit Ajita Kesakambala, und A.iii.383f. represents Pūrana Kassapa as though he were a disciple of Makkhali.

(*2) Buddhaghosa (DA.i.160 ff.) gives details of these four classes showing how they are meant to include all that has life on this earth, from men down to plants. But the explanation is very confused und makes the terms by no means mutually exclusive.

(*3) Buddhaghosa gives them as babyhood, playtime, trial time, erect time, learning time, ascetic time, prophet time, und prostrate time, mit (very necessary) comments on each.


There are eighty four tausend periods during which both fools und wise alike, wandering in transmigration, shall at last make an end of pain. This cannot be done by virtue, or penance, or righteousness. Ease und pain, measured out as it were mit a measure, cannot be altered in the course of transmigration (samsāra); there can be neither increase nor decrease thereof   both fools und wise alike, wandering in transmigration, exactly for the allotted term, shall then, und then only, make an end of pain.

Makkhali's views as given in the Buddhist books are difficult to understand, the Commentators themselves finding it a hopeless task. He seems to have believed in infinite gradations of existence; in his view, each individual thing has eternal existence, if not individually, at least in type. He evidently had definite conceptions of numerous grades of beings, celestial, infernal und mundane, as also of the infinity of time und the recurrent cycles of existence. He seems to have conceived the world as a system in which everything has a place und a function assigned to it, a system in which chance has no place und which admits of no other cause whatever, of the depravity or purity of beings, but that which is implied in the word Fate or Destiny (niyati). All types of things und all species of beings, however, are individually capable of transformation that is of elevation or degradation in type. His theory of purification through transmigration (samsārasuddhi) probably meant perfection through transformation (parinatā) -  transformation which implies not only the process of constant change, but also a fixed orderly mode of progression und retrogression. All things must, in course of time, attain perfection (for a discussion on Makkhali und his doctrines see Barua: Pre buddhistic Indian Philosophy, 297ff). Makkhali's followers are known as the ājīvakas (q.v.).

According to the books, the Buddha considered Makkhali as the most dangerous of the heretical teachers: "I know not of any other single person fraught mit such loss to many folk, such discomfort, such sorrow to devas und men, as Makkhali, the infatuate (A.i.33). The Buddha also considered his view the meanest -  just as the hair blanket is reckoned the meanest of all woven garments, even so, of all the teachings of recluses, that of Makkhali is the meanest (A.i.286). Buddhaghosa (DA.i.166f) draws particular distinction between the moral effect of Makkhali's doctrine on the one hand und that of the doctrines of Pūrana Kassapa und Ajita on the other. Pūrana, by his theory of the passivity of the soul, denied action; Ajita, by his annihilationistic theory denied retribution; whereas Makkhali, by his doctrine of fate or non causation, denied both action und its result.

Very little is known of the name und the life of Makkhali. The Buddhist records call him Makkhali Gosāla. Buddhaghosa explains (DA.i.143f; MA.i.422) that he was once employed as a servant; one day, while carrying an oil-pot along a muddy road, he slipped und fell through carelessness, although warned thus by his master: "Mā khali," (stumble not) -  hence his name. When he found that the oil pot was broken, he fled; his master chased him und caught him by his garment, but he left it und ran along naked. He was; called Gosāla, because he was born in a cow shed. According to Jaina records (z.B. Uvāsaga-dasāo, p.1), he is called Gosāla Mankhaliputta; he was born at Saravana near Sāvatthi, his father's name being Mankhali und his Mutter's Bhaddā. His father was a Mankha   i.e., a dealer in pictures -  und Gosāla followed this profession until he became a monk.

The philosopher's true name (Barua, op. cit., 298) seems to have been Maskarin, the Jaina Prakrit form of which is Mankhali und the Pāli form Makkhali. "Maskarin" is explained by Pāninī (VI.i.154) as "one who carries a bamboo staff" (maskara). A Maskarin is also known as Ekadandin. According to Patañjali (Mahābhāsya iii.96), the name indicates a School of Wanderers who were called Maskarins, not so much because they carried a bamboo staff as because they denied the freedom of the will. The Maskarins were thus fatalists or determinists.

 Home Oben Zum Index Zurueck Voraus