1. Channa. A Wanderer, classed among those who wore clothes (paticchannaparibbājaka).
He is only mentioned once, in the Anguttara Nikāya (A.iii.215), where we are
told that he visited Ananda at Sāvatthi and asked him questions about the
Buddha's teaching (see Channa Sutta below). Both the Sutta and the Commentary
(AA.i.432) add that he was pleased with Ananda's explanation, and admitted that
the Buddha's teachings were worthy of being followed, though it is not
explicitly stated that he accepted them.
2. Channa. A Thera. No particulars of his early life are available. He
once stayed at Gijjhakūta, dangerously ill and suffering much pain. He was
visited by Sāriputta and Mahā Cunda, and when they discovered that he
contemplated suicide, they tried to deter him, promising to provide him with all
necessaries and to wait on him themselves. Finding him quite determined,
Sāriputta discussed with him the Buddha's teachings and then left him. Soon
afterwards Channa committed suicide by cutting his throat. When this was
reported to the Buddha, he explained that no blame was attached to Channa, for
he was an arahant at the moment of death (M.iii.263ff; S. iv.55ff).
Buddhaghosa explains (MA.ii.1012f.; SA.iii.12f ) that after cutting his
throat, Channa, feeling the fear of death, suddenly realised that he was yet a
puthujjana. This thought so filled him with anguish that he put forth special
effort, and by developing insight became an arahant.
Channa had friends and relations in the Vajjian village of Pubbavijjhana (v.l.
Pubbavajira), and came himself from there. v.l. Chandaka.
charioteer and companion, born on the same day as Gotama (J.i.54; Mtu.ii.156,
164, 189, 233; iii.91, 262; BuA.233; SA.ii.231; DhsA.34. ThagA. (i.155) says he
was the son of a servant woman of Suddhodana). When Gotama left household life,
Channa rode with him on the horse Kanthaka as
far as the river Anomā. There Gotama gave him his
ornaments and bade him take Kanthaka back to his father's palace (A thūpa was
later erected on the spot where Channa turned back; Dvy.391). When, however,
Kanthaka died of a broken heart, Channa's grief was great, for he had suffered a
double loss. It is said that he begged for leave to join Gotama as a recluse,
but this leave was refused (J.i.64f). He therefore returned to Kapilavatthu, but
when the Buddha visited his Sākiyan kinsfolk, Channa joined the Order. Because
of his great affection for the Buddha, however, egotistical pride in "our
Buddha, our Doctrine" arose in him and he could not conquer this fondness nor
fulfil his duties as a Bhikkhu. (ThagA.ii.155; his verse no.69 quoted in Thag.
does not, however, refer to any such remissness on his part).
Once, when in the Ghositārāma in
Kosambī, Channa committed a fault but was not
willing to acknowledge it. When the matter was reported to the Buddha, he
decreed that the ukkhepaniya-kamma be carried out against him, forbidding him to
eat or dwell with the Sangha. He therefore changed his residence, but was
everywhere "boycotted," and returned to Kosambī subdued and asking for reprieve,
which was granted to him. Vin.ii.23ff. His obstinacy and perverseness are again
mentioned elsewhere - e.g., Vin.iv.35, 113, 141. A patron of his once erected a
vihāra for him, but he so thatched and decked it that it fell down. In trying to
repair it he damaged a brahmin's barley field (Vin.iii.47). See also
Later, in a dispute between the monks and the nuns, he deliberately sided
with the latter; this was considered so perverse and so lacking in proper esprit
de corps, that the Buddha decreed on him the carrying out of the Brahmadanda
whereby all monks were forbidden to have anything whatsoever to do with him.
This was the last disciplinary act of the Buddha, and the carrying out thereof
was entrusted to Ananda. D.ii.154. It would, however, appear from DhA.ii.110
that the Brahmadanda was inflicted on Channa for his having repeatedly reviled
Sāriputta and Moggallāna in spite of the Buddha's warning. In this version other
details also vary.
When Ananda visited Channa at the Ghositārāma and pronounced on him the
penalty, even his proud and independent spirit was tamed; he became humble, his
eyes were opened, and dwelling apart, earnest and zealous, he became one of the
arahants, upon which the penalty automatically lapsed (Vin.ii.292). In the past,
Channa met Siddhattha Buddha going towards a tree, and being pleased with him,
spread for him a soft carpet of leaves round which he spread flowers. Five
kappas ago he became king seven times, under the name of Tinasanthāraka
He is probably identical with Senāsanadāyaka of the Apadāna (i.137).
Channa is identified with the hunter in the
Suvannamiga (III.187), the
Gijjha (III.332), the
Rohantamiga (IV.423), the Cūlahamsa
(V.354), and the Mahāhamsa (V.382) Jātakas, with the wrestler in the
Sālikedāra Jātaka (IV.282) and with
Cetaputta in the Vessantara Jātaka
See also Channa Sutta (1).