The name given to the five monks:
to whom the Buddha
preached his first sermon at Isipatana.
Of these, Kondañña was the youngest of
the eight brahmins who read the signs on Gotama's body on the day of the name
giving festival. The four others were children of four of the other brahmins.
They had been advised by their fathers to watch Gotama's career and to join him
should he renounce the world. This they did, and all five joined in the
austerities of Gotama at Uruvelā. When he abandoned his austerities and started
to follow the Middle Way, they left him in disappointment. But after the
Enlightenment, the Buddha visited them and preached to them. At first they
refused to pay heed to him, but gradually his powers of persuasion won their
hearts and they became his first disciples.
It is noteworthy that, although warned by their fathers of
the great destiny awaiting Gotama, they were yet reluctant to accept the
Buddha's claim to Enlightenment.
J.i.57, 67, 81, 82; DhA.i.87, etc. For details of the
members of the group, see under their several names; see also article by Mrs.
Rhys Davids in