Siddartha Gautama was teaching before enlightenment?

As I understand Suttas says he was a student under other teachers and mastered their teaching. I would assume before leaving them he taught as teacher already atleast before leaving them out of respect and knowing he had the ability as his own Teacher to instruct the other Yogis

(Buddha didn’t have a teacher meaning enlightenment happens personal)

Hi @Upasaka_Dhammasara this is in the Q&A topic category. Is there a question here? Or is this a discussion topic? I’d suggest rephrasing the post title so to make the question more clear and use your post to explain precisely what it is you are looking for.

I see you post a lot of similar posts where it isn’t entirely clear what you are getting at. Sometimes if posts are just random ideas that come into people’s heads it’s difficult for other people to engage. It could be good to hold off posting until your ideas are fully formed and coherent and to back up your statements with sources from suttas or other research. Why don’t you try writing some essays offline and presenting them when you’re ready?

This will help with ordering your own
thoughts and structuring your ideas in a way that will allow others to feel that they can engage meaningfully with your (always interesting) concepts!

Hope this is useful :smiley:


According MN 26, Gotama was given opportunity to teach their Sangha by his teachers Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, but he declined it:

“Thus Āḷāra Kālāma, my teacher, placed me, his pupil, on an equal footing with himself and awarded me the highest honour. But it occurred to me: ‘This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna, but only to reappearance in the base of nothingness. Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.’

“Thus Uddaka Rāmaputta, my companion in the holy life, placed me in the position of a teacher and accorded me the highest honour. But it occurred to me: ‘This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna, but only to reappearance in the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.’ Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.

So Gotama didn’t teach before his enlightenment.


He didn’t even want to teach after his enlightenment ­ (see the Brahmāyācanasutta (SN 6.1), excerpts below).

“This principle I have discovered is deep, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful, sublime, beyond the scope of logic, subtle, comprehensible to the astute. But people like attachment, they love it and enjoy it. It’s hard for them to see this thing; that is, specific conditionality, dependent origination. It’s also hard for them to see this thing; that is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment. And if I were to teach this principle, others might not understand me, which would be wearying and troublesome for me.”

It was the Brahmā, Sahampati, who showed up to change his mind.

By the way, it’s worth noting that Sahampati has a tendency of showing up to have a talk with the Buddha when he is at some sort a crossroad, see below.

Then Brahmā Sahampati, knowing what the Buddha was thinking, thought, “Oh my goodness! The world will be lost, the world will perish! For the mind of the Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, inclines to remaining passive, not to teaching the Dhamma.”

Sahampati is a a good Dhamma brother :wink:

“Sir, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the Holy One teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes. They’re in decline because they haven’t heard the teaching. There will be those who understand the teaching!”

He has more to say on this, and there is a beautiful verse that follows that excerpt. Nevertheless, after a quick talk by Sahampati, the Buddha had a change of mind:

Then the Buddha, understanding Brahmā’s invitation, surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha, because of his compassion for sentient beings. And the Buddha saw sentient beings with little dust in their eyes, and some with much dust in their eyes; with keen faculties and with weak faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach. And some of them lived seeing the danger in the fault to do with the next world, while others did not.

So, it wasn’t until after Sahampati had a talk with the Buddha, did he decide to turn the wheel of the Dhamma.

When he had seen this he replied in verse to Brahmā Sahampati:
“Flung open are the doors to the deathless! Let those with ears to hear commit to faith. Thinking it would be troublesome, Brahmā, I did not teach the sophisticated, sublime Dhamma among humans.”

This is an awesome sutta, I recommend it to anyone interested in how, and when, the Tathāgata decided to share the Dhamma with the rest of us. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Thanks Bhante. It seems two understood me. It was a question.

Then only in samsara. :grimacing:

Yes indeed, this is also told in MN 26.

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I think that part is really symbolic. Because helping himself was supposed to be seen as if helping whole humanity. So why not teach. It’s actually the final destruction of separation. The message is seclusion only is selfishness. Teaching humanity is not seeing separateness. That’s why he taught to monk that helping oneself and others is the best person. :pray:t4:

If you do not see it symbolically, apparantly it is, like for any human, also for a Buddha, troublesome not to be understood. A bit strange. Anyway, it gives the Buddha a human face, easy to relate to.

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Like Green said, the reluctance of the Buddha to teach others shortly after his enlightenment shows his very human side, this also indicates that there is no trace of previous life spiritual career in which the Buddha has trained himself to become a teaching Buddha, unlike the concept of Bodhisatta in later Buddhism.

If you just think a normal human life we learn from our past. That’s the point of some jatakas