Dear SC forum
There is an interesting topic on DW where it is shown various Brahmins in various suttas took the same refuge in the Buddha as a lay disciple on various different occasions. For example, the brahmin student Subha Todeyya’s son says in MN 99, MN 135 & DN 10 “from this day forth…remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life”. It was also posted Brahmin Jāṇussoṇi declared several times his going for refuge to the Buddha.
I have some questions, which I think contribute to academic study of sutta:
Are these repeated taking refuge marks of sutta inauthenticity? Or do these stock phrases have a particular nuance that provides for them being used on repeated occasions?
When these laypeople &/or Brahmins took refuge, was it merely a type of respect towards the Buddha rather than becoming a hardcore ‘Buddhists’?
Or did the Buddha on these occasions merely offer teachings to be practised that did not conflict with their existing religious beliefs? In other words, it appears Brahmins, such as Jāṇussoṇi, continued to serve the Brahmin religion. The general impression is the Brahmins, after taking refuge in the Buddha, continued to follow the Brahmin religion.
From AN 8.19, is the term “followers of the Sakyan son (sakyaputtiyā)” only reserved for bhikkhus?
When members of the four social classes—khattiyas, brahmins, vessas, and suddas—go forth from the household life into homelessness in the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathāgata, they give up their former names and clans and are simply called ascetics following the Sakyan son.
Any insights are appreciated. Thank you