Buddha games list

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The Buddha games list is a list of games which it is reputed that Gautama Buddha said that he would not play. As such it dates back to the 6th or 5th century BC and is the earliest known list of games.

There is some debate about the translation of some of the games mentioned, and the list given here is based on the translation by T.W. Rhys Davids of the Brahmajāla Sutta (Digha Nikaya 1, translated in Dialogues of the Buddha) and is in the same order given in the original. It is also given in a number of other Buddhist works, including the Vinaya Pitaka.

H.J.R.Murray 'History of Board Games other than Chess' page 35 refers to Rhys Davids 1899 translation. Murray notes that the 8x8 game is 'Ashtapada' while the 10x10 game is 'Dasapada'. He states that both are race games.

Same sutta known as Brahmajala sutta gives a list of things that Buddha would not watch.

Dancing, singing., music, shows, recitations, hand-clapping, brass-instrument-playing, drum-playing, art exhibitions, playing with an Iron ball, bamboo raising games, rituals of washing the bones of the dead, elephant-fights, horse-fights, buffalo-fights, bull-fights, goat-fights, sheep-fights, cock fights, quail-fights, fighting with quarter-staffs, boxing, wrestling, military tattoos, military reviews, route marches and troop-movements.

List of things Buddha wouldn't wear; using mirrors, painting eye-lashes dark, decorating (oneself) with flowers, applying powder and lotion to the body, beautifying the face with powder and lotion, wearing bangles, tying the hair into a top-knot, carrying walking sticks or ornamented hollow cylinders (containing medicinal herbs) or swords, using multi-coloured umbrellas or footwear (with gorgeous designs), wearing a turban or hair-pin set with rubies, carrying a Yak-tail fan and wearing long white robes with fringes. Samana Gotama abstains from such embellishment and adornment.


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