Venerable Upāli
Senior posting

Upāli (Sanskrit उपालि upāli) was a monk, one of the ten chief disciples of the Buddha.

Upāli was originally a barber from a Vaidya caste family in service to the Sakyan princes. When the princes left home to become monks, Upāli also sought ordination.[1]

Several variations on the story of Upāli's ordination exist, but all of them emphasize that his status in the Sangha was independent of his caste origin.[1] In the Pali version, the princes voluntarily allow Upāli to ordain before them in order to give him seniority and abandon their own attachment to caste and social status. In some Tibetan versions, Sariputra encourages Upāli to ordain when he hesitates because of his caste origin.[1]

In the literature of every Buddhist school, Upāli is depicted as an expert in monastic discipline and the monastic code.[1] At the First Buddhist Council, he was asked to recite the Vinaya and monastic code.[2] He attained the state of arhatship before his death, and is regarded as the 'patron saint' of monks who specialize in the Vinaya.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Susanne, Mrozik (2004). "Upāli". MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism. 1. New York: MacMillan Reference USA. pp. 870–71. ISBN 0-02-865719-5.
  2. ^ Norman, Kenneth Roy (1983). Pali Literature. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. pp. 7–12. ISBN 3-447-02285-X.