Name for the group of five ascetics to whom the Buddha preached his first sermon in the Deer Park at Vārāṇasī. Their names were Aññāta-Koṇḍañña, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahānāma, and Assaji. They had previously been ascetic companions of the Buddha but had abandoned him when he renounced the path of austerities and began to follow the Middle Way (madhyamā-pratipad). When he approached them after having gained enlightenment (bodhi) they were at first reluctant to hear him but were soon won over by his charisma. After hearing the sermon they asked to become disciples and were ordained the first Buddhist monks (see also Ordination).