Introduction to Buddhism - Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Bhikkhu Bodhi’s (Bhikkhu
Bodhi Interview) popular
10-lecture series an "Introduction
to Buddhism" has been distributed on cassette
tapes for over 20 years. The program contains detailed
the core, original teachings of the Buddha... In 1981 while
residing at the Washington Buddhist Vihara, Bhante Gunaratana,
the President of the Buddhist Vihara Society, suggested
the lectures so that the Vihara could distribute them as
a set of cassette tapes. Today, the lectures are considered "public
domain" for anyone to copy and distribute freely.
We recommend that you first listen to them in their proper
sequence... Talks are MP3 files - Free Download.
Buddha - MP3 - 1:23 min - 19 MB
Four Noble Truths - MP3 - 1:21 min - 18.6
Nature of Existence - MP3 - 1:18 min - 18 MB
Origination - MP3 - 1:15 min - 17.2 MB
and Kamma - MP3 - 1:23 min - 19.1 MB
6) Nibbana -
MP3 - 1:16 min - 17.5 MB
Path - MP3 - 1:19 min - 18.1 MB
8) Meditation -
MP3 - 1:23 min - 19 MB
Teachings of Buddha - MP3 - 1:17 min - 17.7 MB
Sangha - MP3 - 1:18 min - 17.9 MB
___ ___ ___ ___
The Nobel Eightfold Path
eBook - 122 Pages - (1.2 MB) - Free Download
Noble Eightfold Path — by Bhikkhu Bodhi
- Reader Review: This book really took me to the next
level of my understanding of the Buddhist eightfold path. Which
is: Right View (understanding), Right Intention (Thought),
Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort,
Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.
It really explains what Buddhists mean by each of these stages
based on the original language the Buddhist scriptures were written
in. I also like the authors translation of the first two into
view and intention, a lot of times they are translated as understanding
and thought. These words brought me to a much better understanding.
The author also touched on the wisdom of dispensing with the
false ego and understanding how the five aggregates are what
we really are feelings, perceptions, consciousness, material
form, and mind formations.
book will probably be a little advanced for first time readers
of Buddhist philosophy but if you have an understanding of
the 4 noble truths and have read the Dhammapada and are ready
for the next level, you can't get better than this condensed
wisdom in 122 pages. I am different now from having read it.
of the best explanations of the Eightfold path in print today... The
present book aims at contributing towards a proper understanding
of the Noble Eightfold Path by investigating its eight factors
and their components to determine exactly what they involve.
Bhikkhu Bodhi is concise, using as the framework for his
exposition the Buddha's own words in explanation of the path
factors, as found in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon. -
The Nobel Eightfold Path / Free
The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha
Reader Review: Hard work, diligent effort, and a commitment
to share the Dharma, all combine into this one book. This is an
extensive piece of work. Bhikkhu Bodhi has compiled the Middle
Length Discourses of the Buddha into a fine reference guide for
us all to enjoy.
Bodhi's edition of Ven. Nanamoli's translation of the Majjhima
The discourses, which are talks that the Buddha gave, were chanted
for over a hundred years after the passing of the Buddha and
were eventually written down. They were written in the same form
as the chants, which offer many repetitions, which like any song/chant,
makes it easier to remember.
I would not suggest this to be the first book on Buddhism or
the Buddha's teachings for most people unless you are a scholarly
type. There are numerous wonderful books available that would
benefit most people before delving into such a comprehensive
book. That being said, once you have done some reading and want
to explore the teachings of the Buddha in more depth, this is
the perfect book. For me, I feel this is as close to the original
teachings of the Buddha as we can get, now some 2,500+ years
I find myself returning to this book often. Reading a discourse,
and then contemplating and seeing how it applies in my life,
brings much happiness and joy.
Audio Files in MP3 - Bhikkhu Bodlhi Teaching the Majjhima Nikaya - Free Download
A Systematic Study of the Majjhima Nikāya / “Exploring the Word of the Buddha” / Taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Download Page - Click Here - Listen online or download the MP3
This audio course delves into the direct teachings of the Buddha himself as preserved in some of the oldest records of his discourses. As the themes of the Buddha’s discourses are mutually implicative and closely interwoven, it will not take long for the earnest student to acquire a clear sense of the fundamental framework of the teachings. The student is given a detailed overview of all the major teachings of Early Buddhism, including:
* Life of the Buddha
* Fundamental Ethics
* Meditation and Mind-training
* Nature of True Wisdom
Guide to the Tipitaka - The Majjhima Nikaya - by Professor
'Majjhima Nikaya' is a collection of medium
length discourses made up of one hundred and fifty two suttas
in three books
known as pannasa.
The first book, Mulapannasa, deals with the first fifty suttas
in five vaggas, the second book, Majjhimapannasa consists of
the second fifty suttas in five vaggas too; and the last fifty
two suttas are dealt with in five vaggas of the third book, Uparipannasa,
which means more than fifty.
The suttas in this Nikaya throw much light on the social ideas
and institutions of those days, and also provide general information
on the economic and political life.
I. Mulapariyaya Vagga
(1) Mulapariyaya Sutta
The Buddha explained the basis of all phenomena, specifying
twenty four categories such as the four elements (earth, water,
fire, wind); sentient beings, devas; the seen, the heard, the
thought of, the known; the oneness, the multiplicity, the whole;
and the reality of Nibbana. The uninstructed worldling cannot
perceive the true nature of these phenomena; only the enlightened
ones can see them in true perspective.
(2) Sabbasava Sutta
In this discourse, mental intoxicants that beset the uninstructed
worldling are defined, and seven practices for eradicating them
(3) Dhammadayada sutta
This sutta contains two separate discourses, the first one
given by the Buddha, the second by the Venerable Sariputta. The
Buddha urged the bhikkhus to receive as their legacy from him
the Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma only, and not material things like the
four requisites. The Venerable Sariputta advised the bhikkhus
to lead a solitary life for attainment of jhana and to strive
for the attainment of Nibbana by abandoning greed, ill will,
(4) Bhayabherava Sutta
This discourse describes how a bhikkhu leading a solitary life
in a secluded forest invites harm and danger to himself by his
impure thoughts, words and deeds, and how the Buddha had lived
a peaceful forest life harmlessly by cultivating pure thoughts,
words and deeds which finally led him to enlightenment.
(5) Anangana Sutta
In this discourse given on the request of the Venerable Maha
Moggallana, the Venerable Sariputta explained four types of individuals:
(i) an impure person who knows he is impure;
(ii) an impure person who does not know he is impure;
(iii) a pure person who knows his own purity;
(iv) a pure person who does not know his own purity.
(6) Akankheyya Sutta
This sutta describes how a bhikkhu should develop sila, samadhi
and panna, instead of hankering after gain and fame; how he should
restrain his faculties, seeing danger in the slightest fault.
(7) Vattha Sutta
In this discourse the Buddha explained the difference between
an impure mind and a pure mind by giving the example of dirty
cloth and clean cloth. Only the clear cloth will absorb dye;
so also only the pure mind will retain the dhamma.
(8) Sallekha Sutta
In this discourse the Buddha explained to Maha Cunda how wrong
views about atta and loka can be removed only by vipassana insight.
Jhanic practice is not the austerity practice that removes moral
defilements; jhanic practice only leads to a blissful existence.
Only refraining from forty-four kinds of bad deeds constitutes
austerity practice for removing moral defilements. The volition
alone to do a good deed is enough to produce a good result; when
it is accompanied by the actual deed, the beneficial result accruing
is immeasurable. One immersed in the mire of sensuous impurities
cannot rescue others immersed likewise in the mire.
(9) Samma-ditthi Sutta
This discourse is an exposition on the right view delivered
by the Venerable Sariputta at Savatthi. When physical, verbal
and mental actions are motivated by greed, hatred and delusion,
they are deemed to be bad. When they arise through non-greed,
non-hatred and non-delusion, the actions are deemed to be good.
Right View is understanding what a good deed is and what a bad
deed is; it is the full comprehension of the Four Noble Truths
and not holding on to eternity views concerning atta.
(10) Mahasatipatthana Sutta
This discourse given at Kammasadhamma market town is the most
important sutta which gives practical guidance for cultivation
of mindfulness. It describes the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness,
namely, contemplating the body, contemplating sensation, contemplating
the mind, and contemplating the dhamma as the one and only way
for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow
and lamentation, for the complete destruction of pain and distress,
for the attainment of the Noble Magga and for the realization
II. Sihanada Vagga
(1) Culasinhanada Sutta
In this discourse, given at Savatthi, the Buddha made the bold
statement that the four Categories of Ariyas, namely, the Stream-winner,
the Once-returner, the Non-returner and the Arahat exist only
in his Teaching and not in any other.
(2) Mahasihanda Sutta
In this discourse, given at Vesali, the Venerable Sariputta
reported to the Buddha about the disparagement of the Buddha's
virtues made by Sunakkhatta who had left the Teaching. The Buddha
said that Sunakkhatta was not intellectually equipped to have
the faintest glimpse of the Buddha's virtues such as the Ten
Strengths, the four kinds of supreme Self-Confidence, the Non-decline
of Sabbannuta Nana till the time of parinibbana. He then described
the five destinations and the actions which lead to them as well
as the wrong beliefs and practices of the naked ascetics to whose
camp Sunakkhatta now belonged.
(3) Mahadukkhakkhandha Sutta
This discourse was given at Savatthi to refute the naked ascetics
when they tried to make out that they followed the same path
and taught the same dhammas the Buddha. The Buddha also explained
to the bhikkhus what the pleasures of the senses wore, what their
faults and dangers were, and the way of escape from them. The
Buddha explained further that outside of his Teaching, these
dhammas were not known and no one but the Buddha and his disciples
could teach such dhamnas.
(4) Culadukkhakkhandha Sutta
This discourse, given by the Buddha, at Kapilavatthu to the
Sakyan Prince Mahanama to explain to him on his request, how
greed, ill will and ignorance caused moral defilements and suffering.
(5) Anumana Sutta
This discourse was given by the Venerable Maha Moggallana to
many bhikkhus at Susumaragira in the country of Bhagga. They
were urged to see if they had purged themselves of sixteen kinds
of stubbornness such as inordinate desire, humiliating others
while praising oneself, wrathfulness, etc. If these sixteen kinds
of unwholesome dhammas were detected in oneself, a determined
effort should bo made to get rid of them.
(6) Cetokhila Sutta
This discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, mentions the
five kinds of mental thorns: doubt about the Buddha, doubt about
the Dhamma, doubt about the Sahgha, doubt about the efficacy
of the practice in sila, samadhi and panna, ill will and animosity
towards fellow bhikkhus. It also mentions the five fetters: attachment
to sensual desires, attachment to oneself, attachment to material
objects; immoderation in eating and sleeping, and adopting the
holy life with the limited objective of attaining to blissful
existences only. These mental thorns and fetters are obstacles
to liberation from dukkha. They should be removed and eradicated
for realization of Nibbana.
(7) Vanapattha Sutta
This discourse, given at Savatthi, is concerned with tha choice
of a suitable place for a bhikkhu.A bhikkhu has to depend on
a forest glade or a village, or a town or an individual for his
residence and support.If he finds out any particular place is
not satisfactory for his spiritual development or for material
support, he should abandon that place at once.
If he finds it satisfactory with respect to material support,
but not beneficial for spiritual development, he should abandon
that place, too. But when it proves beneficial for spiritual
development, even if the material support is meagre, the bhikkhu
should stay on in that place. When conditions are satisfactory
both for spiritual development and material support, he should
live for the whole of his life in such a place.
(8) Madhupindika Sutta
A Sakyan Prince named Dandapani, once asked the Buddha at Kapilatthu
what doctrine he taught.The Buddha replied that his doctrtne
was one which could not be grasped by any brahman nor by the
Mara. It is this: not living in discord with any one in the world;
not obsessed by sense impressions (sanna); not troubled by doubts;
and rot craving for any form of existence
(9) Dvedavitakka Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi to explain
two kinds of thinking: wholesome and unwholesome. Bhikkhus should
practise to see the advantages of engaging in wholesome thoughts
and the dangers of unwholesome thoughts.
(10) Vitakkasanthana Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi on how to
combat the arising of unwholesome thoughts with wholesome thoughts.
For example, greed and sensuous thoughts should be banished by
contemplating on unpleasentness and impermanency of the object
of desire; illwill and hatred must be countered by thoughts of
loving-kindness; and ignorance may be overcome by seeking illumination
and guidance from the teacher.
III. Opamna Vagga
(1) Kakacupama Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi in connection
with Bhikkhu Moliyaphagguna who was friendly with bhikkhunis.
When others censured him for being too friendly with bhikkhunis,
he lost his temper and broke into quarrel with bhikkhus who criticized
When the Buddha admonished and advised him to keep away from
bhikkhunis and to control his temper, he remained recalcitrant.
The Buddha showed the harmfulness of ill temper and advised other
bhikkhus to keep a tight check on their temper, not losing it
even when some one was sawing away their limbs into bits.
(2) Alagaddupama Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi. Bhikkhu
Arittha misunderstood the Buddha's Teaching and maintained that
the Buddha showed how to enjoy sensuous pleasure without jeopardising
one's progress in the Path. When the Buddha remonstrated with
him for his wrong views he remained unrepentent.
The Buddha then spoke to the bhikkhus on the wrong way and
the right way of learning the dhamma, giving the simile of a
snake catcher, and the simile of the raft.
(3) Vammika Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi. Venerable
Kumarakassapa was asked by a deva a set of fifteen questions
which he brought to the Buddha for elucidation. The Buddha explained
to him the meaning of the questions and assisted him in their
(4) Rathavinita Sutta
This sutta recounts the dialogue between the Venerable Siriputta
and the Venerable Punna at Savatthi on the seven stages of purity,
such as purity of sila, purity of mind, purity of view etc.,
that must be passed before attainment to Nibbana.
(5) Nivapa Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi on the snares
that waylay bhikkhus on their path, making use of the simile
of the hunter, the hunter's followers, the green pasture and
four different herds of deer. The hunter was likened to Mara,
the hunter's crowd to Mara's followers, the green pasture he
had set up to the sensuous pleasures, and four different herds
of deer to four different types of recluses who left homelife.
(6) Pasarasi Sutta
This sutta given by the Buddha at Savatthi is also known by
the name of Ariyapariyesana Sutta. The Buddha recounted his life
from the time he was born in the human world as the son of King
Suddhodana till the moment of the great discourse on the Turning
of the Wheel of Dhamma, giving details of his renunciation, initial
wrong practices of severe asceticism and final discovery of the
Noble Path of Eight Constituents. In particular, stress was laid
on two different types of quests, the Noble and the Ignoble.
He explained that it was extremely unwise to go after sensual
pleasures which subject one to ageing, disease and death. The
most noble quest was to seek out that which will liberate one
from ageing, disease and death.
(7) Culahatthipadopama Sutta
This sutta was given by the Buddha at Savatthi. The Brahmin
Janussoni asked the wandering ascetic Pilotika, who had just
come back from the Buddha, whether he knew all the virtues and
accomplishments of the Buddha. The wandering ascetic replied
that only a Buddha who could match another Buddha in attainments
could know all the virtues of the other. As for him, he could
only exercise his imagination in this respect just as a hunter
would judge the measurements of an elephant from the size of
Later when the Brahmin Janussoni went to see the Buddha, and
recounted his conversation with the wandering ascetic the buddha
told him that the size of an elephant's footprint might still
be misleading. Only when one followed the footprints, and the
animal was seen grazing in the open, its true measurements could
be accurately judged. So also the virtues of the Buddha and his
Teaching could be fully appreciated and understood only when
one followed his Teaching and practised as taught by him until
the final goal of Arahatship was reached.
(8) Mahahatthipadopama Sutta
This discourse was given by the Venerable Sariputta to the
bhikkhus at Savatthi using the simile of the elephant's footprint.
He explained that just as the footprint of all animals could
be contained within the footprint of an elephant, all wholesome
dhammas were comprised in the Four Noble Truths.
(9) Mahasaropama Sutta
This discourse was given by the Buddha at Rajagaha in connection
with Devadatta who remained contened with gain and fame because
of his attainment of supernormal powers and left the Teaching
to cause schism in the Order. The Buddha said that this Teaching
was not for the purpose of gain and fame which were like the
external shoots and branches of a tree; nor just for the accomplishment
in sila which may be likened to the outer crust of a tree; nor
for mere establishing of concentration to achieve supernormal
powers which were like the bark of a tree. The Dhamma was taught
for the attainment of Arahatship, the noble liberation which
alone resembled the inner path of a tree.
(10) Culasaropama Sutta
This discourse was givenbythe Buddha at Savatthi in connection
with the Brahmin Pingalakoccha who asked the Buddha whether all
the six teachers claiming to be Buddhas were really enlightened.
The Buddha explained that the Brahmacariya practice taught by
a Buddha led to Arahatship, not just to the achievement of gain
and fame, or supernormal powers.
IV. Mahayamaka Vagga
(1) Culagosinga Sutta
The Venerable Anuruddha, the Venerable Nandiya and the Venerable
Kimila were staying in the Gosinga Sal tree woodland. The Buddha
visited them and praised them on their way of living, practising
the holy life with perfect harmony and concord amongst themselves,
thus forming an adornment to the lovely woodland park.
(2) Mahagosinga Sutta
Once while the Buddha was residing in the Gosinga Sal tree
woodland, the Venerable Sariputta asked the Buddha, 'Who would
most adorn this woodland park and enhance its beauty?' The discourse
records the different answers provided by the Venerables Revata,
Anuruddha, Maha Kassapa, Maha Moggallana, Sariputta and by the
(3) Mahagopalaka Sutta
discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, explains the conditions
under which the Teaching would grow and prosper and the conditions
under which it would decline and decay. The example of a cowherd
is given. When a cowherd is equipped with eleven skills of
managing and tending his cattle, there is progress and growth
in his work. So also when the bhikkhu is skilled and accomplished
in eleven factors such as knowledge of truth about the khandhas,
practice of sila, samadhi and panna, etc., the Teaching will
grow and prosper.
discourse deals with eleven factors, the failure to fulfil
which would contribute to the down fall and ruin of the Teaching.
Just as the cattle under the care of an unwise and unskilful
cowherd crossed the river from a wrong quay on the bank and
met with destruction instead of reaching the other shore, so
also the followers of the teachers who were not accomplished
in the knowledge of truth, khandhas, etc.,would end up only
discourse, given at Vesali, gives an account of the debate
between the Buddha and Saccaka the wandering ascetic on the
subject of atta. Saccaka maintained that rupa, vedana, sanna,
sankhara and vivvana were one's atta. It was atta which enjoyed
the fruits of good deeds and suffered the consequences of bad
deeds. The Buddha refuted his theory, pointing out that none
of the khandhas was atta each being subjected to the laws of
anicca, dukkha, and anatta, and not amenable to anyone's control.
Saccaka had to admit his defeat in the presence of his followers.
same Saccaka, the wandering ascetic, came again to the Buddha
the next day and asked about the cultivation of mind and body.
He knew only the wrong methods of developing concentration.
The Buddha explained to Saccaka the various practices he himself
had followed and mistakes he had made until he found the middle
Path that finally led him to the realization of Nibbana.
enquiry by the king of devas how a disciple of the Buddha trained
himself to realize Nibbana, the Buddha gave him a short description
of how a house holder, after leaving his home, put himself
on a course of training that gradually purified his mind of
all moral defilements and led him to the final goal.
disciple of the Buddha, Sati by name, held the view that the
Buddha taught: "The same consciousness transmigrates and
wanders about.." Other disciples tried to rid him of this
wrong view but to no avail. The Buddha told him that he never
taught such wrong views. He only taught "Consciousness
arises out of conditions; there is no arising of Consciousness
people of Assapura, a market town of Anga country, were ardently
devoted to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, helping and
assisting the members of the Order by offering them the bhikkhu
requisites. Out of gratitude for such support, the Buddha urged
the bhikkhus to make strenuous efforts in their training and
practice of Dhamma, gradually going up stage by stage: starting
from avoiding evil deeds by restraint of physical and vocal
actions, to proceed to mental restraint through meditation,
then progressing towards attainment of four stages of jhana,
and finally to the stage where all moral defilemsnts were eliminated
and Nibbana was attained.
of gratitude for the support given by the lay devotees of Assapura,
a market town in the country of Anga, the buddha urged the
bhikkhus to be worthy of the name of samana and brahmana. Samana
means one who has stilled his passions; brahmana one who has
rid him self of defilements. A bhikkhu should therefore subject
himself to the course of discipline and practice as laid down
by the Buddha until he had eliminated the twelve defilements
such as envy, ill will, deceit, wrong views. etc.
exposition was given to villagers of Sala on ten demeritorious
deeds that would lead to states of misery and woe and ten meritorious
deeds that would give rise to rebirth in happy realms.
discourse was given to the householders of Veranja dealing
with identical subjects as in the Saleyyaka Sutta.
Venerable Mahakotthika asked many questions to the Venerable
Sariputta at Savatthi regarding an Uninstructed, person with
no panna, and instructed persons with panna; many questions
on vinnana and vedana, on the difference between panna and
vinnana, and many other things. The Venerable Sariputta obliged
him with detailed answers.
Dhammadinna was asked many questions by the householder Visakha
about personality, Sakkaya, the origin of Sakkaya, the cessation
of Sakkaya and the way leading to cessation of Sakkaya. All
the questions were satisfactorily answered by the Theri.
sutta describes four practices involving: (i) happy living
now, followed by dire consequences in the future; (ii) unhappy
living now, followed by dire consequences in the future; (iii)
unhappy living now, followed by a happy life in the future;
(iv) happy living now, followed by a happy life in the future.
this discourse, the four practices as described in Culadhammasamadana
Sutta are explained with more details giving similes of poisoned
fruit juice,delicious cordial and medicinal preparation of
claim to Buddhahood may be put to acid tests as provided in
this sutta. A detailed procedure to scrutinize such claim is
laid down here.
discourse on how loving-kindness should be the basis of their
relations was given by the Buddha to the bhikkhus of Kosambi
who were living in discord because of disagreement over trifling
Brahma Baka held the wrong view of eternity, believing in permanence,
stability and endurance. The Buddha showed him how wrong his
is an account given by the Venerable Maha Moggallana of how
Mara once troubled him by causing pains and aches in the stomach.
He had to coax him to stop annoying him by telling him that
he had been Marais uncle at the time of Kakusandha Buddha.
(b) Majjhima Pannasa Pali
discourse was delivered at Campa in connection with Kandaraka,
the wandering ascetic, and Pessa, son of elephant rider, who
marvelled at the silence maintained by the huge congregation
of bhikkhus, not making any sound, not even a sneeze nor a
cough. The Buddha explained that their silence was due to their
accomplishments in samadhi and to their training on four Methods
of Steadfast Mindfulness. The Buddha also elucidated the four
types of individuals engaged in meditation.
householder Dasama of Attahaka wanted to know if there was
a single dhamma which could cause liberation and realization
of Nibbana. The Venerable Ananda informed him there was a group
of dhammas,eleven in number, namely, the four jhanas, the four
Brahmavihara practices and Akasanankayatana, Vinnanancayatana,
Akincannayatana. Contemplating the impermanent nature of each
of those dhammas would lead one to Nibbana.
discourse was given by the Venerable Ananda to the Sakyans
headed by Prince Mahanama. The Venerable Ananda explained the
path consisting of three steps, sila, samadhi and panna to
be followed by an aspirant to higher knowledge culminating
in the knowledge of cessation of asava
had left worldly affairs behind with a view to lead the holy
life. When the Buddha saw him dressed in ordinary everyday
attire, the Buddha addressed him as 'Gahapati', householder,
which Potaliya resented. The Buddha explained to him that in
the vocabulary of the Vinaya one was said to have cut oneself
off from the world only when one refrained from killing, stealing,
telling lies, slandering, and only when one was abstemious,
not conceited, and controlled in one's temper.
discourse was given at Rajagaha in connection with Jivaka,
the great physician, who enquired whether it was true that
the Buddha ate the meat of animals killed purposely for him.
The Buddha told him that he had made it a rule for the bhikkhus
not to partake of any meat which they saw or heard or had reason
to suspect to be especially prepared for them. Further, a bhikkhu
should not show eagerness for food nor be greedy in eating;
he should eat with reflection that he took the meal only to
sustain the body in order to pur sue the path of liberation.
prominent, wealthy lay disciple of Nigantha Nataputta was sent
by his master to meet the Buddha and defeat him in argument
on certain aspects of the Theory of Kamma. Whereas the Nigantha
stressed on the physical and vocal actions being more productive
of resultant effects, the Buddha maintained that it was volition
or mental action that was paramount. By means of his discourse
the Buddha converted Upali, and overwhelmed by intense wrath
over the loss of his most prominent disciple, Nataputta died.
discourse, given by the Buddha to two naked ascetics named
Punna and Seniya at the market town of Koliya, deals with four
kinds of actions and four kinds of resultant effects arising
therefrom: (i) black deed leading to black result, (ii) white
deed leading to white result, (iii) deed which is both black
and white leading to result which is both black and white and
(iv) deed which is neither black nor white leading to result
which is neither black nor white.
Abhayarajakumara was sent by Niganttha Nataputta to ask the
Buddha whether he uttered unpleasant words about the destiny
of Devadatta. The Buddha enumerated six modes of utterances
out of which he would make two modes of utterances: words which
are true, profitable but not pleasant to others and words which
are true, profitable and pleasant to others.
discourse was given at Savatthi to explain the various kinds
of vedana, which might be two in number: sukha and dukkha vedanas
or three in number by including the upekkha vedana or five,
six, eighteen or thirty six, or one hundred and eight, depending
on the method of enumeration. Ordinarily sensations that arise
from pleasures of the senses are regarded as sukha, or happiness.
But the Buddha explains that the acme of happiness is attainment
of nirodha samapatti.
discourse was given by the Buddha to the villagers of Sala
in the country of Kosala who had not yet accepted any of the
teachings taught by leaders of the various sects visiting their
village. The Buddha showed them the right path which would
not lead them astray. The wrong views of the sectarians were
contrasted against the right views propounded by the Buddha;
the disadvantages of wrong views, and the advantages of right
views were explained.
this discourse, given at Rajagaha, the Buddha exhorted his
son Rahu1a, a samanera aged seven, on the necessity of observing
the fundamental noral precept of truthfulness, and of practising
mindfulness,by giving the similes of the upturned water pot,
the royal elephant and the mirror.
discourse on the five khandhas, was given at Savatthi by the
Buddha to Rahula at the age of eighteen. The Venerable Sariputta
also taught Rahula the meditation on anapana. The Buddha further
explained to him the advantages of Anapana meditation and gave
him another discourse on the four great elements.
discourse was given at Savatthi to the bhikkhu Malukya. Bhikkhu
Malukya interrupted his meditation one afternoon, went to the
Buddha and asked him the well known classical questions: Is
the universe eternal or not etc.; is the soul the same as the
body, is soul one thing and body another, etc.; does life exist
after death, or does it not exist after death.
Buddha explained to him that the practice of the holy life
did not dapend upon these views.What ever view one may hold
about them, there would still be birth, ageing, decay, death,
sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, distress. The Buddha said
that he taught only about dukkha, the cause of dukkha, the
cessation of dukkha and the way leading to the cessation of
discourse was given to bhikkhu Malukya at Savatthi to explain
the five fetters, namely, personality belief, doubt, attachment
to wrong practice, sensual desires and ill will, which lead
beings to lower destinations.
discourse, given at Savatthi, is an exhortation to bhikkhu
Bhaddali who refused to obey the disciplinary rule of not eating
after midday and in the evening; the Buddha explained why bhikkhus
in the Teaching should respect the disciplinary rules laid
down by him.
discourse was given to the Venerable Udayi. in connection with
observance of disciplinary rules and precepts. When the five
strengths (balas), namely, faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration
and insight are not well developed, the bhikkhu finds even
a paltry restraint like refraining from eating meals in the
afternoon and in the evening very irksome and onerous. But
when the five Balas are fully developed, even stringent rules
can be observed without any difficulty or discomfort
discourse was given at Catuma to the disciples of the Venerable
Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana, who came with
five hundred bhikkhus to see the Buddha. The five hundred bhikkhus
made a lot of noise while settling down. The Buddha refused
to see them at first, but later relented and taught them the
dangers in the life of a bhikkhu. Just as there are dangers
and hazards in a sea like stormy waves, crocodiles, whirlpools,
and sharks, so also there are dangers against which the bhikkhu
must be always on guard, namely, ill will against those who
instruct them and guide them; dissatisfaction with training
rules such as those concerning taking of meals or dealing with
womenfolk; and pleasures of senses.
discourse was given to the Venerable Anuruddha and to the villagers
of Nalakapana to explain that unless a bhikkhu had attained
the higher stages of Magga and Phala, accomplishments in supernormal
psychic powers may prove to be harmful to him. The Buddha him
self talked about the destinations of the departed persons
not to earn praise and admiration but to arouse enthusiasm
and faith in his disciples.
discourse was given at Rajagaha by the Venerable Sariputta
to Goliyani Bhikkhu concerning eighteen dhammas which a forest
dwelling bhikkhu should observe.
discourse was given at the market town of Kitagiri on the advantages
of taking meals only before noon and the disadvantages of eating
in the evening.
the wandering ascetic, questioned the Buddha whether it would
be true to say that Sabbannuta Nana was constantly and continuosly
present to him all the time, while walking or standing, asleep
or awake. The Buddha replied that it would not be true to say
so. It would be true to say only that the Buddha was accomplished
in the three kinds of knowledge, namely, knowledge of the past,
power of divine seeing, and knowledge of liberation.
discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi in connection
with Vacchagotta who approached the Buddha quite often to ask
many questions about atta. On this occasion too he asked the
Buddha whether there was atta, whether atta was permanent,
etc. The Buddha told him he held no theories about atta because
he had seen the nature of things as they really were. Then
he explained to him the dhamma in some detail..
discourse was given by the Buddha toVaccha gotta at Rajagaha.
On his visit to the Buddha after a long interval, Vacchagotta
no longer troubled the Buddha with his speculations about atta,
loka etc.; in stead, he requested to be taught on good and
bad deeds (Kusalakusalam Kammam) in brief. The Buddha explained
to him the dhamma on good and bad deeds in brief as well as
became a disciple of the Buddha and received admission into
the Order. Then practising the dhamms as instructed, he ultimately
attained Arahatship, realizing Nibbana. The problems of atta,
loka etc., no longer obsessed him.
important discourse was given by the Buddha in the Sukarakhata
cave near Rajagaha, to Dighanakha, the wandering ascetic, a
nephew of the Venera ble Sariputta, in order to remove his
wrong views of annihilation. As the Buddha taught him the dhamma
on contemplation of the body and contemplation of sensation
(sukha, dukkha, adukkhamasukha), his uncle the Venerable Sariputta
was standing behind the Buddha, fanning him. It was only fifteen
days ago that the Venerable Sariputta had been admitted into
the Order by the Buddha. While following the progress of the
discourse, as though sharing the food prepared for another,
the Venerable Sariputta advanced rapidly from the stage of
a Sotapanna which he had already reached, and attained the
perfect state of Arahatship with the fourfold Analytical Knowledge
(Patisambhida Nana). At the end of the discourse his nephew,
the wandering ascetic Dighanakha, became a Sotapanna.
discourse was given by the Buddha at the market town of Kammasadhamma
in the Kuru country in connection with Magandiya, the wandering
ascetic, who resented the Buddha's criticism of his wrong beliefs.
The Buddha exhorted him to practise control of the senses and
sensuous thoughts. He told the wandering ascetic the story
of his renunciation, how he had left his luxurious palaces
and how, on discovering the Truth, he found happiness in Arahattaphala
which was far superior to any of the sensuous pleasures. Magandiya
gave up his wrong views to become a disciple of the Buddha.
discourse was given at Kosambi to Sandaka, the wandering ascetic,
and his followers by the Venerable Ananda. The Venerable Ananda
explained to them the four wrong views of sect-leaders who
held there was no existence after death, that there was no
evil nor good, no cause for any phenomena, and that there are
only aggregate of seven elements. Finally he taught the wandering
ascetics the dhamma as expounded by the Buddha. As a consequence
of his teaching, Sandaka and his followers abandoned their
wrong views and became disciples of the Buddha.
one time the Buddha and his company of bhikkhus were residing
at Rajagaha where six leaders of sects were also spending the
rains with their respective followers. Then Udayi, the wandering
ascetic, who was visited by the Buddha, extolled the virtues
of the Buddha saying that other leaders were sometimes criticised
even by their followers, whereas the Buddha was the exception.
Even if the Buddha's disciples left the Order, they did not
find fault with the Buddha nor the Dhamma. They only blamed
themselves for not being able to follow his Teaching. Udayi
attributed this difference in reverential respect enjoyed by
the Buddha to five aspects of his virtues. The Buddha rejected
Udayi's enumeration of his virtues which were mostly attributed
to ascetic practices, and explained to him the real cause of
the total veneration bestowed on him by his followers.
wandering ascetic Uggahamana, son of Samana mundika, was teaching
that any recluse who refrained from wrong deed, wrong word,
wrong thought, and wrong livelihood was a fully accomplished
Arahat. The Buddha rejected his assertion, saying that in that
case, even an infant sleeping innocently upon his bed could
claim to Arahatship. He then explained that it was only the
Noble Path of Eight Constituents leading to Right Knowledge
and Right Liberation that could bring about realization of
discourse was given at Rajagaha. The wandering ascetic Sakuludayi
asked the Buddha many questions about atta and sila, and the
Buddha explained to him the practice in the Teaching beginning
with the precept of not taking the life of a being and ending
with the realization of Nibbana.
discourse was given at Savatthi. The Buddha explained to Vekhanasa,
the wandering ascetic, how happiness accruing from spiritual
attainments was superior to that derived from sensuous pleasures.
The Buddha also gave the assurance that any honest worker who
would follow his instructions sincerely could enjoy the bliss
of spiritual attainments.
discourse, given by the Buddha while journeying in Kosala,
recounts the story of high devotion of Ghatikara, the potter,
who looked after his blind parents and who at the same time
attended upon Kassapa Buddha with utter reverence. There was
also the account of how Ghatikara forcibly pulled along his
friend, young Jotipala, to where Kassapa Buddha was, to pay
respect. After hearing the dhamma discourses young Jotipala
left the household life to be admitted into the Order by Kassapa
Buddha. This interesting ancient episode that had happened
in Kassapa Buddha's time many aeons ago was recounted to the
Venerable Ananda by Gotama Buddha standing on the very spot
where once stood, a long, long time ago, the house of Ghatikara,
the potter. The Buddha concluded his story by revealing that
young Jotipala was none other than the present Gotama Buddha.
the son of a wealthy brahmin obtained his parents' permission
with great difficulty to become a bhikkhu under the guidance
of the Buddha. After twelve years of strenuous endeavour, when
he became a full-fledged Arahat, he visited his parents' home.
His parents attempted to entice him with wealth and wife, back
to household life but to no avail. He taught his parents the
law of impermanence, anicca; he said he saw nothing alluring
in the wealth and the wife.
discourse was given at the Royal mango grove at Mithila. The
Buddha told the Venerable Ananda about the noble tradition
laid down by the righteous King Maghadeva. When his hair began
to turn white, he gave up the household life leaving his dominions
to his eldest son. This tradition was handed down from king
to son for generations and generations, over thousands and
thousands of years until the reign of King Nimi. King Nimi
had a son by the name of Kalarajanaka who did not go forth
from home life into homelessness when the time came like his
predecessors. Kalarajanaka terminated the noble practice laid
down by the tradition. He thus became the last person of that
tradition. The Buddha revealed that he was the King Maghadeva
of that ancient time laying down the noble tradition. The Buddha
said that that noble tradition did not lead to calm, to higher
knowledge. It only led to the realm of Brahmas. But the noble
practice which he was leading now as a Buddha certainly led
to the disillusionment with the five khandhas, the abandonment
of attachment and the cessation of dukkha; to calm, higher
knowledge, penetrative insight and realization of Nibbana.
The Buddha then exhorted, "Ananda, continue to follow
this good practice which I have laid down. Let you not be the
person with whom my tradition ends."
discourse was given by the Venerable Mahakaccana at Madhura,
He refuted the brahmins' claim that only brahmins were noble
and superior, and that others were inferior. He explained to
King Madhura that it was one's Morality, not birth that established
one's nobility. Anyone whether Brahmin, Khattiya, Vessa or
Sudda, committing a wrong deed would be born again in the states
of woe; anyone doing a good deed would be born again in a happy
realm. After this discourse by the Venerable Mahakaccana, King
Madhura, formerly of another faith, took refuge in the Buddha,
the Dhamma and the Samgha.
discourse was given by the Buddha at Susumaragira in the country
of Bhagga in connection with the statement made by Prince Bodhi
that "sukha, happiness, cannot be attained through sukha;
sukha can be attained only through dukkha". The Buddha
said he had also once thought in a similar manner, and recounted
the whole story of his renunciation, his struggles with wrong
practices, frantic search for the Truth, and ultimate enlightenment.
When asked by the prince how long would it take a bhikkhu to
achieve, in this very lifetime, the supreme goal of the holy
life, Arahatship, the Buddha stipulated five attributes for
the aspiring bhikkhu. If he was equipped with five attributes:
faith, good health, integrity (not being deceitful), unrelenting
zeal, and sufficient intellect to understand the phenomena
of 'arising and passing away', and having the Tathagata as
his instructor and guide, a bhikkhu would achieve the Arahatship
within seven years at most. Under the most favourable circumstances
he could become accomplished within half a day.
discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, describes how Angulimala,
the notorious robber and murderer, was tamed by the Buddha,
and how he took refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha.
Although he had the name of Ahimsaka, Non-violence, he was
formerly cruel and murderous and was called Angulimala by people.
Being tamed now by the Buddha, he ceased hurting anyone, and
started living a life true to his name. He had become an Arahat.
householder of Savatthi whose son had died went to see the
Buddha who told him that dear beloved ones formed a source
of sorrow as they brought pain and grief. The householder was
displeased with what the Buddha said. Gamblers playing with
dice just close by the Buddha's monastery told him differently.
They said that loved ones surely brought joy and happiness.
King Pasenadi concurred with the gamblers but his queen Mallika
maintained that only what the Buddha said must be true. She
justified her faith in the Buddha by giving many illustrations
of the Buddha's penetrating and illuminating wisdom. King Pasenadi
was finally won over to her view.
discourse was given at Savatthi by the Venerable Ananda to
King Pasenadi on the bank of the River Aciravati. He dealt
with unwholesome deeds, words and thoughts which were blameworthy
and wholesome deeds, words and thoughts which were praiseworthy.
King Pasenadi was pleased with the discourse and made a gift
of cloth from the country of Bahiti to the Venerable Ananda.
Pasenadi of Kosala once came to see the Buddha. Entering the
dwelling where the Buddha was staying, he fell on his forehead
at the feet of the Buddha . When asked by the Buddha why he
was showing such extreme humbleness and respect to the body
of the Buddha, the king launched eloquently on a eulogy of
the Buddha, praising his virtues. The Buddha told his bhikkhus
that the words uttered by the king constituted a memorial in
honour of the Dhamma and urged them to learn this memorial
and recite it frequently.
discourse, given by the Buddha at Urunna, contains answers
to King Pasenadi Kosala's questions about four classes of people
and their destinations after death, about Sabbannuta Nana,
and about the great Brahma.
Brahmin Brahmayu was one hundred and twenty years old when
he heard of the fame of the Buddha. He sent his disciple Uttara
who was well versed in Vedas to find out by examining the thirty
two physical characteristics of a great man whether Gotama
was indeed an Enlightened Buddha. On Uttara's good report testifying
to the Buddha having the requisite characteristics of a Buddha,
Brahmayu went himself to see the Buddha. Fully satisfied, after
hearing the graduated discourse, that Gotama was indeed an
enlightened Buddha, he became a devoted disciple and, achieving
the third stage of the Path and Fruition, an Anagami before
he passed away.
was a brahmin of Apana market-town, who on hearing about the
fame of the Buddha from Keniya the hermit went to see the Buddha
accompanied by three hundred young brahmins. After hearing
a discourse from the Buddha he became fully convinced that
he had indeed seen a truly enlightened Buddha. All of them
requested for and received permission from the Buddha to join
five hundred brahmins who had come to Savatthi on business
attempted to challenge the Buddha on his views with regard
to the purity and nobility of the four classes of people. They
sent Assalayana, a highly talented young man well-versed in
the Vedas, to contest with the Buddha. The young man's meeting
with the Buddha ended up in his conversion.
discussion took place between the Venerable Udena and a brahmin
by the name of Ghotamukha on the subject of the practice of
the holy life. The Venerable Udena described four kinds of
persons engaged in ascetic practices. After the discourse the
Brahmin became a disciple of the Venerable Udena and took his
refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha.
a brahmin of Opasada Village, came to see the Buddha with a
large crowd amongst whom was a young brahmin by the name of
Kapatika. The young man entered into a discussion with the
Buddha about the 'Three Vedas' which had been handed down from
generation to generation in unbroken tradition. The tradition
which the brahmins believed to be the only Truth was likened
by the Buddha to a line of blind man each one clinging on to
the preceding one.
discourse was given at Savatthi in connection with a brahmin
named Esukari. In this sutta too the Buddha rejected the brahmin
classification of society into four classes claiming the highest
position for the brahmins. It was not only the brahmins who
could develop loving-kindness, free from enmity and ill will.
Members of other classes also could develop loving-kindness.
It was not birth but the practice of wholesome dhamma that
made a person noble.
was an old devoted lay disciple of the Buddha. After the death
of his first wife who had great faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma
and the Samgha, he was no longer diligent in and mindful of
the practice of dhamma. His second wife was without faith in
the Teaching of the Buddha. To maintain his family he resorted
to wrongful means of livelihood. The Venerable Sariputta put
him back on the right path. On his death bed, he sent for the
Venerable Sariputta who solaced him with the dhamma. This caused
him on his death to be reborn in the Brahma world. The Buddha
asked the Venerable Sariputta why he had put the old brahmin
only on the way to the inferior Brahma world when a higher
attainment was possible for him.
discussion had arisen between two brahmin youths, Vasettha
and Bharadvaja on the origin of a brahmana. Bharadvaja maintained
it was birth, lineage and caste that made a person a brahmana.
Vasettha believed moral conduct and performance of customary
duties were essential qualifications to be a brahmana. They
went to the Buddha for settlement of their dispute. The Buddha
told them that a person was not a brahmana just because of
his birth if he was full of worldly attachments, or was harnessed
to greed, ill will, craving, and ignorance. A person became
a brahmana whatever his birth, when he had cut off his fetters
of defilements, removed the obstacles of ignorance and attained
the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths. The most perfect brahmana
was an Arahat.
discourse was given on account of Subha, son of the brahmin
Todeyya, at Savatthi. Like other brahmins, Subha believed that
only householders could accomplish meritorious deeds in a right
manner, not those who had gone forth from the household life.
The occupation of householders produced great benefits whereas
the occupation of the recluse brought little benefits. The
Buddha removed his wrong views and Subha became a devoted disciple
of the Buddha.
was a young brahmin who was full of pride with learning in
the Vedas, entertaining wrong views of his birth. He went to
ask the Buddha whether the Buddha claimed, like some samanas
and brahmanas, to have attained in this very life, special
knowledge and vision, and reached the other shore. The Buddha
explained that there were three kinds of samanas and brahmanas
who made such claims: those who made the claim through hearsay,
having learnt things by hearsay only; those who made the claim
by mere reasoning and logic; and finally those who made the
claim by personally realizing the penetrative insight of the
Dhamma unheard of before.
Buddha told Sangarava that he was of this third type and recounted
how he had become accomplished in the dhamma by practice and
(c) Uparipannasa Pali
discourse was given by the Buddha at Devadaha in the country
of the Sakyans to refute the wrong views of the Niganthas.
The Niganthas believed that whatever a person experienced in
this life was caused by former action. They practised austerity
as a penance to put an end to the result of former action.
The Buddha taught them the right path that would lead to the
end of suffering.
discourse was given by the Buddha to bhikkhus at Savatthi to
explain the wrong beliefs of other sects speculating on whether
the world is finite or infinite, etc.
discourse was given by the Buddha at Pisinara. The Buddha explained
that he taught the dhamma not for the sake of gain, such as
robes, alms-food, lodgings, etc., nor in expectation of future
happy existences. His teachings, namely, the Four Methods of
Steadfast Mindfulness, the Four Right Efforts, etc., in short,
the Thirty-seven Factors of Enlightenment were for the attainment
of higher knowledge leading to the end of suffering. Whenever
there was a dispute over the doctrine with regard to meanings
and words, it should be resolved strictly in accordance with
Nataputta had recently died at Pava and his followers had split
into two groups. On being informed by Ananda that he was worried
lest there be such a schism among the Order, after the passing
away of the Buddha, the Buddha taught this discourse on imperfect
and perfect teachers and disciples, on disputes and their origin,
and on the essentials of his Teaching.
Sunakkhatta, a former Licchavi prince, once enquired of the
Buddha whether all the bhikkhus who came to the Buddha and
declared their attainment of Arahatship actually attained it.
The Buddha said some of them actually did attain Arahatship
whereas some deceived themselves; again others claimed Arahatship,
knowing full well that they were not entitled to it, simply
to trouble him with unnecessary questions. The Buddha then
taught him the essential dhamma in which one must become accomplished
before one could claim Arahatship.
discourse was given by the Buddha while he was staying once
at Kammasadhama, in the country of the Kurus. The Buddha explained
to the bhikkhus the dangers of enjoying sensual pleasures,
which were transitory, empty and deceptive. He said he had
shown them the path leading to imperturbability (Anenja-sappaya),
to the realm of Nothingness, to the realm of Neither Consciousness
nor Non-Consciousness, and ultimately to Nibbana. He then urged
the bhikkhus: "GO to the forest, to solitude. Strive hard
Buddha was once asked by the Brahmin Gankamoggallana whether
there were systematic rules, practices and methods in his Teaching,
just as there were training rules, manuals, guidances in various
branches of worldly knowledge. The Buddha told him about the
Dhamma giving details about precepts to be observed, disciplinary
rules to be followed, various concentrations to be developed
and jhanas and pannas to be achieved step by step.
leading brahmins of Rajagaha asked the Venerable Ananda whether
the Buddha had appointed a particular thera to be the head
of the Samgha after he passed away. Ananda informed them there
was no such person. No person could substitute the Buddha.
They wanted to know then if the Samgha had agreed upon a certain
bhikkhu to be their head. When Ananda told them there was no
such person, they wondered how the Samgha could remain in agreement
and unity. Ananda then explained to them that they had indeed
refuge in the Dhamma and how the Samgha of each locality recited
together the Patimokkha, the summary of disciplinary rules,
every half month.
Buddha was sitting in the midst of a large number of bhikkhus
out in the open on a fullmoon night. All the bhikkhus were
intently engaged in meditation. The silence of the night was
broken by the oldest of the meditating bhikkhus who, with the
permission of the Buddha, asked him about the five aggregates
of grasping, how craving developed with respect to each aggregate,
and how craving would cease. The Buddha explained each point
raised by the bhikkhu to the great benefit of the assembled
discourse was given on how to differentiate between a good
man and a bad man, with detailed description of the characteristics
of good and bad man.
discourse was given at Savatthi. The Buddha brought out in
full detail the virtues of one of his two Chief Disciples,
the Venerable Sariputta, extolling his wisdom which was extensive
like the big earth, describing how, unlike other ordinary disciples
who had attained arahatship, the Venerable Sariputta went through
the practices for development of sila, samadhi and panna in
a very thorough manner, step by step, contemplating very intensely
on the minutest phenomenon of 'arising and perishing' until
he gained the highest goal of the holy life. The Buddha explained
also how the Venerable Sariputta was fully accomplished in
the Dhamma to deserve the honour of being a Chief Disciple
of the Buddha.
Buddha said that when any bhikkhu claimed to the attainment
of Arahatship, his claim should not be admitted or rejected
outright. His claim should be carefully scrutinized according
to the guiding principles provided in this discourse.
describes how a good, worthy man is to be distinguished from
a bad, unworthy person enumerating twenty six characteristics
by which each individual is to be judged.
discourse was given briefly by the Buddha, and the Venerable
Sariputta continued to expound it in more detail. It deals
with practices and actions which a bhikkhu should or should
not resort to. Whatever action or practice or object is conducive
to one's spiritual progress and development should be resorted
to and made use of; whatever is detrimental to one's spiritual
advancement should be rejected.
discourse is an analytical study of elements, dhatu; bases,
ayatana; the law of dependent origination; and the right or
wrong causes. Only the bhikkhu skilled in these studies may
be reckoned as a wise person.
discourse was given by the Buddha at Isigili, one of the hills
surrounding Rajagaha. This is an account of why this hill was
called by that name and of the many Paccekabuddhas who used
to dwell there.
discourse is a detailed exposition on Right Concentration which
has its base in the other seven constituent parts of the Noble
Path, on twenty meritorious dhammas and on twenty demeritorious
as a method of meditation was explained to a large gathering
of bhikkhus including nearly all well-known senior disciples
such as the Venerable Sariputta, Maha Moggallana, Maha Kassapa,
Anuruddha, Ananda etc. Development of mindfulness of respiration
establishes a person in the Four Methods of Steadfest Mindfulness.
The Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness, being developed,
establishes a person in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.
The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, being developed, bring
about Insight Knowledge and emancipation.
discourse dcscribes the meditation practice involving contemplation
on the thirty two parts of the body. The practical steps in
the method as well as its advantages are fully explained.
discourse explains how it is possible to have one's wish fulfilled
if one is well established in the five wholesome dhammas, namely,
faith, moral conduct, learning, liberality and wisdom.
Buddha once told Ananda that he often dwelt in the liberation
of the void, Sunnata-vihara. When requested by Ananda, he explained
what liberation of the void meant - Liberation through Insight
that discerns voidness of self.
many bhikkhus living together in a crowded dwelling place,
the Buddha told Ananda that a bhikkhu should not like living
in company. Solitude is most beneficial for a bhikkhu. He urged
bhikkhus to look upon him as a sincere friend who would repeatedly
point out their faults to help correct them.
discourse is an account of the twenty marvellous attributes
of the Buddha as extolled by the Venerable Ananda.
Bakula, aged one hundred and sixty years, met his old friend,
the naked ascetic Kassapa, after he had been in the Order of
the Buddha for eighty years. Kassapa asked him how often he
had indulged in sexual intercourse during those eighty years.
Bakula told his friend the marvellous attributes he possessed
as an Arahat, including the fact that he became an Arahat after
seven days of strenuous endeavour, after which he was completely
rid of moral defilements.
this discourse the Buddha explained to the novice Aciravata
how a young prince like Prince Jayasena, son of King Bimbisara,
could not hope to know, to see, to realize such dhammas as
concentration and jhanas, living as he did in the lap of luxury,
surrounded by pleasures of senses, enjoying the pleasures of
senses and consumed and overwhelmed by the flames of desires.
The Buddha pointed out the difference in out look between an
Arahat and an ordinary uninstructed person giving the simile
of a tamed elephant and a wild elephant of the forest.
discourse was given by the Venerable Bhumija to his nephew,
Prince Jayasena to explain how Fruition would result by practising
the Noble Path of Eight Constituents. The Buddha confirmed
that only by following the right Path, namely, the Noble Path
of Eight Constituents and not any other Path, Fruition would
result. The Buddha gave the similes of attempting to make oil
out of sand, squeezing the horns of a cow for milk, churning
water to make butter, and rubbing two pieces of wet green wood
to make fire.
discourse was given by the Venerable Anuruddha to Pancakanga,
the carpenter, to explain the difference between Appamana Cetovimutti,
liberation through practice of four Brahmavihara Meditation
and Mahaggata Cetovimutti, liberation through Kasina Meditation
using a meditational device.
the Buddha left Kosambi because of quarrelling, contentious
bhikkhus and went to Pacinavamsa Park where the Venerable Anuruddha,
the Venerable Nandiya and the Venerable Kimila were staying.
When these bhikkhus informed the Buddha about the aura (obhasa)
and vision (dassana) of various shapes and forms they perceived
in the course of their meditation, the Buddha taught them about
Upakkilesa, mental defilements, that appear at a certain stage
in meditation process. They should be on their guard not to
be led astray by these deceptive defilements.
discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi on fools and
characteristic behviourof fools; on how evil thoughts, words
and deeds of fools harm themselves and others; and on how these
evil actions lead fools to states of misery and woe. The utter
wretchedness and intense suffering in such states beggar description.
Once a fool, through his evil actions, found himself in one
of the nether regions, there was very little likelihood for
him to rise again to the upper realms. The chances are more
remote than that of a blind turtle to get his head through
a single hole in a yoke which was being tossed about in a stormy
discourse deals also with the wise and their characteristics;
the wholesome thoughts, words and deeds of the wise, the wholesome
effects resulting from such meritorious actions and bliss enjoyed
by them in the realms of happiness.
is a discourse on evil results arising from evil action, giving
details of suffering in realms of misery and woe.
sutta which means 'a discourse on a night of good meditation'
gives a detailed description of Vipassana meditation. The Buddha
urged the bhikkhus not to dwell in the past which was gone,
nor to seek the future which was unattained yet, but to perceive
the dhamma in the phenomena presently occurring, at the same
time not becoming involved in and attached to them.
is a discoarse in which the Venerable Ananda repeated to the
bhikkhus the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, for which performance he
was highly commended by the Buddha.
is a detailed exposition by the Venerable Mahakaccana on Vipassana
meditation of the five khandhas as explained by the Buddha
in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta. The Venerable Mahakaccana was commended
by the Buddha for his exposition.
is a detailed exposition by the Venerable Lomasakangiya on
Vipassana meditation of the five khandhas as explained in the
Subha, son of the Brahmin Todeyya, was curious to know why
some were born in high class families, some in low class families;
why some were born rich, others poor; why some were beautiful,
others ugly; why some were of good health with a long span
of life, others of poor health with a short span of life, etc.
He approached the Buddha and asked fourteen questions in all
to satisfy his curiosity. The Buddha gave a long discourse
on Kamma and its resultant effects. Deeds,words and thoughts
have endless consequences of joy and sorrow to be experienced
in this very life ard hereafter. Men depend on their own deeds
and nothing else for their condition and status in life.
is another discourse on kamma and its result ant effects which
are most difficult to foresee. How the workings of Kamma were
most strange and surprising were explained with reference to
four types of individuals.
discourse is a detailed analytical exposition on six internal
sense bases, six external sense bases, six types of consciousness
arising from six types of contact, etc., by the Buddha.
this discourse, the Buddha taught briefly how restraint of
the mind with regard to external sense bases and non-attachment
to internal sense bases led to the cessation of suffering.
The Venerable Kaccana gave an exposition on this subject which
earned him praise from the Buddha.
discourse is an exhortation on the practice of the Middle Path,
avoiding the two extremes of indulgence in sensual pleasures
and practice of self mortification, and on modes of conduct
not indulging in backbiting; not keeping to colloquial vocabulary
only and not spurning the conventional usage of the language,
but speaking gently, slowly.
is an important discourse taught to Pukkusati, a recluse who
had left the homelife inspired by the fame of Gotama Buddha
whom he had not yet met and whom he was on his way to see.
The Buddha went purposely to meet this recluse in a potter's
hut to teach this discourse: A man is made up of six elements,
namely, solidity, fluidity, heat, motion, space and consciousness.
On analysis, none of these elements is found to be 'mine' or
'me' or 'my self'. All of them are subject to the law of impermanence,
so are the three types of sensation. When a bhikkhu perceives
the real nature of the physical and mental phenomena, he becomes
endowed with absolute wisdom, Knowledge of the Noble Truth.
this discourse the Buddha taught the bhikkhus the Four Noble
Truths as he had done at the time of giving the discourse on
the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma at Isipatana in Baranasi.
He then urged the bhikkhus to seek guidance from the two theras,
the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana,likening
the Venereble Sariputta to a mother and the Venerable Maha
Moggallana to a foster mother.The Venerable Sariputta could
analyse and explain the Four Noble Truths in detail and lead
them to the stage of the first Path and Fruition. The Venerable
Maha Moggallana could then lead them on till the highest Path
and Fruition, the Arahatship, was achieved.
discourse was given to the Buddha's foster mother Mahapajapati
on the occasion of her offering to the Buddha a set of robes
made by her own hand. The Buddha urged his foster mother to
make the offering to the Samgha, the community of bhikkhus.
He enumerated fourteen kinds of donations to individuals and
seven kinds of donations to the Samgha, explaining the superior
benefit accruing from offerings made to the Samgha.
discourse was given by the Venerable Sariputta to Anathapindka
on his death-bed. The Venerable Sariputta enjoined him not
to grasp at the six internal sense bases, nor the six external
sense bases, nor the feelings that arise in relation to them,
nor at the six elements (including space and consciousness),
nor at the five aggregates, nor the realms of Infinite Space,
of Infinite Consciousness, of Nothingness, of Neither Consciousness
Nor Non-Consciousness. With no attachment to any of them, there
would come liberation.
Venerable Channa was very ill. The Venerable Sariputta and
Cunda paid him a visit. They gave him solace by giving instruction
on Vipassana meditation. The Venerable Channa died an Arahat.
discourse was given to Bhikkhu Punna by the Buddha on how to
practise the holy life in solitude. When the Buddha asked him
how he would contend with the dangers which infested the locality
where he was going to stay, he told the Buddha of the six categories
of fortitude he was endowed with, including indifference to
an attack even on his life.
discourse was given by the Venerable Nandaka to five hundred
bhikkhunis in the presence of the Buddha one fullmoon night.
He dealt with the twelve categories of internal and external
sense bases, the six types of consciousness, their impermanent
nature and how to practise the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.
He won the approval of the Buddha for his lucid exposition
of the Dhamma.
discourse was given by the Buddha to his son Rahula who was
then a bhikkhu of the Order fully mature to receive the highest
dhamma. The Buddha exhorted him, in the form of question and
answers on the impermanent nature of the twelve sense bases,
in consequence of which the Venerable Rahula attained to Arahatship.
discourse was given by the Buddha frequently to many bhikkhus
on the six internal sense bases, the six external sense bases,
six types of consciousness, six types of contacts, six types
of sensation, six kinds of craving and on how their interrelationship
led to continuity of phenomena from one existence to another.
discourse is an exposition on how the ignorance of the six
categories of dhamma such as the six internal sense bases,
etc.,gives rise to craving, and craving to suffering. It also
explains how, when they are seen as they really are by following
the Noble Path of Eight Constituents, the knowledge of the
Seven Factors of Enlightenment arises resulting in the perfect
Peace of Nibbana.
is a discourse in which the Buddha explained to the villagers
of Nagaravinda the distinction between samanas and brahmanas
who deserved honour and homage and those who did not. Only
those religious teachers who had discarded the craving that
arose out of ayatana dhammas were worthy of veneration.
is an exhortation to bhikkhus to keep themselves pure in mind
while going on alms round or while eating their meal, by discarding
craving, removing hindrances and developing the knowledge of
the Seven Factors of Enlightenment through continuous practice.
discourse was given to the Venerable Ananda by the Buddha showing
the difference between the control of senses proctised by an
Arahat and that practised by one still under training. The
buddha explained that feeling of liking, disliking or indifference
that arise from conditioned phenomena could be soon eliminated
by the practice of Vipassana Meditation.