Index of the Suttas of the
Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa-Pāḷi — The Magic (Middle) 50
BJT: The Sri Lanka Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series Majjhima Nikāya, Volume 2 Suttas 77-106.
The Pali text for individual suttas listed below is adapted from the Sri Lanka Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series [BJT]. Much, but not all of it is unabridged and has been checked against the Pali Text Society edition, and many of the suttas have been reformatted to include the original Pali (and/or organizational) phrase and sentence breaks.
PTS: Middle Length Sayings of the Buddha, Volume II, I.B. Horner, trans.
MLS Volume II
ATI: Access to Insight, Translations by Bhikkhu Thanissaro and others.
PP [Path Press]: MN 2 Ñāṇamoḷi PDF for on line viewing. Volume 2 of the Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoḷi 3-volume manuscript used as the basis for the Bhk. Bodhi edited edition. "Manuscript" here means hand written! and his script is no easy thing to read. Note that the PDF file is very large.
WP: Wisdom Publications, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Bhk. Ñāṇamoli translation, edited and revised by Bhk. Bodhi.
MNL: Sutta translations by Sister Upalavanna.
BD: Suttas translated by M. Olds.
1. Gahapati Vagga
51. Kandaraka Suttantaɱ, I.339
The Buddha, from a brief discussion of the four types of individuals found in the world, when asked to elaborate expounds on the habits of those intent on harmful ascetic practices, those who follow a bloody calling, those who torment both themselves and others, and those who neither torment themselves nor torment others. By way of the last group he teaches a detailed course of progress from layman to the benefits of Arahantship.
SBB: Kandaraka-Suttaɱ, Against Asceticism, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 246
PTS: Discourse to Kandaraka, Horner, trans., II.3
WP: To Kandaraka, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 443
MNL: To Kandaraka the Ascetic, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
52. Aṭṭhaka-Nāgara Suttantaɱ, I.349
In this sutta Ananda explains to a householder how Arahantship can be attained via any single one of eleven different avenues.
The avenues are any one of the four jhanas, the brahmaVihāras, or the arupa jhanas up to the Realm of No Thing's to be Had. The effeciant cause of the attainment, it is clear, is not the jhana or meditative state, but the insight that that state itself has been own-made and is impermanent.
It is important to note that here is an unequivocal statement that it is possible to attain Arahantship directly from the First Jhana. I stress this point to the readers here not to make out that it is any easy task, but only to refute the notion that it is an impossible one, or that it is absolutely necessary to attain all Four Jhanas which is to make the task appear to be absolutely out of reach for most people today. To attain the First Jhana one must abandon all desire for sensual pleasures, give up foolish conduct, and become entheusiastic about the enjoyment of solitude. Most people can do this much. It requires a little effort. You need to find some place where you can be alone and undisturbed for several hours. Then remember: The Jhanas are not the goal, they are just the platform. At this point one must see the impermanance of all things that have been constructed to form one's individual world including this very mental state called the Jhana, any body, sensation, perception, personal construction, and individualized consciousness. Then one must see that this impermanance, for one attached to the world, inevitably brings pain, and that what is painful cannot be the self. So seeing, one is repelled by constructed things, repelled one abandons them and constructs no more, having abandoned construction one is free, in freedom, seeing freedom, one can know: rebirth is left behind (it requires construction), lived is the best of lives, duty's duty has been done and there is no more being any kind of an 'it' at any place of 'atness' left for one. This is Nibbana, Arahantship, being no longer subject to Time and Death, the Unseen Consciousness of the utterly purified Mind void of any identification with 'self'.
SBB: Aṭṭhaka-Nāgara-Suttaɱ, The Portals of Nirvana, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 251
PTS: Discourse to a Citizen of Atthaka, Horner, trans., II.14
WP: The Man from Atthakanagara, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 454
ATI: To the Man from Atthakanagara, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Preached at Atthakanagara, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
DEU: Der Bürger von Atthakam, Neumann, trans.
53. Sekha Suttantaɱ, I.353
Ananda delivers a variation on The Gradual Course. Here he gives the laymen of Kapilavatthu a discourse on undertaking the quest for awakening from the point of undertaking the training in ethical behavior right on up to the eradication of the Corrupting Influences in Nibbana. It is possible this sutta was intended for laymen directly, (in which case it is encouraging laymen to become arahants) but I believe rather that it was intended to encourage some to enter the order, and to show the others the nature of the practice of the bhikkhus.
SBB: Sekha-Suttaɱ, How to Become an Adept, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 254
PTS: Discourse for Learners, Horner, trans., II.18
WP: The Disciple in Higher Training, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 460
ATI: The Practice for One in Training, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: The Trainer for Enlightenment, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
54. Potaliya Suttantaɱ, I.359
The Buddha explains in detail what it means to have given up all avocations in this Dhamma.
Note that here, speaking to a layman, the Buddha is describing the attainment of the three visions of the Arahant as being attained just subsequent to the abandoning of pleasures of the senses. That is, without any specific mention of even the first jhana.
Based on this one could say that Arahantship is attainable without jhana; or one could say: The conditions for the first jhana are met with, and the conditions for the fourth jhana are met with, so there is here the attainment of arahantship with jhana.
Why is jhana not mentioned here? I suggest it is because the discussion proceeds from the request to provide the entire giving up in every way of all occupations. Jhana, as jhana, is essentially an occupation.
This sutta contains the details for the similes for the pleasures of the senses, that is that the pleasures of the senses are like a meatless bone, carrion attacked by vultures, a blazing torch carried against the wind, falling into a pit of glowing charcoal, a loan, having climbed a tree to enjoy the fruit while another man is chopping it down.
SBB: Potaliya-Suttaɱ, True Retirement, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 259
PTS: Discourse to Potaliya, Horner, trans., II.25
WP: To Potaliya, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 466
ATI: To Potaliya (excerpt), Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To The Householder Potaliya, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
55. Jīvaka Suttantaɱ I.368
The Buddha refutes the accusation that he allows the eating of the flesh of animals killed specifically for him and he explains the peramaters that allow the eating of meat.
A sutta to consult when the endless debate over vegetarianism comes up. Let me have another shot at clarifying the situation. There is kamma, and there are the rules for the bhikkhus, and there is doing good deeds. As far as kamma goes, the operant factor, the efficient cause of a kammic consequence, is intent. Where there is no intent to cause harm, there is no kammic consequences. The rules for the bhikkhus are based on the law of kamma. There being no intent to harm in connection with eating meat that was not killed by one's self, killed upon request by one's self, or suspected to have been killed specifically for one, there is no kammic consequence and there is no rule against eating meat of such a sort. Where some individual decides that he wishes to reduce the demand for meat that is the motive for the butchering of animals, that is an intentional good deed and is to be praised. When an individual blames a person who does not have any intent to harm living creatures, but who eats meat as per the factors that make it kammically blameless, then that person is blind to the nature of kamma and is making bad kamma by holding a wrong mental position. And the louder and more forcefully they do that, the worse is the bad kamma they make. Finally, the bhikkhus are beggars. Beggars should not be choosers. They are in the right refusing meat that is not allowable because in the refusal is a lesson given to the doner of what is allowable. But in the ordinary course of the begging round for a beggar to refuse meat lawfully given is to deprive the doner of good kamma and that is bad kamma. There are countries which are primarily vegetarian and situations where the bhikkhu may have a choice. In the case where the doner of a food gift gives the bhikkhu a choice, there is no problem with his requesting to be given vegetarian food only. The layman, of course, can choose to be a vegetarian or not according as he wishes with no adverse consequences.
SBB: Jīvaka-Suttaɱ, Lawful and Unlawful Meats, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 264
PTS: Discourse to Jīvaka, Horner, trans., II.32
WP: To Jīvaka 474
MNL: A discourse to Jivaka the Foster Son of the Prince, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
56. Upāli Suttantaɱ, I.371
A debate with the Buddha concerning the Jain proposition that of deeds of mind, word, and body, the deed of body carried the strongest kammic consequences where the Buddha holds that it is the deed of mind that carries the strongest kammic consequences.
SBB: Upāli-Suttaɱ, A Jain's Conversion, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 267
PTS: Discourse with Upāli, Horner, trans., II.36
WP: To Upali, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 477
MNL: To the Householder Upali, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
ATI: The Teaching to Upāli, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
57. Kukkura-Vatika Suttantaɱ, I.387
Two ascetics, one who's asceticism was to practice the behavior of a dog, the other who's asceticism was to practice the behavior of an ox question the Buddha as to the outcomes of their practices. A good, clear explanation of the workings of kamma.
SBB: Kukkuravatika-Suttaɱ, Of Emulating Dogs, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 278
PTS: Discourse on the Canine Ascetic, Horner, trans., II.54
WP: The Dog-duty Ascetic Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 493
ATI: The Dog-duty Ascetic, Ñanamoli Thera, trans.
MNL: The Habits of a Dog, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
58. Abhaya-Rāja-Kumāra Suttantaɱ, I.392
Explaining to Prince Abhaya how it might come to happen that the Buddha says something to someone that upsets them greatly, he outlines the various ways in which an awakened one approaches taking opportunity to speak.
SBB: Abhaya-Rājakumāra-Suttaɱ, Of Choosing One's Words, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 282
PTS: Discourse to Prince Abhaya, Horner, trans., II.60
WP: To Prince Abhaya, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 498
ATI: To Prince Abhaya (On Right Speech), Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To the King's son Abhaya, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
59. Bahu-Vedanīya Suttantaɱ, I 396
The Buddha speaks of seven ways he classifies experience (vedana); and ten ways he classifies happiness the last of which is not to be found classed within experience.
SBB: Bahu-vedanīya-Suttaɱ, Pleasant and Unpleasant, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 286
PTS: Discourse on Much to be Experienced, Horner, trans., II.64
WP: The Many Kinds of Feeling, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 502
ATI: The Many Kinds of Feeling, Nyanaponika Thera, trans.
Many Things to be Experienced, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: The Discourse On Many Feelings, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
60. Apaṇṇaka Suttantaɱ, I.400
The Buddha explains a logical way to behave when faced with uncertainty as to what one should believe.
This sutta should be read by every skeptic and every realist who can see of himself that he does not know or see such things as the workings of kamma, rebirth according to one's deeds, the existence of Heaven and Hell, gods, God or the Devil, etc. The logic of the sutta is incontrovertable, indeed. It only makes sense to cover your bets. To hold the position that 'there is no' (kamma, God, etc.) is actually to say that one 'knows,' and to say that one knows means that one is claiming to know all. How else could one know that 'there was not'? If a thing exists, it can be seen. Perhaps not by everyone, but sooner or later it can be seen. If a thing does not exist, one would need to see absolutely everything to know that it did not exist. And then, maybe you missed something. Then, too, to say that one knows that 'there is not' is to say that one knows more than those who have said that 'there is.' That is 'exalting one's self and disparaging others.'
I think Bhk. Bodhi's understanding of what he calls 'The Doctrine of Non-doing' is not well reflected in his choice of sub-title for this section. The idea is not that this is a doctrine of 'Not-doing', but that this is a doctrine where people believe that there is no kammic result of deeds, no 'doing' in the sense of creating consequences. It is saying that there is 'no bad (or good) action' 'kamma' 'action' or 'doing,' not 'no doing'. The idea 'bad' or 'good' implies 'consequences.' Certainly we can see with our own eyes that 'doing' has occurred. 'Kamma' here is being translated one-sidedly, that is only as the 'doing', but the idea of the 'doctrine' is that there is no 'result' (the other side of 'kamma'.) Buddhism itself can be characterized as a doctrine of 'not-doing': 'the not doing of unskillful deeds.' For example, the intent to not do a kammic deed identified with own-making in thought, word, or deed.
There is a similar misplaced emphasis in Bhk. Thanissaro's "Action and Non-Action."
SBB: Apaṇṇaka-Suttaɱ, The Sound Doctrine, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 289
PTS: Discourse on the Sure, Horner, trans., II.69
WP: The Incontrovertible Teaching, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 506
MNL: The Inquiring Teaching, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
ATI: A Safe Bet, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
2. Bhikkhu Vagga
The Buddha teaches his son the importance of refraining from intentional false speech and the need for reflection prior to, during, and after doing deeds of body, speech, and mind.
SBB: Ambalaṭṭhikā-Rāhul'ovāda-Suttaɱ, Against Lying, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 297
PTS: Discourse on an Exhortation to Rāhula at Ambalaṭṭhika, Horner, trans., II.87
WP: Advice to Rahula at Ambalatthika, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 523
ATI: Advice to Rahula at Mango Stone, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Advice to Venerable Rahula At Ambalatthika, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
62. Mahā-Rāhul'ovāda Suttantaɱ, I.420
The Buddha teaches his son how to develop minding the breathing.
SBB: Mahā-Rāhulovāda-Suttaɱ, Breathing Exercises, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 300
PTS: Greater Discourse on an Exhortation to Rahula, Horner, trans., II.91
WP: The Greater Discourse of Advice to Rahula, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 527
ATI: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Advice to Venerable Rahula — The Longer Discourse, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
63. Cūḷa Māluŋkya Suttantaɱ I.426
Malunkyaputta, dissatisfied that the Buddha has not answered a number of questions concerning existence and non-existence (whether or not the world is vast, or an ending thing or whether or not the self and the body are one thing or different things, or in what way the arahant manifests after death) confronts Gotama who explains to him that these questions are not expounded upon because they are not relevant to the goal of ending suffering. This sutta contains the famous simile of the man who refuses to accept medical treatment for an arrow wound until he knows all about the arrow, the shooter, etc.
Buddhism in Translations: Malunkaputta Sutta, Warren, trans
Thomas: The Questions of Malunkhyaputta, E. J. Thomas, translation, 1913
SBB: Cūḷa Māluŋkya-Suttaɱ, Of the Irrelevant, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 304
PTS: Lesser Discourse to Māluŋkya (Putta), Horner, trans., II.97
WP: The Shorter Discourse to Malunkyaputta, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 533
ATI: The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Advice to Venerable Malunkhyaputta, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
Norwegian: Lignelsen om den forgiftede pilen Lie, trans.
64. Mahā Māluŋkya Suttantaɱ, I.432
A detailed discussion of the five fetters to lower rebirths and the practice by way of which these five fetters are eliminated so as to result in non-returning.
SBB: Mahā Māluŋkya-Suttaɱ, Of Bursting Bonds Asunder, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 308
PTS: Greater Discourse to Malunkya(putta), Horner, trans., II.102
WP: The Greater Discourse to Malunkyaputta, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 537
MNL: The Major Discourse to Venerable Malunkhyaputta, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
65. Bhaddāli Suttantaɱ, I.437
A sutta describing the laying down of the rule about not eating at improper times and of one bhikkhu's rebellion against this rule. Contains an explanation of why there are so many rules and so few who attain the goal when at an earlier time there were few rules and many attained the goal. Also contains the simile of the thoroughbred steed.
SBB: Bhaddāli Suttaɱ, Of Obedience, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 311
PTS: Discourse to Bhaddāli, Horner, trans., II.107
WP: To Bhaddāli, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 542
MNL: Advice to Venerable Bhaddāli, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
66. Laṭukikopama Suttantaɱ, I.447
The Buddha shows how letting go of the pleasure of eating at wrong times sets the pattern for letting go of each step of the way from pleasures of the senses through each of the jhanas to the ending of perceiving experience.
SBB: Laṭukikopama Suttaɱ, The Parable of the Quail, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 318
PTS: Discourse on the Simile of the Quail, Horner, trans., II.119
WP: The Simile of the Quail, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 551
ATI: (Ladukikopama) The Quail Simile, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: The Discourse with the Comparison of The Quail, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
67. Cātumā Suttantaɱ, I.456
The Buddha instructs a number of bhikkhus about the various pitfalls facing the bhikkhu. He provides four similes: one for anger, one for gluttony, one for the five cords of sense pleasures and one for sexual lust.
SBB: Cātumā Suttaɱ, Of Land Sharks, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 324
PTS: Discourse at Cātumā, Horner, trans., II.128
WP: At Catuma, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 560
MNL: The Discourse at Catuma, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
68. Naḷakapāna Suttantaɱ, I.462
The Buddha explains the importance of having joyous entheusiasm in the pursuit of the goal and explains that it is in the service of this that he occasionally relates the rebirth of some bhikkhu or bhikkhuni or layman or laywoman.
SBB: Naḷakapāna Suttaɱ, The Stimulus of Example, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 329
PTS: Discourse at Naḷakapāna, Horner, trans., II.135
WP: At Naḷakapāna, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 566
MNL: The Discourse at Naḷakapāna, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
69. Gulissāni Suttantaɱ, I.469
Sariputta delivers a discourse on the proper training for one who lives alone in the forest.
SBB: Gulissāni Suttaɱ, Of Rusticity, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 332
PTS: Discourse on Gulissāni, Horner, trans., II.141
WP: Gulissani, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 572
MNL: On account of venerable Gulissani, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
70. Kīṭāgiri Suttantaɱ, I.473
Two bhikkhus are taken to task for disparaging the rule about eating at impropper times. Includes a description of Seven sorts of Persons pointing out which have nothing more to do and which have something more to do.
SBB: Kīṭāgiri Suttaɱ, Of Implicit Obedience, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 334
PTS: Discourse at Kitagiri, Horner, trans., II.146
WP: At Kitagiri, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 577
ATI: At Kitagiri, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Advice given at Kitagiri, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
3. Paribbājaka Vagga
71. Tevijja-Vacchagotta Suttantaɱ, I.481
The Buddha explains to Vacchagotta the difference between claiming to be all-knowing and all-seeing at all times and claiming to be possessed of the three-visions: the ability to see past lives, the ability to see the relationship of rebirth to deeds, and the knowledge that one is free from corrupting influences.
SBB: Tevijja-Vacchagotta Suttantaɱ, The True Three-Fold Lore, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 339
PTS: Discourse to Vacchagotta on the Threefold Knowledge, Horner, trans., II.159
WP: To Vacchagotta on the Threefold True Knowledge, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 587
MNL: The three Vedas to Vacchagotta, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
72. Aggi-Vacchagotta Suttantaɱ, I.483
The Buddha converts Vacchagotta by an explanation of why speculative views do not apply to the attaining of the ending of pain.
A crystal clear explanation of the difference between views about existence and non existence and the insight that liberates.
Note here also the unmistakable way in which the term 'upādāna' is to be thought of as 'fuel.' There being thirst the result is fuel for the fire of existence.
Two observations: Ms. Horner has a very strange habit of leaving certain passages unintelligible, or if intelligible, making no sense in context. Almost as though she had worked out some sort of literal translation and then neglected to put it into readable English. Then, also, she quotes the commentary extensively in these translations, and some of the absurd things the commentator has to say should be noted as the absurdities that they are.
Buddhism in Translations, The Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta, Warren, trans
SBB: Aggi-Vacchagotta Suttaɱ, On Fuel, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 341
PTS: Discourse to Vacchagotta on Fire, Horner, trans., II.162
WP: To Vacchagotta on Fire, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 590
ATI: To Vacchagotta on Fire, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To Vacchagotta — The Simile of the Fire, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
73. Mahā Vacchagotta Suttantaɱ, I.489
Vacchagotta is given a lesson in brief concerning what is skillful and what is not skillful and becomes a bhikkhu. Having mastered what is necessary as a foundation he is told to master calm and insight in order to attain magic powers, recollection of past lives, knowledge of the outcome of deeds, and the destruction of the Asavas. He masters all this and becomes an Arahant.
SBB: Mahā-Vacchagotta Suttaɱ, The Meed of Service, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 345
PTS: Greater Discourse to Vacchagotta, Horner, trans., II.167
WP: The Greater Discourse to Vacchagotta, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 595
MNL: The Major Discourse to Vacchagotta, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
74. Dīghanakha Suttantaɱ, I.497
Dighanakha is given an instruction in the abandoning of points of view, then in detachment from body, and sensation.
A very early sutta. It is by listening to this sutta that Sariputta becomes arahant. Dighanakha becomes a Streamwinner.
SBB: Dīghanakha Suttaɱ, Consistency in Outlook, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 351
PTS: Discourse to Dighanakha, Horner, trans., II.176
WP: To Dighanakha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 603
ATI: To LongNails, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Advice to Dighanakha the wandering Ascetic, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
75. Māgandiya Suttantaɱ, I.501
The Wanderer Magandiya is raised from a view based on faith that health is the greatest good and that this is Nibbana to an understanding of the satisfactions, the dangers and he escape from pleasures of the senses.
SBB: Māgandiya Suttaɱ, Of Keeping Watch and Ward, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 353
PTS: Discourse to Magandiya, Horner, trans., II.181
WP: To Magandiya, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 607
ATI: To Magandiya (excerpt), Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To Magandiya, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
BD: The Magandiya Spell, Olds, trans.
Ajahn Vissudhi Reading The Magandiya Sutta
BD: The Magandiya Spell (discussion)
76. Sandaka Suttantaɱ, I.513
Sandaka, a wandering ascetic, asks Ananda a series of questions and is so impressed by his answers that he joins the Order. The questions and answers range from discussion of the problems with the prevailing doctrines to a complete course in the Buddha's Dhamma from the bottom up.
SBB: Samdaka Suttaɱ, Of False Guides, Chalmers trans, Vol. I, pg 362
PTS: Discourse to Sandaka, Horner, trans., II.192
WP: To Sandaka, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 618
MNL: Advice to the Wandering Ascetic Sandaka, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
BD: To Sandaka [outline]
77. Mahā Sakuludāyi Suttaɱ, II.1
In a discourse which amounts to a full course in Awakening the Buddha teaches Sakuludayi and his followers the reasons his disciples admire and follow him.
A comprehensive exposition of the Buddha's system with all the very helpful similes for the jhānas, magic powers, seeing past lives, seeing the outcome of deeds and having got rid of the corrupting influences.
[see also for these: AN 5.28, DN 2, MN 39] The final stage, getting rid of the corrupting influences [āsavas], (or the stage describing attainment of arahantship) is an abridged version. It is so abridged in the Pali, and it looks as though it were abridged because those wanderers that were in the audience did not get that far at this time.
SBB: Mahā Sakuludāyi Suttaɱ, The Key to Pupils' Esteem, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 1
PTS: Greater Discourse to Sakuludayin, Horner, trans., II.203
WP: The Greater Discourse to Sakuludayin, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 629
MNL: Advice to the wandering Ascetic Sakuludayi, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
78. Samaṇa-Maṇḍikā Suttaɱ, II.22
The Buddha teaches Five-tools, the carpenter about ethical standards, their origination, their stopping and the way to go about causing their stopping; intentions, their origin, their stopping and the way to go about their stopping.
Note that ethical standards are considered to have been fully developed and let go when one has experienced freedom of heart and has gained wisdom; that unskillful intentions are stopped at the first jhāna; and that skillful intentions are stopped at the second jhāna.
SBB: Samaṇa-Maṇḍikā Suttaɱ, The Suckling, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 12
PTS: Discouse to Samaṇamaṇḍikā's Son, Horner, trans., II.222
WP: Samanamandikaputta, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 648
ATI: Mundika the Contemplative, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Advice to the Wandering Ascetic Uggahamana Samanamandikaputta, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
79. Cūḷa Sakuludāyi Suttaɱ, II.29
In an encounter with the Wanderer Sakuludayi, the Buddha explains what it is in his system that constitutes perfection and which is the state beyond bliss that his followers attain.
Ms. Horner has messed up in this translation a few of the most essential points, and better solutions have been noted.
It is worth taking the time here to read the discussion which outlines the events in this very long sutta so that they may be better carried in mind when reading the follow-up in the next sutta.
SBB: Cūḷa Sakuludāyi Suttaɱ, So-Called Perfection, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 16
PTS: Lesser Discourse to Sakuludāyin, Horner, trans., II.228
WP: The Shorter Discourse to Sakuludayin, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 654
MNL: A shorter Discourse to Sakuludayi, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
80. Vekhanassa Suttaɱ, II.40
The wanderer Vekhanassa, teacher of Sakuludāyin, has come to challenge Gotama but is shown to be holding a viewpoint based entirely on hearsay ("This is the highest lustre ...") which breaks down under close questioning. He is then led to acceptance of the more realistic doctrine of the Buddha.
What is it that by the end has convinced Vekhanassa that he is holding on to a belief which he himself does not see for himself? What convinces him that Gotama knows a saving dhamma? Challenged by way of a simile, Gotama, using similes, releases Vekhanassa from 'sutta-bondage' (a key use of word-play missed by Ms. Horner). The whole dynamic goes on beyond anything actually stated in the sutta and without 'seeing' what Gotama does or how it is working on Vekhanassa's mind, it makes no sense. This is a exquisite example of the magic of a sutta.
SBB: Vekhanassa Suttaɱ, More So-Called Perfection, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 21
PTS: Discourse to Vekhanassa, Horner, trans., II.236
WP: To Vekhanassa, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 663
MNL: Advice to the Wandering Ascetic Vekhanassa, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
4. Rāja Vagga
81. Ghaṭīkāra Suttaɱ, II.45
The Buddha's wandering brings him to a spot where the Buddha Kassapa once taught and where at that time in a previous birth as Jotipala, Gotama had to be dragged by the hair to visit this Buddha and hear his Dhamma.
Of course there developed a great controversy over this sutta concerning the idea that a Buddha is 'self-awakened', not brought to awakening by having heard another's doctrine. But there is hearing a doctrine and even professing great belief in it without understanding a word of it or what it was intended to accomplish. Gotama makes the statement that it was under this Buddha (Kassapa Buddha) that he '... lived the higher life for supreme enlightenment in the future.' This can mean no more than that he lived within the rules of a bhikkhu with the intent to attain awakening. It says nothing about having accomplished even the first step of this desire. See: KV Appendix 6a and KV.04.08 for more details.
SBB: Ghaṭīkāra Suttaɱ, The Potter's Devotion, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 23
PTS: Discourse on Ghatikara, Horner, trans., II.243
WP: Ghatikara the Potter, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 669
MNL: The Potter Ghatikara, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
82. Raṭṭhapāla Suttaɱ, II.54
The story of Ratthapala who, inspired by a Dhammatalk given by the Buddha wishes to enter the order but is refused the permission of his parents. (Up to 200 years or so ago even in Europe it was common that 'children' (males and females) up to the age of 25 and older were required by law to ask permission of their parents for such things as marriage. They could be put in jail for disobediance.) He vows to die on the spot unless he receives permission and after many pleadings by his parents and friends finally gets his parents concent. He thereafter quickly becomes arahant. On revisiting his family he is first unrecognized and subjected to abuse, then his father tries to tempt him to return to the world with gold and his former wives. He is not persuaded and delivers a sermon in verses on the subject of the pains in the world. Still later he discourses to the king on four doctrines of the Buddha concerning the futility of living in the world.
Misc. JRAS: #xxiii: Lupton, The Rattapala Suttaɱ, Lupton, trans.
SBB: Raṭṭhapāla Suttaɱ, Of Renouncing The World, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 28
PTS: Discourse with Raṭṭhapāla, Horner, trans., II.250
WP: On Raṭṭhapāla, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 677
ATI: About Ratthapala (excerpt), Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To the Householder Raṭṭhapāla, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
83. Makhādeva Suttaɱ, II.74
The Buddha relates a past life and uses it to inspire Ananda not to be the last of the line to live by the Eightfold Path.
SBB: Makhādeva Suttaɱ, Of Maintaining Great Traditions, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 39
PTS: Discourse on Makhādeva, Horner, trans., II.267
WP: King Makhadeva, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 692
MNL: The Discourse on Makhadeva, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
84. Madhurā Suttaɱ, II.83
King Avantiputta of Madhura has heard a boast by the brahmins that they were superior to all other peoples. He asks Venerable Kaccana the Great about this and receives a discourse showing that this is a lot of hot air. A very good example of the use of questions to bring about understanding in a questioner. The Chalmers translation is very early but is hardly distinguishable from the later translaions. He provides an interesting introduction.
SBB: Madhurā Suttaɱ, Brahmin Claims, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 43
Misc.: JRAS: #xxiii Chalmers: The Madhura Sutta Concerning Caste, Chalmers, trans.
PTS: Discourse at Madhura, Horner, trans., II.273
WP: At Madhura, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 698
MNL: The Discourse Given at Madhura, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
85. Bodhi-Rāja-Kumāra Suttaɱ, II.91
Prince Bodhi is given a discourse in refutation of the idea that the end of pain is to be got through suffering pain. A sutta built around circumstances of the Buddha's practice of austerities and the practice that lead to his awakening.
This sutta concludes with a series similar to that which concludes the Satipatthana Sutta, but in this case it is stated that an able student taught this Dhamma in the morning could gain the goal by the evening, if taught in the evening he could gain it by the morning.
SBB: Bodhi-Rāja-Kumāra Suttaɱ, Aptness to Learn, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 46
PTS: Discourse to Prince Bodhi, Horner, trans., II.279
WP: To Prince Bodhi, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 704
MNL: To Prince Bodhiraja, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
86. Aŋgulimāla Suttaɱ, II.97
The Majjhima Nikaya version of the story of Angulimala, the bandit/murderer who, after killing 999 people, was converted by the Buddha and became an Arahant. See also: Garland of Thumbs (discussion)
The Sutasoma-Jātaka (No. 537)
The verses ascribed to Aŋgulimāla are at Thag. 255 ff.
The D.P.P.N. biography.
Open Court: The Penatant Thief, Edmunds, trans.
SBB: Aŋgulimāla Suttaɱ, The Bandit's Conversion, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 50
PTS: Discourse with Angulimala, Horner, trans., II.284
The Sutasoma-Jātaka (No. 537)
The verses ascribed to Aŋgulimāla Thag. 806 ff. WP: On Angulimala, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 710
ATI: About Angulimala, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To Angulimala, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
BD: Garland of Thumbs (discussion)
87. Piya-Jātika Suttaɱ, II.106
Queen Mallika convinces King Pasenadi of the truth in the Buddha's saying that grief and lamentation, pain and misery and despair are born of affection, originate in affection.
SBB: Piya-Jātika Suttaɱ, Nullius Rei Affectus, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 56
PTS: Discourse on "Born of Affection", Horner, trans., II.292
WP: Born from Those Who Are Dear, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 718
ATI: From One Who Is Dear, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: Loved Ones, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
88. Bāhitika Suttaɱ, II.112
In an exchange between Ananda and King Pasenadi Ananda defines what is offensive and what is inoffensive conduct of body, speech and thought and is thanked by the king with a gift of a fine piece of cloth.
SBB: Bāhitika Suttaɱ, On Demeanour, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 59
PTS: Discourse on the Foreign Cloth, Horner, trans., II.296
WP: The Cloak, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 723
MNL: The Warm Cloth, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
89. Dhamma-Cetiya Suttaɱ, II.118
Raja Pasenadi pays a visit to the Buddha and shows great respect and enumerates the reasons for his great respect. As well as the content of this sutta being food for thought, the sutta is also interesting as a window on history. It is as this discussion is taking place that the king's son usurps the throne. We get a glimpse into the very moment of decision when Digha Karayana, the commander and chief of the Mallas, who is attending on the king asks himself why he must just stand around while the King fawns on the Buddha. At the time, the authority of kingship was vested in certain symbols: the umbrella, sword, turban ... and Pasenadi had removed his sword and turban out of respect for the Buddha, and had given them to Digha Karayana to hold for him, but he went off with them and made Pasenadi's son king.
SBB: Dhamma-Cetiya Suttaɱ, Monuments of the Doctrine, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 62
PTS: Discourse on Testimonies to Dhamma, Horner, trans., II.301
WP: Monuments to the Dhamma, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 728
MNL: Monuments to the Teaching, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
90. Kaṇṇakatthala Suttaɱ, II.125
King Pasenadi questions the Buddha about omniscience, the difference between the casts, and about the exisence and destinies of the gods and Brahma.
Note how the Buddha handles the issue of cast. He does not deny the differences between the way the casts are honored in this world while aserting that it is by the possession and use of faith, health, honesty and forthrightness, energy put to the use of eliminating bad states and acquiring good states, and by the use of their wisdom that the difference in the destinies of all individuals is seen. Note also here the unhesitating affirmation of the existence of the gods and Brahma.
SBB: Kaṇṇakatthala Suttaɱ, Omniscience and Omnipotence, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 66
PTS: Discourse at Kaṇṇakatthala, Horner, trans., II.307
WP: At Kaṇṇakatthala, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 734
ATI: At Kaṇṇakatthala, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: At Kaṇṇakatthala, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
BD: Kannakattha Sutta (discussion)
5. Brāhmaṇa Vagga
91. Brahmāyu Suttaɱ, II.133
The Brahmin Brahmayu, at the age of 120, is converted and becomes a non-returner when he sees the 32 marks of a great man in Gotama and is taught a gradual course in Dhamma.
This sutta has several interesting features. The casual mention of this brahmin as being 120 years old and 'reaching life's termination'! is only one of several such examples of life expectancy at the time. The 32 marks of the Superman are always a good challenge. Try and work out in your mind how these marks can be both physically visible and representative of superiority or special powers in a being. Note the manner of the exchange; that is, in verse. This was a frequent form of debate and required that the one challenged reply to the challenge in the form of the challenge. Verse required a reply in verse, etc. Today such debates are still to be found in Spain and Arab countries and in musical battles in many countries. Also note the extreme politeness and respect in the brahmin's behavior.
SBB: Brahmāyu Suttaɱ, The Superman, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 70
PTS: Discourse with Brahmāyu, Horner, trans., II.317
WP: Brahmāyu, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 743
MNL: To the Brahmin Brahmāyu, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
92. Sela Suttaɱ, II.146
Keniya, a matted hair ascetic is greatly satisfied by a teaching of the Buddha and invites him and the order of bhikkhus, 1200 in number to a meal for the next day. In the meantime Sela the Brahman seeing the preparations for the meal being made by Keniya, is told that it is for an Awakened One. Sela is stirred by the idea of an Awakened One and visits the Buddha immediately and he, and his 300 followers are converted. The next day the Buddha and the order of bhikkhus, some 1500 in number show up for the meal.
This sutta is full of magic! There is no mention at all of Keniya being in the slightest way disturbed by the addition of 300 guests for the meal. Can you see why? Note the way that Gotama responds in kind to the address in verse. This sutta gives us a peek into the very different way things were done within the closed society of the Brahmins versus that of the ordinary people of the time.
SBB: Sela Suttaɱ, The Real Superman, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 78
PTS: Discourse with Sela, Horner, trans., II.332
WP: To Sela, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 755
MNL: To the Brahmin Sela, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
93. Assalāyana Suttaɱ, II.147
A debate between a brahmin and the Buddha concerning the relative merits of the casts. A thoroughly rational and convincing set of arguments for the position that it is individual merit, not birth that distinguishes one man from another.
Well, this is not just a debate with good logical points being made. It is withering assault on a stupid idea that twists the argument into a knot and tosses it aside. It is to the credit of Gotama's opponent that he never believed he would win the argument in the first place and that he so gracefully acknowledges defeat in becoming a disciple of the Buddha.
An interesting point that comes up in passing is the notion of how conception occurs and the role in that of the Gandhabba. The role of the Gandhabba is questioned by some. Here it is clear that the Gandhabba is the spirit of the being to be reborn. This is not some guardian spirit or musical chorus attending the event to make sure of it's success. Further, though there is no mention of this here, or elsewhere that I know of, there is competition for this role in the event. Fierce competition, as with the stream of millions of spermatozoa competing to be the one fertalizing the one egg. Imagine then, on top of the competition between Ghandhabbas seeking rebirth, and the competition between the millions of spermatazoa coming down one individual's ... um ... stream, the competition between beings for the roles as the participating male and female in the picture, and you begin to get some sense of the difficulty of finding rebirth again as a human, once death has overtaken the body.
SBB: Assalāyana Suttaɱ, Brahmin Pretentions, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 84
PTS: Discourse with Assalāyana, Horner, trans., II.340
WP: To Assalayana, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 763
MNL: To the young man Assalayana, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
ATI: With Assalayana, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
94. Ghoṭamukha Suttaɱ, II.157
The Brahman Ghotamukha is converted by the bhikkhu Udena with a discourse on the four types of persons found in the world.
SBB: Ghoṭamukha Suttaɱ, Against Torturing, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 89
PTS: Discourse with Ghotamukha, Horner, trans., II.350
WP: To Ghotamukha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 771
MNL: To the Brahmin Gotamukha, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
95. Cankī Suttaɱ, II.164
The Buddha points out the flaws in reliance on faith, inclination, report, consideration of reasons, reflection on and approval of an opinion and describes the path that leads to seeing the truth of a proposition for one's self.
SBB: Cankī Suttaɱ, Brahmin Pretensions, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 93
PTS: Discourse with Caŋkī Horner, trans., II.354
WP: With Caŋkī, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 775
ATI: With Caŋkī (excerpt), Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To the Brahmin Caŋkī, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
96. Esukārī or Phasukārī Suttaɱ, II.177
The Buddha teaches brahman Esukari with a very powerful sutta on the error of discrimination by birth or color, or wealth.
SBB: Esukārī or Phasukārī Suttaɱ, Birth's Invidious Bar, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 100
PTS: Discourse with Esukārī, Horner, trans., II.366
WP: To Esukari, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 786
MNL: To the Brahmin Esukari, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
97. Dhānañjāni Suttaɱ, II.184
Sariputta instructs the brahman Dhananjani about how to rise above careless behavior and attain the Brahma world.
SBB: Dhānañjāni Suttaɱ, The World's Claims, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 103
PTS: Discourse with Dhānañjāni, Horner, trans., II.372
WP: To Dhānañjāni, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 791
ATI: To Dhanañjani Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
MNL: To the Brahmin Dhānañjāni, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
98. Vāseṭṭha Suttaɱ, II.196
The Buddha resolves the dispute between two brahman youths. One held the belief that a brahman was a brahman because of birth, the other that a brahman was a brahman because of deeds. In many examples the Buddha shows that one is a brahman because of deeds.
God-like behavior brings one into alignment with the original benevolent objective creative force and one merges into and becomes God; corrupt behavior (essentially biased, self-serving, "self-ish" behavior) separates and distances one from the original creative force and continuing on in that direction one ends up in Hell.
SBB: Vāseṭṭha Suttaɱ, The Real Brahmin, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 108
PTS: Discourse to Vāseṭṭha, Horner, trans., II.379
WP: To Vāseṭṭha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 798
MNL: To the Brahmin Vāseṭṭha, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
99. Subha Suttaɱ, II.196
Subha asks the Buddha about what he thinks of a number of Brahman doctrines.
SBB: Subha Suttaɱ, Real Union with Brahmā, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 112
PTS: Discourse with Subha, Horner, trans., II. 386
WP: To Subha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 808
MNL: To the Brahmin Subha, Sister Upalavanna, trans.
100. Sangārava Suttaɱ, II.209
The Buddha converts the brahman youth Sangarava with a discourse about the different types of people that claim to be supremely awakened. He tells Sangarava about some of the events of his struggle for awakening and the method he discovered for doing so.
SBB: Sangārava Suttaɱ, Yes, There Are Gods, Chalmers trans, Vol. II, pg 120
PTS: Discourse to Sangarava, Horner, trans., II.398
WP: To Sangarava, Ñanamoli Thera, trans., Bhk. Bodhi, ed., 819
MNL: To the Brahmin Sangarava, Sister Upalavanna, trans.