|M 143 Anātapiṇḍikovādasutta||Discourse to Anātapiṇḍika|
|M 144 Cannovādasutta||Discourse to Channa|
|M 145 Puṇṇovādasutta||Advice to Puṇṇa|
|M 146 Nandakovādasutta||An exhortation from Nandaka|
|M 147 Cūlarāhulovādasutta||Lesser Exhortation to Rahula|
|M 148 Chāchkkasutta||Discourse on the Six Sixes|
|M 149 Mahāsaḷāyanikasutta||The Great Sixfold Sense Field|
|M 150 Nagaravindeyyasutta||Discourse to the People of Nagravinde|
|M 151 Pinḍapātaparisuddhasutta||Discourse on Purity of Alms Gathering|
|M 152 Indiriyabhāvannasutta||Discourse on the Development of Sense Fields|
M 143. Anāthapiṇḍikovādasutta
Discourse to Anāthapṇḍika
When the householder Anāthapiṇḍika became seriously ill and in pain he summoned a man to inform the Buddha, Ven Sāriputta and Ven Ananda of his condition. This he did. Then Sāriputta and Ananda came to the house of Anāthapiṇḍika and inquired if his pains were abating. But Anāthapiṇḍika said that they were increasing both in his head and his body.
Then Sāriputtta told Anāthapiṇḍika that he should train himself not cling to sensations from his organs of sense (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind). That he should not cling to the earth, liquid, fire, wind and space properties. He should not cling or be dependent on the space property or the consciousness property. He should not cling to this world or to the other world nor entertain thoughts about them. He should train himself thus: "I will not cling to the sphere of nothingness or entertain thoughts of the sphere of nothingness. I will not cling to the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception or entertain thoughts of that sphere.
Then Anāthapiṇḍika began weeping and Ananda asked him "Are you sinking, are you foundering". To this Anāthapiṇḍika said " "No, venerable sir. I am not sinking, nor am I foundering. It's just that for a long time I have attended to the Teacher, and to the monks who inspire my heart, but never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this". At this the monks said "This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth." Then Anāthapiṇḍika said: "In that case, Ven. Sariputta, please let this sort of talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clad in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [this] Dhamma. There will be those who will understand it."
Then Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda, having given this instruction to Anathapindika the householder, got up from their seats and left.
Not long after they left, Anāthapiṇḍika died and reappeared in the Tusita heaven. Then Anathapindika the deva, in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and stood to one side. As he was standing there, he addressed the Blessed One with a verse which said "This blessed Jeta's Grove, home of seers, where the King of Dhamma lives is rapturous to me. It is through Dhamma that mortals purified, not through clan or wealth." Then the deva Anāthapiṇḍika disappeared.
When Anāthapiṇḍika was gravely ill he should have summoned a doctor not the monks. The advice the monks gave is totally inappropriate. It cannot be practiced by a person gravely ill. Anāthapiṇḍika was correct that it should be given to suitable lay people in command of their faculties.
What emerges from this is that even though Anāthapiṇḍika had been a great benefactor to the Sangha having donated the Jetavana monastery he had been kept ignorant of the Dhamma for his whole life and had been given it at a time when he could not have practised it.
As for the episode of the deva this must be a pure elaboration.
M 144. Cannovādasutta
Discourse to Channa
Once when the Buddha was living at the Bamboo grove in Rajagaha the
Venerables Sāriputta, Mahācunda and Channa were living at the Gijjakuta. Channa was severely ill and the other two monks went to enquire about him and asked if his pains were increasing or decreasing and if he thought that he will survive. Replying them Channa said that his pains were increasing especially in the head and the belly. He thought that he will not survive and even thought of taking a weapon and ending his own life.
Sāriputta then asked Channa not to take a weapon and to survive. He said that he will supply him with nourishment and medicine and even attend on him. Channa said that it was not a case of nourishment or medicines or an attendant. He said that he had done his duties to his Teacher long age with pleasure and not displeasure. He said for a disciple who had done his duties to his Teacher there is nothing wrong to take a weapon and end his life. Then Sariputta told Channa that if Channa consents he will ask him a question. Channa agreed to this.
[391-393] Then Sāriputta asked "Friend, Channa, is your reflection, eye, eye-consciousness, and things cognizable by eye consciousness, are me, I am in them, they are self? And so also with ear, nose, tongue, body and mind consciousness". Channa answered that for all those organs of sense consciousness "I am not in them, they are not self".
Further questioning did not make Channa change his mind. Then Mahācunda said this to Channa: "To the settled there is change, to the not settled there is no change. When there is no change, there is delight. When there is delight, there is no inclination. When there is no inclination, there is no coming and going. When there is no coming and going, there is no disappearing and appearing. When there is no disappearing and appearing, there is no here or there, or in between. That is the end of unpleasantness (nissitassa calitaṃ, anissitassa calitaṃ natthi. Calite asati passaddhi, passaddhiyā sati nati na hoti. Natiyā asati āgatigati na hoti. Agatigatiyā asati cutūpapāto na hoti. Cutūpapāte asati nevidha na huraṃ na ubhayamantarena. Esevanto dukkhassā)".
 After this the two monks departed. Shortly afterwards Channa took a weapon and ended his life. Then Sāriputta visited the Buddha and the following conversation took place
between Sāriputta and the Buddha:
Ven. Sir, a knife has been taken by the venerable Channa to himself. What is his
destination, his future state?|
|BUDDHA||Was it not with you face-to -face that the monk Channa declared blamelessness?|
|SARIPUTTA||There is a village in Vajji called Pabbajira. there were families there who were friends of
the venerable Channa...|
|BUDDHA||Indeed there were families who were friends of this monk. As far as this I do not say that he is to be blamed. But whoever lays down his body and grasps after another body, of him I say he is to be blamed. The monk Channa did not do this. The monk took the knife to himself without incurring blame.|
This sutta has been considered a definitive one on the question of suicide. The blamelessness of Channa may have been because he did not "grasp" after another body. People who commit suicide generally do not grasp after another body.
does this mean that suicides like that are blameless? Some have argued that this dispensation applies only to Arhats because Arhats are not reborn so there is no question of
grasping another body. But the question is was whether Channa was an arhat. He only said that he did not believe in a self. An arhat needs many more like the three-fold
knowledge which includes the destruction of the āsavas. Besides
there is no acid test to determine if someone is indeed an arhat. So the question of suicide in general being blameless remains undermined on the evidence of this sutta.
M 145. Puṇṇovādasutta
Advice to Puṇṇa
One when the Buddha was living at the Jetavana in Sāvatthi the Ven Puṇṇa approached him and after saluting said this: "It would be good, Sir, you can give me a brief word of advice hearing which I will dwell alone, aloof, heedful, with exertion and resolve."
The Buddha said: "There are pleasing, agreeable, forms, cognizable by eye-consciousness, arousing fondness, attachment and sensual desires. The bhikkhu, does not delight welcome and cling to them, and the interest ceases. I say, the cessation of interest is the cessation of suffering (dukkha
). The same applies to sounds from the ear, smells from the nose, tastes from the tongue, touches from the body and ideas from the mind. If these are wished for, desirable, agreeable, likeable, connected with sensuality, arousing lust. If a monk delights not in them, welcomes them not, and remains not holding on to them, delight does not arise in him. With the ending of delight there is the ending of suffering, I say!".
Then the following conversation occurred beween the Buddha and Ven. Puṇṇa:
|BUDDHA||I have advised you in short. Now in which will you abide?|
I will abide in the Sunaparanta country.|
|BUDDHA||The people of Sunaparanta are fierce and rough. If they were to scold you, or were to insult you, what would you then think of them?|
|PUNNA||If the people of Sunaparanta scold and abuse me, it will occur to me, indeed the people of Sunaparanta are good. They do not hurt me with their hands..|
|BUDDHA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt you with their hands, what will you do?|
|PUNNA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt me with their hands, it will occur to me, indeed the people of Sunaparanta are good, they do not hurt me with clods.|
|BUDDHA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt you with clods, what will you do?|
|PUNNA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt me with clods, it will occur to me, indeed the people of Sunaparanta are good, they do not hurt me with a stick.|
|BUDDHA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt you with a stick, what will you do?|
|PUNNA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt me with a stick, it will occur to me, indeed the people of Sunaparanta are good, they do not hurt me with a weapon.|
|BUDDHA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt you with a weapon, what will you do?|
|PUNNA||If the people of Sunaparanta hurt me with a weapon, it will occur to me, indeed the people of Sunaparanta are good, they do not end my life with a sharp weapon.|
|BUDDHA||If the people of Sunaparanta put an end to your life with a sharp weapon, what will you do?|
|PUNNA||If the people of Sunaparanta would put an end to my life, it will occur to me thus. There are disciples of the Blessed One, who loathing the body and life search for an assassin. Here I have got an assassin even without a search.|
|BUDDHA||Good! Puṇṇa, it is possible for you to abide in Sunaparanta
endowed with that appeasement in the Teaching. You may do as fit now.|
Then Puṇṇa , set out on his walk towards Sunaparanta country.
Wandering by stages he arrived in Sunaparanta country and lived here. Eventually he established five hundred laymen and five hundred laywomen in the practice, and he himself realized the three-fold knowledge. In due course, he attained final nirvana.
Eventually some monks conveyed the news of his death to the Buddha and asked what is his destination was. He said "The clansman Puṇṇa practised in accordance with the Dhamma and did not trouble me in the ministering of the Dhamma. He has attained final nibbāna." The monks joyfully approved of the Buddha's word.
This is delightful narrative of a successful disciple of the Buddha who was a great missionary of the Dhamma and who peacefully passed into Nibbāna.
M 146. Nandakovādasutta
An Exhortation from Nandaka
When the Buddha was living in Jetavana in Sāvatthi Mahāpajāpati Gotami with a number of bhukkhunis came to the Buddha and asked to give a Teaching to the Bhikkunis. It was arranged that Ananda should get an
elder monk to address the bhikkhunis every day taking turns. When it was the turn of Ven Nandaka to advise the
bhikkhunis Ananda informed the Buddha that Nandaka does not like to advise bhikkhinis. Then the Buddha asked Nandaka to give the Dhamma that day to the bhikkhinis. Nandaka agreed. After the daily meal he came to the Rajaka Park where the bhikkhunis were assembled. He said: "Sisters, this will be a question-response talk. When questioned if you
understand you say 'Yes', if not say 'No', if perplexed you should question me". The sisters agreed.
Nandaka asked: "Sisters, is the eye constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, sir" they replied. "Sisters, is that which is inconstant pleasant or
unpleasant?" "Unpleasant, sir" they replied. "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, unpleasant, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?" "No, sir." they replied. These three question were then asked, and the same
answers received with respect to ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. Then Nandaka said: "Good, sisters, that is so. It is the noble disciple that sees this, as it really is with right wisdom."
Next Nandaka asked: "Sisters, are forms permanent or impermanent?". "Impermanent. Sir" they answered. "That which is impermanent, is it unpleasant or pleasant?". "Unpleasant Sir" they answered. "In that unpleasant, changing thing, is it suitable to reflect, 'It is me, I am in it, it is self'?". "Sir, it is not suitable", they answered. These same questions aere asked and the same answers received with respect to sounds, aromas, flavours, touches and ideas. The bhikkhunis added: "We have already seen it well as it actually is, with right discernment, that these six external media are also inconstant." Nandaka then said: ""Good, good, sisters. That's how it is for a disciple of the noble ones who has seen it as it actually is with right discernment."
Then these questions were again asked to confirm the answers already given.
Then Nandaka gave the oil lamp parable. He says that some people think that the light in the lamp will
be constant even though the oil will get depleted and the wick will wither away.
Similarly some might thin that the six organs of sense will be inconstant but the
consciousness they generate will be lasting. Nandaka questions if this view is true and the bhikkunis uniformly agree that it is not true and the
consciousness that they generate is also subject to inconstancy.
Nnadaka next gives the parable of the tree. He said that while its roots made of heartwood are constant its branches and foliage are inconstant and subject to change while its shadow is also constant. This view is put the bhikkunis and they agree with Nandaka that nothing relating to this great tree is constant. This is then transferred to the six sense organs and the
consciousness that they generate.
Then Nandaka gives a third parable that of the butcher and his apprentice. Unlike the other two parables which occur in other suttas this one seems to be of Nandaka's making. He says that the butcher having killed a cow and using a sharp knife detaches the skin from the flesh inside by severing the muscles attaching the skin to the flesh. He then covers the flesh with the hide and says that the cow is whole again. Nandaka asks if the butcher is right and the bhikkhunis agree with Nandaka that he is not. Then Nandaka explains the simile by saying that the inner flesh stands for the six internal media, the hide for the external media, the connective muscles for passion and delight, the knife for noble discernment, and the muscles cut through for the fetters and bonds.
This section is devoted to a bare mention of the seven enlightenment factors. These are given as mindfulness, analysis of dhamma, persistene, rapture, serenity, concentration and equanimity. The bhikkhu is said to depend on these an so also are the bhikkhunis exhorted to do so.
Nandaka then dismisses the bhikkhunis saying that it is late. He then goes to the Buddha who says that it is
indeed late. But he said that the aims of the bhikkhunis are still not fulfilled and asks Nandika to give the next day's teaching the also on the same topic.
So the next day Nandaka after going on the arms around in Sāvatthi, and after his meal he again went to the Park where the bhikkhunis had assembled again.
[This is a repetition of the exhortation give to the bhikkkhunis the previous day word for word and contained in sections 399-406 above. It is not repeated here in this Abstract.]
This is perhaps the only discourse given exclusively to bhikkhunis in the Middle Length Collection. However it could have been given to bhikkhus also without any change. There is very little that is not contained
in other sutta except perhaps the parable of the butcher. It is difficult to endorse the explanation of the parable given by Nandaka
as to what the various parts in the parable mean.
M 147. Cūlarāhulovadasutta
Lesser Exhortation to Rāhula
Once while the Buddha was dwelling at Jetavana in Sāvatthi
when he thought that it was time for Ven. Rahula to secure his release [into arhatship]. Then after his alms round and meal were over he asked
Rahula to go with him to the Dark Forest. They then went thither and were followed by many hundred thousand
devas (gods} who wanted to listen to the Buddha's discourse to Rahula on the destruction of the
(taints, influxes, wrong impulses). The Buddha and Rahula then seated themselves under a suitable tree.
Then the following conversation took place between the Buddha and Rahula:
Rahula, is the eye permanent or impermanent?|
|RAHULA||Impermanent. Venerable sir.|
|BUDDHA||That impermanent thing is it unpleasant or pleasant?|
|RAHULA||Unpleasant. Venerable sir.|
|BUDDHA||With that impermanent, unpleasant, changing thing, is it suitable to reflect, it is me, I am in it and it is self?|
|RAHULA||No, Venerable sir|
|BUDDHA||Rahula, is eye-consciousness permanent or impermanent?|
|RAHULA||Impermanent. Venerable sir|
|BUDDHA||That impermanent thing is it unpleasant or pleasant?|
|RAHULA||Unpleasant. Venerable sir|
|BUDDHA||With that impermanent, unpleasant, changing thing, is it suitable to reflect, it is me, I am in it and it is self?|
|RAHULA||No, venerable sir|
Then a similar conversation was carried out with respect to the ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.
Then the Buddha told Rahula that the noble disciple turns away from the eye, forms, eye-consciousness, eye-contact, and all feelings, perceptions, determinations and conscious things born of that eye contact. He then does the same to the other organs of sense the ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. Turning away there is no greed and he is released. He knows "I am released, birth is destroyed, the holy life is lived, what should be done is done, there is nothing more to wish".
The Blessed One said thus and venerable Rahula delighted in the words of the Blessed One. Hearing this discourse venerable Rahula's mind was released from desires without any desires remaining. To innumerable thousands of heavenly beings the purified, unblemished eye of the Teaching arose: "Whatever thing arises, that also fades".
The Final release of Ven Rahula seems to have been much easier than the path
recommended for others in the quest for release. They have to do the jhānas reach states Nothingness, Neither Perception nor Non-Perception and the like. They have to acquire the three-fold knowledge and perhaps also the iddhi powers. None of this for Rahula but
answering correctly the some simple questions put by the Buddha on the sense organs. These questions are those normally used for the aggregates but here they are used for the sense organs.
As for the tens of thousands of devas these should be regarded as pure myth and have no place in the rational approach to the Dhamma.
M 148. Chāchakkasutta
Discourse on the Six sixes
Once while dwelling at the Jetavana in Sāvatthi the Buddha addressed the monks thus: "I will give you the Teaching expounding the holy life entirely complete and wholly Pire, in in six sixes". Bhikkhus, you should know the six internal spheres, the six external spheres, the six classes of consciousness, the six classes of contact, the six classes of feeling and the six classes of craving.
The six sets of six are as follows:
- Six Internal Spheres. These are are the sphere of the eye, of the ear, of the nose, of the tongue, of the body and of the mind.
- Six External Spheres. These are the sphere of form, of sounds, of scents, of tastes, of touches, and of thoughts.
- Six Classes of Conciousness. Eye and forms together form eye conciousness. Similarly are formed ear conciousness, nose cnciousness, tongue conciousness, body consciousness and mind conciousness.
- Six Classes of Contact. The interaction of the eye with eye conciousness leads to eye contact. Similarly are formed ear contact, nose contact, tongue contact, body contact and mind contact.
- Six Classes of Feeling. Eye feeling comes out of eye contact. Similarly come about ear feeling, nose feeling, tongue feeling, body feeling, and mind feeling.
- Six classes of craving. Eye craving comes out of eye feeling. Similarly come about ear craving, nose craving, tongue craving, body craving, and mind craving.
If someone were to say that eye were self then it would follow that when the arising and falling away of the eye are discerned then it would follow that 'My self arises and falls away'. That is why it would not be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self.' So the eye is not-self. The same applies to forms, eye consciousness, ey eye contact, eye feeling and ey craving. And what is true of the eye applies to the other organs of sense that is to the ear, to the nose, to the tongue, to the body and to the mind. they all are not self.
Monks, this is the path of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification. One assumes about the eye, about forms, about
consciousness at the eye, about contact at the eye, about feeling at the eye and craving at the eye: "These are not me these are not my self, these are not what I am". Then the same assumptions are made about the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body and the intellect.
"Dependent on the eye contact there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. If it is a feeling of pleasure and one relishes it, welcomes it, remains fastened to it, then one gets obsessed by passion. If one is touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one loses one's resistance to obsession. If touched by a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, or escape from that feeling, then one is obsessed by ignorance. If any of these happend then it is not possible to give rise to clear knowing, to put an end to suffering & stress in the here & now: such a thing is not possible.
The same that is said with reference to eye contact in the previous section happens when dependent on ear contact, on nose contact, on tongue contact, on body contact, and on intellect contact. Then it is not possible to give rise to clear knowing, to put an end to suffering & stress in the here & now.
Monks, the noble disciple reflecting thus turns away from eye, forms, eye-consciousness, eye contact, feelings and craving. Turns away from ear, sounds, ear-consciousness, ear contact, feelings and craving. Turns away from nose, scents, nose-consciousness, nose contact, feelings and craving. Turns away from tongue, tastes, tongue-consciousness, tongue contact, feelings and craving. Turns away from body, touches, body-consciousness, body contact, feelings and craving. Turns away from mind, thoughts, mind-consciousness, mind contact, feelings and craving. Turning the mind away detaches it and releases it. Then knowledge arises: "I a released, birth is destroyed, the holy life is lived, what should be done is done there is nothing more to wish.
The Blessed One said thus. Those bhikkhus delighted in the words of the Blessed One. When this Teaching was given the minds of about sixty bhikkhus were released.
This sutta takes each of the organs of sense separately to establish the proposition that there is no self. By self (atta
) what is really meant is the soul which in the Vedantic religion and in later theistic religions like Christianity and Islam is considered an independent faculty more or less independent of individual sense organs like the eye, ear, nose etc. So the
approach taken in such suttas like the present is not sufficient to refute the soul idea which is what the doctrine of
really proclaims. That is why some later Buddhist schools postulated a hypothetical person (puggala
) which had to be refuted in later works like the Katha Vattu. Had a forthright refutation of the soul idea independent of the
individual sense organs been taken been taken there not have been room for a personality theory to emerge.
While a detailed taxonomy of the sense organs is taken it is vitiated by the ignorance of the role fo the brain. This was not known for many
centuries both in the West and the East until modern times and until that discovery was made any analysis of
consciousness relating it to organs like the eye, nose etc. even the heart has turned out to be erroneous. While the physical
brain was known in Buddhism it was considered an impurity and included in the classic list of impurities in the body.
M 149. Mahāsaḷāyanikasutta
The Grat Six-fold Sense Field
Once when the Buddha was living at Jetavana in Sāvatthi he addressed the bhikkhus thus: " I will teach the discourse on the six sense fields".
If someone does not know the eye, eye consciousness, eye contact, and eye feelings as they really there arise pleasurable, painful or neutral feelings. A deluded person attached to these as satisfactory and agreeable accumulate the five clinging masses (pañcupādānakkhandhā
). This leads to further becoming accompanied by passion that grows within him. His disturbances and torments in body and mind grow. He becomes
susceptible for bodily and mental suffering (dukkha
). The same applies to the other organs of sense.
However for the person who sees the eye as it actually is will be un-infatuated, unattached, unconfused, focused on their drawbacks. For him the five clinging masses will diminish and he will experience the reverse of what the person described in the previous section experiences. His bodily and mental distresses diminish and the adverse experiences are abandoned. He is sensitive both to ease of body & ease of awareness. His bodily distresses & mental distresses are abandoned. He experiences both bodily and mental
pleasure (kāyasukhampi cetosukhampi
To such a person whatever view, thoughts, speech, actions, effort, mindfulness, and concentration he develops and does become the right ones. He thus develops the Noble Eightfold path. After that four establishments of mindfulness get completed. So also, the four right exertions, the four super-normal powers, the five mental faculties, the five powers and the seven enlightenment factors they get completed. The two things calm and insight proceed to him yoked.
"Such a person through direct knowledge (1) comprehends the five clinging-aggregates (form, feelings, perception, formations and
consciousness as clinging aggregates),
(2) abandons ignorance and craving for becoming, (3) develops tranquillity and insight, (4) realizes clear knowing and release.
That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.
This sutta says briefly substantially what was said in the sutta M 148 Discourse on the Six Sixe. The comments made there in the summary analysis will apply.
M 150. Nagaravindeyyasutta
Discourse to the people of Nagaravinde
On a tour through Kosala the Buddha and the bhikkhus came to the village of Nagarvindika. To the assembled householders of the village the Buddha told them how they should reply if homeless recluses and Brahmins of other faiths ask "What kind of recluses and Brhmins should not be revered, esteemed and worshipped?".
Then the Budddha said: "Those recluses and Brahmins, without dispelled greed, aversion and delusion, for forms cognizable by eye-consciousness, internally not appeased, abide with good and bad conduct by body, speech and mind. Such recluses and
Brahmins should not be revered, esteemed and worshipped. For we too are without dispelled greed, aversion and delusion, for forms cognizable by eye-consciousness, internally not appeased, abide with good and bad conduct by body, speech and mind. Not seeing any good conduct above that, we should not revere, esteem and worship those good recluses and brahmins." He then extended this to the concousness generated by the other sense organs, that is, for sounds (ear), smells (nose), tastes (tongue), touches (body). and ideas (mind).
 If on the other hand these recluses and ascetics ask what kind of recluses and Brahmin should be revered, esteemed and worshipped the Buddha gave a list of the person with qualities
which are the opposite of those given in preceding section  being worthy. As this is the opposite of the list given it is not reproduced here in this Abstract.
 If the householders are asked what are the characteristics of
venerables who are free of greed, aversion and delusion or train to be free of these qualities then you should answer as follows: "Those venerable ones
who abide in forest dwellings and leaf huts, where such forms, sounds, scents, tastes, touches cognizable by consciousness could not be enjoyed. Because of this we say that these venerable ones are free of greed, aversion and delusion or are
training to be free of them".
In this sutta the Buddha is not responding to a given question but has chosen to speak on characteristics of recluses of "other faiths". They are evaluated not on their doctrines if any but on how hey handle the data from their sese organs. As usual there is a sharp division between those who have the right attitude and those tht do not. Curiously there is no talk here with the identification with the self.
Other than that there is little that could be regarded as novel in this sutta.
M 151. Pinḍapāthaparisuddhasutta
Discourse on Purity of Alms-Gathering
once the Buddha was living in the Bamboo grove in Rajagaha. When Sāriputta came to see him, noting the
composure of Sāriputta he inquired in which abiding he spends most of his time. Sariputta said that most
of the time it was on emptyness (suññatā
). The Buddha then said that a monk abiding in emptyness when going for alms
should not develop interest, greed, anger, delusion, or aversion, n account of things seen. If they
do so then they should arouse effort to dispel them. He should train for this
throughout the day and night.
The same what was said about forms should apply to sounds, smells, tastes, touches and ideas generated by the other organs of sense.
The bhikkhu should reflect on the five strands of sensuality.
He should see that the five hindrances are dispelled.
He should reflect if he has a good grasp of the five holding masses.
He should reflect if the four establishments of mindfulness are developed in him.
He shouold consider if the four right efforts are developed in him.
He should consider if he has developed the five supernormal powers.
He should reflect if the five mental faculties are developed in him.
He should reflect if the five powers are developed in him.
He should reflect if the seven enlightenment factors are developed in him.
He should reflect if the Noble Eightfold Path is developed in him.
He should reflect if calm and insight is developed in him.
He should reflect if the (five-fold) knowledge and release realized in him.
Sariputta, whoever recluse or Brahmin purified alms food in the past, did so reflecting in this manner. Whoever recluse or
Brahmin would purify alms food in the future, will do so reflecting in this manner. Whoever recluse or
Brahmin purifies alms food at present, do so reflecting in this manner. Sariputta, you should train in this manner.
This sutta gives a check-list of things that a bhikkhu should satisfy himself if his alms food is to be pure. It is not stated what will happen if he fails in any of the items in this check-list. Perhaps he can still eat the alms food even though it may not he "pure" in the sense of this sutta. It will be noted that if the bhiikkhu passes all the tests in this check-list he would be
almosran arhat !
M 152. Indriyabhāvannāsutta
Discourse on Development of Sense Fields
Once when the Buddha was living in the Mukhelu forest in Kajangala Uttara a pupil of Parasariya came to see the Buddha. The Buddha inquired if the
Brahmin Parasaraya teaches the development of the mental faculties to his students. Uttara said
"Yes" and the Buddha inquired how he teaches it. Uttara said: "Forms should not be seen with the eye, sounds should not be heard with the ear. Parasariya preaches it in that manner". Then the Buddha said "According to Parasariya a blind man will be developed in mental faculties and a deaf man will be developed in mental faculties." At this Uttara fell silent.
Then Ananda intervened and said: "This is the right time for the Buddha to teach the development of the mental faculties of the noble ones". Then the Buddha gave this discourse to Ananda.
When a bhikkhu sees a form like or dislike arises, This is rough and dependently arisen. Equanimity is
peaceful. Then like or dislike fades away and equanimity arises and gets
established. This is how the development of the mental faculties of the noble ones in forms cognizable by eye-consciousness
The same thing happens to hearing a sound, or smelling a scent, or savouring a taste, or feeling a touch, or developing an idea. In each case the respective ear, nose, tongue, body or mind
consciousness is developed.
The bhikkhu must adopt a particular method of training. When he sees a form and like or dislike arises he becomes worried, ashamed and loathes that like, or dislike. A similar shame and
worry arises when hearing a sound, scenting a smell, tasting a taste, experiencing a touch or cognizing an idea. This is the method for a trainer.
Here the bhikkhu with developed mental faculties is considered. If he sees a form and he desires
something that is loathsome he abides seeing the non-loathsome and he desires in the non-loathsome he abides seeing the loathsome. If he desires, overcoming both the loathsome and the non-loathsome he abides in equanimity mindful and aware. The same
considerations will apply if he hears a sound, scents a smell. tastes a taste, experiencing a touch, or cognizing an idea. Thus is the noble one with developed mental faculties.
This is the teaching for the development of the mental faculties in the noble ones, the method of training for the trainer as well as for those with developed mental faculties. The Buddha concluded: "I have done what a teacher has to do. These are the roots of trees, and these, the empty houses. Meditate, do not be negligent and be remorseful later. This is my advice to you".
The Blessed One said thus and venerable Ananda delighted in the words of the Blessed One.
The moral of this sutta is that most experiences deriving from one's sense organs have two aspects the good and the bad. The advice is see those aspects which are
opposite to what you desire because these give signals on what to look for so as
to avoid them. But the best course of action is to overcome both the good and bad so as to reach equanimity which is often stressed as the goal of the
one who meditates,