Majjhima Nikāya
Bhikkhui Vagga

SUTTAS M 61 - M 70



CONTENTS

M 61 CūḷaRāhulovādasuttaDiscourse to Rahula (Smaller)
M 62 Mahāraāhulovādasutta   Discourse to Rāhula (Greater)
M 63 CūḷamāluṅkyasuttaDiscourse to Mālumkya (Lesser)
M 64 MahāmāluṅkyasuttaDiscourse to Mālumkya (Greater)
M 65 Bhaddālisutta Discourse to Bhaddāli
M 66 LaṭuikikopamasuttaDiscourse on the simile of the Quail
M 67 CātumasuttaDiscourse at Cātumā
M 68 NāḷakapānasuttaDiscourse at Nālakapāna
M 69 GulisssānisuttaDiscourse to Gulissāni
M 70 KiṭāgitisuttaDiscourse at Kiṭāgiri


M 61 Ambalaṭṭika Rāhulaovādasutta
Advise to Ven Rāhula at Ambalaṭṭika


[107-108] This sutta was given at Veluvana, Rajagaha. The blessed one was visiting Ven Rāhula who on seeing him coming prepared water and a seat. After washing his feet the Blessed One left a little water in the pitcher saying "that is what is left of a recluse who tells a deliberate lie (sampajān musāvāda)", and tossing the water he said that "similarly whatever of shame still left in a recluse is tossed away". He then said: "... anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie is empty & hollow just like that. You mist train yourself 'I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest' ". Then the Buddha said "bodily, verbal and mental actions should be done with reflection, like a mirror."

[109] Then the Buddha gave the follow instructions relating to bodily actions.

Before you do a bodily action you should reflect if it would lead to your affliction, that of others or of both. If it is an action with painful consequences and results. Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily afftion I want to do would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? If on reflection you find that it does these things then it would be an unskillful bodily action. If it does not then it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences and results. Then it is an action of the sort that is fit for you to do.

While you are doing a bodily action, you should reflect if it is leading to self-affliction, to that of others, or to both, if it is an unskilful bodily action, with painful consequences and results . If you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both you should give it up, if not you may continue with it.

"Having done a bodily action, you should reflect if you have done an action leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; or if it was an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences and results. If you then know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both, then it was an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences and results. Then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction, that it was a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

[110-111] Identical comments as had been made above about bodily action are repeated for verbal and mental actions before, during, and after they are done.

[112] "All recluses and brahmins who in the past who purified the three kinds of actions, did it so through repeated reflection in just this way. All recluses and brahmins at present purify the three kinds of actions, do so through repeated reflection in just this way.

The Buddha concluded: "Rāhula, you should train yourself: 'I will purify my bodily actions through repeated reflection. I will purify my verbal actions through repeated reflection. I will purify my mental actions through repeated reflection.' That's how you should train yourself."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Rāhula delighted in the Blessed One's words.

Summary Analysis

It is said that Rāhula was only seven years old when this discourse took place. This sutta was considered important for mention in one of Asoka's pillar inscriptions. The ethic it inculcates is the importance of reflection before, during and after bodily, verbal and mental actions. Unless this reflection is done beforehand, or extremely quickly afterwards it will have bad effects.


M 62 Mahā Rāhulovādasutta
Advise to Ven Rāhula (Greater)

[113] Once the Buddha was going on his alms round in Sāvatthi followed by Ven Rahula. Then the Buddha told Rahula: "Any form that is past, future or present, internal or external, blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near is to be seen as it actually is with right view as 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.' ". This observation affected Rahula so much that he gave up his alms round, retired to a solitary place and pondered over it. On seeing him so engaged Ven Sāriputta advised him to concentrate mindfully on in-and-out breathing.

[114] In the evening Rahula went to the Buddha and asked how in-and-out-breathing could be developed to be of great benefit. The Buddha gave a long discourse which could be abstracted as follows:

[115-118]  All things have five properties: (1) Solid (patāvi), literally earth. (2) Water (āpo). (3) Fire (tejo). (4) Wind (vāyo). Space (ākāsa). [NOTE: The first four are the classic Mahābhutā, the ultimate constituents of all things. [See Abstract of M1] Each of these has an internal and an external aspect, the former being within the body and the latter outside of it. Internal examples given on these are: for solids hair, teeth, bones, kidney etc,; for liquids bile, phlegm, blood, urine etc.; for fire vitality, digestion, etc,; for wind breath, up-winds and down-winds; for space the holes in the ear and nostrils. All these internal elements have to be considered as: ''This is not mine; not my self; not what I am.' All these elements do not stay in the mind (cittaṃ virājeti). [NOTE: There is no mention of specific external elements.]

[119] Using the five properties for meditation is then described. Just as the earth holds both pure and impure things so the meditator should be indifferent to them but should not retain any of them in the mind. A similar attitude should be taken in water meditation reflecting that water is used to removed impurities not retaining them. Similarly fire burns everything with no discrimination. So should your mind be. Space does not settle anywhere. In the same manner develop a mind similar to space.

When you meditate on any of these five properties arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of the mind and stay.

[120] Then other kinds of meditation are mentioned, such as:

      Metta or good will. It will lead to the abandonment of ill-will.
      Compassion. This will lead to the abandonment of cruelty. 
      Appreciation. This will lead to the abandonment of resentment.
      The Unattractive . This will lead to the abandonment of passion.
      Perception of Inconstancy .This leads to the abandonment of the conceit 'I am".

[120] Finally to be considered is the in-and-out breathing [which was recommended by Sāriputta]. Here the preliminaries are: going to a solitary place, sitting down with legs crossed, body erect, and mindfulness to the fore. The one meditating should be aware when breathing long and when breathing short. Breathing he should be sensitive to the whole body, and done with full concentration. Specific topics could be associated with each breath both in and out. These include such things like: Inconstancy, Dispassion, Cessation, Relinquishment, and other Dhamma topics. When fully cultivated in-and-out-breathing will be of great benefit. Even the time comes the person who had mastered in-and-out breathing will remain aware when his last breath will leave his body with knowledge.

As usual Rahula was gratified and expressed his delight.

Summary Analysis

This sutta deals with meditation. It is not the kind of meditation involving the Jhānas, the Knowledges and the abstract planes of existence which are mjentioned in many suttas.. It is on down-to-earth subjects. Most of meditation that is adopted today is of this type. Very often in-and-out meditation is the starting point usually followed by the four foundations of mindfulness. In fact the first foundation is often the contemplation of the body along the lines given in this sutta.

The simple nature of these meditations is perhaps explained by the age of Rahula at this time which according to the Commentaries was 18 years of age. This would put the Buddha in his mid-fifties. Today we do not get any meditatiors who are proficient in the more exacting meditation which lead to the higher levels of achievement like stream entry, once-returner, non-returner or arhat. So it is this kind of meditation that is generally practised.


M 63 Cūḷamālunkyaputtasutta
Advise to Mālumkyaputta (Lesser)

[NOTE: This sutta deals with the ten propositions that the Buddha left unexplained, The monk Mālankyaputta wanted them explained. The Buddha explains his position and the monk agrees with him. In this Abstract the propositions are referred to collectively as the 'Ten Suppositions' and the monk's name is shortened to Mālankya.]

[122] When the Buddha was at Jetavana near Sāvatthi the monk Mālankya thought thus:

"The Buddha has declared these [ten] positions as undeclared:

       'The cosmos is eternal' 'The cosmos is not eternal' 'The cosmos is finite' 'The cosmos is not finite'
       'The soul & the body are the same,' 'The soul is one thing and the body another' 'After death a Tathagata exists'
       'After death a Tathagata does not exist' 'After death a Tathagata both exists &does not exist'
       'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'

"I do not like these things unexplained by the Blessed One. If the Blessed One explains them, I will lead the holy life under him, or else I will give up robes. "

[123-124] Mālankya goes to see the Buddha tell him what he had thought about the Ten Supposition and asked the Buddha if each of them is true or false, and if he does not know to admit that he does not know.

[125] The Buddha then asked Mālunkya if he ever asked him to undertake the training under him under the understanding that he will affirm the Ten Suppositions. The answer was "No". Then he asked if Mālunkya undertook the training under the understanding that he would be told the truth about the Ten Suppositions. Again Mālunkya said "No". Then the Buddha said "Foolish man, then how can you make (such) demands (moghapurisa, ko santo kaṃ paccācikkhasi)?

[126-127] The Buddha then gave a simile: "Suppose a man is shot with a poisoned arrow and a doctor is called. What if the doctor says I will not pull out this arrow until I know the caste of the man who shot it, his name and family, whether he was short or tall, dark or fair, the town or village he came from, the kind of bow, string and shaft used to shoot. This man will die before he knew all this. It is the same if anyone were to say 'I will not lead the holy life until I know the answers to the Ten Suppositions'. Those things will never be declared by the Thus Gone One, and that person will die. The holy is led not to affirm the Ten Suppositions. Whatever be the answer to the Ten Suppositions there is birth, decay, death, grief, lament, unpleasantness and displeasure, I declare he is destroyed here and now. "

[128] The Budddha concluded " Therefore Malunkhya, bear the undeclared as undeclared. The Ten Suppsitions are not the essential for the principles of the holy life, they do not lead to turning away, to detachment, to cessation, to appeasement, to realisation, to enlightenment and to extinction. Malunkhyaputta, what are the declared by me? This, is unpleasant, is declared. This, is its arising, is declared. This, is its cessation is declared. This is the path to its cessation, is declared. Malunkhyaputta, why are these declared by me? These are the essentials for the principles of the holy life, they lead to turning away, to detachment, to cessation, to appeasement, to realisation, to enlightenment and to extinction. Malunkhyaputta, I declare them. Bear the undeclared as undeclared and the declared as declared."

The Blessed One said thus and venerable Malunkhyaputta delighted in the words of the Blessed One.

Summary Analysis

The simile of the poisoned arrow is often quoted to show that the Buddha was concerned with the essentials for a pure life and not with non-essentials. The questions which the Buddha did ot pronounce on are questions which even modern cosmology has not resolved. The Buddha as a teacher clearly demarcated the questions that he could answer and those that were not necessarr, leaving out the question if he knew the answers or not. The Buddha did not claim omniscience unlike other teachers of his day like Mahaāvira, even though the subsequent tradition imputed omniscience to him. The fact that the Ten Suppositions remain on the record is testimony to the fact that he was only concerned with what is necessary for ultimate salvation.


M 64 Mahāmālunkyaputtasutta
Advise to Mālunkyaputta (Greater)

[129] While residing at Jetavana in Sāvatthi the Buddha asks the monks if anyone remembers his discourse on the lower fetters. Malunkyaputta volunteers the answer: The lower fetters are (1) Self-identity (sakkāyadiṭṭi), (2) Doubt (vicikiccā) , (3) Rite and ritual (sīlabbataparāmāsa), (4) Sense desires (kāmaccanda), and (5) Ill-will (byāpāda)

The Buddha asks whether other recluses and wanderers will prove this wrong citing the parable of the infant. A small infant will not have self-identity or be addicted to the other lower fetters. Then Ananda wanted the Buddha to give and exposition on the five fetters.

[130] The Buddha said that people are born with a latent tendency (anusāya) towards the fetters. [NOTE: This is how the parable of the infant is explained. The infant has still only the tendencies. Whether they become mature depends on his training.] The mind of the ordinary person who has no knowledge of the Noble ones is obsessed with his own sense of self. Hie mind is full of doubts. It is driven by a search for sense pleasures. His mind is overcome with anger and ill-will. Thus the latent tendencies mature fully.

[131] But the Noble disciple who is trained in the Aryan discipline is able to suppress the latent tendencies. He understands self-identity and can put it way. His mind is not obsessed with doubt and he understands reality so as to put away any doubt. His mind is not obsessed with atchment to rituals and vows, and he can do away with them and extinguish that latent tendency. He does not dwell with a mind obsessed or overcome by ill will, and he knows how to escape from the arisen ill will, along with its latent tendency. This is the path to abandoning the five fetters. $$$

[132] To show that the method of the Noble disciple is the way to abandon the lower fetters the Buddha cites two parables. One is the parable of the heartwood tree where a man trying to find the heartwood has to abandon the bark and the soft tissue. Similarly the lower fetters should be abandoned. The other is the prable of the many trying to cross the Ganges river. It says that if the man is weak and not determined enough he will not be able to swim across the Ganges river. But if he is strong and determined he can do it. Here overcoming the tendency to self-identity is compared to swimmming across the Ganges when it is in flood. The Buddha tells Ananda that "when the Dhamma is being taught to someone for the ending of self-identity, if his mind enters into it, shows faith in it, is steady, is liberated, he should be regarded just like the strong man" who swam across the Ganges when it was in flood."

[133] In this the last section of the sutta the Buddha reverts to the Jhānic way of eliminating the fetters. Herer the jhānas are described in the conventional and stereotyped way. Establishing the virtures and secluding the mind from sensual thoughts with a dicursive mind with joy and pleasantness the asprant abides in the first jhana. He then progresses to the second, third and fourth Jhānas. Finally he turns to the deathless element.Progress along this path results in the destruction of the influxes (āsavā). This is the fina liberation. If he has still not eliminated some fetters he would have made sufficient progress to reach the of non-returner, i.e. he will reach the Pure Abodes from where he will secure final extinction.

Analytical Summary

The importance of this sutta is the introduction of the latent possibilities towards the fetters. People in their early childhood and infancy still have the latent tendencies towards the lower fetters. Whether they manifest themselves or not depends on their training. If they are careless they will allow the latent tnedencies to mature fully and lead them on the path to destruction. But strict disciples and strength of mind is required to gradually wean the mind of these latent tendencies. In the most extreme method the monks will be able to even reach Nibbāna in thie very life.

M 65. Bhaddālisutta
Discourse to Bhaddāli

[134-135] Once the Buddha was residing at Jetavana in Sāvatthi. He addressed the monks thus: "I partake a single meal for the day, and on accont of it experience few afflictions, few ailments, lightness, power, and a pleasant abiding." The he asked the monks to do likewise. Bu the Ven Bhaddāli dissented and said that if he did so "doubts and remorse" will rise in him. As he was not following the training in this regard he did not to the Master's presence during the three-months' retreat. Later when other monks too had repproached Bhaddali went to the Buddha and confessed his transgression and sought pardon saying that it was due to his foolishmess, delusion and demerit.

[136] The Buddha questions Bhaddali if a monk whether released through faith, or through wisdom, or through both, will not lie in the mud if requested by me says "That will not be" [the double negative indicating that he will lie down in the mud]. Then the Buddha said that since Bhaddhali acts his wrong he will pardon him.

[137] Even is a monk not yet completely trained goes to a solitary place to obtain super-human knowledge he will fail to do.

[138] Another monk with complete training goes into solitary meditation he can attain the first Jhana.

[139] If this monk procedes further he can attain the second Jhāna and then the third jhāna and finally the fourth Jhāna. /the cause for this is that he has complete the training.

[140] Then Bhaddali asks why one monk is pursued closely (pasayha pasayha) and another not. The bhikkhu does an offence and when questioned by other bhikkhus he is evasive and shows anger. So his issue is not settled.

[141] Here a certain bhikkhu does an offense and when questioned by other bhikkhus he is not evasive and does not show anger. So his issue is settled quickly.

[142] Here a bhikkhu is said to always guilty but if questioned without any offence he prevaricats and shows anger. His issue is not settled quickly.

[143] A bhikkhu sinilar to the previous one but when questioned by the other bhikkhus he does not dodge the issue and he does not show anger. His question is settled quickly.

[144] If a bjikkhu goes on only out of faith and love and other bhikkhus blame him too much he will lose his faith and love. That is why such a monk is not pursed closely.

[145] Bhaddali asks why earlier when there were few rules many bhikkhus attain the goal (of extincton or nibbāna) but now with many rules only a few do so. The Buddha replies that a rule is established only when there is a need for it (that is when fall for desires become evident). But when the Community become large more falls become evident and therefore more rules are needed..

[146] The Buddha asked Bhaddali whether he remembered the simile of the throughbred which I gave when you were small. Bhaddali said "No". Then the Buddha asked if he knew the reason why it was given. Bhaddali said "Is it not for being incomplete in training:. The Buddha sais that was not th eonly reason. it was partly for that.A ffolish person would not consider the teaching as a whole and will not take the essence. The Buddha then said that he will give the discourse again.

[147] The trainer of a horse will train it in successive steps, First he will train it to wear the mouth-piece. After a lot of restlessness, disagreeableness and writing he will get used to it. Then he will trainer will train the horse to carry the yoke. /after it gets used to this he will train it to gallop in circles. When this has been mastered the trainer will train it to maintain silence. When all this is done the horse will be worthy of service to the king.

In the same way a bhikkhu endowed with ten things will be worthy for hospitality, offerings, gifts, and for reverential salutation. The ten things are:
(1) right view,
(2) right thoughts,
(3) right words,
(4) right actions,
(5) right livelihood,
(6) right effort,
(7) right mindfulness,
(8) right concentration;
(9) right knowledge,
(10) right release.

The Buddha said this and Ven Bhaddali ws pleased.

Summmary Analysis

This is a sutta about the importance of training in the monkhood. Bhaddali's failing appear to be minor, but it evoked the sternest of words from the Buddha. Today's monks hardly ever eat all their daily food in one session. The rule has been changed to eating before noon and in many counries including Sri Lanka the monks have at least two sessions, one at breakfast after rising and then the main meal before noon.

The several instances of monks violating rules are considered in a quasi-judicial (adhikarana) context. When the Buddha was alive he was the final arbiter. After his death it was Community of monks. But no coersion was used. When is meant when it is said that a matter was settled is that the person violating the training rule acknowledges his error and is pardoned. This was the case with Bhaddali. But we are not told what happens if peaceful resolution is not possible.

Most of the latter part of the sutta is about the disciple progressing to the final goal. While training is a pre-requisite this is not something that can be done by training alone. The eighfold path is the only way. But it is interesting that in the final section this becomes a ten-fold path with the two additions being right knowledge (sammāñāṇa) and right liberation (sammāvimuttiya). There is no discussion of these two steps and how they are related to the traditional eight.

M 66. Laṭukikopamasutta
The Simile of the Quail

[148] Once when the Buddha was staying in Āpama in Aṅguttarapama he went on his alms round and entered a forest for his day's abiding. Then the monk Udāyin too went on his alms round and entered the same forest. While in seclusion the thought occurred to Udāyin: "Our Lord has removed many unplesant and uskilled things and brought in many pleasant and skilled things".

[149] In the evening Udāyin went to the Buddha and repeated what he had thought. He gave the example that formerly he ate both in the day and night and had to do an alms round in the dark. This frightend some women who thought that he was a demon and he encounterd many young robbers. But now he ate only once in the morning and thus avoided the perils of going out in the dark.

[150] The Buddha told Udāyin that when he advised some foolish people to give up something bad they used to say that it was only a trifling matter not requiring much exertion to give up and ignored advise. Then he gave the simile of the quail (a small hen-bird) who got entangled in a some weak creepers and died (or was captured). Even though the creepers were a small impediment for larger animals it was too strong a bond for the small hen and it died (or was captured) as a consequence.

[151-153] Then the Buddha gave two examples of persons one with weak bonds and the other with strong bonds who were loth to break them. The former is a poor man living in a hut with his wife and with meagre possessions who, even though he sees monks living in well appointed monasteries is unable to break the weak bonds that hold him to the household life. The other is the example of a rich clansman who lives in a large mansion with great wealth and servants and is unable the break these strong bonds and come out of the household life.

[154] Then the Buddha tells Udāyin of four classes of people classified according to their bonds of atttachment (upadhi). These are:
  1. Here while trying to rid himself of these bonds he is so attached to them he thinks of memories and thoughts of acquiring them gives into them and does not abandon them. This person is yoked.
  2. Here too the person tries to rid himself of attachment. But he is unable to resist memories and thoughts of attachment. He abandons these bonks. This person is unyoked.
  3. This is the kind of person who can for a while abandon the attachments but then memories and thoughts of attachment come flooding in and again he returns to attachment. The Buddha compares this to drops of cool water fall on a hot pan which after a while dissappear. He may repeat this process. Such a person too is yoked.
  4. This person considers aquisitions are the root of suffering and stress, and is without acquisitions, relased from acquisition. This person is fully unyoked.
[155] The Buddha then lists the five strands of sensual pleasure: forms recognized by the eye conciousness, sounds by the ear conciousness, flavours by the tongue conciousness, smells by the nose conciousmess and touches by the body conciousness. These are agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, and enticing. But these are ignoble pleasures.

[156] Then the Buddha considers the noble disciple who belongs the fourth class of persons according to the attitude to bonds (upadi). He then follows his career through the usual stages to enlightenment. By this time he had become a bhikkhu. He goes through the acquisition of moral skills. Then he reches the first Jhāna, but thi is still unsteady (iñjana). He the proceeds to the second and the third jhānas. While he has improved he is still unsteady. Olt after fourth jhāna would the Buddha call him seadfast (aniñjitasmiṃ vadāmi.ñ).

[NOTE: From here progress is either through the attainment of various dimensions or through the attainment of the three knowledge. Here it is through the attainment of the various dimensions.] Next the disciple enters the dimension of the infinity of space. Next comes the dimension of the infinity of consciousness. Next comes the dimension nothingness. Next comes the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. By this he would have eliminated and the influxes which means the elimination fof the fetters and reaching the goal.

Summary Analysis.

This sutta deals with whatever residue exists that manifests as rebirth. This is called upadhi usually translated as the 'substratum of existence'. It is closely related to upaādi or grasping. Even though it is the cause of rebirth the process of rebirth is never explained. In fact there is fundamental contradiction between anatta (or soulless-ness) and upadhi which cannot be considered as a soul (atta). So what is reborn is unanswered (as cittaand viññāṇa have to be rejected as possible candidates.

The sutta shows that all kinds of bonds, whether weak or strong, are impediments to liberation. The path of the adept from the accomplishment of virtue to extinction is one that is described frequently with slight variations. While the Jhānas are absolutely there is the choice between developing the three knowledges or concentrating on the four psychic stages from the infinity of spance to the stage of perception nor non-perception. While these labels are frequently used they are not described in way that the non-arahat can understand.

M 67. Cātumasutta
Discourse at Cātuma

[NOTE: This discourse illustrates the dangers that confront monks. The Buddha was addressing 500 monks. The number 500 should not be taken literally. It means (as elsewhere in refernce to monks) simply a large unspecified number.]

[157] While the Buddha was at Catuma in the Ambalaki forest some 500 monks headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna came to see him. They were making such a loud noise that the Buddha asked Ananda to summon them. He asks why they made so much noise like fishermen hauling nets. Ananda answers on their behalf that they are exchanging greetings with the local bhikkhus and making arrangments for their stay. The Buddha then asks the bhikkhus to go away and not to stay close to him, which they did.

[158-160] The Sakyas of Catuma saw the bhikkhus leaving and finding the cause asked them to stay while they would intervene on their behalf. They went to see the Buddha and gave two parables. The parable of the seedlings says that if seedlings do not get water they may wither, similarly the young monks if they do not get advice from the Master they will turn away. The parable of the young calf says that if the calf does not see its mother it will change, so will these monks change if they do not see the Master. The Brahma Sahampati too came dowm from the Brahma world to plead for the monks. He too invoked the parables of the seedlings and the young calf and said that there were many novices in this group and if they do not see the Buddha they may leave the order. He pleaded with the Buddha to be compassionate with the monks as he had been comapassionate with the Sangha before. The Buddha yeilded to the pleas of the Sakyans and the Brahma Sahampati. Then Moggallana announced to the bhikkhus that the Lord had reconciled with them and they returned to hear the Buddha.

[161] Then the Buddha addressed the monks. Perhaps because of his earlier reference to fishermen the Buddha said that there were four perils confronting those who go in the water. These were the fear of waves (ūmmībhaya), crocodiles (kumbhīlabhaya), whirlpools (āvaṭṭabhaya), and alligators (susukābhaya). The same fears could be expected by those leaving the household life.

[162] Fear of waves. A son of a clansman out of faith goes forth from a household seeking the deathless. But only a few who could declare the complete ending of this unpleasantness. His co-associates give him conflicting advice, do this, do that. He thinks as a householder, I advised others, here I have to abide by the advice of those who are like my sons and grand sons. He returns to the lay life out of fear of waves. Fear of waves is a synonymn for anger and aversion.

[163] Fear of Crocodiles. Like the former this clansman too goes into the homeless life. His co-associates now advice what to eat and drink and when to do so. He thinks: "As a houholder I could eat and drink whatever pleased me and I did so at any time. Even if householders give nourishing food it is during the day when it is not the correct time for me. This is a restriction for the mouth". He leaves the order out of fear for crocodiles. Crocodiles here is a synonym for greed for food.

[164] Fear of Whirlpools. Here the clansman after joining the Order while on his alms round sees other householders enjoying the five strands of sense pleasure. He thinks: " I too enjoyed the five strands of sense pleasure, but now I cannot." So he leaves the Order. This monk is called one who, out of the fear of whirlpools, has given up the training and returned to the lower life. The fear of whirlpools is a name for the five cords of sense-pleasure.

[165] Fear of Alligators. This Clansman who had become a monk while going on the alms round sees a woman not well covered and dressed. Seeing her in that manner, greed assails his mind and with a mind assailed by greed he gives up robes and becomes a layman out of fear for alligaters. Her fear for alligaters is a synonymn for women. The Buddha concluded his discourse by saying: These are the four fears, that should be expected by a certain person who goes forth as a homeless, in this dispensation of the Discipline. The bhikkhus were delighted in the words of the Blessed One.

Summary Analysis.

This discourse has no new doctrinal insights. It is simply the identification of four dangers that may confront a monk following the Buddha's dispensation. These are anger and aversion, greed for food, the five strands of sense-pleasure and women. What is significant is that women in themselves are identified as a danger quite apart form a the cause for a strand of sense pleasure.

The intervention of the Brahma Sahampati gives it an unrealistic air. Normally Sahampati in invoked in matters of importance, such as the reluctance of the Buddha to preach after his enlightenment. But his intervention here seems to be redundant as the Sakyas had given the two parables which persuaded the Buddha to change his mind.

M 68. Nāḷakapānasutta
Discourse at Nāḷakapāna

[166-167] Once the Buddha was staying at Nālakapāna in Kosala. At the time he had many well-known deciples like Anurudda, Nandiya, Kimbila, Bhagu, Kundadāna, Revata and Ananda. The Buddha addressed the Bhikkus saying "You have gone forth having faith in me, do you lead the holy lie with attachment?" But the Bhikkhus did not answer even when asked for the third time. The Buddha then thought of addressing them individually. He chose Anurudddha to ask this this question. When the question was put to him Anuruddha replied that he was attached to the holy life. The Buddha then advised him to seclude his mind from covetousness, anger, sloth & torpor, restlessness & worry, and doubts.

[168] Then the Buddha asked Anuruddha what he thought of the Thatāgata. Anuruddha said that the Tathāgata had got rid of all the influxes (āsavā) that defile and lead to birth and that that after consideration he either endures, or avoids or controls any paticular thing. The Buddha endorsed this view of Anuruddha. He said that the Tathagata has the ability to tell where a person will be reborn. This is not for prattling or for deception or for gain and honour but because there are "sons of Clansmen" with faith who are pleased to hear it.

[NOTE: In the rest of the Sutta the Buddha gives several instances of a deceased person and what happens to him after death. A regular pattern is adopted. Initally a person hears of the death and the Buddha gives his destination. after death. The qualities of the deceeased person are then mentioned. The the person who hears of the death learns from this instance. In this Abstract the cases are numbered but in the original text the there is no numbering]

[169] [CASE 1] A bhikkhu hears, the bhikkhu of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that he is enlightened. Now this (deceased) was a person of virtues such were his thoughts, such his wisdom, he developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. In this way there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu.


[CASE 2] A bhikkhu hears, the bhikkhu of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that he with the destruction of the five lower bonds has arisen spontaneously, and would not proceed. Now this (deceased) was a person of virtues such were his thoughts, such his wisdom, he developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. In this way there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu.

[CASE 3] A bhikkhu hears, the bhikkhu of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that he with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion, has become a once returner. Coming here once more will make an end of unpleasantness. Now this (deceased) was a person of virtues such were his thoughts, such his wisdom, he developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. In this way there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu.

[CASE 4] A bhikkhu hears, the bhikkhu of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds he is an enterer into the stream of the Teaching. That he would not fall, intent on extinction. Now this (deceased) was a person of virtues such were his thoughts, such his wisdom, he developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. In this way there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu.

[170] [CASE 5] A bhikkhuni hears, the bhikkhuni of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that she is enlightened. Now the (deceased) bhikkhuni was a person of virtues and such were the thoughts of this bhikkhuni, such was her wisdom, she her abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni.

[CASE 6] A bhikkhuni hears, the bhikkhuni of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the five lower bonds has arisen spontaneously and would not proceed. Now this bhikkhuni happens to be a person of virtues and such were the thoughts of this bhikkhuni, such was her wisdom, such her abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni.

[CASE 7] A bhikkhuni hears, the bhikkhuni of such a name has died. The Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion, she has become a once returner. Coming here once more will make an end of unpleasantness. Now, this bhikkhuni was a of virtues and such were her thought, such her wisdom, such her abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni.

[CASE 8] A bhikkhuni hears, the bhikkhuni of such a name has died and the Blessed One has declared that, with the destruction of the three lower bonds, she is an enterer into the stream of the Teaching. That she intent, on extinction, would not fall from it. Now this venerable bhikkhuni is a person of virtues and such were her thoughts, such was her wisdom, such her abidings and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni.

[171] [CASE 9] A lay disciple hears, the lay disciple of such a name died and the Blessed One had declared that he with the destruction of the five lower bonds has arisen spontaneously, not to proceed. Now this lay disciple was a person of virtues and such were his thoughts, such was his wisdom, such his abidings and he was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a lay disciple.

[CASE 10] A lay disciple hears, the lay disciple of such name has passed away, the Blessed One has declared that he with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion would come once more to this world, to end unplesantness. Now this lay disciple happens to be a person of virtues and hid thoughts were such. Such was his wisdom, duvh hid abidings, and was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a lay disciple.

[CASE 11] A a lay disciple hears, the lay disciple of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds is a stream enterer of the Teaching, intent on extinction, he would not fall. This lay disciple happened to be a person of virtues and such were the thoughts of the lay disciple. Such was his wisdom, he developped these abidings and was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it, In this mananer too there is a pleasant abiding to a lay disciple.

[17] [CASE 12] A lay disciple female hears, the female lay disciple of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the five lower bonds she has arisen spontaneously not to proceed. Now this female lay disciple happens to be a person of virtues. Such was her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this female recollects that faith, virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this manner too, there is a pleasant abiding, to a female lay disciple.

[CASE 13] A female lay disciple hears, the female lay disciple of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared, with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion she would come once more to this world to end unplesantness. Now this female disciple happens to be a person of virtues and thoughts, such her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this mananer too there is a pleasant abiding to a female lay disciple. [CASE 14] A female lay disciple hears, the female lay disciple of this name has passed away. The Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds she is a stream enterer of the Teaching, and intent on extinction, she would not fall from it. Now this female lay disciple was of virtues and thoughts, such her wisdom, she developed these abidings and was released. So this female lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. In this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a female lay disciple.

The Buddha concluded his discourse by telling his disciples, do not waste time, before you die to be born, in something higher. Telling them one is born there, another there, not to deceive people, not for prattling, not for gain honour or fame and not thinking may the people know me thus. There are many who are born in faith and are pleased hearing it they would arouse interest and direct their minds to that effect. It would be for their good for a long time.

Summary Analysis

This sutta is unusally long because of the repetition of the rebirth of deceased bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen. They are all persons of great virtue very near to liberation. There are no cases of persons of lesser or no virtue who would have been reborn in less desirable destinations.

All this based on the hypothesis of re-birth which taken as a given in Buddhism. The ability to see persons passing from one birth to another is one that is said to be gained in the Second Knowledge during the enlightenment of an arhat. Much of this is based on faith.

M 69 Gulissānisutta
Discourse at Gulissāni

[173] This discourse is given by Ven Sāriputta at Rajagaha. A forest monk Gulissāni (or Goliyāni) had come to stay with the settled Community of monks (perhaps on a temporary basis). This monk is described as being disobedient (padasamācāro) and his behaviour is probabaly the reasn for this sutta. In this Sāriputa lays down the rules for forest monks when the come to live in a settled commmunity.

The sutta consists of a list of 17 rules (they are not numbered in the text) relating to forest monks as follows:
  1. They should be reverential and sauve toears their co-associates in the holy life.
  2. They should show dexterity in choosing their seat not encoraching on elders or unseating novices.
  3. They should not enter the village too early or leve too late.
  4. They should not mix with families before and after meals.
  5. They should not be haughty or talkative.
  6. They should not be noisy with loose talk.
  7. They should be a good friend to their co-associates.
  8. They should be with protected mental faculties.
  9. They should know the right amount of food to partake.
  10. They should develop wakefulness.
  11. They should be with aroused effort.
  12. They should be with establ;ished minfulness.
  13. They should develop concentration.
  14. They should develop wisdom.
  15. They should be yoked to thehigher Teaching and Discipline.
  16. They should be yoked to paceful immaterial releases.
  17. They should be yoked to something above human.

At the end Ven Moggllāna asks if these rules should apply only to forest monks. Sāriputta said they could also apply to monks living at the end of a village. In fact other than the first four they seem to be applicable to all monks.

M 70. Kitāgirisutta
Discourse at Kitāgiri

[174-175] On a tour of Kasi with a large group of monks the Buddha told them: "I abstain eating at night and I have few afflictions and illnesses; I have lightness, power, and a pleasant living. You too do the same". Then he reached the town of Kitagiri. At that time a large group of monks following the monks Assaji -Punnabasu were living there. The people asked them to adopt the Budha's advice on eating. But they said that they ate in the morning, evening and night and had few afflictions and illnesses and lightness, power, and a pleasant living for it. This refusal was conveyed to the Buddha.

[176-177] Then the Buddha summoned the Assaji-Punnabasu monks and queried their statement on eating and they admitted it. Then he asked whether these monks knew his teaching: "When a person experiences a certain kind of pleasant feeling, demerit increases, merit decreases, but whn he experiences another kind of pleasant feeling, demerit decreases, merit increases. Similarly for neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant feelings". They said they knew it.

[178] The Buddha said "Since I have known, seen, experienced, realized and mentally touched a certain person experiencing a certain kind of pleasant feeling that increase demerit and decrease merit I say dispel it." Similarly for a kind of pleasant feeling that has the opposite effects (i.e. decreasing demerit and increasing merit) I say pursue it."

[179] (A similar kind of reasoning that had been applied to pleasant feelings is now applied in this section to painful and neither-pleasant-nor-painful feelings. Those that increase demerit while decreasing merit at to be dispelled. Those that increase merit and decrease demerit are to be pursued.)

[180-181] The Buddha said that he did not ask all monks to abide deligently nor to ask them not to abide deligently. Arahats being perfect did not have to do it as they cannot be negligent. But those who are in training have to be deligent because the Buddha had seen the results of diligence.

[182] Here the Buddha identifies seven kinds of individuals. One released both ways (bhatobhāgavimutto), one released through wisdom (paññāvimutto), a bodily witness (kāyasakkhi), one attained to view (diṭṭhippatto), one released through conviction (saddhāvimutto), a Dhamma follower (dhammānusārī), a conviction-follower (saddhānusārī).
  1. One released both ways. This is a person who experiences with the body those immaterial attainments and has the wisdom to eliminate the influxes (āsavā).
  2. One released through wisdom. This person does not touch with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form (i.e. are formless) but ends his influxes by discernment.
  3. A bodily witness. This on is like the previous but has not completely ended the influxes. He has to eliminate some heedlessness, such as seeing that his friends are admirable.
  4. One attuned to View. He is one not touching with his body the peaceful liberations, but haas not yet eliminated all the influxes but looks faourably with many teachings of the Tathagata.
  5. One released through conviction. He is like the former but his conviction in the Tathagata is settled, rooted, and established.
  6. A Dhamma follower.Though not a formless meditator he has these faculties well establised: conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, and discernment.
  7. A conviction-follower.Though not a formless medittor he has he has a sufficient measure of conviction in and love for the Tathagata. He has the same faculties established a the preceeding category.
As in many other suttas it is stated that the bhikkus were pleased with the Buddha's words.