This is a sub-section of the Forum where the focus is on analysis of individual suttas and the translations thereof.
The Buddha compares the reasons for the success or failure of a shopkeeper to the reasons for the success or failure of a bhikkhu's attainment of serenity.
Ānanda describes three methods for ending Pain and evading kamma as taught by the Buddha.
The Buddha teaches his uncle Mahanama the significance of understanding sense desire [kāma], sense objects [forms, rūpa], and sense-experiences [vedana].
Three sets of three things that indicate one has attained the goal.
The Buddha describes four 'exquisites.'
Careful reading will show that the three different translations will yield three different modes of practice.
Shortly after his enlightenment Gotama sees no person to whom he should pay reverance and serve. Seeing danger in this situation he decides to place the Dhamma in this position.
The Buddha visits a Wanderer's park and teaches the four paths of good form that are ancient, long standing, traditional, primeval, pure and unadulterated, unconfused, respected by the wise, and he adds emphasis by showing that disparaging these four subjects one to ridicule.
Brahmin Dona is walkiing along behind the Buddha when he notices the mark of the Wheel in gotama's footprints. Drawing near he asks Gotama about what sort of being he may be and is told that he is beyond 'being' and is Buddha.
The explanation in terms of Kamma of why the enterprises of some individuals fail, while others turn out differently than expected, others turn out as expected and still others turn out beyond their expectations.
The Buddha describes four sorts of persons in relationship to the sorts of yokes to rebirth [saṅyogana] they have or have not yet got rid of.
A little four-liner about the facility and precision with which persons utter speech or engage in banter or repartee.
Four sorts of persons: one who grasps a matter intuitively, one who understands hearing the details, one to whom things must be explained and one who is only able to remember the text.
Four persons: one able to convey the intent but not the letter; one able to convey the letter but not the intent; one able to do neither and one able to do both.
The Buddha describes two pairs of individuals. One pair is striving to get rid of 'own-body', the other is striving to break up 'blindness'. In each of the pairs the persons have attained peaceful states of mind and liberation of heart and work at their objective but in one case there is no excitement at the task while in the other there is. The Buddha states that where this excitement is missing, the task is unlikely to be accomplished.
Uggaha invites the Buddha to a meal to instruct his daughters in the behavior that will profit them in this life and the life hereafter.
The Buddha describes features of the seasonable and unseasonable time for making effort.
The Buddha describes how the development and making a big thing of the idea of their being nothing attractive in the body, the disgusting nature of food, the thought of distaste for the world, the perception of impermanance in everything that has been own-made, and the establishment in mind of the thought of death has its fruition in freedom of heart and the advantages of freedom of heart and freedom of wisdom and the advantages of freedom of wisdom.
Mahā Moggallāna is visited by a deva who tells him of Devadatta's secret ambition to rule the sangha. When he relates this to the Buddha, the Buddha discourses on the various sorts of teachers that need the protection of their disciples and he declares himself not to need such protections.
The point of this sutta is to discourse on the attributes which make a bhikkhu beloved of his fellow seekers. However the prelude, a debate between Sāriputta and Udāyī which takes up most of the sutta, is both interesting and obscure and is what is consider here.
Five things which result in hatred here and hell hereafter and five things that free one from hatred here and hell hereafter. Plus a long rant on the importance of understanding kamma and rebirth.
Brahman Dona comes to Gotama intending to criticize him for not rising up for Brahmins and is given an education as to various sorts of Brahmins. A very interesting fact revealed in this sutta is that the seer's of old mentioned by Gotama were apparently fully cognizant of all four jhānas in precisely the terms found in the suttas.
Five reasons for draught not seen with the eye.
Five things that characterize what is well said.
This is so important in recognizing true Dhamma from false, distinguishing a speaker who understands what he is saying from one who does not understand, and in dealing intelligently with people during an ordinary conversation. Our biases tend to override our ears. Life is much more interesting and informative when we are able to listen and recognize what is well said as well said and what is not well said as not well said.
The Buddha points out that in his day the various trades of the butcher did not pay off in living in luxory, or possessing wealth and social acceptance and that those engaged in such trades could look forward to rebirth in Hell. What might be the kamma that lets some people these days prosper by such trades?
A paticca-samuppada-like progression leading to vision of a method to bring about Nibbāna. Discusses the issue of 'causation' versus 'coinsidence.'
The Buddha refutes the idea that there is no self and no other. The Anatta-me Lesson. How to reason out the idea of non-self.
The Buddha explains to Nagita, his attendant, his refusal to accept homage by a series of images progressively pointing out the disadvantages of proximity to society and the advantages of solitude.
When asked by Brahman Janussoni, Gotama explains the intentions, dreams, means, wants, and ultimate goals of the warrior, the brahman, the householder, the woman, the thief, and the Samana.
Six powers of the Buddha by which he claims leadership, has confidence in addressing any group, and rolls on the wheel of Dhamma.
The Buddha describes how having good or bad friends affects higher behavior, proper training, the perfection of ethical behavior, and the abandoning of lust for sense pleasures, lust for forms and lust for the formless.
Six ways of managing things that prevent access to the cool, six which provide access to the cool. There is here a way of looking at the mind which frees one from the tendency to think that it must be just one way or another. In this sutta we can see that it is more like a horse that needs to be trained to do what we want, or a car that we must learn to drive properly.
Seven skills in the management of serenity which result in one having control over the bent of the heart rather than being controlled by the bent of the heart.
Eight benefits the birth of a good man brings into the world.
Eight essential factors in the observation of the Buddhist Sabbath with an explanation of why this practice is so fruitful.
The Buddha tells the bhikkhus of four things that, for women, lead to power in this world, and four that lead to power in the next.
Various suttas dealing with the advantages of establishing virtuous conduct.
Sandha is encouraged not to pracice jhana with worldly objectives. He is then instructed as to how to practice such that his jhana is not dependent on earth, etc. (as in #7) and yet he does have jhana. In this sutta such independent objects of jhana are made 'un-being' (vibhuta) (not existent in the sense of not being identified with the existence of an individual).
DN 14 The Buddha gives the bhikkhus a comprehensive course on his system through the lens of seeing the lives of the previous seven Buddhas. Like other suttas, this one reveals itself in a completely different light when unabridged.
DN 29 Gotama responds to the news that the death of Nāthaputta the Nigantha has resulted in the break-up and general disorder of his followers by outlining in great detail the solid foundation on which the Saṅgha has been constructed.
MN 9 Sariputta explains the path to attaining of consummate view in thirty two (33 ?) different ways.
MN 12 A bhikkhu who left the order is going around saying that there is nothing extraordinary about Gotama or his doctrine. Gotama, hering of this persons opinion replies with a wide-ranging rebuttal listing the wonderous aspects of his awakening and the scope of his knowledge.
MN 29 Commentary on the translations.
MN 30 Commentary on the translations. Dealing with the arguments of Leigh Brasington supporting a supposed late alteration of this sutta.
MN 35 & 36 Saccaka, who has been boasting and bragging that he can defeat the Buddha in debate when he meets him in debate is upset after his first utterance. The Buddha then teaches him Dhamma. On development of the mind and body, transferring merit, and debate.
MN 39 The Buddha gives the bhikkhus a full curriculum for the realization of Nibbāna. The significance of the similes for the jhanas.
MN 44. The lay follower Visakha asks his former wife, the nun Dhammadinna a series of questions concerning Dhamma and receives answers approved of later by the Buddha.
MN 54. The Buddha explains in detail what it means to have given up all avocations in this Dhamma.
MN 64. 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.
MN 70. 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.
MN 79. In another 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.
MN 98. 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.
MN 102. In this sutta the Buddha outlines various views about the nature of the real, essential self and the world, past, future and present and points out that these views are all speculative and that for true satisfaction and liberation one must let go of all that which has been constructed, including speculative opinions.
MN 113. The Buddha gives the bhikkhus a course leading to Nibbāna by way of contrasting the attitudes of the good man and the not so good man to each stage of the process.
MN 128 The Buddha is not able to halt the argument and contention of the sangha in Ghosita's vihara in Kosambī and so moves on to visit Bhago in Balakallonakara village where he teaches him Dhamma and then he visits the Anuruddhas staying in the Eastern Bamboo Grove there. There he teaches the Anuruddhas in great detail the process of eliminating the obstructions to clairvoyant sight and describes the method of jhana practice in threes which he himself used to attain arahantship.
An absolutely invaluable sutta when it comes to developing insight, clairvoyance and the jhanas.
MN 128. The actual meditation method used by Gotama: The 'method in threes'
MN 137. An in-depth analysis of the six realms of the senses.
After the Buddha has taught the four foods, Moliya Phagguna asks who it is that feeds on the consciousness food. Gotama responds correcting his thinking from 'who feeds?' to 'what results from feeding on?', which leads into the chain of interdependent factors (paticca samuppada).
Different ways of presenting the Paticca Samuppada
Kassapa, a naked ascetic, asks the Buddha a series of questions about the source of pain and to each of his questions receives the response, 'it is not such as that.' When Kassapa asks for an explanation, The Buddha teaches him the 'Doctrine Going Down the Middle': that is, the Paṭicca Samuppāda, the chain of interdependent factors giving rise to the experience of individualized existence and the resulting pain.
The Buddha teaches that whether a Buddha arises or not, existence arises as a consequence of a chain of interdependent factors, that each of the factors is impermanent, and that one who sees coming into existence and existence in this way will not have ideas of self with regard to the past, future or present.
The Buddha teaches a variation of the Paticca Samuppada which works back from the elimination of the corrupting influences (asavas) and he states that there is no destroying the corrupting influences without knowing and seeing this progression.
Sariputta teaches Venerable Bumija who asks about who causes kammic consequences that it is in all cases contact that results in kammic consequences. This is repeated to the Buddha by Ānanda, and confirmed by Gotama and then Gotama goes on to explain that pleasure and pain corespond to the intent with which deeds of body, speech and mind are done. He further explains that intent can originate with the self or with another and can be done by the self either knowingly or without reflection.
The Buddha gives the chain of interdependent links leading from blindness to pain and then gives definitions of the individual links.
In response to a series of questions concerning 'who' experiences the various stages of the Paticca Samuppada, The Buddha explains that these questions assume the idea of an individual or experiencer, and a differentiation between the experience and the experiencer and that such an assumption falls into the trap of postulating an eternal self or a self that is annihilated and that with either of those two extreme views it is not possible to end pain and reach the goal of Arahantship and that this amounts to blindness, but by bringing this blindness to an end and seeing that the process is impersonal the end of pain is attainable and the goal of Arahantship can be reached.
Susima enters the order to learn the secret of Gotama's ability to generate respect and donatives. There he hears about bhikkhus gaining Arahantship and quesions them about super-normal powers. These bhikkhus tell him they have no super-normal powers and have been awakened through wisdom. Questioning the Buddha about this he learns to appreciate the Dhamma and confesses his earlier bad intentions.
This sutta figures prominantly in the discussion of whether or not the jhānas are necessary for the attainment of Arahantship.
The Buddha teaches that it is because of data, the available information, that perceptions, views and thoughts arise.
The Buddha instructs the bhikkhus to develop serenity for seeing the origin and ending of form, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness.
The Buddha teaches that it is only by thoroughly understanding, being detached from, and giving up body, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness that attainment of the ending of pain is possible.
The Buddha describes how he attained certainty as to his awakening by thoroughly understanding the enjoyment to be had from, the poverty of and the way to terminate body, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness.
In this sutta individualized consciousness is shown as being dependent on a person's attachment to and taking up of form, sensation, perception, and own-making, and that when attachment is let go consciousness is liberated.
The Buddha explains how if shapes, sense-experiences, perceptions, own-making and consciousness were not identified with now, there would be no future existence of identified-with shapes, sense-experiences, perceptions, own-making and consciousness and the pain they bring with them.
The Buddha describes the stockpiles (kandha) in detail and shows how they are to be analyzed according to the Four Truths. Discussion centers on translating "Katamāñ ca x?",
The Buddha affirms that the most fundamental way of describing things (shapes, sense-experiences, perceptions, the own-make, and consciousness) is relative to their position in Time.
How does one speak of the Dhamma such that no reasonable consequence of one's assertions gives ground for criticism?
On the issue of suicide. Sariputta and Maha Cunda visit Channa who is dying a painful death. Channa announces he will 'take the knife' (commit suicide). Sariputta questions him as to his understanding of Dhamma and Maha Cunda recites for him a saying of the Buddha warning against the wavering that results from attachments. Later, after Channa has 'taken the knife' Sariputta questions the Buddha as to Channa's fate. The Buddha states that his was a blameless end.
Udena, the king of the Vaṅsas, questions the venerable Bharadvaja as to why respectable young men of family would renounce the world and live their entire lives as beggars in the Dhamma taught by Gotama. Bharadvaja provides him with several answers the last of which satisfies the king who then becomes a lay follower.
The Buddha teaches a simile for the control of the six senses by way of contrasting the result of tying each of six different animals with six different tastes when they are each tied to the others versus when they are each tied to a central stake.
Moggallāna, one of the two most powerful of the Buddha's followers, and the one whose strong point was magic power, describes his first attempts to master the the level of meditation practice called the First Jhāna.
Citta gives his solution to a riddle posed by the Venerable Kamabhu.
Citta asks the Venerable Kamabhu various questions about attaining the ending of perception and sense-experience.
Continuing the discussion of SN 4.41.6.
The Buddha teaches the beggars that one should live recollected and comprehending.
The Buddha explains how each of the five forces (that of pleasure, that of pain, that of mental ease, that of mental discomfort and that of detachment) is to be understood in it's arising, in it's settling down and in the escape from it.
The Buddha instructs Uddabha the Brahmin that mind is the home of the five senses, and seated in mind is the bringing to life of the five senses scope and pasturage; memory is the home of mind, and seated in memory is the bringing to life of the mind's scope and pasturage; recollectedness is the home of the memory, and seated in recollectedness is the bringing to life of the memory's scope and pasturage; freedom is the home of recollectedness, and seated in freedom is the bringing to life of recollectedness' scope and pasturage; Nibbāna is the home of freedom, and seated in Nibbāna is the bringing to life of freedom's scope and pasturage; and that to ask about the home of Nibbāna is beyond the possibility of answering, and the scope and pasturage of Nibbāna is beyond encompassing.
Ānanda asks the Buddha if he is able to reach the Brahma realm in the physical body as well as in the mental body and is told that he is able to do so and explains how.
Mahanama and Godha debate whether the Streamwinner has three essential features or four. They bring the debate to the Buddha for resolution.
The Buddha tells the bhikkhus that each of the four truths is capable of unlimited ways of being exprssed.
Gavampati states to a group of elder bhikkhus that he has heard face-to-face with the Buddha that he who sees any one of the Four Truths also sees all of them.