Majjhima Nikāya - Book I Part 3


III. Opamma Vagga

 1. Kakacūpama Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi in connection with Bhikkhu Moḷiyaphagguna who was friendly with bhikkhunīs.

When others censured him for being too friendly with bhikkhunīs, he lost his temper and broke into quarrel with bhikkhus who criticized him.

When the Buddha admonished and advised him to keep away from bhikkhunīs and to control his temper, he remained recalcitrant.

The Buddha showed the harmfulness of ill temper and advised other bhikkhus to keep a tight check on their temper, not losing it even when someone was sawing away their limbs into bits.

 2. Alagaddūpama Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi.

Bhikkhu Ariṭṭha misunderstood the Buddhas Teaching and maintained that the Buddha showed how to enjoy sensuous pleasure without jeopardising one's progress in the Path.

When the Buddha remonstrated with him for his wrong views he remained unrepentant.

The Buddha then spoke to the bhikkhus on the wrong way and the right way of learning the dhamma, giving the simile of a snake catcher, and the simile of the raft.

 3. Vammika Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi.

Venerable Kumārakassapa was asked by a deva a set of fifteen questions which he brought to the Buddha for elucidation. The Buddha explained to him the meaning of the questions and assisted him in their solution.

 4. Rathavinīta Sutta

This sutta recounts the dialogue between the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Puṇṇa at Sāvatthi on the seven stages of purity, such as purity of śīla, purity of mind, purity of view etc., that must be passed before attainment to Nibbāna.

 5. Nivāpa Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi on the snares that waylay bhikkhus on their path, making use of the simile of the hunter, the hunter's followers, the green pasture and four different herds of deer.

The hunter was likened to Mara, the hunter's crowd to Mara's followers, the green pasture he had set up to the sensuous pleasures, and four differ­ent herds of deer to four different types of recluses who left home life.

 6. Pāsarāsi Sutta

This sutta given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi is also known by the name of Ariyapariyesana Sutta.

The Buddha recounted his life from the time he was born in the human world as the son of King Suddhodana till the moment of the great discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma,

giving details of his renunciation, initial wrong practices of severe asceticism and final discovery of the Noble Path of Eight Constituents.

In particular, stress was laid on two different types of quests, the Noble and the Ignoble:

He explained that it was extremely unwise to go after sensual pleasures which subject one to ageing, disease and death. The most noble quest was to seek out that which will liberate one from ageing, disease and death.

 7. Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta

This sutta was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi.

The Brahmin Jāṇussoṇi asked the wandering ascetic Pilotika, who had just come back from the Buddha, whether he knew all the virtues and accomplishments of the Buddha.

The wandering ascetic replied that only a Buddha who could match another Buddha in attainments could know all the virtues of the other.

As for him, he could only exercise his imagination in this respect just as a hunter would judge the measurements of an elephant from the size of its footprints.

Later when the Brahmin Jāṇussoṇi went to see the Buddha, and recounted his conversation with the wandering ascetic the Buddha told him that the size of an elephant's footprint might still be misleading.

Only when one followed the footprints, and the animal was seen grazing in the open, its true measurements could be accurately judged.

So also the virtues of the Buddha and his Teaching could be fully appreciated and understood only when one followed his Teaching and practised as taught by him until the final goal of Arahatship was reached.

 8. Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Sāriputta to the bhikkhus at Sāvatthi using the simile of the elephant's footprint.

He explained that just as the footprint of all animals could be contained within the footprint of an elephant, all wholesome dhammas were comprised in the Four Noble Truths.

 9. Mahāsāropama Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Rājagaha in connection with Devadatta who remained contented with gain and fame because of his attainment of supernormal powers and left the Teaching to cause schism in the Order.

The Buddha said that this Teaching was not for the purpose of gain and fame which were like the external shoots and branches of a tree;

nor just for the accomplishment in śīla which may be likened to the outer crust of a tree; nor for mere establishing of concentration to achieve supernormal powers which were like the bark of a tree.

The Dhamma was taught for the attainment of Arahatship, the noble liberation which alone resembled the inner pith of a tree.

 10. Cūḷasāropama Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi in connection with the Brahmin Piṅgalakoccha who asked the Buddha whether all the six teachers claiming to be Buddhas were really enlightened.

The Buddha explained that the Brāhmacariya practice taught by a Buddha led to Arahat­ship, not just to the achievement of gain and fame, or supernormal powers.