Majjhima Nikāya - Book III Part 2-3


II. Anupada Vagga

1. Anupada Sutta

This discourse was given at Sāvatthi.

The Buddha brought out in full detail the virtues of one of his two Chief Disciples, the Venerable Sāriputta, extolling his wisdom which was extensive like the big earth,

describing how, unlike other ordinary disciples who had attained Arahatship, the Venerable Sāriputta went through the practices for development of śīla, samādhi and paññā in a very thorough manner,

step by step, contemplating very intensely on the minutest phenomenon of arising and perishing until he gained the highest goal of the holy life.

The Buddha explained also how the Venerable Sāriputta was fully accomplished in the Dhamma to deserve the honour of being a Chief Disciple of the Buddha.

2. Chabbisodhana Sutta

The Buddha said that when any bhikkhu claimed to the attainment of Arahatship, his claim should not be admitted or rejected outright.

His claim should be carefully scrutinized according to the guiding principles provided in this discourse.

3. Sappurisa Sutta

This describes how a good, worthy man is to be distinguished from a bad, unworthy person enumerating twenty-six characteristics by which each individual is to be judged.

4. Sevitabbāsevitabba Sutta

This discourse was given briefly by the Buddha, and the Venerable Sāriputta continued to expound it in more detail.

It deals with practices and actions which a bhikkhu should or should not resort to:

Whatever action or practice or object is conducive to ones spiritual progress and development should be resorted to and made use of; whatever is detrimental to ones spiritual advancement should be rejected.

5. Bahudhātuka Sutta

This discourse is an analytical study of elements, dhātu; bases, āyatana; the law of dependent origination; and the right or wrong causes.

Only the bhikkhu skilled in these studies may be reckoned as a wise person.

6. Isigili Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Isigili, one of the hills surrounding Rājagaha. This is an account of why this hill was called by that name and of the many Paccekabuddhas who used to dwell there.

7. Mahācattārīsaka Sutta

This discourse is a detailed exposition on Right Concentration which has its base in the other seven constituent parts of the Noble Path, on twenty meritorious dhammas and on twenty demeritorious dhammas.

8. Ānāpānassati Sutta

Ānāpānassati as a method of meditation was explained to a large gathering of bhikkhus including nearly all well-known senior disciples such as the Venerable Sāriputta, Mahā Moggallāna, Mahā Kassapa, Anuruddha, Ānanda etc.

Development of mindfulness of respiration establishes a person in the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness.

The Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness, being developed, establishes a person in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, being developed, bring about Insight Knowledge and emancipation.

9. Kāyagatāsati Sutta

This discourse describes the meditation practice involving contemplation on the thirty-two parts of the body. The practical steps in the method as well as its advantages are fully explained.

10. Saṅkhārupapatti Sutta

This discourse explains how it is possible to have ones wish fulfilled if one is well established in the five wholesome dhammas, namely, faith, moral conduct, learning, liberality and wisdom.

III. Suññata Vagga

1. Cūḷasuññata Sutta

The Buddha once told Ānanda that he often dwelt in the liberation of the void, Suññata-Vihāra. When requested by Ānanda, he explained what liberation of the void meant — Liberation through Insight that discerns voidness of self.

2. Mahāsuññata Sutta

Seeing many bhikkhus living together in a crowded dwelling place, the Buddha told Ānanda that a bhikkhu should not like living in company. Solitude is most beneficial for a bhikkhu.

He urged bhikkhus to look upon him as a sincere friend who would repeatedly point out their faults to help correct them.

3. Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta

This discourse is an account of the twenty marvellous attributes of the Buddha as extolled by the Venerable Ānanda.

4. Bākula Sutta

Bhikkhu Bākula, aged one hundred and sixty years, met his old friend, the naked ascetic Kassapa, after he had been in the Order of the Buddha for eighty years.

Kassapa asked him how often he had indulged in sexual intercourse during those eighty years.

Bakula told his friend the marvellous attributes he possessed as an Arahat, including the fact that he became an Arahat after seven days of strenuous endeavour, after which he was completely rid of moral defilements.

5. Dantabhūmi Sutta

In this discourse the Buddha explained to the novice Aciravata how a young prince like Prince Jayasena, son of King Bimbisāra could not hope to know, to see, to realize such dhammas as concentration and jhānas,

living as he did in the lap of luxury, surrounded by pleasures of senses, enjoying the pleasures of senses and consumed and overwhelmed by the flames of desires.

The Buddha pointed out the difference in outlook between an Arahat and an ordinary uninstructed person giving the simile of a tamed elephant and a wild elephant of the forest.

6. Bhūmija Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Bhūmija to his nephew, Prince Jayasena to explain how Fruition would result by practising the Noble Path of Eight Constituents.

The Buddha confirmed that only by following the right Path, namely, the Noble Path of Eight Constituents and not any other Path, Fruition would result.

The Buddha gave the similes of attempting to make oil out of sand, squeezing the horns of a cow for milk, churning water to make butter, and rubbing two pieces of wet green wood to make fire.

7. Anuruddha Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Anuruddha to Pañcakaṅga, the carpenter, to explain the difference between Appamāṇa Cetovimutti, liberation through practice of four Brahmavihāra Meditation and Mahaggata Cetovimutti, liberation through Kasia Meditation using a meditational device.

8. Upakkilesa Sutta

Once the Buddha left Kosambī because of quarrelling, contentious bhikkhus and went to Pācinavaṁsa Park where the Venerable Anuruddha, the Venerable Nandiya and the Venerable Kimila were staying.

When these bhikkhus informed the Buddha about the aura (obhāsa) and vision (dassana) of various shapes and forms they perceived in the course of their meditation,

the Buddha taught them about Upakkilesa, mental defilements, that appear at a certain stage in meditation process. They should be on their guard not to be led astray by these deceptive defilements.

9. Bālapaṇḍita Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Sāvatthi on fools and characteristic behaviour of fools; on how evil thoughts, words and deeds of fools harm themselves and others; and on how these evil actions lead fools to states of misery and woe.

Once a fool, through his evil actions, found himself in one of the nether regions, there was very little likelihood for him to rise again to the upper realms.

The chances are more remote than that of a blind turtle to get his head through a single hole in a yoke which was being tossed about in a stormy sea.

The discourse deals also with the wise and their characteristics; the wholesome thoughts, words and deeds of the wise, the wholesome effects resulting from such meritorious actions and bliss enjoyed by them in the realms of happiness.

10. Devadūta Sutta

This is a discourse on evil results arising from evil action, giving details of suffering in realms of misery and woe.