Majjhima Nikāya - Book III Part 4-5


IV. Vibhaṅga Vagga

1. Bhaddekaratta Sutta

This sutta which means a discourse on a night of good meditation gives a detailed description of Vipassanā meditation.

The Buddha urged the bhikkhus not to dwell in the past which was gone, nor to seek the future which was unattained yet, but to perceive the dhamma in the phenomena presently occurring, at the same time not becoming involved in and attached to them.

2. Ānanda-bhaddekaratta Sutta

This is a discourse in which the Venerable Ānanda repeated to the bhikkhus the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, for which performance he was highly commended by the Buddha.

3. Mahākaccāna-bhaddekaratta Sutta

This is a detailed exposition by the Venerable Mahākaccāna on Vipassanā meditation of the five khandhas as explained by the Buddha in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta. The Venerable Mahākaccāna was commended by the Buddha for his exposition.

4. Lomasakaṅgiya-bhaddekaratta Sutta

This is a detailed exposition by the Venerable Lomasakaṅgiya on Vipassanā meditation of the five khandhas explained in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta.

5. Cūḷakamma-vibhaṅga Sutta

Young Subha, son of the Brāhmin Todeyya, was curious to know why some were born in high class families, some in low class families; why some were born rich, others poor;

why some were beautiful, others ugly; why some were of good health with a long span of life, others of poor health with a short span of life, etc.

He approached the Buddha and asked fourteen questions in all to satisfy his curiosity.

The Buddha gave a long discourse on kamma and its resultant effects.

Deeds, words and thoughts have endless consequences of joy and sorrow to be experienced in this very life and hereafter. Men depend on their own deeds and nothing else for their condition and status in life.

6. Mahākamma-vibhaṅga Sutta

This is another discourse on kamma and its resultant effects which are most difficult to foresee. How the workings of kamma were most strange and surprising were explained with reference to four types of individuals.

7. Saḷāyatana-vibhaṅga Sutta

This discourse is a detailed analytical exposition on six internal sense bases, six external sense bases, six types of consciousness arising from six types of contact, etc., by the Buddha.

8. Uddesa-vibhaṅga Sutta

In this discourse, the Buddha taught briefly how restraint of the mind with regard to external sense bases and non-attachment to internal sense bases led to the cessation of suffering.

The Venerable Kaccāna gave an exposition on this subject which earned him praise from the Buddha.

9. Arana-vibhaṅga Sutta

This discourse is an exhortation on the practice of the Middle Path, avoiding the two extremes of indulgence in sensual pleasures and practice of self-mortification,

and on modes of conduct, not indulging in backbiting; not keeping to colloquial vocabulary only and not spurning the conventional usage of the language, but speaking gently, slowly.

10. Dhātu-vibhaṅga Sutta

This is an important discourse taught to Pukkusāti, a recluse who had left the home-life inspired by the fame of Gotama Buddha whom he had not yet met and whom he was on his way to see.

The Buddha went purposely to meet this recluse in a potter's hut to teach this discourse:

A man is made up of six elements, namely, solidity, fluidity, heat, motion, space and consciousness. On analysis, none of these elements is found to be 'mine' or 'me' or 'my self '. All of them are subject to the law of impermanence, so are the three types of sensation.

When a bhikkhu perceives the real nature of the physical and mental phenomena, he becomes endowed with absolute wisdom, Knowledge of the Noble Truth.

11. Sacca-vibhaṅga Sutta

In this discourse the Buddha taught the bhikkhus the Four Noble Truths as he had done at the time of giving the discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma at Isipatana in Vārāṇasī.

He then urged the bhikkhus to seek guidance from the two theras, the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna, likening the Venerable Sāriputta to a mother and the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna to a foster-mother.

The Venerable Sāriputta could analyse and explain the Four Noble Truths in detail and lead them to the stage of the first Path and Fruition.

The Venerable Maha Moggallāna could then lead them on till the highest Path and Fruition, the Arahatship, was achieved.

12. Dakkhiṇā-vibhaṅga Sutta

This discourse was given to the Buddha's foster-mother Mahāpajāpati on the occasion of her offering to the Buddha a set of robes made by her own hand.

The Buddha urged his foster-mother to make the offering to the Sangha, the community of bhikkhus.

He enumerated fourteen kinds of donations to individuals and seven kinds of donations to the Sangha, explaining the superior benefit accruing from offerings made to the Sangha.

V. Saḷāyatana Vagga

1. Anāthapiṇḍikovāda Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Sāriputta to Anāthapiṇḍika on his death-bed.

The Venerable Sāriputta enjoined him not to grasp at the six internal sense bases, nor the six external sense bases, nor the feelings that arise in relation to them,

nor at the six elements (including space and consciousness), nor at the five aggregates, nor the realms of Infinite Space, of Infinite Consciousness, of Nothingness, of Neither Consciousness Nor Non-Consciousness.

With no attachment to any of them, there would come liberation.

2. Channovāda Sutta

The Venerable Channa was very ill. The Venerable Sāriputta and Cunda paid him a visit. They gave him solace by giving instruction on Vipassanā meditation. The Venerable Channa died an Arahat.

3. Puṇṇovāda Sutta

This discourse was given to Bhikkhu Puṇṇa by the Buddha on how to practise the holy life in solitude.

When the Buddha asked him how he would contend with the dangers which infested the locality where he was going to stay, he told the Buddha of the six categories of fortitude he was endowed with, including indifference to an attack even on his life.

4. Nandakovāda Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Nandaka to five hundred bhikkhunīs in the presence of the Buddha one full moon night.

He dealt with the twelve categories of internal and external sense bases, the six types of consciousness, their impermanent nature and how to practice the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

He won the approval of the Buddha for his lucid exposition of the Dhamma.

5. Cūḷarāhulovāda Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha to his son Rāhula who was then a bhikkhu of the Order fully mature to receive the highest dhamma.

The Buddha exhorted him, in the form of questions and answers on the impermanent nature of the twelve sense bases, in consequence of which the Venerable Rāhula attained to Arahatship.

6. Chachakka Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha frequently to many bhikkhus on the six internal sense bases, the six external sense bases, six types of consciousness, six types of contacts, six types of sensation, six kinds of craving

and on how their interrelationship led to continuity of phenomena from one existence to another.

7. Mahāsaḷāyatanika Sutta

This discourse is an exposition on how the ignorance of the six categories of dhamma such as the six internal sense bases, etc., gives rise to craving, and craving to suffering.

It also explains how, when they are seen as they really are by following the Noble Path of Eight Constituents, the knowledge of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment arises resulting in the perfect Peace of Nibbāna.

8. Nagaravindeyya Sutta

This is a discourse in which the Buddha explained to the villagers of Nagaravinda the distinction between samaṇas and brāhmaṇas who deserved honour and homage and those who did not.

Only those religious teachers who had discarded the craving that arose out of āyatana dhammas were worthy of veneration.

9. Piṇḍapātapārisuddhi Sutta

This is an exhortation to bhikkhus to keep themselves pure in mind while going on alms round or while eating their meal,

by discarding craving, removing hindrances and developing the knowledge of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment through continuous practice.

10. Indriyabhāvanā Sutta

This discourse was given to the Venerable Ānanda by the Buddha showing the difference between the control of senses practised by an Arahat and that practised by one still under training.

The Buddha explained that feelings of liking, disliking or of indifference that arise from conditioned phenomena could be soon eliminated by the practice of Vipassanā Meditation.