Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Part One: The Root Fifty Discourses

  1    Mūlapariyāya Sutta: The Root of All Things. The Buddha analyses the cognitive processes of four types of individuals—the untaught ordinary person, the disciple in higher training, the arahant, and the Tathāgata. This is one of the deepest and most difficult suttas in the Pali Canon, and it is therefore suggested that the earnest student read it only in a cursory manner on a first reading of the Majjhima Nikāya, returning to it for an in-depth study after completing the entire collection.

  2    Sabbāsava Sutta: All the Taints. The Buddha teaches the bhikkhus seven methods for restraining and abandoning the taints, the fundamental defilements that maintain bondage to the round of birth and death.

  3    Dhammadāyāda Sutta: Heirs in Dhamma. The Buddha enjoins the bhikkhus to be heirs in Dhamma, not heirs in material things. The venerable Sāriputta then continues on the same theme by explaining how disciples should train themselves to become the Buddha’s heirs in Dhamma.

  4    Bhayabherava Sutta: Fear and Dread. The Buddha describes to a brahmin the qualities required of a monk who wishes to live alone in the forest. He then relates an account of his own attempts to conquer fear when striving for enlightenment.

  5    Anangaṇa Sutta: Without Blemishes. The venerable Sāriputta gives a discourse to the bhikkhus on the meaning of blemishes, explaining that a bhikkhu becomes blemished when he falls under the sway of evil wishes.

  6    Ākankheyya Sutta: If a Bhikkhu Should Wish. The Buddha begins by stressing the importance of virtue as the foundation for a bhikkhu’s training; he then goes on to enumerate the benefits that a bhikkhu can reap by properly fulfilling the training.

  7    Vatthūpama Sutta: The Simile of the Cloth. With a simple simile the Buddha illustrates the difference between a defiled mind and a pure mind.

  8    Sallekha Sutta: Effacement. The Buddha rejects the view that the mere attainment of the meditative absorptions is effacement and explains how effacement is properly practised in his teaching.

  9    Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta: Right View. A long and important discourse by the venerable Sāriputta, with separate sections on the wholesome and the unwholesome, nutriment, the Four Noble Truths, the twelve factors of dependent origination, and the taints.

10    Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness. This is one of the fullest and most important suttas by the Buddha dealing with meditation, with particular emphasis on the development of insight. The Buddha begins by declaring the four foundations of mindfulness to be the direct path for the realisation of Nibbāna, then gives detailed instructions on the four foundations: the contemplation of the body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects.

11    Cūḷasīhanāda Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Lion’s Roar. The Buddha declares that only in his Dispensation can the four grades of noble individuals be found, explaining how his teaching can be distinguished from other creeds through its unique rejection of all doctrines of self.

12    Mahāsīhanāda Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar. The Buddha expounds the ten powers of a Tathāgata, his four kinds of intrepidity, and other superior qualities, which entitle him to “roar his lion’s roar in the assemblies.”

13    Mahādukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Mass of Suffering. The Buddha explains the full understanding of sensual pleasures, material form, and feelings; there is a long section on the dangers in sensual pleasures.

14    Cūḷadukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Mass of Suffering. A variation on the preceding, ending in a discussion with Jain ascetics on the nature of pleasure and pain.

15    Anumāna Sutta: Inference. The venerable Mahā Moggallāna enumerates the qualities that make a bhikkhu difficult to admonish and teaches how one should examine oneself to remove the defects in one’s character.

16    Cetokhila Sutta: The Wilderness in the Heart. The Buddha explains to the bhikkhus the five “wildernesses in the heart” and the five “shackles in the heart.”

17    Vanapattha Sutta: Jungle Thickets. A discourse on the conditions under which a meditative monk should remain living in a jungle thicket and the conditions under which he should go elsewhere.

18    Madhupiṇḍika Sutta: The Honeyball. The Buddha utters a deep but enigmatic statement about “the source through which perceptions and notions tinged by mental proliferation beset a man.” This statement is elucidated by the venerable Mahā Kaccāna, whose explanation is praised by the Buddha.

19    Dvedhāvitakka Sutta: Two Kinds of Thought. With reference to his own struggle for enlightenment, the Buddha explains the way to overcome unwholesome thoughts and replace them by wholesome thoughts.

20    Vitakkasaṇṭhāna Sutta: The Removal of Distracting Thoughts. The Buddha teaches five methods for dealing with the unwholesome thoughts that may arise in the course of meditation.

21    Kakacūpama Sutta: The Simile of the Saw. A discourse on the need to maintain patience when addressed with disagreeable words.

22    Alagaddūpama Sutta: The Simile of the Snake. A bhikkhu named Ariṭṭha gives rise to a pernicious view that conduct prohibited by the Buddha is not really an obstruction. The Buddha reprimands him and, with a series of memorable similes, stresses the dangers in misapplying and misrepresenting the Dhamma. The sutta culminates in one of the most impressive disquisitions on non-self found in the Canon.

23    Vammika Sutta: The Ant-hill. A deity presents a monk with an obscure riddle, which is unravelled for him by the Buddha.

24    Rathavinīta Sutta: The Relay Chariots. The venerable Puṇṇa Mantāṇiputta explains to Sāriputta that the goal of the holy life, final Nibbāna, is to be reached by way of the seven stages of purification.

25    Nivāpa Sutta: The Bait. The Buddha uses the analogy of deer-trappers to make known to the bhikkhus the obstacles that confront them in their effort to escape from Māra’s control.

26    Ariyapariyesanā Sutta: The Noble Search. The Buddha gives the bhikkhus a long account of his own quest for enlightenment from the time of his life in the palace up to his transmission of the Dhamma to his first five disciples.

27    Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint. Using the analogy of a woodsman tracking down a big bull elephant, the Buddha explains how a disciple arrives at complete certainty of the truth of his teaching. The sutta presents a full account of the step-by-step training of the Buddhist monk.

28    Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint. The venerable Sāriputta begins with a statement of the Four Noble Truths, which he then expounds by way of the contemplation of the four elements and the dependent origination of the five aggregates.

29    Mahāsāropama Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Heartwood.

30    Cūḷasāropama Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Heartwood.

These two discourses emphasise that the proper goal of the holy life is the unshakeable deliverance of the mind, to which all other benefits are subsidiary.

31    Cūḷagosinga Sutta: The Shorter Discourse in Gosinga. The Buddha meets three bhikkhus who are living in concord, “blending like milk and water,” and inquires how they succeed in living together so harmoniously.

32    Mahāgosinga Sutta: The Greater Discourse in Gosinga. On a beautiful moonlit night a number of senior disciples meet together in a sāla-tree wood and discuss what kind of bhikkhu could illuminate the wood. After each has answered according to his personal ideal, they go to the Buddha, who provides his own answer.

33    Mahāgopālaka Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Cowherd. The Buddha teaches eleven qualities that prevent a bhikkhu’s growth in the Dhamma and eleven qualities that contribute to his growth.

34    Cūḷagopālaka Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Cowherd. The Buddha explains the types of bhikkhus who “breast Māra’s stream” and get safely across to the further shore.

35    Cūḷasaccaka Sutta: The Shorter Discourse to Saccaka. The debater Saccaka boasts that in debate he can shake the Buddha up and down and thump him about, but when he finally meets the Buddha their discussion takes some unexpected turns.

36    Mahāsaccaka Sutta: The Greater Discourse to Saccaka. The Buddha meets again with Saccaka and in the course of a discussion on “development of body” and “development of mind” he relates a detailed narrative on his own spiritual quest.

37    Cūḷataṇhāsankhaya Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Destruction of Craving. The venerable Mahā Moggallāna overhears the Buddha give a brief explanation to Sakka, ruler of gods, as to how a bhikkhu is liberated through the destruction of craving. Wishing to know if Sakka understood the meaning, he makes a trip to the heaven of the Thirty-three to find out.

38    Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving. A bhikkhu named Sāti promulgates the pernicious view that the same consciousness transmigrates from life to life. The Buddha reprimands him with a lengthy discourse on dependent origination, showing how all phenomena of existence arise and cease through conditions.

39    Mahā-Assapura Sutta: The Greater Discourse at Assapura. The Buddha elucidates “the things that make one a recluse” with a discourse covering many aspects of the bhikkhu’s training.

40    Cūḷa-Assapura Sutta: The Shorter Discourse at Assapura. The Buddha explains “the way proper to the recluse” to be not the mere outward practice of austerities but the inward purification from defilements.

41    Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā.

42    Verañjaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Verañja.

In these two nearly identical suttas the Buddha explains to groups of brahmin householders the courses of conduct leading to rebirth in lower realms and the courses leading to higher rebirth and deliverance.

43    Mahāvedalla Sutta: The Greater Series of Questions and Answers.

44    Cūḷavedalla Sutta: The Shorter Series of Questions and Answers.

These two discourses take the form of discussions on various subtle points of Dhamma, the former between the venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita and the venerable Sāriputta, the latter between the bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā and the lay follower Visākha.

45    Cūḷadhammasamādāna Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on Ways of Undertaking Things.

46    Mahādhammasamādāna Sutta: The Greater Discourse on Ways of Undertaking Things.

The Buddha explains, differently in each of the two suttas, four ways of undertaking things, distinguished according to whether they are painful or pleasant now and whether they ripen in pain or pleasure in the future.

47    Vīmaṁsaka Sutta: The Inquirer. The Buddha invites the bhikkhus to make a thorough investigation of himself in order to find out whether or not he can be accepted as fully enlightened.

48    Kosambiya Sutta: The Kosambians. During the period when the bhikkhus at Kosambi are divided by a dispute, the Buddha teaches them the six qualities that create love and respect and conduce to unity. He then explains seven extraordinary knowledges possessed by a noble disciple who has realised the fruit of stream-entry.

49    Brahmanimantanika Sutta: The Invitation of a Brahmā. Baka the Brahmā, a high divinity, adopts the pernicious view that the heavenly world over which he presides is eternal and that there is no higher state beyond. The Buddha visits him to dissuade him from that wrong view and engages him in a contest of Olympian dimensions.

50    Māratajjanīya Sutta: The Rebuke to Māra. Māra attempts to harass the venerable Mahā Moggallāna, but the latter relates a story of the distant past to warn Māra of the dangers in creating trouble for a disciple of the Buddha.

Part Two: The Middle Fifty Discourses

51    Kandaraka Sutta: To Kandaraka. The Buddha discusses four kinds of persons found in the world—the one who torments himself, the one who torments others, the one who torments both himself and others, and the one who torments neither but lives a truly holy life.

52    Aṭṭhakanāgara Sutta: The Man from Aṭṭhakanagara. The venerable Ānanda teaches eleven “doors to the Deathless” by which a bhikkhu can attain the supreme security from bondage.

53    Sekha Sutta: The Disciple in Higher Training. At the Buddha’s request the venerable Ānanda gives a discourse on the practices undertaken by a disciple in higher training.

54    Potaliya Sutta: To Potaliya. The Buddha teaches a presumptuous interlocutor the meaning of “the cutting off of affairs” in his discipline. The sutta offers a striking series of similes on the dangers in sensual pleasures.

55    Jīvaka Sutta: To Jīvaka. The Buddha explains the regulations he has laid down concerning meat-eating and defends his disciples against unjust accusations.

56    Upāli Sutta: To Upāli. The wealthy and influential householder Upāli, a prominent supporter of the Jains, proposes to go to the Buddha and refute his doctrine. Instead, he finds himself converted by the Buddha’s “converting magic.”

57    Kukkuravatika Sutta: The Dog-Duty Ascetic. The Buddha meets two ascetics, one who imitates the behaviour of a dog, the other who imitates the behaviour of an ox. He reveals to them the futility of their practices and gives them a discourse on kamma and its fruit.

58    Abhayarājakumāra Sutta: To Prince Abhaya. The Jain leader, Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta, teaches Prince Abhaya a “two-horned question” with which he can refute the Buddha’s
doctrine. The Buddha escapes the dilemma and explains what kind of speech he would and would not utter.

59    Bahuvedanīya Sutta: The Many Kinds of Feeling. After resolving a disagreement about the classification of feelings, the Buddha enumerates the different kinds of pleasure and joy that beings can experience.

60    Apaṇṇaka Sutta: The Incontrovertible Teaching. The Buddha gives a group of brahmin householders an “incontrovertible teaching” that will help them steer clear of the tangle in contentious views.

61    Ambalaṭṭhikārāhulovāda Sutta: Advice to Rāhula at Ambalaṭṭhikā. The Buddha admonishes his son, the novice Rāhula, on the dangers in lying and stresses the importance of constant reflection on one’s motives.

62    Mahārāhulovāda Sutta: The Greater Discourse of Advice to Rāhula. The Buddha teaches Rāhula the meditation on the elements, on mindfulness of breathing, and other topics.

63    Cūḷamālunkya Sutta: The Shorter Discourse to Mālunkyāputta. A bhikkhu threatens to leave the Order unless the Buddha answers his metaphysical questions. With the simile of the man struck by a poisoned arrow, the Buddha makes plain exactly what he does and does not teach.

64    Mahāmālunkya Sutta: The Greater Discourse to Mālunkyāputta. The Buddha teaches the path to the abandoning of the five lower fetters.

65    Bhaddāli Sutta: To Bhaddāli. The Buddha admonishes a recalcitrant monk and explains the disadvantages of refusing to submit to the training.

66    Laṭukikopama Sutta: The Simile of the Quail. The Buddha drives home the importance of abandoning all fetters, no matter how harmless and trifling they may seem.

67    Cātumā Sutta: At Cātumā. The Buddha teaches a group of newly ordained monks four dangers to be overcome by those who have gone forth into homelessness.

68    Naḷakapāna Sutta: At Naḷakapāna. The Buddha explains why, when his disciples die, he declares their level of attainment and plane of rebirth.

69    Gulissāni Sutta: Gulissāni. The venerable Sāriputta gives a discourse on the proper training of a forest-dwelling bhikkhu.

70    Kīṭāgiri Sutta: At Kīṭāgiri. The Buddha admonishes a group of disobedient monks, in the course of which he presents an important sevenfold classification of noble disciples.

71    Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta: To Vacchagotta on the Threefold True Knowledge. The Buddha denies possessing complete knowledge of everything at all times and defines the threefold knowledge he does possess.

72    Aggivacchagotta Sutta: To Vacchagotta on Fire. The Buddha explains to a wanderer why he does not hold any speculative views. With the simile of an extinguished fire he tries to indicate the destiny of the liberated being.

73    Mahāvacchagotta Sutta: The Greater Discourse to Vacchagotta. The story of the wanderer Vacchagotta’s full conversion to the Dhamma, his going forth, and his attainment of arahantship.

74    Dīghanakha Sutta: To Dīghanakha. The Buddha counters the disclaimers of a sceptic and teaches him the way to liberation through the contemplation of feelings.

75    Māgandiya Sutta: To Māgandiya. The Buddha meets the hedonist philosopher Māgandiya and points out to him the dangers in sensual pleasures, the benefits of renunciation, and the meaning of Nibbāna.

76    Sandaka Sutta: To Sandaka. The venerable Ānanda teaches a group of wanderers four ways that negate the living of the holy life and four kinds of holy life without consolation. Then he explains the holy life that is truly fruitful.

77    Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta: The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin. The Buddha teaches a group of wanderers the reasons why his disciples venerate him and look to him for guidance.

78    Samaṇamaṇḍikā Sutta: Samaṇamaṇḍikāputta. The Buddha explains how a man is “one who has attained to the supreme attainment.”

79    Cūḷasakuludāyi Sutta: The Shorter Discourse to Sakuludāyin. The Buddha examines the doctrine of a wandering ascetic, using the simile of “the most beautiful girl in the country” to expose the folly of his claims.

80    Vekhanassa Sutta: To Vekhanassa. A discourse partly similar to the preceding one, with an additional section on sensual pleasure.

81    Ghaṭīkāra Sutta: Ghaṭīkāra the Potter. The Buddha recounts the story of the chief lay supporter of the past Buddha Kassapa.

82    Raṭṭhapāla Sutta: On Raṭṭhapāla. The story of a young man who goes forth into homelessness against the wishes of his parents and later returns to visit them.

83    Makhādeva Sutta: King Makhādeva. The story of an ancient lineage of kings and how their virtuous tradition was broken due to negligence.

84    Madhurā Sutta: At Madhurā. The venerable Mahā Kaccāna examines the brahmin claim that brahmins are the highest caste.

85    Bodhirājakumāra Sutta: To Prince Bodhi. The Buddha counters the claim that pleasure is to be gained through pain with an account of his own quest for enlightenment.

86    Angulimāla Sutta: On Angulimāla. The story of how the Buddha subdued the notorious criminal Angulimāla and led him to the attainment of arahantship.

87    Piyajātika Sutta: Born from Those Who Are Dear. Why the Buddha teaches that sorrow and grief arise from those who are dear.

88    Bāhitika Sutta: The Cloak. The venerable Ānanda answers King Pasenadi’s questions on the Buddha’s behaviour.

89    Dhammacetiya Sutta: Monuments to the Dhamma. King Pasenadi offers ten reasons why he shows such deep veneration to the Buddha.

90    Kaṇṇakatthala Sutta: At Kaṇṇakatthala. King Pasenadi questions the Buddha on omniscience, on caste distinctions, and on the gods.

91    Brahmāyu Sutta: Brahmāyu. An old and erudite brahmin learns about the Buddha, goes to meet him, and becomes his disciple.

92    Sela Sutta: To Sela. The brahmin Sela questions the Buddha, gains faith in him, and becomes a monk along with his company of pupils.

93    Assalāyana Sutta: To Assalāyana. A young brahmin approaches the Buddha to argue the thesis that the brahmins are the highest caste.

94    Ghoṭamukha Sutta: To Ghoṭamukha. A discussion between a brahmin and a bhikkhu on whether the renunciate life accords with the Dhamma.

95    Cankī Sutta: With Cankī. The Buddha instructs a young brahmin on the preservation of truth, the discovery of truth, and the final arrival at truth.

96    Esukārī Sutta: To Esukārī. The Buddha and a brahmin discuss the brahmins’ claim to superiority over the other castes.

97    Dhānañjāni Sutta: To Dhānañjāni. The venerable Sāriputta admonishes a brahmin who tries to excuse his negligence by appeal to his many duties. Later, when he is close to death, Sāriputta guides him to rebirth in the Brahma-world but is reprimanded by the Buddha for having done so.

98    Vāseṭṭha Sutta: To Vāseṭṭha. The Buddha resolves a dispute between two young brahmins on the qualities of a true brahmin.

99    Subha Sutta: To Subha. The Buddha answers a young brahmin’s questions and teaches him the way to rebirth in the Brahma-world.

100 Sangārava Sutta: To Sangārava. A brahmin student questions the Buddha about the basis on which he teaches the fundamentals of the holy life.

Part Three: The Final Fifty Discourses

101 Devadaha Sutta: At Devadaha. The Buddha examines the Jain thesis that liberation is to be attained by self-mortification, proposing a different account of how striving becomes fruitful.

102 Pañcattaya Sutta: The Five and Three. A survey of various speculative views about the future and the past and of misconceptions about Nibbāna.

103 Kinti Sutta: What Do You Think About Me? The Buddha explains how the monks can resolve disagreements about the Dhamma.

104 Sāmagāma Sutta: At Sāmagāma. The Buddha lays down disciplinary procedures for the guidance of the Sangha to ensure its harmonious functioning after his demise.

105 Sunakkhatta Sutta: To Sunakkhatta. The Buddha discusses the problem of an individual’s overestimation of his progress in meditation.

106 Āneñjasappāya Sutta: The Way to the Imperturbable. The Buddha explains the approaches to various levels of higher meditative states culminating in Nibbāna.

107 Gaṇakamoggallāna Sutta: To Gaṇaka Moggallāna. The Buddha sets forth the gradual training of the Buddhist monk and describes himself as the “shower of the way.”

108 Gopakamoggallāna Sutta: With Gopaka Moggallāna. The venerable Ānanda explains how the Sangha maintains its unity and internal discipline after the passing away of the Buddha.

109 Mahāpuṇṇama Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Full-moon Night. A bhikkhu questions the Buddha on the five aggregates, clinging, personality view, and the realisation of non-self.

110 Cūḷapuṇṇama Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Full-Moon Night. The Buddha explains the differences between an “untrue man” and a “true man.”

111 Anupada Sutta: One by One As They Occurred. The Buddha describes the venerable Sāriputta’s development of insight when he was training for the attainment of arahantship.

112 Chabbisodhana Sutta: The Sixfold Purity. The Buddha explains how a bhikkhu should be interrogated when he claims final knowledge and how he would answer if his claim is genuine.

113 Sappurisa Sutta: The True Man. The Buddha distinguishes the character of a true man from that of an untrue man.

114 Sevitabbāsevitabba Sutta: To Be Cultivated and Not To Be Cultivated. The Buddha sets up three brief outlines of things to be cultivated and not to be cultivated, and the venerable Sāriputta fills in the details.

115 Bahudhātuka Sutta: The Many Kinds of Elements. The Buddha expounds in detail the elements, the sense bases, dependent origination, and the kinds of situations that are possible and impossible in the world.

116 Isigili Sutta: Isigili: The Gullet of the Seers. An enumeration of the names and epithets of paccekabuddhas who formerly dwelt on the mountain Isigili.

117 Mahācattārīsaka Sutta: The Great Forty. The Buddha defines the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path and explains their inter-relationships.

118 Ānāpānasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing. An exposition of sixteen steps in mindfulness of breathing and of the relation of this meditation to the four foundations of mindfulness and the seven enlightenment factors.

119 Kāyagatāsati Sutta: Mindfulness of the Body. The Buddha explains how mindfulness of the body should be developed and cultivated and the benefits to which it leads.

120 Sankhārupapatti Sutta: Reappearance by Aspiration. The Buddha teaches how one can be reborn in accordance with one’s wish.

121 Cūḷasuññata Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on Voidness. The Buddha instructs Ānanda on the “genuine, undistorted, pure descent into voidness.”

122 Mahāsuññata Sutta: The Greater Discourse on Voidness. Upon finding that the bhikkhus have grown fond of socialising, the Buddha stresses the need for seclusion in order to abide in voidness.

123 Acchariya-abbhūta Sutta: Wonderful and Marvellous. At a gathering of bhikkhus the venerable Ānanda recounts the wonderful and marvellous events that preceded and attended the birth of the Buddha.

124 Bakkula Sutta: Bakkula. The elder disciple Bakkula enumerates his austere practices during his eighty years in the Sangha and exhibits a remarkable death.

125 Dantabhūmi Sutta: The Grade of the Tamed. By analogy with the taming of an elephant, the Buddha explains how he tames his disciples.

126 Bhūmija Sutta: Bhūmija. The Buddha brings forward a series of similes to illustrate the natural fruitfulness of the Noble Eightfold Path.

127 Anuruddha Sutta: Anuruddha. The venerable Anuruddha clarifies the difference between the immeasurable deliverance of mind and the exalted deliverance of mind.

128 Upakkilesa Sutta: Imperfections. The Buddha discusses the various impediments to meditative progress he encountered during his quest for enlightenment, with particular reference to the divine eye.

129 Bālapaṇḍita Sutta: Fools and Wise Men. The sufferings of hell and animal life into which a fool is reborn through his evil deeds, and the pleasures of heaven that a wise man reaps through his good deeds.

130 Devadūta Sutta: The Divine Messengers. The Buddha describes the sufferings of hell that await the evil-doer after death.

131 Bhaddekaratta Sutta: A Single Excellent Night.

132 Ānandabhaddekaratta Sutta: Ānanda and A Single Excellent Night.

133 Mahākaccānabhaddekaratta Sutta: Mahā Kaccāna and A Single Excellent Night.

134 Lomasakangiyabhaddekaratta Sutta: Lomasakangiya and A Single Excellent Night.

The above four suttas all revolve around a stanza spoken by the Buddha emphasising the need for present effort in developing insight into things as they are.

135 Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta: The Shorter Exposition of Action. The Buddha explains how kamma accounts for the fortune and misfortune of beings.

136 Mahākammavibhanga Sutta: The Greater Exposition of Action. The Buddha reveals subtle complexities in the workings of kamma that overturn simplistic dogmas and sweeping generalizations.

137 Saḷāyatanavibhanga Sutta: The Exposition of the Sixfold Base. The Buddha expounds the six internal and external sense bases and other related topics.

138 Uddesavibhanga Sutta: The Exposition of a Summary. The venerable Mahā Kaccāna elaborates upon a brief saying of the Buddha on the training of consciousness and the overcoming of agitation.

139 Araṇavibhanga Sutta: The Exposition of Non-conflict. The Buddha gives a detailed discourse on things that lead to conflict and things that lead away from conflict.

140 Dhātuvibhanga Sutta: The Exposition of Elements. Stopping at a potter’s workshop for the night, the Buddha meets a monk named Pukkusāti and gives him a profound discourse on the elements culminating in the four foundations of arahantship.

141 Saccavibhanga Sutta: The Exposition of the Truths. The venerable Sāriputta gives a detailed analysis of the Four Noble Truths.

142 Dakkhiṇāvibhanga Sutta: The Exposition of Offerings. The Buddha enumerates fourteen kinds of personal offerings and seven kinds of offerings made to the Sangha.

143 Anāthapiṇḍikovāda Sutta: Advice to Anāthapiṇḍika. The venerable Sāriputta is called to Anāthapiṇḍika’s deathbed and gives him a stirring sermon on non-attachment.

144 Channovāda Sutta: Advice to Channa. The venerable Channa, gravely ill, takes his own life despite the attempts of two brother-monks to dissuade him.

145 Puṇṇovāda Sutta: Advice to Puṇṇa. The bhikkhu Puṇṇa receives a short exhortation from the Buddha and decides to go live among the fierce people of a remote territory.

146 Nandakovāda Sutta: Advice from Nandaka. The venerable Nandaka gives the nuns a discourse on impermanence.

147 Cūḷarāhulovāda Sutta: The Shorter Discourse of Advice to Rāhula. The Buddha gives Rāhula a discourse that leads him to the attainment of arahantship.

148 Chachakka Sutta: The Six Sets of Six. An especially profound and penetrating discourse on the contemplation of all the factors of sense experience as not-self.

149 Mahāsaḷāyatanika Sutta: The Great Sixfold Base. How wrong view about the six kinds of sense experience leads to future bondage, while right view about them leads to liberation.

150 Nagaravindeyya Sutta: To the Nagaravindans. The Buddha explains to a group of brahmin householders what kind of recluses and brahmins should be venerated.

151 Piṇḍapātapārisuddhi Sutta: The Purification of Almsfood. The Buddha teaches Sāriputta how a bhikkhu should review himself to make himself worthy of almsfood.

152 Indriyabhāvanā Sutta: The Development of the Faculties. The Buddha explains the supreme development of control over the sense faculties and the arahant’s mastery over his perceptions.
 

How to cite this document:
© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2009)

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