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Canonical Pâli Buddhist Literature of the Theravâda School

Part I - Gahapati Vagga

(1) Kandaraka Sutta

This discourse was delivered at Campa in connection with Kan- daraka, the wandering ascetic, and Pessa, son of elephant rider, who marvelled at the silence maintained by the huge congregation of bhikkhus, not making any sound, not even a sneeze nor a cough The Buddha explained that their silence was due to their accomplish- ments in samadhi and to their training on four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness. The Buddha also elucidated the four types of indivi- duals engaged in meditation

(2) Afthakanagara Sutta

The householder Dasama of Atthaka wanted to know if there was a single dhamma which could cause liberation and realization of Nibbana The VenerableAnanda informed him there was a group of dhammas, eleven in number, namely, the four jhanas, the four Brahmavihara practices, and Akasanancayatana, Vinnanancayatana, Akmcafinayatana Contemplating the impermanent nature of each of these dhammas would led one to Nibbana.

(3) Sekha Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Ananda to the Sakyans headed by Prince Mahanama The Venerable Ananda explained the path consisting of three steps, sila, samadhi and patina to be followed by an aspirant to higher knowledge culminating in the knowledge of cessation of asava.

(4) Potaliya Sutta

Potaliya had left worldly affairs behind with a view to lead the holy life When the Buddha saw him dressed in ordinary everyday attire, the Buddha addressed him as 'Gahapati', householder, which Potaliya resented The Buddha explained to him that in the vocabu- lary of the Vmaya one was said to have cut oneself off from the world only when one refrained from killing, stealing, telling lies, slandering, and only when one was abstemious, not conceited, and controlled in one's temper

(5) Jivaka Sutta

This discourse was given at Rajagaha in connection with Jivaka, the great physician, who enquired whether it was true that the Buddha ate the meat of animals killed purposely for him The Buddha told him that he had made it a rule for the bhikkhus not to partake of any meat which they say or heard or had reason to suspect to be es- pecially prepared for them. Further, a bhikkhu should not show eager- ness for food nor be greedy in eating, he should eat with reflection that he took the meal only to sustain the body m order to pursue the path of liberation

 

(6) Upali Stitta

A prominent, wealthy lay disciple of Nigantha Nataputta was sent by his master to meet the Buddha and defeat him in argument on cer- tain aspects of the Theory of Kamma. Whereas the Nigantha stress- ed on the physical and vocal actions being more productive of resul- tant effects, the Buddha maintained that it was volition or mental action that was paramount By means of his discourse the Buddha converted Upali, and overwhelmed by intense wrath over the loss of his most prominent disciple, Nataputta died

(7) Kukkuravatika Sutta

This discourse, given by the Buddha to two naked ascetics named Punna and Seniya at the market town of Koliya, deals with four kinds of actions and four kinds of resultant effects arising therefrom (i) black deed leading to black result, (li) white deed leading to white result, (hi) deed which is both black and white leading to result which is both black and white and (iv) deed which is neither black nor white leading to result which is neither black nor white

(8) Abhayarajakumara Sutta

Prince Abhayarajakumara was sent by Nigantha Nataputta to ask the Buddha whether he uttered unpleasant words about the destiny of Devadatta The Buddha enumerated six modes of utterances out of which he would make two modes of utterances words which are true, profitable but not pleasant to others and words which are true, pro- fitable and pleasant to others

 

(9) Bahuvedaniya Sutta

This discourse was given at Savatthi to explain the various kinds of vedana which might be two in number sukha and dukkha vedands; or three in number by including the upekkhd vedana; or five, six, eighteen or thirty-six, or one hundred and eight, depending on the method of enumeration Ordinarily sensations that arise from plea- sures of the senses are regarded as sukha, or happiness. But the Buddha explains that the acme of happiness is attainment of nirodha samdpattt

(10) Apaimaka Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha to the villagers of Sala in the country of Kosala who had not yet accepted any of the teach- ings taught by leaders of the various sects visiting their village The Buddha showed them the nght path which would not lead them astray The wrong views of the sectarians were contrasted against the right views propounded by the Buddha; the disadvantages of wrong views, and the advantages of right views were explained.  

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