Mahali Sutta, Mahāli-sutta: 1 definition


Mahali Sutta means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahali Sutta in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Mahali Sutta Mahali Sutta

1. Mahali Sutta. The Licchavi Otthaddha (Mahali) visits the Buddha at the Kutagarasala and reports to him a conversation he had had with Sunakkhatta, who claimed to be able to see heavenly forms but not to hear heavenly sounds. Mahali inquires how such a faculty can be acquired, and the Buddha tells him, but explains that it is not for the sake of acquiring these powers that people join the Order. Asking what then is their object, he gradually leads the conversation on to the question of arahantship, along the Eightfold Path. The Buddha then raises a quite different question, as to whether the soul and the body are identical. The discourse on this again leads to the question of arahantship (cp. Jaliya Sutta), but it is significant that the Buddha leaves this last question unanswered (D.i.150 8).

Buddhaghosa explains (DA.i.316) that the Buddha raised the point of body and soul, because he knew that Mahali harboured the heretical belief that a soul exists and that it has form.

2. Mahali Sutta. The Licchavi Mahali visits the Buddha at the Kutagarasala and questions him regarding the doctrine of Purana Kassapa that there is no cause or condition for the impurity of beings. The Buddha contradicts this view, and explains that it is because beings take delight in the body, etc., that they become impure. When they feel revulsion towards the body, etc., they become pure. S.iii.68f.

3. Mahali Sutta. The Buddha, in answer to a question of Mahali, says that greed, ill will, dullness cause the continuance of evil action, and right reflection and a well poised mind cause the continuance of good. The existence of these two different sets of qualities cause the good and evil in the world. A.v.86f.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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