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Canonical Pâli Buddhist Literature of the Theravâda School

Part IV - Mahayamaka Vagga

(1) Culagosihga Sutta

The Venerable Anuruddha, the Venerable Nandiya and the Venerable Kimila were staying in the Gosinga Sal tree woodland The Buddha visited them and praised them on their way of living, prac- tising the holy life with perfect harmony and concord amongst them- selves, thus forming an adornment to the lovely woodland park

(2) Mahagosihga Sutta

Once while the Buddha was residing in the GosiAga Sal tree woodland, the Venerable Sariputta asked the Buddha. "Who would most adorn this woodland park and enhance its beauty?" The dis- course records the different answers provided by the Venerables Revata, Anuruddha, Maha Kassapa, Maha Moggallana, Sariputta and by the Buddha himself.

(3) Mahagopalaka Sutta

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, explains the conditions under which the Teaching would grow and prosper and the conditions under which it would decline and decay. The example of a cowherd is given When a cowherd is equipped with eleven skills of managing and tending his cattle, there is progress and growth in his work So also when the bhikkhu is skilled and accomplished in eleven factors such as knowledge of truth about the khandhas, prac- tice of sfla, samadhi and paniia etc., the Teaching will grow and prosper.

(4) CCdagopalaka Sotta

This discourse deals with eleven factors, the failure to fulfil which would contribute to the downfall and ruin of the Teaching. Just as the cattle under the care of an unwise and unskilful cowherd crossed the river from a wrong quay on the bank and met with destruction instead of reaching the other shore, so also the followers of the teachers who were not accomplished in the knowledge of truth, khan- dhas, etc , would end up only in disaster

(5) Culasaccaka Sutta

This discourse, given at Vesali, gives an account of the debate between the Buddha and Saccaka the wandering ascetic on the subject of atta Saccaka maintained that rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana were one's atta It was atta which enjoyed the fruits of good deeds and suffered the consequences of bad deeds. The Buddha refuted his theory, pointing out that none of the khandhas was atta, each being subjected to the laws of anicca, dukkha and anatta, and not amenable to anyone's control. Saccaka had to admit his defeat in the presence of his followers.

(6) Mahasaccaka Sutta

The same Saccaka, the wandering ascetic, came again to the Buddha the next day and asked about the cultivation of mind and body. He knew only the wrong methods of developing concentration The Buddha explained to Saccaka the various practices he himself had followed and mistakes he had made until he found the Middle Path that finally led him to the realization of Nibbana

(7) Culatanhasankhaya Sutta

On enquiry by the king of devas how a disciple of the Buddha trained himself to realize Nibbana, the Buddha gave him a short des- cription of how a householder, after leaving his home, put himself on a course of training that gradually purified his mind of all moral defilements and led him to the final goal

(8) MaMtanhasankhaya Sutta

A disciple of the Buddha, Sati by name, held the view that the Buddha taught: 'The same consciousness transmigrates and wanders about". Other disciples tried to rid him of this wrong view but to no avail The Buddha told him that he never taught such wrong views He only taught "Consciousness arises out of conditions, there is no arising of consciousness without conditions"

(9) Maha-assapura Sutta

The people of Assapura, a market town of Anga country, were ardently devoted to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, help- ing and assisting the members of the Order by offering them the bhikkhu requisites Out of gratitude for such support, the Buddha urged the bhikkhus to make strenuous efforts in their training and practice of Dhamma, gradually going up stage by stage* starting from avoiding evil deeds by restraint of physical and vocal action, to pro- ceed to mental restraint through meditation, then progressing towards attainment of four stages of jhana, and finally to the stage where all moral defilements were eliminated and Nibbana was attained

(10) Cula-assapura Sutta

Out of gratitude for the support given by the lay devotees of Assapura, a market town in the country of Anga, the Buddha urged the bhikkhus to be worthy of the name of samana and brahmana Samana means one who has stilled his passions, brahmana one who has rid himself of defilements A bhikkhu should therefore subject himself to the course of discipline and practice as laid down by the Buddha until he had eliminated the twelve defilements such as envy, ill will, deceit, wrong views, etc.  

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