This sutta gathers various instructions the Buddha gave for the sake of his followers after his passing away, which makes it be a very important set of instructions. THUS HAVE I HEARD. Once the Lord was staying at Rajagaha on the mountain called Vultures’ Peak. Now just then King Ajatasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha. A historical analysis of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the. Digha Nikaya of the Pali Canon. by. Ven. Pategama Gnanarama Ph. D. The Mission Accomplished is .

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Updated on 19 December, The translation is based on that by T. This translation dates fromso the language is inevitably very dated.

I have replaced archaic terms, and done my best to make it easy to read. My own comments on the translation use a different colour and indented paragraph settings to distinguish them from the translation of the actual text.

I have also added footnote references and hyperlinks for further study. The many footnotes made by Rhys Davids, which are of a scholarly nature, have been omitted.

Sitta famous discourses side-by-side with a translation is the most enjoyable way to learn and familiarise oneself with sentence structure. Links from the paragraph numbers of the translation, link to the next numbered paragraph of the translation. Every Buddhist should know about the important teachings contained in this Sutta.

Thus have I heard. So nothing unusual there — the war was waged over valuable property. On arriving there he exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments of friendship and civility, sat down respectfully by his side [and then delivered to him the message even as the king had commanded ].

Now, Gotama, we must go; we mahaparinnibbana busy, and have much to do. It seems to have been a democratic republic rather than a kingdom like most of the other regions of India at that time. The same seven things will protect present-day governments too, and should be followed by societies and organisations that want to prosper and overcome their enemies and detractors. Modern parliaments are rather discordant and adversarial.

In extreme cases, one sees fights breaking out in parliaments over controversial debates. That kind of behaviour does not augur well for the prosperity of any nation. It is vital to learn how to debate and come to a consensus, without sowing discord and distrust. He did so, and returned to the Blessed One, and informed him, saying: The Blessed One arose, and went to the Service Hall; and when he was seated, he addressed the monks, saying: Listen and pay careful attention, and I will speak.

As long as the monks establish these seven things in themselves, they can be expected to prosper and not to decline. It is conservative, showing respect to the elders and the traditions, not establishing new regulations, nor revoking the established ones.

It also advises to live a life of contentment and solitude, not craving material things, fame, or influence, which only foment discord mahaparinibbbana dissatisfaction. Nowadays, this advice is seldom heeded. Many monks advocate changing the Vinaya rules mahaparinbibana suit modern times. Some crave wealth, fame, and influence. A few even go so far as to get involved in politics.

This behaviour mahalarinibbana remote from the ideals of a recluse or alms mendicant, who depends on charity. Those forest monks who practice meditation, and strive to develop morality, concentration, and wisdom, have no dealings with money.

Mahaparinibbana Sutta

So long as these conditions shall continue to exist among the monks, so long as they are instructed in these conditions, so long may mahaparinibbaha monks be expected to prosper and not to decline. It goes on to say that rehearsing the texts, attending to shrines, etc. A monk was constantly sweeping the rooms of the monastery.


He criticised the Elder Revata who was always meditating. The elder advised him sjtta sweep the monastery before almsround, and to mahaaparinibbana the day in meditation, sweeping again in the evening if he wished. He followed this advice and in due course attained Arahantship.

The monks wondered if he had attained Arahantship and told the Buddha what he had said. Concerning his change of attitude, the Buddha uttered this verse Dhp v There are two main duties for bhikkhus: The other duty is to practise insight meditation, and maahparinibbana also includes the develop of tranquillity meditation samathawhich may serve as a basis for insight. In brief, monks should not be lazy — there are many duties that they should fulfil.

As their basic needs are provided by pious lay supporters, and have no relatives to support, they have plenty of time to study, teach, and meditate. As long as the monks establish these seven things in themselves, they can be expected to prosper, not to decline. As long as they maintain perfectly without any stain or blemish the rules of conduct, which are conducive to concentration and liberation.

As long as they maintain the noble view that leads to the utter destruction of suffering, they can be expected to prosper, not to decline. Great is the fruit, great the benefit of concentration when protected by concentration. The mind protected by wisdom is freed from the corruptions, that is to say, from the corruption of sensuality, from the corruption of becoming, and from the corruption of ignorance.

I have such faith in the Blessed One, that I think there never has been, nor will there be, nor is there now any other, whether a recluse or a Brahmin, who is greater and wiser than the Blessed One, that is to say, as regards the higher wisdom. Do you then comprehend with your mind the minds all the Blessed Ones who in ages past have been Arahant Buddhas, are you aware what their conduct was, what was their teaching, what was their wisdom, what their mode of life, and what liberation they attained?

Why, then, are your words so grand and bold? I do not have the knowledge of the minds of the Arahant Buddhas that existed in the past, will exist in the future, and exist now. I only know the lineage of the faith. Just, Venerable sir, as a king might have a border city, with strong foundations, walls, and with only one gate; and the king might have a watchman there, clever, expert, and wise, to stop all strangers and admit only friends.

On inspecting the walls all around the city, he might inspect all the joints in the walls to know that there were no gaps where any creature bigger than a cat could get out.

He would know that all living things larger than a cat that entered or left the city would have to do so by that gate. Thus only is it, Venerable sir, that I know the lineage of the faith.

I know that the Arahant Buddhas of the past, abandoning the five hindrances; knowing all those mental faults that weaken wisdom; establishing their minds firmly in the four foundations of mindfulness; thoroughly developing the seven factors of enlightenment, attained incomparable Enlightenment.

I know that the Arahant Buddhas of the times to come will do the same, and I know that the Blessed One, the Arahant Buddha of today has done so mahaaprinibbana. The Dhammapada verse 97 refers to him as an excellent man who is not credulous. Since he had realised the Paths and Fruits he did not take it on faith in the Buddha.

The monks talked among themselves that the elder had no faith in the Buddha. In this extraordinary verse, the Buddha used mahaparinkbbana tactics to awaken the thirty forest-dwelling monks to the truth. It shows the method used by an intelligent person who should examine any religious teaching thoroughly.


It also shows that some things should be accepted though they are beyond our personal direct knowledge. We should change our behaviour, speech, thought, and view accordingly, having inferred the right conclusion.

Studying the original discourses will help, but there is no substitute for personal realisation. Those Buddhists who have never practised meditation properly, entertain doubts about the Dhamma and so visit astrologers or non-Buddhist teachers looking for something easier than observing moral purity, gaining concentration, and developing wisdom.

To follow the Middle Path is not easy — one must avoid sensual indulgence, which most people are very attached to, mahqparinibbana one must avoid wrong views too. Those who put off the practice of meditation for their old age, until the next life, or think that they do not need to practise meditation, have fallen into wrong views.

Morality is unstable and imperfect unless it is protected mzhaparinibbana concentration and wisdom. Even modern materialists and non-Buddhists practise charity and observe morality, a Buddhist must meditate mahaparinibbans. Right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, right thought, and right view are essential, otherwise, one will not be able to practise right speech, right action, mahaparinibhana right livelihood.

One will not even know what they are! On arriving there mahaparinibvana made the rest house fit in every way for occupation, placed seats in it, set up a water-pot, and fixed an oil lamp.

DN16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta: The Great Passing

Then they returned to the Blessed One, and bowing, stood beside him, saying: It is time for you to do whatever you see fit. The monks also, after washing their feet, entered the hall, and took their seats around the Blessed One, against the western wall, and facing the east. It makes sense to have the teaching monk sitting in the centre of the hall, where he can be heard by everyone without mahaprinibbana aid of loudspeakers.

This is the first danger for the immoral through the loss of morality. Morality is of two kinds: Restraint from evil deeds means the observance of the five precepts, i. Morality of good conduct is of many kinds. While actually engaged in manaparinibbana evil deed such as stealing the evil-doer is expending a great deal of time and effort to succeed in stealing mahaparjnibbana property while avoiding detection. For example, smugglers may spend weeks digging a tunnel to smuggle contraband, only to maha;arinibbana that their efforts have been wasted if the tunnel is discovered.

Even if they evade capture, they may have to hide out for weeks or travel long distances to escape, suffering loss of their own property in the process, and being unable to do any legal employment during that period. If they are captured for a crime, charged and imprisoned, they suffer even greater loss due to not being able to work for some years. mahqparinibbana

An Exposition of the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

This is the second danger for the immoral through the loss of morality. On release from prison, it is extremely hard for the prisoner to find work because of his or her criminal record. If someone is dismissed from a sktta due to mahaparinibbama they may not be able to provide a good job reference. This is the third danger for the immoral through the loss of morality. No ordinary person is perfect in morality, but one who has defective morality will have made many enemies and will always be looking over his or her shoulder to see who is present who might reveal past misdeeds.

A Stream-winner is entirely free from moral defects, and is open-hearted regarding whatever misdeeds he or she may have done in the past. Having nothing to hide and no wish to lie to conceal any faults, he or she is self-confident and fearless.