Deals with the three warning messengers of death — the sight of old age, the sight of illness, and the sight of death. The man who fails to pay heed to these messengers and is guilty of unrighteousness is condemned by Yama to the tortures of the Mahānirayas, which are described in detail (A.i.138 f; cp. Maghādeva Jātaka).
The same sutta, with several variations, is given at greater length in the Majjhimanikāya (M.iii.178 ﬀ), where five messengers are spoken of, the first and fourth being the sight of a new-
The Majjhimanikāya version of the sutta is given (e.g., MA.i.135) as an example of a discourse where the Buddha starts the discourse with a simile and then teaches the Doctrine.