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Rahula Sutta

Rāhula Samyutta.– The eighteenth section of the Saṃyuttanikāya. It consists of a series of lessons given by the Buddha to Rāhula, showing him the fleeting nature of all things (S.ii.244‑56). Buddhaghosa says (MA.ii.635 f) that these suttas were taught on various occasions, from the time Rāhula entered the Order, to the time of his attainment of Arahantship. They contain mention of qualities that mature emancipation, (vimuttiparipācanīyadhammā). (SA.ii.159).

1. Rāhula Sutta.– The Buddha tells Rāhula that a monk should cultivate the thought that, in the four elements, either in one’s own body or in external objects, there is neither self nor what pertains to the self. A.ii.164; this same topic is discussed in greater detail in the Ambalaṭṭhika-Rāhulovāda Sutta.

Buddhaghosa says (AA.ii.547) that the Buddha here declares emptiness in four things (catukotikasuññatā)i.e., the four elements.

2. Rāhula Sutta.– Rāhula visits the Buddha and asks him how to get rid of the insidious idea of “I” and “mine,” both with regard to one’s own body and with all external objects. The Buddha replies that one should see things as they really are, that in none of the five aggregates is there any “I” or “mine.” This is right insight. S.iii.135; this sutta is given at S.ii.252 as Anusaya Sutta. Buddhaghosa describes both this sutta and the next as Rāhulovāda vipassanā (AA.ii.547).

3. Rāhula Sutta.– Similar to No.2. Rāhula asks how one’s mind can be removed from such vain conceits. S.iii.136. This sutta is given at S.ii.253 as the Apagata Sutta.

4. Rāhulovāda Sutta.– The discourse that brought about the attainment of Arahantship by Rāhula (S.iv.105 f). It is the same as the Cūḷarāhulovāda Sutta (q.v.)

5. Rāhula Sutta.– The eleventh sutta of the Cūḷa Vagga of the Suttanipāta. A series of stanzas that, according to Buddhaghosa (SNA.i.340), were frequently recited by the Buddha for the guidance of Rāhula. The Buddha reminds him that he (Rāhula) is a follower of “the torch-bearer among men.” He has left the world to put an end to sorrow. He should, therefore, associate with good friends, in good surroundings. He should be free from attachment to food or clothes. He should free his mind from all evil tendencies and fill it with thoughts of renunciation. SN. vv. 335‑42. Buddhaghosa says (MA.ii.532, 635) that the purpose of this sutta was to emphasize the value of good association (kalyāṇamittūpanissaya).

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