Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

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Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Sekha » Sun May 06, 2012 12:10 pm

It would be useful for me if you could list the 5 or 10 suttas that you consider as the most useful/important, or simply the first ones that come to your mind

thank you
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Dmytro » Sun May 06, 2012 12:34 pm

Hi Sekha,

I like the Chachakka sutta very much. And it the only sutta called by the Buddha "the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end; the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely complete, surpassingly pure".

It's also one of the few suttas, during the hearing of which, listeners attained Nibbana. They are:

Aditta-pariyaya SN 35.28
Chachakka MN 148
Mahaapu.n.nama MN 3.1.9 (109)
Anatta-lakkhana SN 22.59
Dvayatanupassana Snp III.12
Bahiya sutta Udana 1.10
Ti.msamatta SN 2.4.3
Aggikkhandhopama AN 7.7.8

:namaste:
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby bodom » Sun May 06, 2012 1:11 pm

Hi Sekha

See any one of these:

Suttas for the Householder
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=259

Especially:

DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — To Sigala/The Layperson's Code of Discipline
AN 5.176: Piti Sutta — Rapture
AN 8.54: Vyagghapajja (Dighajanu) Sutta — Conditions of Welfare/ To Dighajanu
AN 10.92: Vera Sutta — Animosity
AN 11.13: Mahanama Sutta — To Mahanama (2)
Sn 2.4: Maha-mangala Sutta — Protection

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby santa100 » Sun May 06, 2012 2:41 pm

The first ten suttas of the Majjhima Nikaya provide a solid intro. That's why they're called Mulapariyaya Vagga (Root Section).. (ref: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/index.html )
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 06, 2012 9:27 pm

Mahasatipatthana sutta
Mahamangala Sutta
Karaniya Metta Sutta
Anattalakkhana Sutta
Aditapariyaya Sutta
Dhammachakkhapavatina Sutta
Rhinocerous Sutta
Dhammapada (OK Not A Sutta propperly)
Anapanasati Sutta
Sallekha Sutta
I would also add any one of the suttas dealing with the Uposatha Precepts, and Dependent origination particularly those which deal with them in detail.
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:32 pm

The Satipatthana Sutta is a must read/understand/do
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 07, 2012 3:51 am

There are too many good ones, but here are some of my favorites:

Anguttara Nikaya 3.65 The Kalama Sutta
Digha Nikaya 1 Brahmajala Sutta
Digha Nikaya 16 Mahaparinibbana Sutta
Digha Nikaya 27 Aggañña Sutta
Majjhima Nikaya 10 Mahasatipatthana Sutta
KN: Sutta Nipata 2.14 Dhammika Sutta
KN: Sutta Nipata 1.8 Metta Sutta
Samyutta Nikaya 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 3.16
Anguttara Nikaya 9.35 Gavi Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 9.36 Jhana Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 4.10 Yoga Sutta
Angutara Nikaya 11.12 Mahanama Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 2.25 Neyyatha Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 3.62 Bhaya Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 10.13 Sanyojana Sutta

You might notice a pattern; yes the Anguttara Nikaya is my favorite Nikaya.
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Bagoba » Mon May 07, 2012 5:04 pm

Hi all,

Interesting posts. There's one thing that disturbs me about some of these suttas... For example one says that the Buddha was adressing 1,000 monks... Not 999, not 1,001... No, 1,000. No more no less. Are we supposed to take this as an exact figure? Also who counted them, and why? Also withouth a microphone, it would be hard to address such a large crowd without many not hearing the teaching... Also at the end it says the 1,000 monks were all released... Great but... I appreciate the wisdom in these suttas, but these extra détails seem to disturb my belief in their actual truth...

Just details you will say, true... What do you make of this?
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby suttametta » Mon May 07, 2012 5:29 pm

SN 56.11 "Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta"
AN 10.29 "Kosala Sutta"
AN 1.49 "Pabhassara Sutta"
MN III, 3.8 "Upakilesa Sutta"
DN 11 "Kevatta Sutta"
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Sekha » Mon May 07, 2012 11:06 pm

Bagoba wrote:Hi all,

Interesting posts. There's one thing that disturbs me about some of these suttas... For example one says that the Buddha was adressing 1,000 monks... Not 999, not 1,001... No, 1,000. No more no less. Are we supposed to take this as an exact figure? Also who counted them, and why? Also withouth a microphone, it would be hard to address such a large crowd without many not hearing the teaching... Also at the end it says the 1,000 monks were all released... Great but... I appreciate the wisdom in these suttas, but these extra détails seem to disturb my belief in their actual truth...

Just details you will say, true... What do you make of this?

interesting question. I don't have the time right now to answer it properly.

you can check this interesting article http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... nsions.pdf where Bhante Analayo shows that the same story is told in two different suttas, but they differ at the end as to whether the person becomes a simple lay follower or a bhikkhu and eventually an arahant. These suttas are SN 7.11 and Ud 1.4

This demonstrates that all these details are not to be taken to the letter. And anyway, the Buddha advises us not to accept anything that we have not cross-checked ourselves in our own experience (cf Kalama sutta for example).
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http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby icyteru » Tue May 08, 2012 3:57 am

Anapanasati sutta
Mahasatipatthana sutta
:anjali:
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Dmytro » Thu May 10, 2012 3:47 pm

Hi Bagoba,

Bagoba wrote:Interesting posts. There's one thing that disturbs me about some of these suttas... For example one says that the Buddha was adressing 1,000 monks... Not 999, not 1,001... No, 1,000. No more no less. Are we supposed to take this as an exact figure? Also who counted them, and why?


Obviously this is a round number. Someone who participated in these events, and has become a monk, estimated the number.

Also withouth a microphone, it would be hard to address such a large crowd without many not hearing the teaching...


Not too large a crowd, about 20x20 meters. Quite feasible.

Also at the end it says the 1,000 monks were all released... Great but... I appreciate the wisdom in these suttas, but these extra détails seem to disturb my belief in their actual truth...


These ascetics practiced restraint and concentration on the fire element for years. They were able, but did not have the last part of the Path, development of wisdom. So when the Buddha masterfully employed their favourite concentration subject in teaching them wisdom, they comprehended his teaching.

There are few such suttas (see my list above), and thousand attainers is the highest number. So the accounts are realistic.

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Dmytro » Thu May 10, 2012 4:06 pm

Hi Sekha,

Sekha wrote:you can check this interesting article http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... nsions.pdf where Bhante Analayo shows that the same story is told in two different suttas, but they differ at the end as to whether the person becomes a simple lay follower or a bhikkhu and eventually an arahant. These suttas are SN 7.11 and Ud 1.4


Evidently you imply the suttas SN 7.11 ans Sn 1.4. Analayo writes:

These two discourses treat the same event but differ in their conclusion, as according to the Samyuttanikaya account Kasibharadvaja took refuge and declared himself to be a lay follower, while according to the Sutta-nipata version he took refuge, requested ordination and became an arahant.


That's another misconception spread by Analayo. As anyone who actually reads the suttas can see, in Samyutta nikaya account Kasi Bharadvaja eventually becomes an arahant:

Then the brahman Kasi Bharadvaja obtained the going forth in the Blessed One's presence, he obtained admission. And not long after his admission — dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the celibate life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the celibate life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And so Ven. Bharadvaja became another one of the arahants.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

This demonstrates that all these details are not to be taken to the letter.


This demonstrates Analayo's writings are not to be taken to the letter.

And anyway, the Buddha advises us not to accept anything that we have not cross-checked ourselves in our own experience (cf Kalama sutta for example).


Buddha does not ever advise such a thing. In Kalama Sutta he advises the listeners to check themselves the consequences of various types of behaviour.

As for accepting or not the accounts of the Buddha's teaching, he recommends applying the "Four Great References" described in Mahaparinibbana sutta.

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Mr Man » Thu May 10, 2012 5:57 pm

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
Anattalakkhana Sutta
Sedaka Sutta
:anjali:
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Bakmoon » Wed May 16, 2012 2:28 pm

Bagoba wrote:Hi all,

Interesting posts. There's one thing that disturbs me about some of these suttas... For example one says that the Buddha was adressing 1,000 monks... Not 999, not 1,001... No, 1,000. No more no less. Are we supposed to take this as an exact figure? Also who counted them, and why? Also withouth a microphone, it would be hard to address such a large crowd without many not hearing the teaching... Also at the end it says the 1,000 monks were all released... Great but... I appreciate the wisdom in these suttas, but these extra détails seem to disturb my belief in their actual truth...

Just details you will say, true... What do you make of this?


I think the reason you are having problems with the suttas is that you are trying to read them as detailed historical accounts. Like most works from the ancient world, the suttas were never intended to be a play-by-play of what the things they describe, but as a means of teaching. When the suttas were composed, no one was thinking "now, it is very important for us to all make sure that the introductions keep a careful record of who was present and how many." People weren't worried about such details in those times.

The reasons why these introductions are even part of the suttas isn't to give us some sort of historical record, but so that we would understand the context of the sutta (i.e. whether it was a talk given to a particular monk, a small group of people, or to a large crowd). When you understand this, you realize that these numbers were never intended to be taken literally, but were simply a literary device to help 'set the scene' so to speak.
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Sekha » Thu May 31, 2012 7:55 am

Dmytro wrote:That's another misconception spread by Analayo. As anyone who actually reads the suttas can see, in Samyutta nikaya account Kasi Bharadvaja eventually becomes an arahant:

Then the brahman Kasi Bharadvaja... another one of the arahants.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Actually I was perfectly aware of this fact. But if you really "actually read" the sutta in its Pali version, you will find that in all Burmese, Thai and Singhalese editions, SN7.11 ends with the pericope:

Esāhaṃ bhavantaṃ gotamaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi dhammañca bhikkhusaṅghañca. Upāsakaṃ maṃ bhavaṃ gotamo dhāretu ajjatagge pāṇupetaṃ saraṇaṃ gata’’nti.


Both Than B and Piyadassi Thera rectified the mistake in their translation. SN 7's first vagga deals with Brahmans becoming arahants at the end of the story, whereas in the second vagga they become only lay followers. It is probable that the mistake comes from the fact that the first vagga may have used to contain 11 suttas, including SN7.11, but at some point, maybe for the sake of round figures, the first vagga would have been shortened to 10 suttas and SN7.11 would have slipped into the second vagga, which implied a change in the pericope.

So Bhante Analayo was right and this does prove that this kind of details of little interest in the suttas are not to be taken to the letter.


Dmytro wrote:
And anyway, the Buddha advises us not to accept anything that we have not cross-checked ourselves in our own experience (cf Kalama sutta for example).


Buddha does not ever advise such a thing. In Kalama Sutta he advises the listeners to check themselves the consequences of various types of behaviour.


Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.


don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' = the Buddha advises us not to accept anything...

When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them = not to accept anything that we have not cross-checked ourselves in our own experience...
Last edited by Sekha on Thu May 31, 2012 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Sekha » Thu May 31, 2012 8:00 am

Bakmoon wrote:The reasons why these introductions are even part of the suttas isn't to give us some sort of historical record, but so that we would understand the context of the sutta (i.e. whether it was a talk given to a particular monk, a small group of people, or to a large crowd). When you understand this, you realize that these numbers were never intended to be taken literally, but were simply a literary device to help 'set the scene' so to speak.

:goodpost:
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby hanzze_ » Thu May 31, 2012 8:05 am

Not really one sutta, but a good composing which also clarifies the ongoing misunderstanding here: "Faith In Awakening" The Kalama-sutta is one of my favorite, but you can not trust your self all the time and even this is good pointed out, but beloved to ignore.
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu May 31, 2012 8:45 am

Sekha wrote:It would be useful for me if you could list the 5 or 10 suttas that you consider as the most useful/important, or simply the first ones that come to your mind

thank you

Just for you, The Sekha Sutta. :)

I don't think anyone should limit their reading to just five or ten suttas. The best teaching for any individual depends on their particular abilities and interests, and this changes with time. So read widely, and when you find something of special interest, study it carefully.
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Re: Which suttas do you consider as the most important?

Postby Sekha » Thu May 31, 2012 8:55 am

Thank you Bhante.

The question is actually to help me decide which suttas to work on in priority in the style of this one (as it is a lot of work):

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 6-011.html
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As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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