Majjhima Nikāya Lectures

Last updated on April 15, 2008

A Systematic Study of the
Majjhima Nikāya
“Exploring the Word of the Buddha”
Taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi
January 2003 — December 2007
at Bodhi Monastery, 67 Lawrence Road, Lafayette NJ 07848 U.S.A.

Book used:The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi

Click here to view the syllabus of this course.

This course delves into the direct teachings of the Buddha himself as preserved in some of the oldest records of his discourses. As the themes of the Buddha’s discourses are mutually implicative and closely interwoven, it will not take long for the earnest student to acquire a clear sense of the fundamental framework of the teachings. The student is given a detailed overview of all the major teachings of Early Buddhism, including:

NOTE: All of the MN Series audio files have been re-edited for better sound quality, and the entire series will soon be available on CDs.

Introduction

M0000_Intro: 2003.01.07
An introduction to the organization of the Pali Canon and to some of the background conditions in India from which the Suttas arose.

I. The Buddha’s Enlightenment

M0001_MN-026: 2003.01.14
MN 26: Ariyapariyesanā Sutta — The Noble Search
(through paragraph 18)

M0002_MN-004: 2003.01.21
MN 4: Bhayabherava Sutta — Fear and Dread
Realization of the three knowledges

M0003_MN-004: 2003.01.28
MN 4: Bhayabherava Sutta — Fear and Dread
(continued)

M0004_MN-036: 2003.02.04
MN 36: Mahāsaccaka Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Saccaka
The discovery of the middle way

M0005_MN-036: 2003.02.11
MN 36: Mahāsaccaka Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Saccaka
(continued through paragraph 44)
MN 26: Ariyapariyesanā Sutta — The Noble Search
(return to MN 26 from paragraph 18 through paragraph 30)

II. Approaching the Dhamma

1. Making wise choices

M0006_AN-03_065: 2003.02.25    handout: Sutta text
AN 3:65: Kālāma Sutta — To the Kālāmas

M0007_MN-060: 2003.03.04    table: Wrong Views
MN 60: Apaṇṇaka Sutta — The Incontrovertible Teachings
Rejecting wrong views

M0008_MN-060: 2003.03.11
MN 60: Apaṇṇaka Sutta — The Incontrovertible Teachings
(continued)

2. Test the Buddha himself

M0009_MN-047: 2003.03.18
MN 47: Vimaṃsaka Sutta — The Inquirer

3. Faith, practice, and attainment

M0010_MN-095: 2003.03.25
MN 95: Cankī Sutta — With Cankī

M0011_MN-095: 2003.04.01
MN 95: Cankī Sutta —With Cankī
(continued)

III. The Ethical Life

1. Four ways of life

M0012_MN-046: 2003.04.08
MN 46: Mahādhammasamādāna Sutta — The Greater Discourse on Ways of Undertaking Things

M0013_MN-046: 2003.04.15
MN 46: Mahādhammasamādāna Sutta —The Greater Discourse on Ways of Undertaking Things
(continued)

2. Karma and its results

M0014_MN-057: 2003.04.22
MN 57: Kukkuravatika Sutta — The Dog-Duty Ascetic
The lawfulness of karma

M0015_MN-135: 2003.04.30    table: The Law of Karma
MN 135: Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta — The Shorter Exposition of Action

3. The path to a higher rebirth

M0016_MN-041: 2003.05.06
MN 41: Sāleyyaka Sutta — The Brahmins of Sālā

4. Right speech and patience

M0017_MN-061: 2003.05.13
MN 61: Ambalaṭṭhikārāhulovāda Sutta — Advice to Rāhula at Ambalaṭṭhikā

M0018_MN-021: 2003.05.27
MN 21: Kakacūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Saw

IV. Deepening One’s Perspectives on the World

1. The faults of the worldly life

M0019_MN-013: 2003.06.03
MN 13: Mahādukkhakkhanda Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Mass of Suffering

2. The shortcomings in sensual pleasures

M0020_MN-054: 2003.06.10
MN 54: Potaliya Sutta — To Potaliya

M0021_MN-075: 2003.06.17
MN 75: Māgandiya Sutta — To Māgandiya
Sensual pleasure are burning

M0022_MN-075: 2003.07.08
MN 75: Māgandiya Sutta —To Māgandiya
(continued)

3. The misery of saṃsāra

M0023_SN-15: 2003.07.15    handout: Selected suttas
SN 15: Anamataggasaṃyutta Sutta — Connected Discourses on Without Discoverable Beginning
Beginningless saṃsāra

4. Raṭṭhapāla and the call to renunciation

M0024_MN-082: 2003.07.30
MN 82: Raṭṭhapāla Sutta — On Raṭṭhapāla

V. The Path to Liberation

1. The purpose of the spiritual life

M0025_MN-063: 2003.08.05
MN 63: Cuḷamālunkya sutta —The Shorter Discourse to Mālunkyāputta
Avoid vain speculation

M0026_MN-029: 2004.01.20
MN 29: Mahāsāropama Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Heartwood

M0027_MN-029: 2004.02.10
MN 29: Mahāsāropama Sutta —The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Heartwood
(concluded)
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta — The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
The gradual training

2. The gradual training

M0028_MN-027: 2004.02.17    table: The Ten Qualities of the Buddha
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0029_MN-027: 2004.02.24    table: The Four Jhanas and Their Factors
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0030_MN-027: 2004.03.02    table: Defilements, Antidotes, and Abandonment
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0031_MN-027: 2004.03.09
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0032_MN-027: 2004.03.23
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0033_MN-039: 2004.03.30
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)
MN 39: Mahā-Assapura Sutta — What makes one a monk?

M0034_MN-027: 2004.04.06
MN 27: Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta —The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(concluded)

3. What makes one a monk?

M0035_MN-040: 2004.05.09
MN 40: Cūḷa-Assapura Sutta — The Shorter Discourse at Assapura

4. The benefits of virtue

M0036_MN-006: 2004.05.18
MN 6: Ākankheyya Sutta — If a Bhikkhu Should Wish

M0037_MN-006: 2004.05.25
MN 6: Ākankheyya Sutta —If a Bhikkhu Should Wish
(continued)

4. Purifying the mind

M0038_MN-019: 2004.06.01
MN 19: Dvedhāvitakka — Two Classes of Thoughts

M0039_MN-020: 2004.06.08
MN 20: Vitakkasaṇṭhāna — The Removal of Distracting Thoughts

M0040_MN-007: 2004.06.15    table: Sixteen Mental Defilements
MN 7: Vatthūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Cloth

M0041_MN-007: 2004.06.22
MN 7: Vatthūpama Sutta —The Simile of the Cloth
(continued)

M0042_MN-008: 2004.08.10
MN 8: Sallekha Sutta — Effacement
Erasing defilements

M0043_MN-008: 2004.08.17
MN 8: Sallekha Sutta — Effacement
Erasing defilements
(continued)

M0044_MN-008: 2004.08.24
MN 8: Sallekha Sutta —Effacement
Erasing defilements
(continued)

4. Eliminating the taints

M0045_MN-002: 2004.08.31    table: Fetters, Latent Tendencies, and Influxes
MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta — All the Taints

M0046_MN-002: 2004.09.07
MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta —All the Taints
(continued)

M0047_MN-002: 2004.09.14
MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta —All the Taints
(continued)

M0048_MN-002: 2004.09.21
MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta —All the Taints
(continued)

VI. The Practice in Detail

1. The Noble Eightfold Path

M0049_MN-117: 2004.09.28
MN 117: Mahācattārīsaka Sutta — The Greater Forty

M0050_MN-117: 2004.10.05
MN 117: Mahācattārīsaka Sutta — The Greater Forty
(continued)

M0051_MN-117: 2004.10.12
MN 117: Mahācattārīsaka Sutta — The Greater Forty
(continued)

2. The way of mindfulness

M0052_MN-010: 2004.10.19    table: The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness

M0053_MN-010: 2004.10.26
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0054_MN-010: 2004.11.09
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0055_MN-010: 2004.11.16
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0056_MN-010: 2004.11.23
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0057_MN-010: 2004.11.30
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0058_MN-010: 2004.12.14    table: The Five Hindrances
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0059_MN-010: 2005.01.04    table: The Five Aggregates
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0060_MN-010: 2005.01.18
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

M0061_MN-010: 2005.01.25    table: The Seven Enlightenment Factors
MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta — The Foundations of Mindfulness
(continued)

3. Mindfulness of breathing

M0062_MN-118: 2005.04.05
MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta — Mindfulness of Breathing

M0063_MN-118: 2005.04.12
MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta — Mindfulness of Breathing
(continued)

M0064_MN-118: 2005.04.19
MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta — Mindfulness of Breathing
(continued)

M0065_MN-118: 2005.04.26
MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta — Mindfulness of Breathing
(continued)

4. The aids to enlightenment, etc.

M0066_MN-077: 2005.05.03
MN 77: Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Sakuludayin

M0067_MN-077: 2005.05.10
MN 77: Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin
(continued)

M0068_MN-077: 2005.05.17
MN 77: Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin
(continued)

M0069_MN-077: 2005.05.24
MN 77: Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin
(continued)

M0070_MN-077: 2005.05.31
MN 77: Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin
(continued)

M0071_MN-077: 2005.06.21
MN 77: Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin
(continued)

VII. The Cultivation of Wisdom

1. Right view

M0072_MN-009: 2005.08.09
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View

M0073_MN-009: 2005.08.16
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0074_MN-009: 2005.08.23
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0075_MN-009: 2005.08.30
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0076_MN-009: 2005.09.06
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0077_MN-009: 2005.09.13    table: Difficult Links in Dependent Origination
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0078_MN-009: 2005.09.20
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0079_MN-009: 2005.09.27
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0080_MN-009: 2005.10.04
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0081_MN-009: 2005.10.11
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0082_MN-009: 2005.10.18
MN 9: Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta — Right View
(continued)

M0083_MN-011: 2005.10.25
MN 11: Cūḷasīhanāda Sutta — The Shorter Discourse on the Lion’s Roar

M0084_MN-011: 2005.11.01
MN 11: Cūḷasīhanāda Sutta — The Shorter Discourse on the Lion’s Roar
(continued)

M0085_MN-022: 2005.11.08
MN 22: Alaggūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Snake

M0086_MN-022: 2005.11.15
MN 22: Alaggūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Snake
(continued)

M0087_MN-022: 2005.11.29
MN 22: Alaggūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Snake
(continued)

M0088_MN-022: 2005.12.07
MN 22: Alaggūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Snake
(continued)

M0089_MN-022: 2005.12.13
MN 22: Alaggūpama Sutta — The Simile of the Snake
(continued)

M0090_MN-038: 2006.01.10
MN 38: Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving

M0091_MN-038: 2006.01.17
MN 38: Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving
(continued)

M0092_MN-038: 2006.01.24    table: Dependent Origination
MN 38: Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving
(continued)

M0093_MN-038: 2006.01.31
MN 38: Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving
(continued)

M0094_MN-038: 2006.02.07
MN 38: Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving
(continued)

2. Penetrative insight

M0095_MN-148: 2006.09.05
MN 148: Chachakka Sutta — The Six Sets of Six

M0096_MN-148: 2006.09.12
MN 148: Chachakka Sutta — The Six Sets of Six
(continued)

M0097_MN-148: 2006.09.19
MN 148: Chachakka Sutta — The Six Sets of Six
(continued)

M0098_MN-146: 2006.09.26
MN 146: Nandakovāda Sutta — Advice from Nandaka

M0099_MN-146: 2006.10.03
MN 146: Nandakovāda Sutta — Advice from Nandaka
(continued)

M0100_MN-149: 2006.10.10
MN 149: Mahāsaḷāyatanika Sutta — The Great Sixfold Base

M0101_MN-028: 2006.10.17
MN 28: Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0102_MN-028: 2006.10.24
MN 28: Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta —The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0103_MN-028: 2006.10.31
MN 28: Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta —The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint
(continued)

M0104_MN-064: 2006.11.14
MN 64: Mahāmalunkya Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Mālunkyāputta

M0105_MN-064: 2006.11.21
MN 64: Mahāmalunkya Sutta — The Greater Discourse to Mālunkyāputta
(continued)

3. Final realization

M0106_MN-052: 2006.12.05      tables: Divine Abodes and Formless Samapattis
MN 52: Aṭṭhakanāgara Sutta — The Man from Aṭṭhakanāgara

M0107_MN-140: 2006.12.19
MN 140: Dhātuvibhanga Sutta — The Exposition of the Elements

M0108_MN-140: 2007.01.09
MN 140: Dhātuvibhanga Sutta — The Exposition of the Elements
(continued)

M0109_MN-140: 2007.01.16
MN 140: Dhātuvibhanga Sutta — The Exposition of the Elements
(continued)

4. A typology of persons

M0110_MN-001: 2007.01.23      table: Mulapariyaya
MN 1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta — The Root of All Things

M0111_MN-001: 2007.01.30
MN 1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta — The Root of All Things
(continued)

M0112_MN-001: 2007.02.06
MN 1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta — The Root of All Things
(continued)

5. A typology of noble disciples

M0113_MN-070: 2007.03.20      table: Connected Discourses on Entering
MN 70: Kīṭāgiri Sutta — At Kīṭāgiri

M0114_MN-070: 2007.03.27
MN 70: Kīṭāgiri Sutta — At Kīṭāgiri
(continued)

VIII. The Tathāgata

M0115_MN-012: 2007.05.03
MN 12: Mahāsīhanāda Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar

M0116_MN-012: 2007.05.08
MN 12: Mahāsīhanāda Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar
(continued)

M0117_MN-012: 2007.06.05
MN 12: Mahāsīhanāda Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar
(continued)

M0118_MN-012: 2007.06.12
MN 12: Mahāsīhanāda Sutta — The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar
(continued)

IX. Life in the Sangha

1. Monks living in harmony

M0119_MN-031: 2007.10.09
MN 31: Cūḷagosinga Sutta — The Minor Discourse in the Gosinga Forest

2. The ideal monk

M0120_MN-032: 2007.10.23
MN 32: Mahāgosinga Sutta — The Greater Discourse in the Gosinga Forest

3. A recalcitrant monk

M0121_MN-065: 2007.11.13
MN 65: Bhaddāli Sutta — To Bhaddāli

4. Guidelines for future harmony

M0122_MN-104: 2007.11.20
MN 104: Sāmagāma Sutta — At Sāmagāma

5. After the Buddha’s parinibbāna

M0123_MN-108: 2007.12.11
MN 108: Gopakamoggallāna Sutta — With Gopaka Moggallāna

IX. Additional talks on the Majjhima Nikāya

M0124_MN-003: 2008.03.25
MN 3: Dhammadāyāda Sutta — Heirs in Dhamma

M0125_MN-005: 2008.04.01
MN 5: Anangaṇa Sutta — Without Blemishes

 

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©2008 Bhikkhu Bodhi