Question: Madhupindika & Mahanidana

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Question: Madhupindika & Mahanidana

Post by RichardN » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:06 pm


I wonder if Madupindika and Mahanidana are both teachings of dependent origination?

The monk gave a Dharma talk last week that seemed to me to be entirely around what I "labeled" in my notebook: dependent origination. I thought he was referring to Mahanidana throughout the talk, so when he said that for those of us reading suttas, we ought to consider looking at Madupinkdika, I was surprised (and pleased: at that time, I had no experience with Madupinkdika and was excited to dive in).

I will definitely need more time with Madupinkdika, however, right now I unable to see the two not being on the same subject matter.

Do you have more experience with these two suttas, and if so, would you be open to sharing your insights?

Thank you in advance for any discussion on this.

May you be well.


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Re: Question: Madhupindika & Mahanidana

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:40 pm

Welcome Richard,
RichardN wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:06 pm

I wonder if Madupindika and Mahanidana are both teachings of dependent origination?
You mean these suttas?

The Great Discourse on Causation, Mahānidāna Sutta DN 15
The Honey-Cake, Madhupiṇḍika Sutta MN 18

Personally, I would say that they are both about Dependent Origination, along with the close to 100 suttas in this section of the Samyutta Nikaya: Nidāna Saṃyutta and a number of others...

See also Section IX(4) of:
In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14640
and the Introduction to Chapter IX, Shining the Light of Wisdom, linked there.


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Re: Question: Madhupindika & Mahanidana

Post by RichardN » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:36 am

Hello Mikeenz66:

Thank you so much for your generous response. The links you provided are wonderful and helpful.

:heart: RN

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Re: Question: Madhupindika & Mahanidana

Post by salayatananirodha » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:12 am

When this was said, the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, just as if a man exhausted by hunger and weakness came upon a honeyball, wherever he would taste it he would find a sweet delectable flavour; so too, venerable sir, any able-minded bhikkhu, wherever he might scrutinize with wisdom the meaning of this discourse on the Dhamma, would find satisfaction and confidence of mind. Venerable sir, what is the name of this discourse on the Dhamma?”

“As to that, Ānanda, you may remember this discourse on the Dhamma as ‘The Honeyball Discourse.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Ānanda was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

quite delectable and nourishing, like honey. it would be advisable to partake of this nectar in order to become spiritually wealthy.

I wanted to inject this into the discourse:
...discourses that are words of the Tathagata — [deep, deep] in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness...
from SN 20.7
I'm leading up to the essence of the Dhamma, which is teaching on dependent arising (or origination).

In the words of the Buddha: "He who sees dependent arising sees the Dhamma; he who sees the Dhamma sees dependent arising."
(MN 28)

"But what is your teacher's teaching? What does he proclaim?''

"I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & Discipline. I cannot explain the Dhamma in detail, but I will tell you the gist in brief."

Then Sariputta the wanderer spoke thus to the Ven. Assaji:

Speak a little or a lot,
but tell me just the gist.
The gist is what I want.
What use is a lot of verbosity?

Then Ven. Assaji gave this Dhamma exposition to Sariputta the Wanderer:

Whatever phenomena arise from cause:
their cause
& their cessation.
Such is the teaching of the Tathagata,
the Great Contemplative.

further evidence that dependent arising is so critical
In turn, every teaching contains a teaching on it, also called paṭicca samuppāda
Then to Sariputta the wanderer, as he heard this Dhamma exposition, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."

Even if just this is the Dhamma,
you have penetrated
to the Sorrowless (asoka) State
unseen, overlooked (by us)
for many myriads of aeons.

It is said that Sāriputta (formerly Upatissa and one of the Lord's two foremost disciples) attains stream-entry on hearing only the first two lines recited.

Continuing to drive this point home,

“Both formerly and now, it is only suffering that I describe, and the cessation of suffering.”
The Buddha (from the Sutta Nipata)

There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how [deep] its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and [deep] its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.

(from DN 15) bear in mind the italics are not originally part of the discourse. I only wished to highlight the word for my disquisition.
In conclusion, the two suttas you mentioned are more than excellent and will carry you very far as long as you apply your mind to them. Some may say that dependent arising is not an essential teaching but they couldn't be more wrong in so saying. If you'd like a venerable monk of many years of forest hermitage to help explain, I recommend "The Law of Dependent Arising" by K.N.S.S.B. which you can download for free at
sādhu and May I have only helped guide your discourse and not hindered it in any way! :anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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Re: Question: Madhupindika & Mahanidana

Post by RichardN » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:04 pm

May I have only helped guide your discourse and not hindered it in any way
You have helped with kindness and great generosity, thank you so very much!

May you be well,

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