Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Mahakassapa was dwelling at Savatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, in the morning, the Venerable Ānanda dressed and, taking bowl and robe, he approached the Venerable Mahakassapa and said: “Come, Venerable Kassapa, let us go to the bhikkhunīs’ quarters.” 
“You go, friend Ānanda, you’re the busy one with many duties.” 
A second time the Venerable Ānanda said to the Venerable Mahakassapa: “Come, Venerable Kassapa, let us go to the bhikkhunīs’ quarters.”
“You go, friend Ānanda, you’re the busy one with many duties.”
A third time the Venerable Ānanda said to the Venerable Mahakassapa: “Come, Venerable Kassapa, let us go to the bhikkhunīs’ quarters.”
Then, in the morning, the Venerable Mahakassapa dressed and, taking bowl and robe, went to the bhikkhunīs’ quarters with the Venerable Ānanda as his companion. When he arrived he sat down on the appointed seat. Then a number of bhikkhunīs approached the Venerable Mahakassapa, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. As they were sitting there, the Venerable Mahakassapa instructed, exhorted, inspired, and gladdened those bhikkhunīs with a Dhamma talk, after which he rose from his seat and departed.
Then the bhikkhunī Thullatissa, being displeased, expressed her displeasure thus: “How can Master Mahakassapa think of speaking on the Dhamma in the presence of Master Ānanda, the Videhan sage?  For Master Mahakassapa to think of speaking on the Dhamma in the presence of Master Ānanda, the Videhan sage—this is just as if a needle-peddler would think he could sell a needle to a needle-maker!”
The Venerable Mahakassapa overheard the bhikkhunī Thullatissa making this statement and said to the Venerable Ānanda: “How is it, friend Ānanda, am I the needle-peddler and you the needle-maker, or am I the needle-maker and you the needle-peddler?”
“Be patient, Venerable Kassapa, women are foolish.” 
“Hold it, friend Ānanda! Don’t give the Saṅgha occasion to investigate you further.  What do you think, friend Ānanda, was it you that the Blessed One brought forward in the presence of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, saying: ‘Bhikkhus, to whatever extent I wish, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. Ānanda too, to whatever extent he wishes, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, enters and dwells in the first jhana’?”
“No, venerable sir.”
“I was the one, friend, that the Blessed One brought forward in the presence of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, saying: ‘Bhikkhus, to whatever extent I wish, … I enter and dwell in the first jhana…. Kassapa too, to whatever extent he wishes, enters and dwells in the first jhana.’
The same exchange is repeated for the remaining meditative attainments and the six direct knowledges, all as in the preceding sutta: SN 16.9, viewtopic.php?f=25&t=30042
“I was the one, friend, that the Blessed One brought forward in the presence of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, saying: ‘Bhikkhus, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life I enter and dwell in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, realizing it for myself with direct knowledge. Kassapa too, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, realizing it for himself with direct knowledge.’
“Friend, one might just as well think that a bull elephant seven or seven and a half cubits high could be concealed by a palm leaf as think that my six direct knowledges could be concealed.” 
But the bhikkhunī Thullatissa fell away from the holy life. 
 From the absence of any reference to the Blessed One in the introduction it is likely that this sutta takes place after his parinibbāna. Spk supports this supposition (see following note), as does Ānanda’s use of the vocative bhante when addressing Mahākassapa. Before the Buddha expired the monks used to address one another as āvuso, “friend” (see DN II 154,9-15 DN 16 ).
Spk: Ānanda asked him to come to the bhikkhunīs’ quarters in order to inspire them and to explain a meditation subject, thinking they would place faith in the talk of the disciple who was the Buddha’s counterpart (buddhapaṭibhāga-sāvaka ).
 Spk: He was not involved with building work, etc., but the four assemblies would come to the Elder Ānanda lamenting over the Buddha’s demise and he would be obliged to console them (see SN 9.5 and I, n. 541).
- On one occasion the Venerable Ānanda was dwelling among the Kosalans in a certain woodland thicket. Now on that occasion the Venerable Ānanda was excessively involved instructing lay people.  ...
Note 541: pk: This sutta takes place shortly after the Buddha’s parinibbāna. The Venerable Mahākassapa had enjoined Ānanda to attain arahantship before the first Buddhist council convened, scheduled to begin during the rains retreat. Ānanda had gone to the Kosala country and entered a forest abode to meditate, but when the people found out he was there they continually came to him lamenting over the demise of the Master. Thus Ānanda constantly had to instruct them in the law of impermanence. The devatā, aware that the council could succeed only if Ānanda attended as an arahant, came to incite him to resume his meditation.
 Her name means “Fat Tissā.” Spk glosses vedehimuni with paṇḍitamuni, “wise sage,” explaining: “A wise person endeavours with erudition consisting in knowledge—that is, he does all his tasks—therefore he is called Videhan (paṇḍito hi ñāṇasaṅkhā-tena vedena īhati … tasmā vedeho ti vuccati). He was Videhan and a sage, hence ‘the Videhan sage.’” Ap-a 128,12, however, offers a more plausible explanation: “Ānanda was called vedehimuni because he was a sage and the son of a mother from the Vedeha country [= Videha] (Vedeharaṭṭhe jātattā Vedehiyā putto).” See I, n. 233.
- Note 233 from SN 3.14: Ajātasattu was Pasenadi’s nephew, son of his sister and King Bimbisāra, ruler of Magadha. While still a prince Ajātasattu was incited by Devadatta to usurp the throne and have his father executed; soon afterwards his mother died of grief. War broke out when Pasenadi and Ajātasattu both laid claim to the prosperous village of Kāsı̄, situated between the two kingdoms, which Pasenadi’s father, King Mahākosala, had given to his daughter when she married Bimbisāra (see prologue to Ja No. 239). The four divisions of the army are elephant troops, cavalry, chariot troops, and infantry, enumerated in the next sutta.
 Spk: This is what is meant: “Do not let the Saṅgha think, ‘Ānanda restrained the disciple who was the Buddha’s counterpart, but he did not restrain the bhikkhunī. Could there be some intimacy or affection between them?’” He utters the following passage (on his meditative attainments) to demonstrate how he is the Buddha’s counterpart.
 Spk glosses sattaratana (seven cubits) as sattahatthappamāṇa (the measurement of seven hands); a hattha (lit. “hand”), which extends from the elbow to the fingertip, is approximately two feet. This is one of the rare texts in the Nikāyas where the word abhiññā is used collectively to designate the six higher knowledges.
 Spk: After she had censured the disciple who was the Buddha’s counterpart, even while Mahākassapa was roaring his lion’s roar about the six abhiññās, her saffron robes began to irritate her body like thorny branches or a prickly plant. As soon as she removed them and put on the white clothes (of a lay woman) she felt at ease.