This book contains a collection of teachings the Buddha gave to his son Rahula. The first of the texts translated here, the Exhortation to Rāhula given at Ambalaṭṭhikā (Ambalaṭṭhikā-Rāhulovāda Sutta), was spoken by the Buddha when Rāhula was seven years old.
The discourse has two main subjects, truthfulness and mindfulness, which are indeed the corner stones for building a character and for developing the faculties of mind.
Our second text, the Great Discourse of Exhortation to Rāhula (Mahā-Rāhulovāda-Sutta), spoken to him when he was eighteen years, chiefly contains instructions on meditation. In his 21st year, before he had completed a full year after his Higher Ordination, the Venerable Rāhula attained to the highest goal of a recluse’s life, to Sainthood (arahatta).
This occurred after the enunciation of the third text in our collection, the Shorter Discourse of exhortation (Cūḷa-Rāhulovada-Sutta) This discourse applies the three characteristics of all conditioned existence (impermanency, suffering, and not-self) to the entire realm of six-fold sense perception and all mental processes relating to it.
Our fourth text, the verses from the Sutta-Nipāta, called “Rāhula-Sutta” circumscribes in brief the life of a monk, and the thoughts and the ideals that should be foremost in a monk’s mind. These verses are, as it were, the monk’s version of the Mahā-Maṅgala-Sutta (“Blessings”).
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You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the wayBuddha, Dhp 276