Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Great Discourse on Causation

The Great Discourse on Causation

The Mahanidana Sutta, “The Great Discourse on Causation,” is the longest and most detailed of the Buddha’s discourses dealing with dependent arising (paticca samuppada), a doctrine generally regarded as the key to his entire teaching. The Buddha often described dependent arising as deep, subtle, and difficult to see, the special domain of noble wisdom. So when his close disciple Ananda comes to him and suggests that this doctrine might not be as deep as it seems, the stage is set for a particularly profound and illuminating exposition of the Dhamma.

This book contains a translation of the Mahanidana Sutta together with all the doctrinally important passages from its authorized commentary and subcommentary. A long introductory essay discusses the rich philosophical implications of the sutta; an appendix explains the treatment of dependent arising according to the Abhidhamma system of conditional relations.


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About Bhikkhu Bodhi

Bhikkhu Bodhi is a Buddhist monk of American nationality, born in New York City in 1944. After obtaining a PhD in philosophy from the Claremont Graduate School, he came to Sri Lanka to enter the Sangha. He received the novice ordination in 1972 and the higher ordination in 1973, both under the eminent scholar monk, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya, with whom he studied Pali and Dhamma.

He is the author of several works on Theravāda Buddhism, including four translations of great Pali-suttas, together with their comments. He was editor and president of the Buddhist Publication Society for many years.

He has been living at Chuang Yen Monastery since 2006 and in 2008, together with several of his students, Bhikkhu Bodhi founded Buddhist Global Relief, a non profit supporting hunger relief, sustainable agriculture, and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition. In May 2013 was elected president of BAUS.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276

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