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Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta

Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta.– Taught five days after the Dhammacakkap­pavattana Sutta to the group of five ascetics (pañcavaggiya), all of whom became Arahants at the conclusion of the discourse (Vin.i.13‑14; J.i.82; iv.180; Dpv.i.34; MA.i.390; AA.i.57, 84).

No self is to be found in any of the five aggregates, all of which are impermanent and subject to suffering.

The sutta does not deal with the question as to whether the self exists or not; it only shows that the aggregates are not the self.

The discourse in the Saṃyuttanikāya (S.iii.66 f) is also called the Pañca Sutta, the five referred to being the group of five ascetics (pañcavaggīyā) who listened to it.

Anattalakkhaṇa Vatthu.– The story of five hundred monks. The Buddha, knowing their past, advises them to reflect on the “selfishness” of the aggregates (DhA.iii. 406‑7).

These monks had devoted themselves to meditation on this topic for 20,000 years in the dispensation of Kassapa Buddha.

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