The first sutta of the Majjhimanikāya. It was taught in the Subhagavana in Ukkaṭṭhā, and is claimed as striking the keynote of the entire doctrine of the Buddha (sabbadhamma-
The Commentary ¹ states that the five hundred monks to whom the sutta was addressed found no pleasure in listening to it. The Buddha, realising this, taught them the Mūlapariyāya Jātaka ² (q.v.) Their pride was thereby vanquished, and they begged the Buddha for a subject of meditation. Later, when the Buddha was away journeying, staying at the Gotamaka cetiya in Vesāli, he taught them the Gotamaka Sutta and they became Arahants.
¹ MA.ii.46 ﬀ; see also AA.i.457 and J.ii.269, where it is stated that at the end of the Gotamaka Sutta the earth trembled.
² However, in the introduction to the Jātaka itself, it is stated that the Jātaka was related, not to them, but in reference to them, after they had become Arahants.