the dialogue with prince bodhi


Majjhima Nikāya 85 of 152

Translated by: Rupert Gethin
Read by: Roland Kitchen


This sutta gives the single fullest account of Gotama’s quest for enlightenment. The sutta is prompted by Prince Bodhi’s idea that “happiness can only be reached through pain.” The Buddha recounts his journey and how he took up painful ascetic practices. When these failed to bring him enlightenment he recalled his previous happiness attained through concentration. He realised that he had nothing to fear from a “happiness that has nothing to do with sense pleasures, nothing to do with unwholesome qualities”, he decided to pursue this as the basis for awakening – with success.