84,000 Dharma Gates

Monks, what do the Suttas say about this topic?

They don’t. The suttas only talk of 11 doors to treasure

  • 4 jhanas
  • 4 brahma viharas
  • 3 ayatanas (aka formless jhanas)



How do you know if the Medicine supplied to the Spiritual Wound of Mankind that Buddhism has come to heal is contained within all of the Words even written in all Books of the Megaverse? What if the Buddha spoke more Words than that? And, what does Sutta mean except for the Wise Words of Gautama?

The external world isn’t relevant, it’s all Mara’s domain. Whether the Buddha spoke more or less words doesn’t matter, in the Gotami sutta the Buddha gives you a sign post of what is dhamma or adhamma (the Buddha’s teaching).

Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, ‘These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome’: You may categorically hold, ‘This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher’s instruction.’

“As for the qualities of which you may know, ‘These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’: You may categorically hold, ‘This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.’”


If that sutta is objectively true, and it is according to archeologists, then that’s all one really needs to know. If the contents of that sutta are phenomologically true and aligns with the 4 noble truths, then that’s all that one really needs to know if they’re trying to determine if one is properly uprooting dukkha and escaping it.

84,000 seems to signify a really big number in the suttas. See the previous thread here:

There is a mention there of Thag 17.3, which says:

“Gotama stands firm
on the path that leads to quenching,
where the teachings of the Buddha,
the kinsman of the Sun, are grounded.”

“82,000 from the Buddha,
and 2,000 more from the monks:
84,000 teachings I’ve learned,
and these are what I promulgate.”

Perhaps that refers to suttas or verses.


Of the three Sanskrit terms that get translated as “Dharma gate/door” (i.e., dharmamukha, dharmadvāra and dharmaparyāya) I believe only the last is found in the Pali suttas (as dhammapariyāya), but there aren’t said to be 84,000 of them.

In the one sutta that speaks of the 84,000 dhammakkhandhas there is nothing in the context to support the Mahayana idea that these amount to 84,000 ways of becoming enlightened or 84,000 different teachings that each lead to enlightenment. Rather, the EBT teaching is one Dhamma gate for all:

The Tathāgata has no concern whether the entire world will be emancipated, or half the world, or a third of the world. But he can be sure that all those who have been emancipated, or who are being emancipated, or who will be emancipated from the world first abandon the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and then, with their minds well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment. It is in this way that they have been emancipated or are being emancipated or will be emancipated from the world.