Discourses on one person's full training path

Dear members of Discuss & Discover community,

I have some questions related to THE PATH TO RELEASE

What are all steps that a disciple of Gotama the Awakened One take?

  • Name one disciple that had finished the path.
  • Does anybody know discourses that, when combined altogether, form a full picture of the whole journey of one person’s training from the beginning (approaching Gotama - the Awakened One), then renunciation and training, to finally achieving full awakening and release?
  • And what is the order? What step comes first and what comes next?

Eg: Rahula,
Have we known his full training path?
(supposing all following discourses are about the same Rahula):

  • reflecting on mental, verbal, bodily actions to abandon the unwholesome ones and develop the wholesome ones (right efforts?) (MN 61);

  • various meditation practices: 5 clinging aggregates (form, feeling,…) are not-self; contemplating body parts according to 4 great elements (earth, water,…); 4 sublime attitudes (goodwill, compassion,…); perception of unattractiveness; perception of inconstancy; mindfulness of in-&-out breathing (right mindfulness?) (MN 62);

  • The practice of “impermanent - dissatisfying - not self” applied to

    • six sense bases and related things like in dependent co-arising (SN 35.121):
      • six internal sense bases (eye, ear,…) (MN 147, SN 18.1);
      • six external sense bases: (form, sound,…) (SN 18.2),
      • and related things like in dependent co-arising (probably the reason why these discourses were placed in the same book - number 2 out of 5 books of SN, with SN 12) such as:- consciousness (eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness,…) (SN 18.3),
      • contact (eye-contact, ear-contact,…) (SN 18.4),
      • feeling (born of eye-contact, ear-contact,…) (SN 18.5),
      • perception (of form, sound,…) (SN 18.6),
      • volition (regarding form, sound,…) (SN 18.7),
      • craving (for form, sound,…) (SN 18.8),
    • great elements (earth, water,…) (SN 18.9, AN 4.177),
    • five clinging aggregates (form, feeling,…) (SN 18.10, SN 22.91, SN 22.92),

Quite a lot of discourses on Rahula, don’t you think? Did Gotama the Awakened One favor his son? I found the above mentioned discourses through a search of “Rahula” on suttacentral.net. How awesome is that tool!

  • But with regard to Rahula, are those all? Have they constituted the full path of Rahula’s training?

  • What about other disciples?


  • What about Gotama the Awakened One himself?
  • What was his own experience of the path to release?
  • What steps did he take?
  • Was it the same as his disciples? Or was his path different?

Discourses that tell Gotama the Awakened One’s path contain phrases like “I did this, I did that,…” when he told his experience.

From absorption to release:
What steps of the right path did the recluse Gotama go through? MN 36 (Thanissaro - “I thought: ‘I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, … There is nothing further for this world.’”),.

Means to absorption
How did he achieve absorption? MN 4; MN 19

content to contemplate:

  • Dependent co-arising: SN 12.10

  • after dependent co-arising

    • Insufficient for release: SN 12.68 (Thanissaro - “My friend, although I have seen properly with right discernment … but he would not dwell touching it with his body … not an arahant whose effluents (taint) are ended.”)
    • What else to practice?
      So what else did the recluse Gotama need to do? DN 14 (Sujato - “Then as Vipassī, the one intent on awakening, was in private retreat … Meditating like this his mind was soon freed from defilements by not grasping.”) describes the practice of Vipassi The Awakened One which was actually, for most of it, based on the practice of the recluse Gotama.
      He contemplated on:

So what else? Is that all? Have they constituted Gotama the Awakened One’s path?

Thank you and regards

In the introduction to the Anapanasati sutta (MN 118) is a list of seven categories that monks are studying. The last two of these is very similar to the list in MN 62, this showing there was some structure to the Buddha’s teaching course. When they get to level 3 and have a familiarity with the noble eightfold path, practitioners choose one of several paths, mindfulness being common to all.