Search for suttas mentioning the Buddha approaching others to teach them

I am looking for suttas in which the Buddha approached people without them asking him for a lesson. Until now I only found Ud 5.4 : Kumārakasutta, where the Buddha reproaches some boys catching fish, telling them they should not hurt others as they themselves don’t like to be hurt. Does anyone know other suttas where the Buddha feels obliged to comment on a situation, and starts to teach people who did not ask for a Dhamma-lesson?


Dhamma Greetings Zaryffa,

isn’t the Udaana full of stories like that? Where the Buddha is ‘uttering’ verses to various occasions?

But is there any evidence, that the Buddha was addressing anyone?

As far as I understand, he didn’t address the boys, nor did he address any other people in these Suttas and I wonder if any of the (not) addressed even heard his ‘utterings’.

Obviously, someone must have heard it, otherwise we could’t know about it. Or he later repeated it for Ananda to remember.

What do you think?


Hi Mirco,

Thank you for your reaction!
You are right about the ‘utterings’ , but in this particular sutta you can read:
’ The Gracious One saw those many young boys who were between Sāvatthī and Jeta’s Wood catching fish. Having seen that,
he went to those young boys, and after going, he said this to those
young boys: “Are you afraid, boys, of suffering? Is suffering unpleasant
to you?”'Kumārakasutta

This is an exception to the ‘rule’ that the Buddha taught only those who asked for a Dhamma-lesson, and the other stories in the Udāna only give the utterances without the direct approach.

What I am looking for now, is other places in the suttas, where the Buddha sees a need to react to a situation.

Thanks for helping!