SuttaStudy 3: Great Forty, MN117

I think MN117 is an interesting sutta, because it contains how Right Unification (Samma samadhi) is arrived at.

It also important to note that it describes how each of the factors of the path are caused. It also shows the ability to go from the ‘wrong path’ to the ‘right path’.

It also contains the following “This Dhamma discourse on the Great Forty has been set rolling and cannot be stopped by any recluse or Brahmin or god or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world” rarely seen elsewhere in the EBT suttas, suggesting this sutta was given some degree of status by the ancients.

Discussion points:

  1. What does Supramundane right view, actually contain?

  2. For the dhamma eye to arise at stream entry (for Nibbana to be glimpsed) does Right release (Samma vimukti) need to be realised at a ‘provisional’ level, rather than just ending with Right unification (Samma samadhi)?

  1. Does the development of samadhi happen sequentially, as mentioned in one place in the sutta, by the development of each path factor in turn, or can it be developed through meditation and later turned in Right unification (samma samadhi).

  2. What’s the impact of Right view on Right unification, in leading to Right insight (samma gnana)?

with metta


Maybe this can be a helpful resource: Early and late in MN 117


This talk by Bhante G was how i first came across this sutta


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This is an excellent resource indeed, and I was not aware that it seems to have been updated recently in order to mention Bhante Analyo’s work, excellent.

It might be useful to add Bhante Analayo’s comparative studies here as well:

Article - The Mahācattārīsaka-sutta in the Light of its Parallels
— Tracing the Beginnings of Abhidharmic Thought

Extract from his 2011 comparative study of the MN: MN117 Analayo comparative study.pdf (237.6 KB)

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