Preached five days after the
Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta to the
Pañcavaggiya monks, all of whom became
arahants at the conclusion of the sermon (Vin.i.13-14; J. i.82; iv.180; Dpv. i.34;
MA.i.390; AA.i.57, 84).
No self is to be found in any of the
five khandhas, all of which are impermanent and subject to woe.
The sutta does not deal with the
question as to whether the self exists or not; it only shows that the khandhas
are not the self.
In the Samyutta Nikāya (iii.66f ) the
discourse is called the Pañca Sutta, the five referred to being the Pañcavaggīyā
who listened to it.
The story of five hundred monks. The
Buddha, knowing their past, advises them to reflect on the "selfishness" of the
khandhas (DhA.iii. 406-7).
These monks had devoted themselves to
meditation on this topic for 20,000 years in the dispensation of Kassapa Buddha.