Preached to the monks at Mātulā. It is a
sermon on the necessity of living in accordance with the Dhamma, with the Dhamma
as one s refuge.
The Sutta contains the story of the
Cakkavatti Dalhanemi and his eldest son, and the manner in which a
administers the law, ruling by righteousness, over a people made virtuous by his
instruction. But, later, there is a gradual corruption of morals, followed by
the decay and destruction of human life with all its attendant comforts. This is
followed by a gradual restoration of virtuousness, accompanied by the return of
prosperity and longevity.
The Sutta also records the prophecy of
the coming of the Buddha Metteyya (D.iii.58ff). It is said (DA.iii.858) that at
the end of this discourse twenty thousand monks became arahants and eighty-four
thousand others realised the Truth.