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Anattalakkhana Sutta

Updated on June 9, 2019

Some early religions talked about reincarnation (transmigration of atta, atman, soul). In contrast, Buddhism discusses rebirth and no-soul (anatta).

The Buddha delivered “Anattalakkhana Sutta” as a follow-up sermon to the “Taya Oo” to his five disciples (led by Ashin Kondanna). The Sutta’s title literally means “No-self characteristic discourse”.

Buddha taught that “each of the five khandas (aggregates) are subject to impermanence (anicca), and suffering, unsatisfactoriness, or misery (dukkha) and thus unfit for identification with a self”.

The five disciples became enlightened after listening to the Sutta. They also became members of the (paramatta) Sangha, the third of the Triple Gems.

There are many books on the Sutta including the one by Mahasi Sayadawgyi explaining the relevance of the Sutta to Vipassana meditation. There is also an English translation of the Sutta by Sayagyi U Pe Maung Tin.

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