Anattalekhana Sutta

Atta and Anatta

  • 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 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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