Points of Controversy

18.2. Of how the Dhamma was taught

Controverted Point: That it is not right to say “The Exalted Buddha himself taught the Dhamma.”

Theravādin: By whom then was it taught?

Vetulyakas: By the special creation (abhinimmita).

Theravādin: Then must this created thing have been the Conqueror, the Master, the Buddha Supreme, the Omniscient, All-seeing, Lord of all things, Judge of Appeal of all things!…

I ask again: By whom was the Dhamma taught?

Vetulyakas: By the venerable Ānanda.

Theravādin: Then must he too have been the Conqueror, the Master, etc. But was it not said by the Exalted One:

“Sāriputta, I may teach the Dhamma concisely and I may teach it in detail, and I may teach it both ways. It is only they who understand that are hard to find.”

Hence surely the Buddha himself taught the Dhamma.

And again, was it not said by the Exalted One:

“By the higher knowledge, bhikkhus, do I teach the Dhamma, not without the higher knowledge; a Dhamma with reference to cause do I teach, not one without; a to wonder-working Dhamma do I teach, and none not wonder-working. And that I, bhikkhus, thus teach the Dhamma, a homily should be made, instruction should be given, to wit, let this, bhikkhus, suffice for your content, let this suffice for your satisfaction and for your gladness: the Exalted One is Buddha Supreme! The Dhamma is well revealed! The Saṅgha is well trained! Now when this declaration was uttered, ten thousand world-systems trembled.”

Hence surely the Exalted Buddha himself taught the Dhamma.