Preached in the Pārāvārika-ambavana in Nālandā. Kevatta (1) visits the Buddha and asks him to order a monk to perform some mystic wonder in order to increase the faith of the Buddha's followers.
The Buddha expresses his hatred of miracles and tells Kevatta that a greater and better wonder than any or all of them is education in the system of self-training which culminates in Arahantship. In illustration of this, he relates a legend: A monk, seeking the answer to the question "Where do the elements pass away?" goes up and up, by the power of his iddhi, from world to world, asking the gods for an answer. In each heaven he is referred to those who are higher up, until he comes at last to the Great Brahmā himself, who takes him aside and tells him that he does not know the answer.
The monk seeks the Buddha, who explains to him that the question is wrongly put; it should be, "Where do the elements find no foothold; where do nāma and rūpa pass away?" And the answer is, "In the mind of the arahant, when intellect (viññāna) ceases, then nāma and rūpa cease." D.i.211ff; cp. Ud.i.10.