Preached at the Udumbarikā-paribbājakārāma.
Sandhāna, on his way to see the Buddha, stopped at the paribbājakārāma because it was yet too early for his interview, and started talking to the Paribbājaka Nigrodha. Nigrodha spoke disparagingly of the Buddha's love of solitude. Seeing the Buddha walking along the banks of the Sumāgadhā, Nigrodha invited him to his hermitage and asked him various questions. The Buddha turned the discussion on to the merits and demerits of self-mortification and ended up by declaring the purpose of his own teaching.
Though Nigrodha expresses great admiration for the Buddha's exposition, he and his disciples do not become followers of the Buddha (D.iii.36ff). Buddhaghosa says (DA.iii.844), however, that this sutta will stand them in good stead in the future.