Preached by the Buddha while touring in Kosala with a large concourse of monks, the sight of a blazing fire being made the occasion for the discourse. It were better for a man to seek shelter in, embrace and lie down upon the raging flames than to live in the guise of a monk and accept the alms of the faithful while being guilty of evil conduct (A.iv.128f). It is said that while the sutta was being preached sixty monks vomited hot blood, sixty left the Order in diffidence and sixty others became arahants (A.iv.135). The Commentary adds that the Buddha foresaw this result, and that later many of the monks, hearing of the discourse and fearing dire consequences for themselves, returned to the lay-life in such large numbers that the Order became rapidly depleted.

It was to counteract this result that the Cūlaccharāsanghāta Sutta was preached (AA.i.38-40).

This sutta is mentioned as an example of a sermon based on some immediate experience, in this case, a fire (MA.i.14; also AA.i.32, 267). It was preached by Mahinda in Ceylon, in the Nandana pleasance, on the day the Mahāmeghavana was gifted to the Sangha (Mhv.xv.176; Mbv.133); and also by Yonaka Dhammarakhita, in Aparantaka (Mhv.xii.34; Mbv.114).

The vomiting of hot blood, mentioned here, is made the subject of a dilemma in the Milinda (p.164).

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