Sutta Spotlight | Kosala Samyutta

Teacher of

Gods and Humans

The Buddha, teacher of gods and humans,
advised us on how to lead happier, healthier lives.


Source Material and References

What is the Kosala Samyutta?

The Kosala Samyutta is the fifth samyutta, or chapter, in the Samyutta Nikaya.  In this collection of verses, we meet King Pasenadi, who was a devoted follower of the Buddha.  It was his wife, Queen Mallika, who encouraged the king to meet the Buddha, a meeting that would flourish into a friendship of many years.

Other than being the king of a realm, Pasenadi was a ‘regular guy.’  That is, he was not a bhikkhu or renunciate.  Rather, he lived in and was of the world.  As such, many of the discussions in this section deal with the real life matters, questions, and struggles of lay people.   We read advice on how one should spend their money, the perils of war, even the danger of overeating!

With its conversational tone, its topical nature, and relevance to everyday life, the Kosala Samyutta offers much to the layperson who wants practical advice on how to integrate Buddhist morals and virtue to everyday life.

Friend or Foe?


If you ask most people how they feel about themselves, what they want for themselves, the answer would be that they care for themselves and they want a good life.  Unfortunately, many of these very same people engage in behavior that they’d only expect from an enemy:  negative self-talk, getting caught in lies, spending more money they they have.  How can one break free from self-sabotaging thoughts and actions?

No One More Dear?  Than Me?!

When King Pasenadi asks Queen Mallika who she holds most dear, he’s taken aback shen she responds that it is she, herself, for whom she holds the most affection.  Who, then, should we hold most dear?

Beauty–It’s Skin Deep

We live in a world that values good looks.  Beauty is so important, it seems, that people will spend vasts amount of money to keep up with the current standards.  But too often we can pay more attention to our outsides than our insides.

What is the Highest Pleasure?

Ah, the life of a king.  As if it weren’t enough to enjoy all the food, drink, music and even sex known to man, these pleasure seekers even visit the Buddha to find out which of their sensual predilections are best.  His answer, however, is not what they had in mind!

“I’m not Fat, I’m Fluffy!”

King Pasenadi, lover of women, wine and song, finally overdoes it in the food compartment, so much so that the Buddha has a word with him on what to do.  Mindful eating, it turns out, is not just the latest diet fat.  It’s weight loss wisdom from the Buddha himself.

Indian Game of Thrones

Politics is dirty.  Always has been.  But if you think what’s happening around the world these days is crazy, stay tuned!  In this section of the sutta we learn about how far one will go to rule a realm, including marrying one’s own cousin, even patricide!  Tune in to find out more.

BFF’s Now and Forever

Having good friends leads to greater happiness, feelings of belonging, even longevity.  The force of goodwill that comes from strong friendship is so powerful that the Buddha famously told Ananda that it is ‘all of the holy life.’  They can help us in this life as well as the next.  Watch this to see how.

The Buddha said that friends can help us follow the Noble Eightfold Path. 

But what is this Eightfold path?

The Noble Eightfold Path is the Buddhist way to liberation.  Below is the path in a nutshell to help you get the basics.

All About the Bling?

On his way back from collecting on an estate, King Pasenadi tells the Buddha of a man who passed away without a will.  During his lifetime, this wealthy man lived as though poor, spending no money on himself or others.  Here we learn the importance of money in our lives and how we should spend it.

Are Some More Worthy than Others?

In this sutta, The Archer, the Buddha discusses the importance of giving to the right people.  The Buddha says that some gifts produce better results, for the giver and the receiver, depending upon the ‘worth’ of the person we give to.  Listen in as we discuss the merits of this controversial idea.