Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
XVIII: Sañcetana Vagga

Sutta 174

Kotthita Sutta

To Kotthita

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

 


 

[1][pts][bd] Then Ven. Maha Kotthita went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him.
After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, he sat to one side.
As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta,

"With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media
[vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and intellection]
is it the case that there is anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
is it the case that there is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
is it the case that there both is and is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[2][pts][bd] [Maha Kotthita:] "Being asked if, with the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
there is anything else, you say,
'Don't say that, my friend.'
Being asked if, with the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
there is not anything else, you say,
'Don't say that, my friend.'
Being asked if, with the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
there both is and is not anything else, you say,
'Don't say that, my friend.'
Being asked if, with the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media,
there neither is nor is not anything else, you say,
'Don't say that, my friend.'

Now, how is the meaning of your words to be understood?"

[3][pts][bd] [Sariputta:] "The statement,
'With the remainderless stopping and fading of the six contact-media
[vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and intellection]
is it the case that there is anything else?'
complicates non-complication.[1]

The statement,
'With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media
is it the case that there is not anything else?'
complicates non-complication.
The statement,
'With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media
is it the case that there both is and is not anything else?'
complicates non-complication.
The statement,
'With the remainderless stopping and fading
of the six contact-media
is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?'
complicates non-complication.

However far the six contact-media go,
that is how far complication goes.
However far complication goes,
that is how far the six contact media go.
With the remainderless fading and stopping
of the six contact-media,
there comes to be the stopping,
the allaying of complication.

 


[1]See MN 18. As Sn IV.14 points out, the root of the classifications and perceptions of complication is the thought, "I am the thinker." This thought forms the motivation for the questions that Ven. Maha Kotthita is presenting here: the sense of "I am the thinker" can either fear or desire annihilation in the course of Unbinding. Both concerns get in the way of the abandoning of clinging, which is essential for the attainment of Unbinding, which is why the questions should not be asked.

 


 

References:

See also:
AN IV.42;
AN VIII.30.

 


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