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Saṃyutta Nikāya:
IV. Saḷāyatana Vagga
35: Saḷāyatana Saɱyutta
Paññāsaṃ Catutthaṃ
3. Samudda Vagga

Sutta 191

Koṭṭhiko

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][bodh][than] I hear tell:

Once upon a time the elder Sariputta and the elder Maha-Kotthika,
Benares city revisiting
Isipatana, Deer Park.

[2] There then the elder Maha-Kotthika,
rising up from solitary meditation toward evening
approached the elder Sariputta.

Having approached,
having exchanged greetings and well-wishes,
he took a seat to one side.

[3] Having taken a seat to one side
the elder Maha-Kotthika said this to the elder Sariputta:

"How is it then, friend Sariputta,
is the eye yoked to form
or is form yoked to the eye?

Is the ear yoked to sound
or is sound yoked to the ear?

Is the nose yoked to scent
or is scent yoked to the nose?

Is the tongue yoked to tastes
or are tastes yoked to the tongue?

Is the body yoked to touch
or is touch yoked to the body?

Is the mind yoked to things
or are things yoked to the mind?"

[4] "It is not, friend Kotthika,
that the eye is yoked to form,
nor is form yoked to eye;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

It is not that the ear is yoked to sound
nor is sound yoked to the ear;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

It is not that the nose is yoked to scent
nor is scent yoked to the nose;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

It is not that the tongue is yoked to taste
nor is taste yoked to the tongue;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

It is not that the body is yoked to touch
nor is touch yoked to the body;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

It is not that the mind is yoked to things
nor are things yoked to the mind;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

 


 

[5] Suppose, friend, there were a black ox
and a white ox
linked by a single rope or harness.

If then it were to be said of this thus:

"The black ox is the yoke of the white ox."

or

"The white ox is the yoke of the black ox."

Would this that was said
have been consummately said?"

"No indeed, friend.

Neither, friend, is the black ox the yoke of the white ox,
nor is the white ox the yoke of the black ox,
but rather it is the single rope or harness
that is the yoke."

"In the same way, friend,
neither is the eye the yoke of form
nor is form the yoke of the eye;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the ear the yoke of sound
nor is sound the yoke of the ear;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the nose the yoke of scent
nor is scent the yoke of the nose;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the tongue the yoke of taste
nor is taste the yoke of the tongue;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the body the yoke of touch
nor is touch the yoke of the body;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the mind the yoke of things
nor are things the yoke of the mind;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

 


 

[6] It could not be, friend,
if the eye were the yoke of form,
or form the yoke of eye,
that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain[1]
could be known.

But, friend, since
neither is the eye the yoke of form,
nor is form the yoke of eye,
but it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke,
it is therefore that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
can be known.

It could not be, friend,
if the ear were the yoke of sound,
or sound the yoke of ear,
that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
could be known.

But, friend, since
neither is the ear the yoke of sound,
nor is sound the yoke of ear,
but it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke,
it is therefore that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
can be known.

It could not be, friend,
if the nose were the yoke of scent,
or scent the yoke of nose,
that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
could be known.

But, friend, since
neither is the nose the yoke of scent,
nor is scent the yoke of nose,
but it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke,
it is therefore that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
can be known.

It could not be, friend,
if the tongue were the yoke of taste,
or taste the yoke of tongue,
that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
could be known.

But, friend, since
neither is the tongue the yoke of taste,
nor is taste the yoke of tongue,
but it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke,
it is therefore that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
can be known.

It could not be, friend,
if the body were the yoke of touch,
or touch the yoke of body,
that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
could be known.

But, friend, since
neither is the body the yoke of touch,
nor is touch the yoke of body,
but it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke,
it is therefore that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
can be known.

It could not be, friend,
if the mind were the yoke of things,
or things the yoke of mind,
that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
could be known.

But, friend, since
neither is the mind the yoke of things,
nor are thing the yoke of mind,
but it is rather the wanting and lust,
upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke,
it is therefore that this best of lives
for the consummate eradication of pain
can be known.

 


 

[7] Thus by this curriculum, friend, it can be known:

Neither is the eye the yoke of form,
nor is form the yoke of eye;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the ear the yoke of sound
nor is sound the yoke of the ear;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the nose the yoke of scent
nor is scent the yoke of the nose;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the tongue the yoke of taste
nor is taste the yoke of the tongue;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the body the yoke of touch
nor is touch the yoke of the body;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the mind the yoke of things
nor are things the yoke of the mind;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

 


 

[8] It can be shown, friend, that
the Lucky Man has eyes,
the Lucky Man sees form
but in the Lucky Man, well freed in mind,
there is no wanting and lust.

It can be shown, friend, that
the Lucky Man has ears,
the Lucky Man hears sound
but in the Lucky Man, well freed in mind,
there is no wanting and lust.

It can be shown, friend, that
the Lucky Man has a nose,
the Lucky Man smells scents
but in the Lucky Man, well freed in mind,
there is no wanting and lust.

It can be shown, friend, that
the Lucky Man has a tongue,
the Lucky Man tastes savours
but in the Lucky Man, well freed in mind,
there is no wanting and lust.

It can be shown, friend, that
the Lucky Man has a body,
the Lucky Man feels touch
but in the Lucky Man, well freed in mind,
there is no wanting and lust.

It can be shown, friend, that
the Lucky Man has a mind,
the Lucky Man knows things
but in the Lucky Man, well freed in mind,
there is no wanting and lust.

 


 

[9] Thus by this curriculum too, friend, it can be known:

Neither is the eye the yoke of form,
nor is form the yoke of eye;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the ear the yoke of sound
nor is sound the yoke of the ear;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the nose the yoke of scent
nor is scent the yoke of the nose;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the tongue the yoke of taste
nor is taste the yoke of the tongue;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the body the yoke of touch
nor is touch the yoke of the body;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

Neither is the mind the yoke of things
nor are things the yoke of the mind;
it is rather the wanting and lust,
the upshot of the percussion of both
that is the yoke.

 


[1]See Bhk. Bodhi WP, SN SALV 35.191, n.168: "Because, as long as one has the six sense bases, one would always be fettered to the six sense objects and thus liberation would be impossible."
Well, OK, but I would rather say that neither the eye nor visible objects belong to the self in the sense of being under the control of a self; if it were the case that the eye were the yoke [and remember, this is 'the yoke to rebirth', not just a yoke to each other], of form or if form were the yoke of eye, there could be no liberation because there is nothing in that that can be controlled by the individual. In the case where it is the wanting and lust that is the yoke, this is something under the control of the individual and can be dealt with and by that curriculum one is able to reach consummate freedom of mind.

 


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