Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
5. The Division of the Sixfold Sense(-field)

Sutta 149

Mahā Saḷāyatanika Suttaɱ[1]

Discourse Pertaining to the Great Sixfold (Sense-) Field

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

[1][chlm][than][ntbb][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī
in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Revered One," these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"I will teach you, monks,
the great sixfold (sense-)field.

Listen to it,
attend carefully
and I will spcak."

"Yes, revered sir,"
these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"Monks, (anyone) not knowing,
not seeing
eye as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
material shapes as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
visual consciousness as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
impact on the eye as it rcally is,

and not knowing,
not seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the eye,
is attached to the eye,
is attached to material shapes,
is attached to [337] visual consciousness,
is attached to impact on the eye;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the eye -
to that too is he attached.

While he,
observing the satisfaction,
is attached,
bound
and infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future accumulation.[2]

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
increases in him.

And his physical anxieties increase,
and mental anxieties increase,
and physical torments increase,
and mental torments increase,
and physical fevers increase,
and mental fevers increase.

He experiences anguish of body
and anguish of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) not knowing,
not seeing
ear as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
sounds as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
auditory consciousness as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
impact on the ear as it rcally is,

and not knowing,
not seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the ear,
is attached to the ear,
is attached to sounds,
is attached to auditory consciousness,
is attached to impact on the ear;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the ear -
to that too is he attached.

While he,
observing the satisfaction,
is attached,
bound
and infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future accumulation.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
increases in him.

And his physical anxieties increase,
and mental anxieties increase,
and physical torments increase,
and mental torments increase,
and physical fevers increase,
and mental fevers increase.

He experiences anguish of body
and anguish of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) not knowing,
not seeing
nose as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
smells as they really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
olfactory consciousness as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
impact on the nose as it rcally is,

and not knowing,
not seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the nose,
is attached to the nose,
is attached to smells,
is attached to olfactory consciousness,
is attached to impact on the nose;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the nose -
to that too is he attached.

While he,
observing the satisfaction,
is attached,
bound
and infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future accumulation.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
increases in him.

And his physical anxieties increase,
and mental anxieties increase,
and physical torments increase,
and mental torments increase,
and physical fevers increase,
and mental fevers increase.

He experiences anguish of body
and anguish of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) not knowing,
not seeing
tongue as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
tastes as they really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
gustatory consciousness as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
impact on the tongue as it rcally is,

and not knowing,
not seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the tongue,
is attached to the tongue,
is attached to tastes,
is attached to gustatory consciousness,
is attached to impact on the tongue;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the tongue -
to that too is he attached.

While he,
observing the satisfaction,
is attached,
bound
and infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future accumulation.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
increases in him.

And his physical anxieties increase,
and mental anxieties increase,
and physical torments increase,
and mental torments increase,
and physical fevers increase,
and mental fevers increase.

He experiences anguish of body
and anguish of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) not knowing,
not seeing
body as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
touches as they really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
tactile consciousness as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
impact on the body as it rcally is,

and not knowing,
not seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the body,
is attached to the body,
is attached to touches,
is attached to tactile consciousness,
is attached to impact on the body;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the body -
to that too is he attached.

While he,
observing the satisfaction,
is attached,
bound
and infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future accumulation.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
increases in him.

And his physical anxieties increase,
and mental anxieties increase,
and physical torments increase,
and mental torments increase,
and physical fevers increase,
and mental fevers increase.

He experiences anguish of body
and anguish of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) not knowing,
not seeing
mind as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
Mental states as they really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
mental consciousness as it really is,

not knowing,
not seeing
impact on the mind as it rcally is,

and not knowing,
not seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the mind,
is attached to the mind,
is attached to mental states,
is attached to mental consciousness,
is attached to impact on the mind;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the mind -
to that too is he attached.

While he,
observing the satisfaction,
is attached,
bound
and infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future accumulation.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
increases in him.

And his physical anxieties increase,
and mental anxieties increase,
and physical torments increase,
and mental torments increase,
and physical fevers increase,
and mental fevers increase.

He experiences anguish of body
and anguish of mind.

 


 

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
eye as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
material shapes as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
visual consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the eye as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the eye,
is not attached to the eye,
is not attached to material shapes,
is not attached to visual consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the eye;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the eye -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.[3]

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
ear as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
sounds as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
auditory consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the ear as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the ear,
is not attached to the ear,
is not attached to sounds,
is not attached to auditory consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the ear;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the ear -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
nose as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
smells as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
olfactory consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the nose as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the nose,
is not attached to the nose,
is not attached to smells,
is not attached to olfactory consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the nose;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the nose -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
tongue as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
tastes as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
gustatory consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the tongue as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the tongue,
is not attached to the tongue,
is not attached to tastes,
is not attached to gustatory consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the tongue;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the tongue -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
body as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
touches as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
tactile consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the body as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the body,
is not attached to the body,
is not attached to touches,
is not attached to tactile consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the body;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the body -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
mind as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
Mental states as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
mental consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the mind as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the mind,
is not attached to the mind,
is not attached to mental states,
is not attached to mental consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the mind;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the mind -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

 


 

Whatever is the view
of what really is,
that is for him right view;[4]

[338] whatever is aspiration
for what really is,
that is for him right aspiration;

whatever is endeavour
for what really is,
that is for him right endeavour;

whatever is mindfulness
of what really is,
that is for him right mindfulness;

whatever is concentration
on what really is,
that is for him right concentration.

And his past acts of body,
acts of speech
and mode of livelihood
have been well purified.

So does this ariyan eightfold Way
go on to development and fulfilment for him.

While this ariyan eightfold Way
is being developed by him
thus the four arousings of mindfulness
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the four right efforts
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the four bases of psychic power
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the five controlling faculties
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the five powers
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the seven links in awakening
also go on to development and fulfilment,

And in him these two things occur simultaneously:[5]
calm and insight.

By superknowledge he understands those things
that should be understood by superknowledge;

by superknowledge he gets rid of those things
that should be got rid of by superknowledge;

by superknowledge he develops those things
that should be developed by superknowledge;

by superknowledge he realises those things
that should be realised by superknowledge.

And what, monks, are the things that should be understood by superknowledge?

The five groups of grasping
is the answer to this,
that is to say,
grasping after material shape,
grasping after feeling,
grasping after perception,
grasping after the habitual tendencies,
grasping after consciousness -
these are the things that should be understood by superknowledge.

And what are the things, monks, that should be got rid of by superknowledge?

Ignorance
and the craving for becomings -
these are the things that should be got rid of by superknowledge.

And what are the things, monks,
that should be developed by superknowledge?

Calm and insight -
these are the things that should be developed by superknowledge.

And what, monks, are the things
that should be realised by superknowledge?

Knowledge and freedom -
these are the things that should be realised by superknowledge.

 

§

 

And (anyone), monks, knowing,
seeing
eye as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
material shapes as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
visual consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the eye as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the eye,
is not attached to the eye,
is not attached to material shapes,
is not attached to visual consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the eye;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the eye -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
ear as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
sounds as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
auditory consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the ear as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the ear,
is not attached to the ear,
is not attached to sounds,
is not attached to auditory consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the ear;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the ear -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
nose as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
smells as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
olfactory consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the nose as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the nose,
is not attached to the nose,
is not attached to smells,
is not attached to olfactory consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the nose;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the nose -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
tongue as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
tastes as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
gustatory consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the tongue as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the tongue,
is not attached to the tongue,
is not attached to tastes,
is not attached to gustatory consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the tongue;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the tongue -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
body as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
touches as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
tactile consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the body as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the body,
is not attached to the body,
is not attached to touches,
is not attached to tactile consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the body;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the body -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

"Monks, (anyone) knowing,
seeing
mind as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
Mental states as they really is,

knowing,
seeing
mental consciousness as it really is,

knowing,
seeing
impact on the mind as it rcally is,

and knowing,
seeing
as it really is the experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the mind,
is not attached to the mind,
is not attached to mental [339] states,
is not attached to mental consciousness,
is not attached to impact on the mind;
and as for that experience,
whether pleasant,
painful
or neither painful nor pleasant,
that arises conditioned by impact on the mind -
neither to that is he attached.

While he,
observing the peril,
is not attached,
bound
or infatuated,
the five groups of grasping
go on to future diminution.

And his craving,
which is connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by attachment
and delight,
finding its pleasure here and there,
decreases in him.

And his physical anxieties decrease,
and mental anxieties decrease,
and physical torments decrease,
and mental torments decrease,
and physical fevers decrease,
and mental fevers decrease.

He experiences happiness of body
and happiness of mind.

 


 

Whatever is the view
of what really is,
that is for him right view;

whatever is aspiration
for what really is,
that is for him right aspiration;

whatever is endeavour
for what really is,
that is for him right endeavour;

whatever is mindfulness
of what really is,
that is for him right mindfulness;

whatever is concentration
on what really is,
that is for him right concentration.

And his past acts of body,
acts of speech
and mode of livelihood
have been well purified.

So does this ariyan eightfold Way
go on to development and fulfilment for him.

While this ariyan eightfold Way
is being developed by him
thus the four arousings of mindfulness
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the four right efforts
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the four bases of psychic power
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the five controlling faculties
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the five powers
also go on to development and fulfilment,

and the seven links in awakening
also go on to development and fulfilment,

And in him these two things occur simultaneously:
calm and insight.

By superknowledge he understands those things
that should be understood by superknowledge;

by superknowledge he gets rid of those things
that should be got rid of by superknowledge;

by superknowledge he develops those things
that should be developed by superknowledge;

by superknowledge he realises those things
that should be realised by superknowledge.

And what, monks, are the things that should be understood by superknowledge?

The five groups of grasping
is the answer to this,
that is to say,
grasping after material shape,
grasping after feeling,
grasping after perception,
grasping after the habitual tendencies,
grasping after consciousness -
these are the things that should be understood by superknowledge.

And what are the things, monks, that should be got rid of by superknowledge?

Ignorance
and the craving for becomings -
these are the things that should be got rid of by superknowledge.

And what are the things, monks,
that should be developed by superknowledge?

Calm and insight -
these are the things that should be developed by superknowledge.

And what, monks, are the things
that should be realised by superknowledge?

Knowledge and freedom -
these are the things that should be realised by superknowledge.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse pertaining to the Great Sixfold (Sense-)Field:
The Seventh

 


[1] Some MSS. read Saḷāyatana-Vibhaŋga Sutta, Discourse on the Analysis of the Sixfold Sense-field, but this is the title of M. Sta. No. 137; there is no Cūḷa-Sutta of this name, and mahā with saḷāyatanika, as found in the first paragraph above, appears to refer to the subject-matter rather than to the Discourse itself, as in Sta. No. 130.

[2] upacaya, piling up, conservation - karmic in nature.

[3] apacaya, falling away.

[4] MA. v. 101 says that the sophist, vitaṇḍavādin, taking his stand on this Discourse, holds that the transcendental Way is fivefold.

[5] yuganandhā ti ekakkhaṇikayugannadhā, MA. v. 104.


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