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Saɱyutta Nikāya
2. Nidāna Vagga
12. Nidāna-Saɱyutta
1. Buddha Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II.
The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
XII. The Kindred Sayings on Cause
I. The 'Buddha' Suttas

Sutta 2

Vibhaŋga

Analysis

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


[2] [2]

[1][than][bodh] Thus have I heard:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī
at the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

[2][than] And there the Exalted One addressed the brethren, saying:[1]

'Brethren!'

'Master!' responded those brethren.

The Exalted One said:

'I will teach you, brethren, I will analyze[2] the causal law.
Listen to it,
give your minds thoroughly
and I will speak.'

'Even so, lord,' responded those brethren.

[3][than] The Exalted One spake this:

What, brethren, is the causal law?[3]

Conditioned by ignorance activities come to pass;
conditioned by activities consciousness,
conditioned by consciousness name-and-shape,
conditioned by name-and-shape sense,
conditioned by sense contact,
conditioned by contact feeling,
conditioned by feeling craving,
conditioned by craving grasping,
conditioned by grasping becoming,
conditioned by becoming birth,
conditioned by birth old age-and death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, despair come to pass.

Such is the uprising of this entire mass of ill.

This, brethren, is called [causal] happening.

[4][than] And what, brethren, is old age-and-death?[4]

That which, of this and that being, in this and that group, is decay, decrepitude, breaking up, hoariness, wrinkling of the skin, shrinkage of a life-span, over-ripeness of faculties: this is called old age.

That which, of this and that being from this or that group, is falling or decease, separation,[5] disappearance, mortality or dying,[6] accomplishment of time: separation[5] of component factors,[7] laying down of the carcase: this is called death.

Thus it is this decay and this dying that is called old age-and-death.

[5][than] And what, brethren, is birth?

That which, of this and that being in this and that group, is birth, continuous birth, descent,[8] reproduction, appearance of component factors, acquiring of sense-spheres. This is called birth.

[6][than] And what, brethren, is becoming?

Three are these becomings: becoming in Kāma-[worlds],[9] becoming in Rūpa-[worlds], becomng in Arūpa-[worlds]. This is called becoming.

[7][than] And what, brethren, is grasping?

There are these four graspings: grasping of desires, grasping of opinion, grasping of rule and ritual, grasping of soul-theory. This is called grasping.

[8][than] And what, brethren, is craving?

There are these six groups of craving: craving for things seen, for things heard, for odours, for tastes, for things tangible, for ideas. This is called craving.

[9][than] And what, brethren, is feeling?

There are these six groups of feeling: feeling that is born of eye-contact, feeling that is born of ear-contact, feeling that is born of nose-contact, feeling that is born of tongue-contact, feeling that is born of body-contact, feeling that is born of mind-contact. This is called feeling.

[10][than] And what, brethren, is contact?

There are these six groups of contact: eye-contact, ear-, nose-, tongue-, body-, mind-contact. This is called contact.

[11][than] And what, brethren, is sixfold sense?

The sense of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind. This is called sixfold sense.

[12][than] And what, brethren, is name-and-shape?

Feeling, perception, will, contact, work of mind.

This is called name.

The four great elements and the shape derived from them.

This is called shape.

This is the name, this is the shape called name-and-shape.

[13][than] And what is consciousness?

These are the six groups of consciousness:
— eye-consciousness,
ear-consciousness,
smell-,
taste-,
touch-,
and mind-consciousness.

This is called consciousness.

[14][than] And what are activities?

These are the three activities: — those of deed, speech and mind. These are activities.

[15][than] And what is ignorance?

Nescience concerning ill, its rise, its cessation and concerning the way going to the cessation of ill. This is called ignorance.

[16][than] So thus, brethren: — Conditioned by ignorance activities come to pass;
conditioned by activities consciousness,
conditioned by consciousness name-and-shape,
conditioned by name-and-shape sense,
conditioned by sense contact,
conditioned by contact feeling,
conditioned by feeling craving,
conditioned by craving grasping,
conditioned by grasping becoming,
conditioned by becoming birth,
conditioned by birth old age-and death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, despair come to pass.

Such is the uprising of this entire mass of ill.

[17][than] But from the utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance [comes] ceasing of activities;
from ceasing of activities ceasing of consciousness;
from ceasing of consciousness ceasing of name-and-shape;
from ceasing of name-and-shape ceasing of sense;
from ceasing of sense ceasing of contact;
from ceasing of contact ceasing of feeling;
from ceasing of feeling ceasing of craving;
from ceasing of craving ceasing of grasping;
from ceasing of grasping ceasing of becoming;
from ceasing of becoming ceasing of birth;
from ceasing of birth,
old age-and-death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, despair cease.

Such is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill.

 


[1] The text here and frequently in following Suttas merely gives '...staying at Sāvatthī...' eliding the rest.

[2] Vibhajissāmi. The Order of the Sākya Gotama became known betimes as that of the Vibhajjavādins, or Analysis-school. Cf. M. ii (#99: Subha Sutta). p. 197: Points of Controversy, xxxviii, xl, f.

[3] The formula of the 'coming to pass' or former section is here repeated in full. See §1. [Ed., in this edition it is restored per the previous sutta.]

[4] Cf. Dialogues of the Buddha, ii, 338. 'Old age' = 'decay' = jarā.

[5] Bhedo, lit. breakage. It has a wider meaning than the 'breaking up' (khaṇḍiccaṃ) in the preceding sentence, being useed for both 'division' and 'schism.'

[6] Maccumaraṇaṃ: — 'that is, the dying known as maccu (mortal). By this he rejects dying as an annihilation.' Comy. Hence maccu (Sanskrit, m.rityu) must have been a word associated with the doctrine of rebirth.

[7] Component factors = khandha's, literally, heaps, aggregates, mental and bodily.

[8] 'As if descending, entering, they take conception.' Comy.

[9] I leave these terms untranslated. Briefly kāma (desire associated with sense) connotes existence in purgatory, or as animal, or as peta (manes), or as man, or as deva in the nearer worlds akin to earth. Rūpa (visible form) connotes existence in the further Brahma-, and super-Brahma-world. Arūpa (invisible or incorporeal) refers to worlds of abstract conceptions, never in any degree concretely apprehended.


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