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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
XII. Nidāna Saɱyutta
IV. Kaḷarakhattiyo Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
12. The Kindred Sayings on Cause
4. Kaḷāra the Nobleman

Sutta 35

Paṭhama Avijjā-Paccayā Desanā Suttaɱ

Conditioned by Ignorance (1)

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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


[60] [43]

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

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

And there the Exalted One addressed the brethren, saying:

'Brethren!'

'Master!' responded those brethren.

The Exalted One said:

"Conditioned by ignorance activities come to pass;
conditioned by activities consciousness,
conditioned by consciousness name-and-shape,
conditioned by name-and-shape six-fold-sense,
conditioned by six-fold-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 having been said, a certain bhikkhu asked:][ed1]

"Now what, lord, is decay-and-dying?

And whose is this decay-and-dying?"[1]

"Not a fit question," said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is decay-and-dying?

And whose is this decay-and-dying?'

or you might say,
'decay-and-death is one thing,
but [the person] who grows old and dies is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul[2] and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither [44] of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by birth is decay-and-dying.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is birth?

And whose is this birth?"

"Not a fit question," said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is birth?

And whose is this birth?'

or you might say,
'birth is one thing,
but [the person] who is born is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by becoming is birth.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is becoming?

And whose is this becoming?"

"Not a fit question," said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is becoming?

And whose is this becoming?'

or you might say,
'becoming is one thing,
but [the person] who becomes is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by grasping is becoming.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is grasping?

And whose is this grasping?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is grasping?

And whose is this grasping?'

or you might say,
'grasping is one thing,
but [the person] who grasps is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by craving is grasping.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is craving?

And whose is this craving?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is craving?

And whose is this craving?'

or you might say,
'craving is one thing,
but [the person] who craves is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by feeling is craving.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is feeling?

And whose is this feeling?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is feeling?

And whose is this feeling?'

or you might say,
'feeling is one thing,
but [the person] who feels is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by contact is feeling.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is contact?

And whose is this contact?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is contact?

And whose is this contact?'

or you might say,
'contact is one thing,
but [the person] who contacts is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by six-fold-sense is contact.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is six-fold-sense?

And whose is this six-fold-sense?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is six-fold-sense?

And whose is this six-fold-sense?'

or you might say,
'six-fold-sense is one thing,
but [the person] with six-fold-sense[ed2] is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by name-and-shape is six-fold-sense.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is name-and-shape?

And whose is this name-and-shape?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is name-and-shape?

And whose is this name-and-shape?'

or you might say,
'name-and-shape is one thing,
but [the person] with name-and-shape is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by consciousness is name-and-shape.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, is consciousness?

And whose is this consciousness?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what is consciousness?

And whose is this consciousness?'

or you might say,
'consciousness is one thing,
but [the person] with consciousness is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by activities is consciousness.'"

Then that brother questioned the Exalted One:

"Now what, lord, are activities?

And whose are these activities?"

"Not a fit question", said the Exalted One.

"You might ask, brother:

'Now what are activities?

And whose are these activities?'

or you might say,
'activities are one thing,
but [the person] with activities is another thing' -
if you did so,
both [pairs of questions] would be the same in meaning,
different only in form.

Where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are one and the same,'

there there is no divine living.

Or where, brother, there is the view:

'Soul and body are different things,'

there there is no divine living.

The Tathāgata reaches neither of these two extremes;
he teaches a Middle [Way], and says:

'Conditioned by ignorance are activities.'"

 


 

But, brother, from the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,[3]
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is decay-and-dying
and then whose is this decay-and-dying,
or saying decay-and-dying and he who decays-and-dies
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is birth
and then whose is this birth,
or saying birth and he who is born
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is becoming
and then whose is this becoming,
or saying becoming and he who becomes
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is grasping
and then whose is this grasping,
or saying grasping and he who grasps
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is craving
and then whose is this craving,
or saying craving and he who craves
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is feeling
and then whose is this feeling,
or saying feeling and he who feels
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is contact
and then whose is this contact,
or saying contact and he who contacts
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is sixfold sense
and then whose is this sixfold sense,
or saying sixfold sense and he who has sixfold sense
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is name-and-shape
and then whose is this name-and-shape,
or saying name-and-shape and he who has name-and-shape
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what is consciousness
and then whose is this consciousness,
or saying consciousness and he who has consciousness
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

From the utter fading out and ceasing of ignorance
these disorders,
these disagreements,
these distortions,
all whatever they be, -

the asking first what are activities
and then whose are these activities,
or saying activities and he who has activity
are different one from the other,
or to say soul is body,
or soul and body are different things -

all such props become cast out,
they have been cut off at the root,
made like the stump of a palmtree,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

 


[1] Neither does the Comy. specify the questioner.

Jīva. 'life.' Bhk. Thanissaro 'life-principle', Bhk. Bodhi: 'soul'; Warren: 'soul.' Using 'soul' here distorts the meaning and risks confusion with 'attāṃ'.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[2] 'Soul' = jīva.

[3] Cf. above i, 155. The comment on the three terms here is a little different, and is given in Index ii, at *visukāyitāni.

 


[ed1] Omitted by Mrs. Rhys Davids.

[ed2] Mrs. Rhys Davids abridgment does not explain how this would be constructed by her.


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