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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
XII. Nidāna Saɱyutta
VII. Mahā 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
7. The Great Chapter

Sutta 61

Paṭhama Assutavantu Suttaɱ

The Untaught

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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


[94] [65]

[1][than][niza][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:

"The untaught manyfolk, brethren,
might well be repelled by this body,
child of the four great elements,
might cease to fancy it
and wish to be free from it.

Why so?

Seen is the growth and decay of this body,
child of the four great elements,
the taking on
and the laying down of it.

Hence well might the manyfolk be repelled by it,
cease to fancy it,
and wish to be free from it.

Yet this, brethren, that we call thought,
that we call mind,
that we call consciousness,
by this the untaught manyfolk are not able to feel repelled,
they are not able to cease fancying it
or to be freed from it.

Why so?

For many a long day, brethren,
has it been for the uneducated manyfolk
that to which they cleave,
that which they call 'mine,'
that which they wrongly conceive thinking:

'That is mine; this I am; this is my spirit.'

Hence the untaught manyfolk
are not able to feel repelled by it,
are not able to cease fancying it,
are not able to be freed from it.

It were better, brethren,
if the untaught manyfolk approached this body,
child of the four great elements,
as the self rather than the mind.

Why so?

Seen is it, brethren, how this body,
child of the four great elements,
persists for a year,
[66] persists for two years,
persists for three,
four,
five,
ten,
twenty,
thirty years,
persists for forty,
for fifty years,
persists for a hundred years
and even longer.

But this, brethren, that we call thought,
that we call mind,
that we call consciousness,
that arises as one thing,
ceases as another,
whether by night or by day.[1]

Just as a monkey, brethren,
faring through the woods,
through the great forest
catches hold of a bough,
letting it go
seizes another,
even so that which we call thought,
that we call mind,
that we call consciousness,
that arises as one thing,
ceases as another,
both by night and by day.

Herein, brethren, the well taught Ariyan disciple
gives his mind thoroughly and systematically
to the causal law:

This being,
that comes to be;
from the arising of this,
that arises.

This not being,
that does not come to be;
from the cessation of this,
that ceases.

That is to say:

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.

But from the utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance 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.

Seeing thus, brethren,
the well taught Ariyan disciple
is repelled by bodily shape,
is repelled by feeling
and by perception
and by activities
and by consciousness.

Being repelled
he is not attracted by them;
unattracted he is set free,
and the knowledge comes
in freedom
about freedom.

And he knows that birth is perished,
the divine life lived,
done that which was to be done,
no hereafter to these conditions!

 


[1] Or 'by day as by night one arises when another perishes.' The añño ... añño (alter ... alter) is not easy to render exactly. This illustration of consciousness, mind, thought by a monkey became classical in Buddhist countries. Cf. my Buddhist Psychology (Quest Series), p. 34f. 'Child of,' etc. = literally 'four-great-element-ish.'


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