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Saɱyutta Nikāya
3. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandha Saɱyutta
9. Thera Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
3. The Book Called the Khandhā-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the Elements of Sensory Existence and other Subjects
22. Kindred Sayings on Elements
9. The Elders

Sutta 90

Channa Suttaɱ

Channa[1]

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[132] [111]

[1][than][bodh] Thus have I heard:—

Once a number of brethren were staying near Benares
at Isipatana
in the Deer Park.

Then the venerable Channa,
rising at eventide from his [112] solitude,
took his doorkey
and went from lodging to lodging,
saying to the brethren:

"May the venerable elders teach me.

May the venerable elders
grant me pious converse
so that I may see the Norm."

Whereupon those elder brethren said to the venerable Channa:

"Body is impermanent, friend Channa.

Feeling is impermanent:
perception is impermanent,
the activities are impermanent
consciousness is impermanent.

Body is not the Self,
feeling is not the Self,
perception is not the Self,
the activities are not the Self,
consciousness is not the Self.

All compounded things are impermanent.

Woodward's 'conditions' is 'dhamma', 'things', which given the multiplicity of terms translated 'conditions' only confuses things further. "Everything own-made (or compounded) is impermanent; all 'things' are not the self"

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

All conditions[2] are not the Self."

Then the venerable Channa thought thus:

"Yes, I too see this.

Impermanent is body,
impermanent is feeling,
impermanent is perception,
impermanent is the activities
impermanent is consciousness.

Body is not the Self,
feeling is not the Self,
perception is not the Self,
the activities are not the Self,
consciousness is not the Self.

Impermanent are all compounded things.

All conditions are not the Self.

Nevertheless, for the calming of all activities,
for the giving up of all the bases of birth,
for the destruction of craving,
for passionlessness,
for cessation,
for Nibbāna,
my heart springs not up withm me.

It is not calmed,
it is not released from trembling.

But grasping arises,
and my mind shrinks back again
(at the thought):

'Who forsooth is the Self?'

This way[3]
I cannot see the Norm.

Who is there to teach me the Norm,
so that I may see the Norm?"

Then this thought came to the venerable Channa:

"Here is this venerable Ānanda
staying at Kosambī
in Ghosita Park.

One praised by the Master
and honoured by intelligent co- [113] mates
of the righteous life.

The venerable Ānanda
is the man to show me the Norm
so that I may see the Norm.

I put full trust
in the venerable Ānanda for this.

What if I were to go to the venerable Ānanda?"

So the venerable Channa put his lodging in order,
and taking bowl and robe,
set out for Kosambī
and Ghosita Park,
where the venerable Ānanda was staying.

When he got there
he greeted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated
the venerable Channa said to the venerable Ānanda:

"Of late, friend Ānanda,
I have been staying near Benares,
at Isipatana,
in the Deer Park.

Then at eventide,
arising from my solitude,
I took my doorkey
and went from lodging to lodging,
saying to the elder brethren:

'May the venerable elders instruct me with pious converse,
so that I may see the Norm.'

Thereupon, friend,
the elder brethren said to me:

'Body is impermanent, friend Channa.

Feeling is impermanent:
perception is impermanent,
the activities are impermanent
consciousness is impermanent.

Body is not the Self,
feeling is not the Self,
perception is not the Self,
the activities are not the Self,
consciousness is not the Self.

All compounded things are impermanent.

All conditions are not the Self.'

Then I thought thus:

'Yes, I too see this.

Impermanent is body,
impermanent is feeling,
impermanent is perception,
impermanent is the activities
impermanent is consciousness.

Body is not the Self,
feeling is not the Self,
perception is not the Self,
the activities are not the Self,
consciousness is not the Self.

Impermanent are all compounded things.

All conditions are not the Self.

Nevertheless, for the calming of all activities,
for the giving up of all the bases of birth,
for the destruction of craving,
for passionlessness,
for cessation,
for Nibbāna,
my heart springs not up withm me.

It is not calmed,
it is not released from trembling.

But grasping arises,
and my mind shrinks back again
(at the thought):

"Who forsooth is the Self?"

This way
I cannot see the Norm.

Who is there to teach me the Norm,
so that I may see the Norm?'

Then this thought came to me:

'Here is this venerable Ānanda
staying at Kosambī
in Ghosita Park.

One praised by the Master
and honoured by intelligent co-mates
of the righteous life.

The venerable Ānanda
is the man to show me the Norm
so that I may see the Norm.

I put full trust
in the venerable Ānanda for this.

What if I were to go to the venerable Ānanda?'

May the venerable Ānanda teach and instruct me.

May the venerable Ānanda grant me pious converse
so that I may see the Norm."

"Thus far, indeed,
I am pleased with the venerable Channa.

For now the venerable Channa
has made things plain
and has broken np the fallow ground.[4]

Lend an ear, friend Channa.

You are fit to understand the Norm!"

And there sprang up
there and then in the venerable Channa
a wondrous eagerness and joy
at the thought:

"He says I am fit to understand the Norm."

Then said the venerable Ānanda:

"From the very lips of the Exalted One, friend Channa,
from his very lips
as he taught brother Kacchāna-gotta,[5]
I heard this:

'On two things, Kaccāna,
does this world generally base [114] its view, -
on existence
and on non-existence.

Now he who
with right insight
sees the arising of the world
as it really is,
does not believe in the non-existence of the world.

But, Kaccāna, he who
with right insight
sees the ceasing of the world
as it really is,
does not believe in the existence of the world.

Grasping after systems,
imprisoned by dogmas
is this world, Kaccāna,
for the most part.

And he who does not go after,
does not grasp at,
does not take his stand on
this system-grasping,
this dogma,
this mental bias, -
such an one does not say:

"It is my soul."[6]

He who thinks:

"That which arises
is but ill:
that which ceases,
it is ill,"[7]
such an one has no doubts,
no perplexity.

In this matter,
knowledge not borrowed from others
comes to him.

Thus far, Kaccāna, goes right view.

"All exists," Kaccāna, -
that is one extreme.

"Nought exists," Kaccāna, -
that is the other extreme.

Not approaching either extreme, Kaccāna,
the Tathāgata teaches you
a doctrine by the middle way:

Conditioned by ignorance come the activities:
conditioned by the activities comes consciousness,[ed1]
conditioned by consciousness comes name-and-shape,
conditioned by name-and-shape comes sense,
conditioned by sense comes contact,
conditioned by contact comes feeling,
conditioned by feeling comes craving,
conditioned by craving comes grasping,
conditioned by grasping comes becoming,
conditioned by becoming comes birth,
conditioned by birth comes decay-and-death,
grief,
suffering,
unhappiness,
despair.

Thus is the arising of this whole mass of ill.

By the utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance
comes the ceasing of the activities,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of the activities,
comes the ceasing of consciousness,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of consciousness,
comes the ceasing of name-and-shape,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of name-and-shape,
comes the ceasing of sense,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of sense,
comes the ceasing of contact,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of contact,
comes the ceasing of feeling,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of feeling,
comes the ceasing of craving,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of craving,
comes the ceasing of grasping,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of grasping,
comes the ceasing of becoming,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of becoming,
comes the ceasing of birth,
by the utter fading away and ceasing of birth,
comes the ceasing of decay-and-death,
grief,
suffering,
unhappiness,
despair.

Thus is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill.'"[8]

"This, friend Ānanda,
is what comes to those venerable ones
who have such co-mates in the righteous life,
compassionate,
desiring our good,
admonishers,
instructors.

Hearing this Norm-teaching from the venerable Ānanda
I am firmly established in the Norm."

 


[1] Channa may be he of Thag. 69; Brethren, p. 70. But according to the Comy. he is the very Channa of the 'renunciation' legend of the Buddha. The son of a slave, he was born on the same day as Gotama and 'went forth' with him. Apparently of small intelligence, he used to talk of 'our Buddha,' 'our Dhamma,' was secretive and jealous, and disagreeable to his follows owing to his sharp tongue. According to Comy. the events of this sutta happened after the death of the Master, who on his deathbed ordered the brethren to 'put Channa into Coventry.' Cf. D. ii, 154 (brahma-daṇḍa). Owing to this he could get no speech with them. Hence his wandering away to Benares. At S. iv, 55-60 he kills himself owing to an incurable disease. [Ed.: but this must be another Channa. And the Channa of this sutta must also be another Channa, as he is, in fact, given instructions by the bhikkhus.]

[2] Comy. asks, 'why did they speak only of two of the truths and not the usual three?' Because, they said, 'If wo say "all things are sorrowful," he will conclude that the Path and its Fruits are also sorrowful, and abstain trom striving after them.' [Ed. Further, if they said that they would be misrepresenting what the Buddha said, which was not "All Things are Dukkha" but "All that is own-made (or constructed, sankhārā) is Dukkha." for "All Things" (dhammā) he said: "All Things are not-self."]

[3] Comy. reads evaŋ for text etaŋ.

[4] Avi-akāsi, khilaŋ pabhindi, the latter phrase occurs at S. i, 193. Khila is unploughed land and here signifies mental callousness. Cf. Sn. 973.

[5] At S. ii, 17; K.S. ii, 12, where text reads Kaccāyana. Comy. here and elsewhere reads Kaccāna.

[6] Or my self: attā me ti. Cf. below, § 91."

[7] S. i, 135; K.S. i, p. 179.

[8] Cf. Pts of Contr., p. 60 n. Thus the world-process is 'a cosmos of conditions becoming.'

 


[ed1] Woodward abridges, the details are taken from K.S. ii, 12,


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