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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
The Book of the Discipline,
Volume IV Mahāvagga
Chapter 21.

Translated by I.B. Horner, M.A.,
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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21.
The Disquisition on Burning

Then the Lord, having stayed at Uruvela for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Gayā Head together with a large Order of monks, with all those same thousand monks who had formerly been matted hair ascetics. Then the Lord stayed near Gayā at Gayā Head together with the thousand monks.

And there the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks, everything is burning.[1] And what, monks, is everything that is burning? The eye, monks, is burning, material shapes are burning, consciousness through the eye[2] is burning, impingement on the eye[3] is burning, in other words the feeling which arises from impingement on the eye, be it pleasant or painful or neither painful nor pleasant, that too is burning. With what is it burning? I say it is burning with the fire of passion,[4] with the fire of hatred, with the fire of stupidity; it is burning because of birth, ageing, dying, because of grief, sorrow, suffering, lamentation and despair.

The ear is burning, sounds are burning . . . the nose is burning, odours are burning . . . the tongue is burning, tastes are burning . . . the body is burning, tangible objects are burning . . . the mind is burning, mental states are burning, consciousness through the mind[5] is burning, impingement on the mind is burning, in other words the feeling which raises through impingement on the mind, be it pleasant or painful or neither painful nor pleasant, that too is burning. With what is it burning? I say it is burning with the fire of passion, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of stupidity; it is burning because of birth, ageing, dying, because of grief, sorrow, suffering, lamentation and despair.

Seeing this, monks, the instructed disciple of the ariyans disregards the eye and he disregards material shapes and he [46] disregards consciousness through the eye and he disregards impingement on the eye, in other words the feeling which arises from impingement on the eye, be it pleasant or painful or neither painful nor pleasant, that too he disregards. And he disregards the ear and he disregards sounds, and he disregards the nose [34] and he disregards odours, and he disregards the tongue and he disregards tastes, and he disregards the body and he disregards tangible objects, and he disregards the mind and he disregards mental states and he disregards consciousness through the mind and he disregards impingement on the mind, in other words the feeling that arises from impingement on the mind, be it pleasant or painful or neither painful nor pleasant, that too he disregards; disregarding, he is dispassionate; through dispassion he is freed; in freedom the knowledge comes to be, 'I am freed', and he comprehends: Destroyed is birth, lived is the Brahma-faring, done is what was to be done, there is no more of being such or such.[6]"

And while this discourse was being uttered, the minds of these thousand monks were freed from the cankers without grasping.

Told is the Disquisition[7] on Burning.

 


[1] Quoted at Kvu. 209.

[2] cakkhuviññāṇa, i.e. cognising by the eye, vision or seeing. See Bud. Psych. Ethics, 2nd edn., p. 161, n. 5; Dial. ii. 340, iii. 230; and cf. M. i. III f.

[3] cakkhusamphassa, or impression on, or contact with, the eye.

[4] Quoted at SnA. 32.

[5] manoviññāṇa, i.e. cognising by the mind, 'apprehending'.

[6] As above, p. 21. 1

[7] pariyāya.

 


 

References:

see also: SN 4.35.28
SN 3.22.61


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