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Saɱyutta Nikāya:
IV. Saḷāyatana Vagga:
43: Asaŋkhata Saɱyuttaɱ

Sutta 8

Vaccha (or Bandha or Khandha) Suttaɱ

Vacchagotta

Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Copyright Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)
This selection from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saɱyutta Nikāya by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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[1][pts][than] Then the wanderer Vacchagotta approached the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him.

When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:

"How is it, Master Gotama, is the world eternal?"

(/as above/)

"What, Master Gotama, is the cause and reason why, when wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as:

'The world is eternal' ...

or

'The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'

And what is the cause and reason why, when Master Gotama is asked such questions, he does not give such answers?"

"Vaccha, wanderers of other sects regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

They regard feeling as self ...

perception as self ...

volitional formations as self ...

consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.

Therefore, when the wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as:

'The world is eternal' ...

or

'The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'

But, Vaccha, the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, does not regard form as self ...

or self as in consciousness.

Therefore, when the Tathāgata is asked such questions, he does not give such answers."

Then the wanderer Vacchagotta rose from his seat and approached the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna.

He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna ... and said to him:

"How is it, Master Moggallāna, is the world eternal?"

/All as above down to:/)

"Vaccha, the Blessed One has not declared this either:

'The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'"

"What, Master Moggallāna, is the cause and reason why, when wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as:

'The world is eternal' ...

or

'The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death'?

And what is the cause and reason why when the ascetic Gotama is asked such questions, he does not give such answers?"

"Vaccha, wanderers of other sects regard form as self ...

or self as in consciousness.

Therefore, when the wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as:

'The world is eternal' ...

or

'The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'

But, Vaccha, the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, does not regard form as self ...

or self as in consciousness.

Therefore, when the Tathāgata is asked such questions, he does not give such answers."

"It is wonderful, Master Moggallāna!

It is amazing, Master Moggallāna!

How the meaning and the phrasing of both teacher and disciple coincide and agree with each other and do not diverge, that is, in regard to the chief matter.

Just now, Master Moggallāna, I approached the ascetic Gotama and asked him about this matter.

The ascetic Gotama explained this matter to me in exactly the same terms and phrases that Master Moggallāna used.

It is wonderful, Master Moggallāna!

It is amazing, Master Moggallāna!

How the meaning and the phrasing of both teacher and disciple coincide and agree with each other and do not diverge, that is, in regard to the chief matter."


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