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Sa'nyutta Nikaya
IV. Sa.laayatana Vagga
44. Avyaakata Sa'nyutta

Book of the Kindred Sayings
4. The Sa.laayatana Book
44. Kindred Sayings about the Unrevealed

Sutta 8

Vaccha (or Bandha or Khandha) Sutta.m

Vaccha (or 'Bond')

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
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[1][than][bodh]Thus have I heard:

Then the Wanderer, Vacchagotta, came to visit the Exalted One
and on coming to him
greeted him courteously,
and after the exchange of civilities
sat down at one side.

So seated, the Wanderer, Vacchagotta,
said to the Exalted One: -

"How now, master Gotama?

Is the world eternal?"

"It is not revealed, Vaccha,
that the world is eternal."

"How then, master Gotama.

Is the world not eternal, then?"

"This too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that the world is not eternal."

"Then is the world finite, master Gotama?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealedthe world is finite."

"Then, master Gotama, is the world infinite?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that the world is infinite."

"How say you, master Gotama?

"Is life the same as body?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that life is the same as body."

"How then, master Gotama?

Is life one thing and body another?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that life is one thing and body another."

"Then tell me this, master Gotama.

Does the Tathaagata, exist after death?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that the Tathaagata, exists after death"

"Does the Tathaagata, not exist after death?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that the Tathaagata, does not exist after death"

"Does the Tathaagata, both exist and not exist after death?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that the Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death"

"Does the Tathaagata, neither exist nor not-exist after death?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed,
that the Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not exist after death"

 


 

"Now, master Gotama, what is the reason,
what is the cause
why the Wanderers of other views,
when questioned on these points answer that:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'

"Now, master Gotama, what is the reason,
what is the cause
why the master Gotama,
when questioned thus,
does not answer that:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'?

 


 

"The Wanderers of other views, Vaccha,
regard the body as the self,[1]
regard the self as having body,
regard body as being in the self,
regard the self as being in the body.

They regard feeling as the self
regard the self as having feeling,
regard feeling as being in the self,
regard the self as being in feeling.

They regard perception as the self
regard the self as having perception,
regard perception as being in the self,
regard the self as being in perception.

They regard the activities as the self
regard the self as having the activities,
regard the activities as being in the self,
regard the self as being in the activities.

They regard consciousness as the self,
regard the self as having consciousness,
or consciousness as being in the self,
or the self as being in the consciousness.

That is why the Wanderers of other views,
when thus questioned, reply:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'

 


 

But the Tathaagata, Vaccha
the .Trabant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
does not regard body as the self,
does not regard the self as having body,
does not regard body as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in the body.

He does not regard feeling as the self,
does not regard the self as having feeling,
does not regard feeling as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in feeling.

He does not regard perception as the self,
does not regard the self as having perception,
does not regard perception as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in perception.

He does not regard the activities as the self,
does not regard the self as having the activities,
does not regard the activities as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in thethe activities.

He does not regard consciousness as the self,
does not regard the self as having consciousness,
does not regard consciousness as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in consciousness.

Therefore the Tathaagata,,
when thus questioned,
does not reply:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'

 


 

Thereupon the Wanderer Vacchagotta rose from his seat
and went to see Moggallaana the Great,
and on coming to him
saluted him courteously,
and after the exchange of civilities
sat down at one side.

So seated
the Wanderer Vacchagotta said to Moggallaana the Great: -

"How say you, master Moggallaana?

Is the world eternal?"

"This is not revealed by the Exalted One, Vaccha."

"How then, master Moggallaana.

Is the world not eternal, then?"

"This too, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"Then is the world finite, master Moggallaana?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"Then, master Moggallaana, is the world infinite?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"How say you, master Moggallaana?

"Is life the same as body?"

"That is not revealed by the Exalted One, Vaccha."

"How then, master Moggallaana?

Is life one thing and body another?"

"That too, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"Then tell me this, master Moggallaana.

Does the Tathaagata, exist after death?"

"That, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"Does the Tathaagata, not exist after death?"

"That, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"Does the Tathaagata, both exist and not exist after death?"

"That, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

"Does the Tathaagata, neither exist nor not-exist after death?"

"That, Vaccha, is not revealed by the Exalted One."

 


 

"Now, master Moggallaana, what is the reason,
what is the cause
why the Wanderers of other views,
when questioned on these points answer that:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'

"Now, master Moggallaana, what is the reason,
what is the cause
why Gotama the recluse,
when questioned thus,
does not answer that:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'?

 


 

"The Wanderers of other views, Vaccha,
regard the body as the self,
regard the self as having body,
regard body as being in the self,
regard the self as being in the body.

They regard feeling as the self
regard the self as having feeling,
regard feeling as being in the self,
regard the self as being in feeling.

They regard perception as the self
regard the self as having perception,
regard perception as being in the self,
regard the self as being in perception.

They regard the activities as the self
regard the self as having the activities,
regard the activities as being in the self,
regard the self as being in the activities.

They regard consciousness as the self,
regard the self as having consciousness,
or consciousness as being in the self,
or the self as being in the consciousness.

Therefore the Wanderers of other views,
when questioned thus,
reply:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'

 


 

But the Tathaagata, Vaccha
the .Trabant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
does not regard body as the self,
does not regard the self as having body,
does not regard body as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in the body.

He does not regard feeling as the self,
does not regard the self as having feeling,
does not regard feeling as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in feeling.

He does not regard perception as the self,
does not regard the self as having perception,
does not regard perception as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in perception.

He does not regard the activities as the self,
does not regard the self as having the activities,
does not regard the activities as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in thethe activities.

He does not regard consciousness as the self,
does not regard the self as having consciousness,
does not regard consciousness as being in the self,
does not regard the self as being in consciousness.

Therefore when questioned on these things he does not reply:

'The world is eternal,'

or:

'The world is not eternal,'

'The world is finite,'

or:

'The world is infinite,'

'Life is the same as body,'

or:

'Life is one thing and body is another,'

The Tathaagata, exists after death.'

or

'The Tathaagata, does not exist after death?'

or:

'The Tathaagata, both exists and does not exist after death'

or:

'The Tathaagata, neither exists nor does not-exist after death'

"Wonderful, master Moggallaana!

Strange it is, master Moggallaana,
how the explanation both of Master and disciple,
both in spirit and in letter,
can agree,
can harmonize,
cannot be inconsistent,
that is, as regards any essential phrase.

Now, master Moggallaana, I went to visit Gotama the recluse,
and I asked him this same thing,
and he replied to me
in the very same words and syllables
as the worthy Moggallaana.

Wonderful, master Moggallaana!

Strange it is, master Moggallaana,
how the explanation both of master and disciple,
both in spirit and in letter,
will agree,
will harmonize,
will not suffer loss,
that is, in any word about the highest."

 


[1] Cf. K.S. iii, 3.


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