Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikaaya
III. Upari Pa.n.naasa
5. Sa.laayatana Vagga

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha

Sutta 149

Mahaa Sa.laayatanika Sutta.m

The Great Sixfold Base

Translated from the Pali by Ñanamoli Thera.
edited and revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 1995 Bhikkhu Bodhi
Published by
Wisdom Publications
Boston, MA 02115

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Also: (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1993).
Copyright ©1993 Buddhist Publication Society.

Also: Used here based on the conditions for publication on Access to Insight for which see: Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than][upal] THUS HAVE IEARD:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Saavatthii in Jeta's Grove, Anaathapi.n.dika's Park. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: "Bhikkhus." -"Venerable sir," they replied. The Blessed One said this:

2. "Bhikkhus, I shall teach you a discourse on the great sixfold base. Listen and attend closely to what I shall say." - "Yes, venerable sir," the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

3. "Bhikkhus, when one does not know and see the eye as it actually is,[1338] when one does not know and see forms as they actually are, when one does not know and see eye-consciousness as it actually is, when one does not know and see eye-contact as it actually is, when one does not know and see as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor­pleasant that arises with eye-contact as condition, then one is inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, for eye-consciousness, for eye-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact as condition.

"When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up for oneself in the future;1339 and one's craving - which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that - increases. One's bodily and mental troubles increase, one's bodily and mental torments increase, one's bodily and mental fevers increase, and one experiences bodily and mental suffering.

4. "When one does not know and see the ear as it actually is, when one does not know and see sounds as they actually are, when one does not know and see ear-consciousness as it actually is, when one does not know and see ear-contact as it actually is, when one does not know and see as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor­pleasant that arises with ear-contact as condition, then one is inflamed by lust for the ear, for sounds, for ear-consciousness, for ear-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with ear-contact as condition.

5. "When one does not know and see the nose as it actually is, when one does not know and see odours as they actually are, when one does not know and see nose-consciousness as it actually is, when one does not know and see nose-contact as it actually is, when one does not know and see as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor­pleasant that arises with nose-contact as condition, then one is inflamed by lust for the nose, for odours, for nose-consciousness, for nose-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with nose-contact as condition.

6. "When one does not know and see the tongue as it actually is, when one does not know and see flavours as they actually are, when one does not know and see tongue-consciousness as it actually is, when one does not know and see tongue-contact as it actually is, when one does not know and see as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor­pleasant that arises with tongue-contact as condition, then one is inflamed by lust for the tongue, for flavours, for tongue-consciousness, for tongue-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with tongue-contact as condition.

7. "When one does not know and see the body as it actually is, when one does not know and see tangibles as they actually are, when one does not know and see body-consciousness as it actually is, when one does not know and see body-contact as it actually is, when one does not know and see as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor­pleasant that arises with body-contact as condition, then one is inflamed by lust for the body, for tangibles, for body-consciousness, for body-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with body-contact as condition.

8. "When one does not know and see the mind as it actually is, when one does not know and see mind-objects as they actually are, when one does not know and see mind-consciousness as it actually is, when one does not know and see mind-contact as it actually is, when one does not know and see as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor­pleasant that arises with mind-contact as condition, then one is inflamed by lust for the mind, for mind-objects, for mind-consciousness, for mind-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact as condition.

"When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up for oneself in the future; and one's craving - which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that - increases. One's bodily and mental troubles increase, one's bodily and mental torments increase, one's bodily and mental fevers increase, and one experiences bodily and mental suffering.

9. "Bhikkhus, when one knows and sees the eye as it actually is,[1340] when one knows and sees forms as they actually are, when one knows and sees eye-consciousness as it actually is, when one knows and sees eye-contact as it actually is, when one knows and sees as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact as condition, then one is not inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, for eye-consciousness, for eye-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact as condition.

"When one abides uninflamed by lust, unfettered, uninfatuated, contemplating danger, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are diminished for oneself in the future; and one's craving - which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this or that - is abandoned. One's bodily and mental troubles are abandoned, one's bodily and mental torments are abandoned, one's bodily and mental fevers are abandoned, and one experiences bodily and mental pleasure.

10. "The view of a person such as this is right view. His intention is right intention, his effort is right effort, his mindfulness is right mindfulness, his concentration is right concentration. But his bodily action, his verbal action, and his livelihood have already been well purified earlier.[1341] Thus this Noble Eightfold Path comes to fulfilment in him by development. When he develops this Noble Eightfold Path, the four foundations of mindfulness also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four right kinds of striving also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four bases for spiritual power also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five faculties also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five powers also come to fulfilment in him by development; the seven enlightenment factors also come to fulfilment in him by development. These two things - serenity and insight - occur in him yoked evenly together.[1342] He fully understands by direct knowledge those things that should be fully understood by direct knowledge. He abandons by direct knowledge those things that should be abandoned by direct knowledge. He develops by direct knowledge those things that should be developed by direct knowledge. He realises by direct knowledge those things that should be realised by direct knowledge.[1343]

11. "And what things should be fully understood by direct knowledge? The answer to that is: the five aggregates affected by clinging, that is, the material form aggregate affected by clinging, the feeling aggregate affected by clinging, the perception aggregate affected by clinging, the formations aggregate affected by clinging, the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging. These are the things that should be fully understood by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be abandoned by direct knowledge? Ignorance and craving for being. These are the things that should be abandoned by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be developed by direct knowledge? Serenity and insight.[1344] These are the things that should be developed by direct knowledge.
"And what things should be realised by direct knowledge? True knowledge and deliverance.[1345] These are the things that should be realised by direct knowledge.[1346]

12. "When one knows and sees the ear as it actually is, when one knows and sees sounds as they actually are, when one knows and sees ear-consciousness as it actually is, when one knows and sees ear-contact as it actually is, when one knows and sees as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with ear-contact as condition, then one is not inflamed by lust for the ear, for sounds, for ear-consciousness, for ear-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with ear-contact as condition.

13. "When one knows and sees the nose as it actually is, when one knows and sees odours as they actually are, when one knows and sees nose-consciousness as it actually is, when one knows and sees nose-contact as it actually is, when one knows and sees as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with nose-contact as condition, then one is not inflamed by lust for the nose, for odours, for nose-consciousness, for nose-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with nose-contact as condition.

14. "When one knows and sees the tongue as it actually is, when one knows and sees flavours as they actually are, when one knows and sees tongue-consciousness as it actually is, when one knows and sees tongue-contact as it actually is, when one knows and sees as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with tongue-contact as condition, then one is not inflamed by lust for the tongue, for flavours, for tongue-consciousness, for tongue-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with tongue-contact as condition.

15. "When one knows and sees the body as it actually is, when one knows and sees tangibles as they actually are, when one knows and sees body-consciousness as it actually is, when one knows and sees body-contact as it actually is, when one knows and sees as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with body-contact as condition, then one is not inflamed by lust for the body, for tangibles, for body-consciousness, for body-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with body-contact as condition.

16. "When one knows and sees the mind as it actually is, when one knows and sees mind-objects as they actually are, when one knows and sees mind-consciousness as it actually is, when one knows and sees mind-contact as it actually is, when one knows and sees as it actually is [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact as condition, then one is not inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, for mind-consciousness, for mind-contact, for [the feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact as condition.

"When one abides uninflamed by lust, unfettered, uninfatuated, contemplating danger, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are diminished for oneself in the future; and one's craving - which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this or that - is abandoned. One's bodily and mental troubles are abandoned, one's bodily and mental torments are abandoned, one's bodily and mental fevers are abandoned, and one experiences bodily and mental pleasure.

17. "The view of a person such as this is right view. His intention is right intention, his effort is right effort, his mindfulness is right mindfulness, his concentration is right concentration. But his bodily action, his verbal action, and his livelihood have already been well purified earlier.

Thus this Noble Eightfold Path comes to fulfilment in him by development. When he develops this Noble Eightfold Path, the four foundations of mindfulness also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four right kinds of striving also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four bases for spiritual power also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five faculties also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five powers also come to fulfilment in him by development; the seven enlightenment factors also come to fulfilment in him by development.

These two things - serenity and insight - occur in him yoked evenly together. He fully understands by direct knowledge those things that should be fully understood by direct knowledge. He abandons by direct knowledge those things that should be abandoned by direct knowledge. He develops by direct knowledge those things that should be developed by direct knowledge. He realises by direct knowledge those things that should be realised by direct knowledge.

18. "And what things should be fully understood by direct knowledge?The answer to that is: the five aggregates affected by clinging, that is, the material form aggregate affected by clinging, the feeling aggregate affected by clinging, the perception aggregate affected by clinging, the formations aggregate affected by clinging, the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging. These are the things that should be fully understood by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be abandoned by direct knowledge? Ignorance and craving for being. These are the things that should be abandoned by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be developed by direct knowledge? Serenity and insight. These are the things that should be developed by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be realised by direct knowledge? True knowledge and deliverance. These are the things that should be realised by direct knowledge."

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One's words.

 


 

[1338] MA: When one does not know and see the eye by way of insight knowledge and path knowledge.

[1339] That is, the craving that arises and settles on the eye and forms, etc., holds to them with clinging, and this produces kamma that can generate a new set of five aggregates in the next existence.

[1340] When one knows and sees the eye by insight and the path.

[1341] The eight factors of the path mentioned here seem to pertain to the preliminary or mundane portion of the path.MT identifies them with the factors possessed by a person at the highest level of insight development, immediately prior to the emergence of the supramundane path. In this stage only the former five path factors are actively operative, the three factors of the morality group having been purified prior to the undertaking of insight meditation. But when the supramundane path arises, all eight factors occur simultaneously, the three factors of the morality group exercising the function of eradicating the defilements responsible for moral transgression in speech, action, and livelihood.

[1342] MA says that this refers to the simultaneous arising of serenity and insight in the supramundane path. The former is present under the heading of right concentration, the latter under the heading of right view.

[1343] These are the four functions exercised by the supramundane path: fully understanding the truth of suffering, abandoning the cause of suffering, realising the cessation of suffering, and developing the path leading to the end of suffering.

[1344] Here serenity and insight represent the entire Noble Eightfold Path.

[1345] MA identifies "true knowledge" with the knowledge of the path of arahantship, "deliverance" with the fruit of arahantship. Here these take the place usually reserved for Nibbaana, the true cessation of suffering.

[1346] This passage and each of the following passages repeat the entire text of §§9-11, the only change being in the sense faculty and object.


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