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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
12. Nidāna Saɱyutta
2. Āhāra Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
12. The Kindred Sayings on Cause
2. Sustenance-Suttas

Sutta 15

Kaccāna-Gotta Suttaɱ


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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain


[16] [12]

[1][bit][than][bodh][olds] Thus have I heard:

While the Exalted One was at Sāvatthi
the venerable Kaccāyana of that clan[1]
came to visit him,
and saluting him
sat down at one side.

So seated he asked the Exalted One,
saying: —

"Lord, we hear the phrase
'right view, right view."[2]

Now how far is there a 'right view'?"

"This world, Kaccayana,
usually bases [its view) on two things:
on existence and on non-existence.[3]

Now he, who with right insight
sees the uprising of the [13] world as it really is,
does not hold with the non-existence of the world.

But he, who with right insight
sees the passing away of the world as it really is,
does not hold with the existence of the world.

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

And the man who does not go after that system-grasping,
that mental standpoint,
that dogmatic bias,
who does not grasp at it,
does not take up his stand upon it,
[does not think]: —

'It is my soul![4]

— who thinks: —

'That which arises is just Ill,
that which passes away is Ill'[5]

— this man is not in doubt,
is not perplexed.

Knowledge herein is his
that is not merely another's.

Thus far, Kaccayana, he has right view.

Everything exists: — this is one extreme.

Nothing exists: — this is the other extreme.

Not approaching either extreme the Tathāgata teaches you a doctrine by the middle [way]: —

Conditioned by ignorance
activities come to pass,
conditioned by activities
thus conditioned [arises] name-and-shape;
and sense arises,
grief, suffering,

Even such is the uprising of this entire mass of ill.

But from the utter fading away
and ceasing of ignorance
[arises] ceasing of activities,
and thus comes ceasing of this entire mass of ill."


[1] No comment on this person is made. On Kaccāna's in the Order see Pss of the Brethren, pp. 142, 238. The episode is retold by Ānanda in the third volume of these Sayings when he is teaching Channa (iii, Sutta No.90). Cf. H. Warren's translation in Buddhism in Translations, p. 165.

[2] 'In the doubled term the question includes whatever the wise — devas and men — declare to be right vision.' Comy. 'We hear the phrase' is, literally. ... 'is said.'

[3] According to B. Eternalists held that 'in the conditioned world' once existing means always existing; Annihilationists held that nothing existing persisted always. It is on the surface curious that the arguuments with the school tending to maintain the former 'extreme' — the Sabbatthivādins or Sarvāstivādins, given in the Kathāvatthu (Points of Controversy, pp. 85f.; cf. 375f.) do not cite this Sutta. See Buddhism. p. 82 f. and Introduction. Existence (atthitā) is apparently understood in the Parmenidean sense: incapable of absolute dissoluution. The Comy. explains the midway vision thus: — no one who discerns the dissolution of phenomena in the conditioned universe is an Eternalist. No one who discerns the evolution of phenomena in it is an Annihilationist.

[4] Feer's text reads attā na me ti (wrongly divided in the text). The Comy. reads attā me ti. Either can be read consistently with the context. We can either read (rendering freely) 'who does not follow those convictions, [who thinks] "it is not my soul,"' or 'whose convicctions do not lead him to think, "it is my soul."'

[5] So Vajirā above, part i, p. 70. [sic. SN 1.5.10]

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