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 [Dhamma Talk]


SN 3.22.55

The Buddha describes the stockpiles (kandha) in detail and shows how they are to be analyzed according to the Four Truths.

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Recommended translation: Inspired Words, Woodward translation
Index of Available translations: SN 3.22.56



In this sutta where it is translated:

Woodward: "And what is body ... consciousness? It is these six seats of ... ";

Bhk. Bodhi: "And what is form ... consciousness. There are these six classes of ...";

Bhk. Thanissaro: "And what is form ... consciousness? These six classes of ...",

what is being translated as "And what is ..." is "Katamāñ ca x?", and what is being translated as "seats of", "classes of", is "x-kāyā".

Normally translating "Katamāñ ca x?", as "And what is ..." does not create problems, but it should be heard in this case (and perhaps in every case for clarity) as it is in the Pāḷi:

"And what x?" (of x's, which is being spoken of here?) and "x-kāyā" (x-body), should be heard, so say I, as "embodied-form," ... "embodied-consciousness".

This needs to be the case in this case because there is, at least in the case of consciousness, consciousness which is not embodied, that is, that has not come into existence, has not become identified-with by an individual and does not need to be escaped from. As currently translated this leaves us with the idea that consciousness is to be annihilated and a contradiction in the Suttas where it is clearly pointed out (see —SN 3.22.53) that freed consciousness is Nibbāna.

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