Mil 2.3.8 Characteristic of Contact

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Mil 2.3.8: Characteristic of Contact

The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, when mind consciousness arises, do contact and feeling also arise?"

"Yes, your majesty, when mind consciousness arises, contact arises, feeling arises, perception arises, volition arises, applied thought arises, and sustained thought arises. And all these mental states arise with contact in the lead."

"Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of contact?"

"The distinguishing characteristic of contact, your majesty, is touching."

"Give me an analogy."

"Just as if, your majesty, two rams are butting each other, one of these rams is to be understood as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of them is contact."

"Give me another analogy."

"Just as if, your majesty, two hands are clapping together, one of these hands is to be understood as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of them is contact."

"Give me another analogy."

"Just as if, your majesty, two cymbals are striking together, one of these cymbals is to be understood as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of them is contact."

"You are clever, venerable Nagasena."