Samyuktagama 122

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Saṃyuktāgama 122. [Discourse on the Living Being]

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Mount Makula. 27 Then an attendant monk by the name of Rādha said to the Buddha: “Blessed One, regarding a living being: What is called a living being?”

The Buddha said to Rādha: “Being defiled by attachment to and entangled with bodily form ― this is called a living being. Being defiled by attachment to and entangled with feeling … perception … formations … consciousness ― this is called a living being.”

The Buddha said to Rādha: “I say that [craving for] the bodily form sphere should be broken up, destroyed, made to disappear and extinguished, that [craving for] the feeling … perception … formations … consciousness sphere should be broken up, destroyed, made to disappear and extinguished. One should eliminate craving and desire for it. From the eradication of craving comes the eradication of dukkha. I say that one who eradicates dukkha makes an end of dukkha.

“It is just as if in a village small boys and small girls play by gathering earth to construct a city with walls and houses. Their minds delight in it with craving and they are attached to it. As long as their craving for it is not eradicated, their desire for it is not eradicated, their thinking [fondly] of it is not eradicated, their thirst for it is not eradicated, their mind continues to crave for it with delight, protecting it by saying: 'This is my walled city and these are my houses.'

“If their craving for that assemblage of earth is eradicated, their desire for it is eradicated, their thinking [fondly] of it is eradicated, their thirst for it is eradicated, they push it over with their hands or kick it over with their feet so that it becomes scattered.

“In the same way, Rādha, craving for bodily form is to be broken up, destroyed, made to disappear and extinguished. [Craving for feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is to be broken up, destroyed, made to disappear and extinguished]. Because of the eradication of craving, dukkha is eradicated. I say that because of the eradication of dukkha one makes an end of dukkha.”

When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monk Rādha was delighted and received it respectfully.