Samyuktagama 261

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Saṃyuktāgama 261. Discourse on Puṇṇa

Thus have I heard. At one time the venerable Ānanda was staying at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then the venerable Ānanda said to the monks: “At the time of having just been recently ordained, the venerable Puṇṇa Mantāniputta often gave me profound teachings, speaking like this:

’Ānanda, it is by clinging to states that one conceives ‘I am this’, not without clinging to states. Ānanda, by clinging to what states does one conceive ‘I am this’, not without clinging to them? Clinging to bodily form one clings to it as ‘I am this’, not without clinging to it. Clinging to feeling … perception … formations … consciousness one clings to it as ‘I am this’, not without clinging to it.

’Just as a person who holds in his hand a clear mirror or clean water in a bowl as a mirror and clings to it to see his own face, who sees because of clinging to the mirror, not without clinging to it.

’Therefore Ānanda, clinging to bodily form one clings to it conceiving it as ‘I am this’, not without clinging to it. Clinging to feeling … perception … formations … consciousness one clings to it conceiving it as ‘I am this’, not without clinging to it. Why is that?

’Ānanda, is bodily form permanent or is it impermanent?’

“I replied: ‘It is impermanent.’

“Puṇṇa asked again: ‘What is impermanent, is it dukkha?’

“I replied: ‘It is dukkha.’

“Puṇṇa asked again: ‘What is impermanent, dukkha, of a nature to change, does a noble disciple herein further conceive it as the self, as distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, as existing within the self, or the self as existing within it?’

“I replied: ‘No.’

“Puṇṇa asked again: ’In the same way feeling … perception … formations … consciousness, is it permanent or is it impermanent?’

“I replied: ‘It is impermanent.’

“Puṇṇa asked again: ‘What is impermanent, is it dukkha?’

“I replied: ‘It is dukkha.’

“Puṇṇa asked again: ‘What is impermanent, dukkha, of a nature to change, would a learned noble disciple herein further conceive it as the self, as distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, as existing within the self, or the self as existing within it?’

“I replied: ‘No.’

“Puṇṇa said: ‘Ānanda, therefore, whatever bodily form, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all that is not self, is not distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, does not exist within the self, nor does a self exist within it. In the same way whatever feeling … perception … formations … consciousness, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all that is not self, is not distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, does not exist within the self, nor does a self exist within it. One understands it as it really is and examines it as it really is.

’A noble disciple who contemplates like this gives rise to disenchantment in regard to bodily form, is free from desire for it and becomes liberated, knowing: ‘Birth for me has been eradicated, the holy life has been established, what had to be done has been done, I myself know that there will be no receiving of further existence.. In the same way a noble disciple gives rise to disenchantment in regard to feeling … perception … formations … consciousness, is free from desire for it and becomes liberated, knowing: ‘Birth for me has been eradicated, the holy life has been established, what had to be done has been done, I myself know that there will be no receiving of further existence.’

“Monks, you should know that the venerable Puṇṇa greatly benefitted me. When I had heard this teaching from the venerable one, I attained the pure eye of Dharma that is remote from mental stains and free from mental dust. From then on I often spoke to the four assemblies in reliance on this teaching, without mentioning what is from other heterodox recluses, brahmins and wanderers.”