Samyuktagama 33

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Saṃyuktāgama 33

Taishō vol. 2, p. 7b–c The Discourse on Not-self

Thus have I heard. Once the Awakened One dwelt in the greater-metropolitan-area of Srāvasti in Jeta’s Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. At that time the World Honoured One instructed the mendicants:

“Form is not self. If form were self, then sickness and suffering ought not arise regarding form and it ought not happen that one would want form to be like this and it not be like that. Form is not self because, regarding form there is sickness and there is suffering arising and it is the case that, regarding form, one wants it to be like this and it is not like that.

“Feeling, perception, formulation and consciousness are also just like that.

“Mendicants, what do you think? Is form permanent or impermanent?” The mendicants explained to the Awakened One, “It is impermanent, World Honoured One.” “Mendicants, if it is impermanent then isn’t it suffering?” The mendicants explained, “It is suffering, World Honoured One.” ”If it’s impermanent, it is suffering. It is a changing dhamma. Would the well-learned noble disciple in the middle way rather view: there is a self, there is other than self, both, or not?” The mendicants explained to the Awakened One, “Not at all, World Honoured One.”

“Feeling, perception, formulation and consciousness are also just like that.

“This is the reason mendicants, whatever form there exists, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, good or ugly, far or near, they all are to be contemplated like this: not self, not different from self and not both.

“Examine feeling, perception, formulation and consciousness also like this.

“Mendicants, the well-learned noble disciple regarding these clinging aggregates, contemplate and examine them as they are: not self and not belonging to self. Having contemplated and examined them as they really are, they do not cling to anything that could be clung to in the world. Not clinging to anything that could be clung to they therefore do not hold onto anything. Not holding onto anything they therefore realise for themselves extinguishment. ‘There is no more birth for me, the Holy Life is established. Done is what had to be done.’ He knows for himself: ‘There is no future becoming.’”

When the Awakened One finished saying this discourse the mendicants heard what the Awakened One said and happily practised.