63. Discourse on Types of Contemplation
Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.
At that time the Blessed One said to the monks: “There are five aggregates of clinging, that is, the bodily form aggregate of clinging … the feeling … the perception … the formations … the consciousness aggregate of clinging.
” Monks, if recluses and Brahmins speculate about the existence of a self, they all speculate about the existence of a self in relation to these five aggregates of clinging. What are the five?
“Recluses and Brahmins see bodily form as the self, as distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, as existing within the self, or a self as existing within bodily form. In the same way they see feeling … perception … formations … consciousness as the self, as distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, as existing within the self, or a self as existing within consciousness.
“In this way a foolish unlearned worldling speculates about the self, being ignorant of how to distinguish it. Contemplating it like this, he is not separated from ‘mine’. One who is not separated from ‘mine’ engages with the sense faculties. Being engaged with the sense faculties gives rise to contact. Through the six contacts engaging with contact, pleasure and pain arise to a foolish unlearned worldling, from which this kind of view or others arise, that is, through the six classes of contact. What are the six?
“That is, there is the eye-contact sphere, the ear-contact … nose-contact … tongue-contact … body-contact … mind-contact sphere. Monks, there is the mind element, the mind-object element and the element of ignorance. Being contacted by ignorant contact, a foolish unlearned worldling proclaims existence, proclaims non-existence, proclaims existence-and-non-existence, proclaims neither-existence-nor-non-existence, proclaims himself to be superior, proclaims himself to be inferior, proclaims himself to be equal, saying: ‘I know it, I see it.’
“Again, monks, a learned noble disciple, while being established in the six spheres of contact, is able to become disenchanted with ignorance and is able to give rise to knowledge. With the fading away of ignorance and the arising of knowledge he does not proclaim existence, does not proclaim non-existence, does not proclaim existence-and-non-existence, does not proclaim neither-existence-nor-non-existence, does not proclaim himself to be superior, does not proclaim himself to be inferior, does not proclaim himself to be equal, saying: ‘I know it, I see it.’ Having produced knowledge like this, vision like this, the formerly arisen contact by ignorance ceases, whereon contact by knowledge arises.”
When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, the monks, hearing what the Buddha had said, were delighted and received it respectfully.