Samyuktagama 64

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Saṃyuktāgama 64. Discourse on an Inspired Utterance

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Eastern Park, the Hall of Migāra’s Mother.

At that time the Blessed One rose from meditation in the afternoon, came out of the hall and in the shade of the hall sat down on a prepared seat in front of a great assembly. At that time the Blessed One uttered an inspired utterance:

   “In the Dharma there is no ‘I’
   and also no ‘mine’.
   Since there won’t be an ‘I’,
   how could ‘mine’ arise?
   A monk resolved on this,
   will abandon the lower type of fetters.”

Then a certain monk rose up from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt on the ground with his right knee and with palms together said to the Buddha: “Blessed One, how is it that:

   “‘There is no ‘I’
   and also no ‘mine’.
   Since there won’t be an ‘I’,
   how could ‘mine’ arise?
   A monk resolved on this
   will abandon the lower type of fetters’?”

The Buddha said to the monk: “A foolish unlearned worldling speculates that bodily form is the self, is distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, exists within the self, or a self exists within bodily form … that feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is the self, is distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, exists within the self, or a self exists within consciousness.

“A learned noble disciple does not 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. He does not 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; he is not one who understands it in this way, not one who sees it in this way.

“This bodily form is impermanent; feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is impermanent. Bodily form is dukkha; feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is dukkha. Bodily form is not self; feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is not self. This bodily form will not be; feeling … perception … formations … consciousness will not be. This bodily form will become extinct; feeling … perception … formations … consciousness will become extinct. Therefore it is not I and not mine. There shall be no I and mine. One who resolves in this way will abandon the five lower types of fetters.”

Then that monk said to the Buddha: “Blessed One, having abandoned the five lower types of fetters, how does one eradicate the influxes and by the influx-free liberation of the mind and liberation by wisdom knows here and now for oneself and is completely established in the realization that: ‘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’?”

The Buddha said to the monk: “A foolish worldling, an unlearned being, gives rise to dread and fear on occasions that are not fearful. For a foolish worldling, an unlearned being, it gives rise to fear that: ‘there is no ‘I’,’ that ‘there is no ‘mine’,’ that these two together should not arise.

“There are four establishments of consciousness, by which it is supported. What are the four? That is, consciousness is established on bodily form, is supported by bodily form, craves for and delights in bodily form, thereby increasing, expanding, and evolving. Consciousness is established on feeling … perception … formations, is supported by them, craves for and delights in them, thereby increasing, expanding, and evolving.

“Monk, on this occasion consciousness—as it comes, as it goes, as it is established, as it arises, as it ceases—increases, expands, and evolves. Suppose someone were to say: ‘There is still another way how consciousness—as it comes, as it goes, as it is established, as it arises, as it ceases—increases, expands, and evolves.’ Yet, on being questioned, one who says so would not know and give rise to ever more bewilderment, because this is outside the sphere of his experience. Why is that?

“Monks, on having become free from lust for the sphere of bodily form, the fetter that arises in the mind for bodily form is also abandoned. On having abandoned the fetter that arises in the mind for bodily form, the support for consciousness is also abandoned. Consciousness will not be further established and will not further increase, expand or evolve. On having become free from lust for the sphere of feeling … perception … formations, the fetter that arises in the mind for feeling … perception … formations is also abandoned. On having abandoned the fetter that arises in the mind for feeling … perception … formations, the support for consciousness is also abandoned. Consciousness will not be further established and it will not further increase, expand or evolve.

“Because consciousness is not established anywhere, it does not increase. Because of not increasing, it is not active anywhere. Because of not being active anywhere, it is steady. Because of being steady, it is content. Because of being content, it is liberated. Because of being liberated, there is no clinging to anything in the whole world. Because of not clinging to anything, there is no being attached to anything. Because of not being attached to anything, one personally realizes Nirvāṇa, knowing: ‘Birth for me has been eradicated, the holy life has been established, what had to be done has been done, I know myself that there will be no receiving of further existence.’

“Monk, I say his consciousness is not established in the eastern direction, the southern … western … northern direction, the four intermediate directions, above, or below. Having relinquished desire he sees the Dharma, Nirvāṇa, cessation, peace, the cool.”

When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, the monks, hearing what the Buddha had said, were delighted and received it respectfully.