Samyuktagama 71

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Saṃyuktāgama 71. Discourse on Identity

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: “I will now teach you identity, the arising of identity, the cessation of identity, and the path to the cessation of identity. Listen and pay careful attention to what I shall tell you.

“What is identity? That is, it is the five aggregates of clinging. What are the five? They are the bodily form aggregate of clinging … the feeling … the perception … the formations … the consciousness aggregate of clinging. This is called identity.

“What is the arising of identity? It is craving for future becoming, which is conjoined with lust and joy, delighting with attachment here and there—this is called the arising of identity.

“What is the cessation of identity? It is the abandoning without remainder of this craving for future becoming, which is conjoined with lust and joy, delighting with attachment here and there, its vomiting out, its eradication, its fading away, its cessation—this is called the cessation of identity.

“What is path to the cessation of identity? That is, it is the noble eightfold path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This is called the path to the cessation of identity.

“This is called the explanation of: ‘I will teach you identity, the arising of identity, the cessation of identity, and the path to the cessation of identity’.”

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

Another discourse is to be recited in the same way, with the difference: “you should understand identity, you should understand the abandoning of the arising of identity, you should understand the realization of the cessation of identity, and you should understand the cultivation of the path to the abandoning of identity.”

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

As for “I will teach“, so with “there is” and “you should understand“, three discourses should be recited in the same way, again with the difference: “a monk who understands identity, abandons the arising of identity, realizes the cessation of identity, and cultivates the path to the abandoning of identity is called a monk who has abandoned the bondage of desire and craving, and all that is of the nature to fetter, who has cultivated comprehension and completely made an end of dukkha.”

Again it should be recited with this difference: “This is called a monk who has reached the complete end, the supreme freedom from mental dust, the supreme holy life, a pure true person sappurisa.”

Again it should be recited with this difference: “This is called a monk who is an arahant, who has eradicated the influxes, who has done what had to be done, who has relinquished the heavy burden, who has gained his own benefit, who has eradicated all the fetters of existence, and whose mind has been liberated with right comprehension.”

Again it should be recited with this difference: “This is called a monk who has abandoned the barrier, crossed over the moat, surpassed the limitations, shed off all guards, and established the noble banner of the Dharma.”

Again it should be recited with this difference: “What is abandoning the barrier? That is, it is abandoning the five lower types of fetter. What is crossing over the moat? That is, it is crossing over the deep moat of ignorance. What is surpassing the limitations? That is, it is the supreme surpassing of the beginningless round of births and deaths. What is shedding of all guards? That is, it is eradicating the craving for becoming. What is establishing the noble banner of the Dharma? That is, it is eradicating the ‘I’-conceit.”

Again it should be recited with this difference: “This is called a monk who has abandoned five factors, who has accomplished six factors, who is protected by one, who has supports of four types, who has relinquished all individual worldly truths, who is free from any quest, who has purified all realizations, whose bodily actions are calm, whose mind is well liberated, who is well liberated by wisdom, who is singly established in the holy life, being an unsurpassable person.”