Samyuktagama 87

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Saṃyuktāgama 87. Discourse on Dukkha

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: “Bodily form is dukkha. If bodily form were not dukkha, then it should not happen that bodily form becomes sick and pain arises, and one should neither be wishing it to be in this way nor wishing it to be not in that way. Therefore bodily form is dukkha. Because bodily form is dukkha, disease arises in bodily form and one gets the wish for bodily form to be in this way and not in that way. Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness are also like this.

“Monks, is bodily form permanent or impermanent?”

The monks said to the Buddha: “It is impermanent, Blessed One.”

The Buddha said: “Monks, what is impermanent, is it dukkha?”

The monks said to the Buddha: “It is dukkha, Blessed One.”

The Buddha said: “Monks, what is impermanent, dukkha, of a nature to change, would a learned noble disciple herein regard 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?“

The monks said to the Buddha: “No, Blessed One.”

The Buddha said: “Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness are also like this. Therefore, monks, whatever bodily form, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all of it is entirely not self, 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. Examine it as it really is. Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness are also like this.

“A learned noble disciple attains liberation from bodily form, attains liberation from feeling … perception … formations … consciousness. I say, he is liberated from birth, old age, disease, death, worry, sorrow, vexation, and pain, from this entire great mass of dukkha.’”

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