The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 12. Nidānasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on Causation

IV. The Kaḷāra Khattiya

31 (1) What Has Come to Be
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī.… There the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Sāriputta thus: “Sāriputta, in ‘The Questions of Ajita’ of the Pārāyana it is said:

‘Those who have comprehended the Dhamma,
And the manifold trainees here:
Asked about their way of conduct,
Being discreet, tell me, dear sir.’

How should the meaning of this, stated in brief, be understood in detail?”
    When this was said, the Venerable Sāriputta was silent. A second time and a third time the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Sāriputta thus: “Sāriputta, in ‘The Questions of Ajita’ in the Pārāyana it is said … [48] How should the meaning of this, stated in brief, be understood in detail?” A second time and a third time the Venerable Sāriputta was silent.
    “Sāriputta, do you see: ‘This has come to be’? Sāriputta, do you see: ‘This has come to be’?”
    “Venerable sir, one sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be,’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards what has come to be, for its fading away and cessation. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment,’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards its origination through nutriment, for its fading away and cessation. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation,’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards what is subject to cessation, for its fading away and cessation. It is in such a way that one is a trainee.
    “And how, venerable sir, has one comprehended the Dhamma? Venerable sir, one sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be,’ through revulsion towards what has come to be, through its fading away and cessation, one is liberated by nonclinging. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment,’ through revulsion towards its origination through nutriment, through its fading away and cessation, one is liberated by nonclinging. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation,’ through revulsion towards what is subject to cessation, through its fading away [49] and cessation, one is liberated by nonclinging. It is in such a way that one has comprehended the Dhamma.
    “Thus, venerable sir, when it is said in ‘The Questions of Ajita’ of the Pārāyana:

‘Those who have comprehended the Dhamma,
And the manifold trainees here:
Asked about their way of conduct,
Being discreet, tell me, dear sir.’—

it is in such a way that I understand in detail the meaning of this that was stated in brief.”
    “Good, good, Sāriputta!… (the Buddha repeats here the entire statement of the Venerable Sāriputta) [50] … it is in such a way that the meaning of this, stated in brief, should be understood in detail.”

32 (2) The Kaḷāra
At Sāvatthī.

(i)

Then the bhikkhu Kaḷāra the Khattiya approached the Venerable Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Venerable Sāriputta: “Friend Sāriputta, the bhikkhu Moḷiyaphagguna has abandoned the training and returned to the lower life.”
    “Then surely that venerable did not find solace in this Dhamma and Discipline.”
    “Well then, has the Venerable Sāriputta attained solace in this Dhamma and Discipline?”
    “I have no perplexity, friend.”
    “But as to the future, friend?”
    “I have no doubt, friend.”
    Then the bhikkhu Kaḷāra the Khattiya rose from his seat and approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, [51] and said to him: “Venerable sir, the Venerable Sāriputta has declared final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”
    Then the Blessed One addressed a certain bhikkhu thus: “Come, bhikkhu, tell Sāriputta in my name that the Teacher calls him.”
    “Yes, venerable sir,” that bhikkhu replied, and he went to the Venerable Sāriputta and told him: “The Teacher calls you, friend Sāriputta.”
    “Yes, friend,” the Venerable Sāriputta replied, and he approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him: “Is it true, Sāriputta, that you have declared final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being’?”
    “Venerable sir, I did not state the matter in those terms and phrases.”
    “In whatever way, Sāriputta, a clansman declares final knowledge, what he has declared should be understood as such.”
    “Venerable sir, didn’t I too speak thus: ‘Venerable sir, I did not state the matter in those terms and phrases’?”
    “If, Sāriputta, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Sāriputta, how have you known, how have you seen, that you have declared final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
    “If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, [52] I would answer thus: ‘With the destruction of the source from which birth originates, I have understood: “When [the cause] is destroyed, [the effect] is destroyed.” Having understood this, I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘But, friend Sāriputta, what is the source of birth, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
    “If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Birth, friends, has existence has its source, existence as its origin; it is born and produced from existence.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘But, friend Sāriputta, what is the source of existence…?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
    “If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Existence, friends, has clinging as its source….’”
    “But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘But, friend Sāriputta, what is the source of clinging…? What is the source of craving, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?” [53]
    “If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Craving, friends, has feeling as its source, feeling as its origin; it is born and produced from feeling.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘Friend Sāriputta, how have you known, how have you seen, that delight in feelings no longer remains present in you?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
    “If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, there are these three feelings. What three? Pleasant feeling, painful feeling, neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. These three feelings, friends, are impermanent; whatever is impermanent is suffering. When this was understood, delight in feelings no longer remained present in me.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “Good, good, Sāriputta! This is another method of explaining in brief that same point: ‘Whatever is felt is included within suffering.’ But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘Friend Sāriputta, through what kind of deliverance have you declared final knowledge thus: “I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being”?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
    “If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: [54] ‘Friends, through an internal deliverance, through the destruction of all clinging, I dwell mindfully in such a way that the taints do not flow within me and I do not despise myself.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “Good, good, Sāriputta! This is another method of explaining in brief that same point: ‘I have no perplexity in regard to the taints spoken of by the Ascetic; I do not doubt that they have been abandoned by me.’”
    This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Sublime One rose from his seat and entered his dwelling.

(ii)

Then, soon after the Blessed One had departed, the Venerable Sāriputta addressed the bhikkhus thus:
    “Friends, the first question that the Blessed One asked me had not been previously considered by me: thus I hesitated over it. But when the Blessed One approved of my answer, it occurred to me: ‘If the Blessed One were to question me about this matter with various terms and with various methods for a whole day, for a whole day I would be able to answer him with various terms and with various methods. If he were to question me about this matter with various terms and with various methods for a whole night, for a day and night, [55] for two days and nights, for three, four, five, six, or seven days and nights—for seven days and nights I would be able to answer him with various terms and with various methods.’”
    Then the bhikkhu Kaḷāra the Khattiya rose from his seat and approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, the Venerable Sāriputta has roared his lion’s roar thus: ‘Friends, the first question that the Blessed One asked me had not been previously considered by me: thus I hesitated over it. But when the Blessed One approved of my answer, it occurred to me: “If the Blessed One were to question me about this matter for up to seven days and nights, [56] for up to seven days and nights I would be able to answer him with various terms and with various methods.”’”
    “Bhikkhu, the Venerable Sāriputta has thoroughly penetrated that element of the Dhamma by the thorough penetration of which, if I were to question him about that matter with various terms and with various methods for up to seven days and nights, for up to seven days and nights he would be able to answer me with various terms and with various methods.”

33 (3) Cases of Knowledge (1)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you forty-four cases of knowledge. Listen to that and attend closely, I will speak.”
    “Yes, venerable sir,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:
    “Bhikkhus, what are the forty-four cases of knowledge? [57] Knowledge of aging-and-death, knowledge of its origin, knowledge of its cessation, knowledge of the way leading to its cessation. Knowledge of birth … Knowledge of existence … Knowledge of clinging … Knowledge of craving … Knowledge of feeling … Knowledge of contact … Knowledge of the six sense bases … Knowledge of name-and-form … Knowledge of consciousness … Knowledge of volitional formations, knowledge of their origin, knowledge of their cessation, knowledge of the way leading to their cessation. These, bhikkhus, are the forty-four cases of knowledge.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is aging-and-death?… (definition as in §2) … Thus this aging and this death are together called aging-and-death. With the arising of birth there is the arising of aging-and-death. With the cessation of birth there is the cessation of aging-and-death. This Noble Eightfold Path is the way leading to the cessation of aging-and-death; that is, right view … right concentration.
    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple thus understands aging-and-death, its origin, [58] its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation, this is his knowledge of the principle. By means of this principle that is seen, understood, immediately attained, fathomed, he applies the method to the past and to the future thus: ‘Whatever ascetics and brahmins in the past directly knew aging-and-death, its origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation, all these directly knew it in the very same way that I do now. Whatever ascetics and brahmins in the future will directly know aging-and-death, its origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation, all these will directly know it in the very same way that I do now.’ This is his knowledge of entailment.
    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple has purified and cleansed these two kinds of knowledge—knowledge of the principle and knowledge of entailment—he is then called a noble disciple who is accomplished in view, accomplished in vision, who has arrived at this true Dhamma, who sees this true Dhamma, who possesses a trainee’s knowledge, a trainee’s true knowledge, who has entered the stream of the Dhamma, a noble one with penetrative wisdom, one who stands squarely before the door to the Deathless.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is birth?… What are the volitional formations?… (definitions as in §2) [59] … This Noble Eightfold Path is the way leading to the cessation of volitional formations; that is, right view … right concentration.
    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple thus understands volitional formations, their origin, their cessation, and the way leading to their cessation, this is his knowledge of the principle. By means of this principle that is seen, understood, immediately attained, fathomed, he applies the method to the past and to the future…. This is his knowledge of entailment.
    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple has purified and cleansed these two kinds of knowledge—knowledge of the principle and knowledge of entailment—he is then called a noble disciple who is accomplished in view … one who stands squarely before the door to the Deathless.”

34 (4) Cases of Knowledge (2)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you seventy-seven cases of knowledge. Listen to that and attend closely, I will speak.” [60]
    “Yes, venerable sir,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:
    “Bhikkhus, what are the seventy-seven cases of knowledge? The knowledge: ‘Aging-and-death has birth as its condition.’ The knowledge: ‘When there is no birth, there is no aging-and-death.’ The knowledge: ‘In the past too aging-and-death had birth as its condition.’ The knowledge: ‘In the past too, had there been no birth, there would have been no aging-and-death.’ The knowledge: ‘In the future too aging-and-death will have birth as its condition.’ The knowledge: ‘In the future too, should there be no birth, there will be no aging-and-death.’ The knowledge: ‘That knowledge of the stability of the Dhamma is also subject to destruction, vanishing, fading away, and cessation.’
    “The knowledge: ‘Birth has existence as its condition.’… The knowledge: ‘Volitional formations have ignorance as their condition.’ The knowledge: ‘When there is no ignorance, there are no volitional formations.’ The knowledge: ‘In the past too volitional formations had ignorance as their condition.’ The knowledge: ‘In the past too, had there been no ignorance, there would have been no volitional formations.’ The knowledge: ‘In the future too volitional formations will have ignorance as their condition.’ The knowledge: ‘In the future too, should there be no ignorance, there will be no volitional formations.’ The knowledge: ‘That knowledge of the stability of the Dhamma is also subject to destruction, vanishing, fading away, and cessation.’
    “These, bhikkhus, are called the seventy-seven cases of knowledge.”

35 (5) With Ignorance as Condition (1)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, with ignorance as condition, volitional formations [come to be]; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.”
    When he had said this, a certain bhikkhu said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, what now is aging-and-death, and for whom is there this aging-and-death?”
    “Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. [61] “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now is aging-and-death, and for whom is there this aging-and-death?’ or whether one says, ‘Aging-and-death is one thing, the one for whom there is this aging-and-death is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing. If there is the view, ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ there is no living of the holy life; and if there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another,’ there is no living of the holy life. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: ‘With birth as condition, aging-and-death.’”
    “Venerable sir, what now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?”
    “Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?’ or whether one says, ‘Birth is one thing, the one for whom there is this birth is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing…. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: ‘With existence as condition, birth.’”
    “Venerable sir, what now is existence, and for whom is there this existence?”
    “Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now is existence, and for whom is there this existence?’ or whether one says, ‘Existence is one thing, the one for whom there is this existence is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing…. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: ‘With clinging as condition, existence…. With craving as condition, clinging…. With feeling as condition, craving…. With contact as condition, feeling…. With the six sense bases as condition, contact…. With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases…. [62] With consciousness as condition, name-and-form…. With volitional formations as condition, consciousness.’”
    “Venerable sir, what now are volitional formations, and for whom are there these volitional formations?”
    “Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now are volitional formations, and for whom are there these volitional formations?’ or whether one says, ‘Volitional formations are one thing, the one for whom there are these volitional formations is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing. If there is the view, ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ there is no living of the holy life; and if there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another,’ there is no living of the holy life. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: ‘With ignorance as condition, volitional formations.’
    “But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance, whatever kinds of contortions, manoeuvres, and vacillations there may be—‘What now is aging-and-death, and for whom is there this aging-and-death?’ or ‘Aging-and-death is one thing, the one for whom there is this aging-and-death is another,’ or ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ or ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’—all these are abandoned, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising.
    “With the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance, whatever kinds of contortions, manoeuvres, and vacillations there may be—‘What now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?’… [63] … ‘What now are volitional formations, and for whom are there these volitional formations?’ or ‘Volitional formations are one thing, the one for whom there are these volitional formations is another,’ or ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ or ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’—all these are abandoned, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising.”

36 (6) With Ignorance as Condition (2)
(This sutta is identical with the preceding one, differing only in that the bhikkhus are addressed collectively throughout, and there is no interlocutor who asks inappropriate questions. The Buddha simply cites the invalid types of assertions on his own.) [64]

37 (7) Not Yours
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, this body is not yours, nor does it belong to others. [65] It is old kamma, to be seen as generated and fashioned by volition, as something to be felt. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends carefully and closely to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises. When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases. That is, with ignorance as condition, volitional formations [come to be]; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, cessation of consciousness…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

38 (8) Volition (1)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is the production of future renewed existence. When there is the production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “If, bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. [66] When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no production of future renewed existence. When there is no production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

39 (9) Volition (2)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name-and-form. With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases [come to be]; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with contact as condition, feeling … craving … clinging … existence … birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “If, bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name-and-form. With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases [come to be]…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no descent of name-and-form. With the cessation of name-and-form comes cessation of the six sense bases…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

40 (10) Volition (3)
At Sāvatthī. [67] “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is inclination. When there is inclination, there is coming and going. When there is coming and going, there is passing away and being reborn. When there is passing away and being reborn, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “If, bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no inclination. When there is no inclination, there is no coming and going. When there is no coming and going, there is no passing away and being reborn. When there is no passing away and being reborn, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”
 

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