Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 35. Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
Division I. The Root Fifty

III. The All

23 (1) The All
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the all. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the all? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and odours, the tongue and tastes, the body and tactile objects, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the all.
    “If anyone, bhikkhus, should speak thus: ‘Having rejected this all, I shall make known another all’—that would be a mere empty boast on his part. If he were questioned he would not be able to reply and, further, he would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that would not be within his domain.”

24 (2) Abandonment (1)
 “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the Dhamma for abandoning all. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the Dhamma for abandoning all? The eye is to be abandoned, forms are to be abandoned, eye-consciousness is to be abandoned, eye-contact is to be abandoned, [16] and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is to be abandoned.
    “The ear is to be abandoned … The mind is to be abandoned, mental phenomena are to be abandoned, mind-consciousness is to be abandoned, mind-contact is to be abandoned, and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is to be abandoned.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the Dhamma for abandoning all.”

25 (3) Abandonment (2)
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the Dhamma for abandoning all through direct knowledge and full understanding. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the Dhamma for abandoning all through direct knowledge and full understanding? The eye is to be abandoned through direct knowledge and full understanding, forms are to be so abandoned, eye-consciousness is to be so abandoned, eye-contact is to be so abandoned, and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is to be abandoned through direct knowledge and full understanding.
    “The ear is to be abandoned through direct knowledge and full understanding … The mind is to be abandoned through direct knowledge and full understanding, mental phenomena [17] are to be so abandoned, mind-consciousness is to be so abandoned, mind-contact is to be so abandoned, and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is to be abandoned through direct knowledge and full understanding.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the Dhamma for abandoning all through direct knowledge and full understanding.”

26 (4) Full Understanding (1)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, without directly knowing and fully understanding the all, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is that all without directly knowing and fully understanding which, without developing dispassion towards which and abandoning which, one is incapable of destroying suffering?
    “Without directly knowing and fully understanding the eye, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering. Without directly knowing and fully understanding forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition … without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering.
    “Without directly knowing and fully understanding the ear … the mind … and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the all without directly knowing and fully understanding which … one is incapable of destroying suffering.
    “Bhikkhus, by directly knowing and fully understanding the all, by developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is capable of destroying suffering. [18]
    “And what, bhikkhus, is that all by directly knowing and fully understanding which, by developing dispassion towards which and abandoning which, one is capable of destroying suffering?
    “By directly knowing and fully understanding the eye … the mind … and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … by developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is capable of destroying suffering.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the all by directly knowing and fully understanding which … one is capable of destroying suffering.”

27 (5) Full Understanding (2)
“Bhikkhus, without directly knowing and fully understanding the all, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the all…?
    “The eye and forms and eye-consciousness and things to be cognized by eye-consciousness. [19] The ear and sounds and ear-consciousness and things to be cognized by ear-consciousness…. The mind and mental phenomena and mind-consciousness and things to be cognized by mind-consciousness.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the all without directly knowing and fully understanding which, without developing dispassion towards which and abandoning which, one is incapable of destroying suffering.
    “But, bhikkhus, by directly knowing and fully understanding the all, by developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is capable of destroying suffering.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the all…? (as above)
    “This, bhikkhus, is the all by directly knowing and fully understanding which, by developing dispassion towards which and abandoning which, one is capable of destroying suffering.”

28 (6) Burning
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Gayā, at Gayā’s Head, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:
    “Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what, bhikkhus, is the all that is burning? The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say.
    “The ear is burning … [20] … The mind is burning … and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say.
    “Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye, towards forms, towards eye-consciousness, towards eye-contact, towards whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant; experiences revulsion towards the ear … towards the mind … towards whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition…. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘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.’”
    This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those bhikkhus delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the minds of the thousand bhikkhus were liberated from the taints by nonclinging.

29 (7) Weighed Down
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:
    “Bhikkhus, all is weighed down. [21] And what, bhikkhus, is the all that is weighed down? The eye is weighed down, forms are weighed down, eye-consciousness is weighed down, eye-contact is weighed down, and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is weighed down. Weighed down by what? Weighed down by birth, aging, and death; by sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say.
    “The ear is weighed down … The mind is weighed down … Weighed down by what? Weighed down by birth … by despair, I say.
    “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

30 (8) Appropriate for Uprooting
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the way that is appropriate for uprooting all conceivings. [22] Listen to that and attend closely, I will speak….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the way that is appropriate for uprooting all conceivings? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu does not conceive the eye, does not conceive in the eye, does not conceive from the eye, does not conceive, ‘The eye is mine.’ He does not conceive forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
    “He does not conceive the ear … He does not conceive the mind … mental phenomena … mind-consciousness … mind-contact … [23] and as to whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
    “He does not conceive all, does not conceive in all, does not conceive from all, does not conceive, ‘All is mine.’
    “Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. He understands: ‘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.’
    “This, bhikkhus, is the way that is appropriate for uprooting all conceivings.”

31 (9) Suitable for Uprooting (1)
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu does not conceive the eye, does not conceive in the eye, does not conceive from the eye, does not conceive, ‘The eye is mine.’ He does not conceive forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to becoming, seeks delight only in becoming.
    “He does not conceive the ear … [24] … He does not conceive the mind … and as to whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to becoming, seeks delight only in becoming.
    “Whatever, bhikkhus, is the extent of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense bases, he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
    “Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. He understands: ‘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.’
    “This, bhikkhus, is the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings.”

32 (10) Suitable for Uprooting (2)
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings? What do you think, bhikkhus, is the eye permanent or impermanent?” – “Impermanent, venerable sir.” – “Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?” – [25] “Suffering, venerable sir.” – “Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?” – “No, venerable sir.”
    “Are forms permanent or impermanent?… Is eye-consciousness … Is eye-contact … Is any feeling that arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—permanent or impermanent?…
    “Is the ear permanent or impermanent?… Is the mind … Is any feeling that arises with mind-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?” – “Impermanent, venerable sir.” – “Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?” – “Suffering, venerable sir.” – “Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?” – “No, venerable sir.” [26]
    “Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye, towards forms, towards eye-consciousness, towards eye-contact, towards whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant. He experiences revulsion towards the ear … towards the mind … towards whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition…. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘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.’
    “This, bhikkhus, is the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings.”
 

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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