The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

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

I. The Impermanent

1 (1) The Internal as Impermanent
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus!”
    “Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:
    “Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “The ear is impermanent…. The nose is impermanent…. The tongue is impermanent…. The body is impermanent…. The mind is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ [2]
    “Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye, revulsion towards the ear, revulsion towards the nose, revulsion towards the tongue, revulsion towards the body, revulsion towards the mind. 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.’”

2 (2) The Internal as Suffering
“Bhikkhus, the eye is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “The ear is suffering…. The nose is suffering…. The tongue is suffering…. The body is suffering…. The mind is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

3 (3) The Internal as Nonself
“Bhikkhus, the eye is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “The ear is nonself…. The nose is nonself…. The tongue is nonself…. The body is nonself…. The mind is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

4 (4) The External as Impermanent
“Bhikkhus, forms are impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, [3] this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Sounds … Odours … Tastes … Tactile objects … Mental phenomena are impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards forms, revulsion towards sounds, revulsion towards odours, revulsion towards tastes, revulsion towards tactile objects, revulsion towards mental phenomena. 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.’”

5 (5) The External as Suffering
“Bhikkhus, forms are suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Sounds … Odours … Tastes … Tactile objects … Mental phenomena are suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

6 (6) The External as Nonself
“Bhikkhus, forms are nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Sounds … Odours … Tastes … Tactile objects … Mental phenomena are nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
    “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’” [4]

7 (7) The Internal as Impermanent in the Three Times
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent, both of the past and the future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple is indifferent towards the eye of the past; he does not seek delight in the eye of the future; and he is practising for revulsion towards the eye of the present, for its fading away and cessation.
    “The ear is impermanent … The nose is impermanent … The tongue is impermanent … The body is impermanent … The mind is impermanent, both of the past and the future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple is indifferent towards the mind of the past … for its fading away and cessation.”

8 (8) The Internal as Suffering in the Three Times
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, the eye is suffering, both of the past and the future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus … The mind is suffering … for its fading away and cessation.”

9 (9) The Internal as Nonself in the Three Times
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, the eye is nonself, both of the past and the future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus … [5] … The mind is nonself … for its fading away and cessation.”

10 (10)–12 (12) The External as Impermanent in the Three Times, Etc.
(These three suttas are identical with §§7–9, but by way of the six external sense bases.) [6]

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

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