The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 35. Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
Division III. The Third Fifty

I. Secure from Bondage

104 (1) Secure from Bondage
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you a Dhamma exposition on the theme of the one who declares the exertion to become secure from bondage. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the Dhamma exposition on the theme of the one who declares the exertion to become secure from bondage? There are, bhikkhus, forms cognizable by the eye that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. These have been abandoned by the Tathāgata, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising. He declares an exertion [should be made] for their abandoning. Therefore the Tathāgata is called one who declares the exertion to become secure from bondage.
    “There are, bhikkhus, sounds cognizable by the ear … mental phenomena cognizable by the mind that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. These have been abandoned by the Tathāgata, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising. He declares an exertion [should be made] for their abandoning. Therefore the Tathāgata is called one who declares the exertion to become secure from bondage.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the Dhamma exposition on the theme of the one who declares the exertion to become secure from bondage.”

105 (2) By Clinging
“Bhikkhus, when what exists, by clinging to what, do pleasure and pain arise internally?”
    “Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One….”
    “When there is the eye, bhikkhus, by clinging to the eye, pleasure and pain arise internally. When there is the ear … the mind, by clinging to the mind, pleasure and pain arise internally.
    “What do you think, bhikkhus, is the eye permanent or impermanent?”
    “Impermanent, venerable sir.”
    “Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”
    “Suffering, venerable sir.”
    “But without clinging to what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change, could pleasure and pain arise internally?”
    “No, venerable sir.” [86]
    “Is the ear … the mind permanent or impermanent?… But without clinging to what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change, could pleasure and pain arise internally?”
    “No, venerable sir.”
    “Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye … 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.’”

106 (3) The Origin of Suffering
(Identical with 12:43.) [87]

107 (4) The Origin of the World
(Identical with 12:44.) [88]

108 (5) I Am Superior
“Bhikkhus, when what exists, by clinging to what, by adhering to what, does the thought occur: ‘I am superior’ or ‘I am equal’ or ‘I am inferior’?”
    “Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One….”
    “When there is the eye, bhikkhus, by clinging to the eye, by adhering to the eye, the thought occurs: ‘I am superior’ or ‘I am equal’ or ‘I am inferior.’ When there is the ear … When there is the mind, by clinging to the mind, by adhering to the mind, the thought occurs: ‘I am superior’ or ‘I am equal’ or ‘I am inferior.’
    “What do you think, bhikkhus, is the eye … the mind permanent or impermanent?”
    “Impermanent, venerable sir.”…
    “But without clinging to what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change, could the thought occur: ‘I am superior’ or ‘I am equal’ or ‘I am inferior’?”
    “No, venerable sir.”
    “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’” [89]

109 (6) Things That Fetter
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the things that fetter and the fetter. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, are the things that fetter, and what is the fetter? The eye, bhikkhus, is a thing that fetters; the desire and lust for it is the fetter there. The ear is a thing that fetters … The mind is a thing that fetters; the desire and lust for it is the fetter there. These are called the things that fetter, and this the fetter.”

110 (7) Things That Can Be Clung To
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the things that can be clung to and the clinging. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, are the things that can be clung to, and what is the clinging? The eye, bhikkhus, is a thing that can be clung to; the desire and lust for it is the clinging there. The ear is a thing that can be clung to … The mind is a thing that can be clung to; the desire and lust for it is the clinging there. These are called the things that can be clung to, and this the clinging.”

111 (8) Fully Understanding (1)
“Bhikkhus, 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 the ear … the mind, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering. But by directly knowing and fully understanding the eye … the mind, by developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is capable of destroying suffering.” [90]

112 (9) Fully Understanding (2)
(Identical with §111, but stated by way of the six external sense bases.)

113 (10) Listening In
(Identical with 12:45.) [91]
 

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

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